For The Best Detroit-Style Pizza, Crank Your Oven As High As Possible

Pizza is the ultimate comfort food, and the best part might just be that there are countless ways to customize it, from the toppings to the sauce to the cheese — and, of course, the ever-important crust. When it comes to that crust, thick Chicago-style deep dish and thin New York-style are often front of mind. But if you're interested in switching things up for your next pie, consider looking to the north at the sleeping giant from Michigan: Detroit-style pizza.

Characterized by its rectangular shape, square slices, and Wisconsin brick cheese that's baked to dark, crispy perfection, Detroit-style pizza is a game-changing pie. It shares the classic components of a traditional pizza but stands out because of its unique preparation. And if you want to make a Detroit-style pizza the right way, it's essential that your oven can handle extremely high baking temperatures.

Without a hot enough oven, you won't be able to achieve the signature crispy edges that define this delicious pie. The high temperatures get the crust perfectly brown in a quick cook time, keeping your crust airy but not dry. Thankfully, the process isn't complicated, but you might need to budget some extra time for your oven to heat up to its highest setting.

It's getting hot in here

Like any classic pizza, the only ingredients you need for a Detroit-style pie are dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings — and, of course, a rectangular baking pan. According to Tasting Table recipe developer Stephanie Rapone, you should preheat your oven to about 550 degrees Fahrenheit to get those crispy edges. You'll also tweak the traditional pizza-building process a bit: Your toppings and cheese go directly on top of the dough, and only then does the sauce come in to finish the job. (Depending on who you ask, the sauce doesn't even go on until after the pizza is baked!) Cook the pizza for 12-15 minutes, and get ready to feast on the crispy, chewy crust that only a hot oven can deliver.

But it's not just about the temperature — you must also spread the cheese all the way to the edges of the crust before baking. According to PMQ Pizza Magazine, the distinct buttery flavor in Detroit-style crust is actually from the cheese itself. Brick cheese is high in fat, so when it's spread to the edges of the dough, it drips down into the pan, essentially frying the crust in cheesy oil and creating that irresistible flavor and crunch.

So the next time you're craving a slice that would make a Michigander proud, get that oven nice and hot, and prepare to reap the bubbly, cheesy benefits. For an extra twist, try a drizzle of hot honey for a non-traditional finish that will elevate your pizza even higher.