Just because we don't have expensive commercial or wood-fired pizza ovens in our homes doesn't mean we should settle for a less-than-satisfactory homemade pie. While using the best dough and ingredients definitely makes a difference, there's one trick that will guarantee your pie comes out restaurant worthy every single time.
When cooking pizza at home, get your oven as hot as it will go.
A 350-degree oven is perfect for making pies and cookies, but if you try to cook pizza at that temperature, you'll be left with uncooked or soggy dough and burnt toppings. Believe it or not 400 degrees is still too low, so crank that baby up to 500 degrees and bake that meat lovers pizza to perfection.
It's also critical to heat the pizza stone or baking sheet before transferring the pie to the oven, and forgetting to do so will leave you with a soft bottom instead of the crispy crust you were hoping for. Just stick the stone into the hot oven for about 15 to 20 minutes prior to baking your pie, or about five to 10 minutes if you're using a baking sheet.
Keep in mind that since you're turning your oven up probably higher than you normally do, it's very important that the oven is clean—anything that's left over or spilled from previous projects will burn at this high temperature. If you've never used the oven at such a high temperature before, keep an eye on the pizza while it's cooking to make sure everything goes smoothly.
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