Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Revolutionize your homemade pizza with this cast iron skillet pizza. The most crispy, crunchy crust that is developed through high heat and is the best homemade pizza I’ve ever made. Follow my step by step photos and apply my special tips to ensure your pizza creations are perfect!
Growing up, my family always took pizza very seriously. If it didn’t have the right crispy crust and quality flavor – it’s gotta go!
Once I moved from the east coast to the west, I really missed good pizza. So I decided to figure out how to make the pizza I love in the comfort of my own home.
And I will say, up until this point I never successfully made mind-blowing pizza at home. It was usually bread-y and not crispy at all.
This all changed when I decided to use a cast iron skillet. I grew up constantly cooking with cast iron skillets so I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure this out. But high heat combined with the radiant surface of the skillet produces the crust I had always dreamed of making.
I am fully convinced you will absolutely love this crispy pizza! It is something I make often for my family and every time I do make it, it never fails to impress.
The Magic of Cast Iron
True crispy crust is attained through high heat. To make this possible in a home kitchen I recommend using a pan or pot made of cast iron – this will act as an extra oven within your oven and make a high enough temperature to develop a “crunch” to your pizza.
Important cast iron tip: I recommend using only cast iron for this recipe and not a skillet with enameled coating on the cooking surface (but on the outside is fine). I have found that using cast iron with an enameled surface radiates less heat than straight cast iron. We use lodge cast iron skillets or Staub cast iron braiser (which is shallow, a bit larger than a skillet, and has a cast iron surface and is not enameled).
Making Homemade Pizza Crust Crispy
First things first. Simply using a cast iron skillet as your pizza vessel does not make your crust crispy. You must preheat your cast iron pan in order for this recipe to be successful. I recommend preheating the skillet for at least 20-25 minutes at 500F before placing your dough in the pan. This will elevate the oven heat which will result in the pizza cooking faster and crispier.
How to Make Cast Iron Skillet Pizza – Step by Step
The dough: Either use a homemade dough recipe, store-bought dough, or buy dough from your local pizzeria. I’ve made this pizza recipe with both homemade dough and store-bought – and I personally liked it better with store-bought or pizzeria dough. See recipe tips for more on this.
- Preheat the pan: Set your oven to 500F, while your oven preheats place your empty cast iron skillet in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Form the dough: While the pan is preheating, use your hands to press dough out into a 8×8 or 10×10 inch circles.
- (Photo #1) Very carefully remove the hot skillet from oven and place on oven pad or mitt to protect surfaces. Then, carefully use paper towels to coat pan with oil. Be extra careful during this process as the pan will be very hot.
- (Photo #2) to transfer the dough you can use your hands or partially roll the dough onto a rolling pin, then unroll it onto the pan. Tip: make sure dough and roller are floured well to avoid the dough from sticking.
- (Photo #3) Use hands to carefully form dough into circle to fit pan. No need to form a “crust” – it will naturally rise on its own.
- (Photo #4) Spoon a layer of sauce over the dough and spread evenly.
- (Photo #5) Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes uncovered (time may vary since all ovens are slightly different). The cheese should be bubbling and slightly browned and crust should be golden.
- Remove the skillet and carefully slide pizza from pan (a spatula is helpful during this step). Slice and enjoy with fresh basil! Repeat process with second dough ball for a second pizza or use 2 pans at a time.
My Favorite Pizza Sauce (the easiest ever)
Wanna know what I’ve come to LOVE as my pizza sauce? Fire roasted crushed tomatoes. Shocker right? It’s nothing fancy. But it’s light, not too rich, and tastes super fresh – and that’s what I’ve come to love on my pizza.
When it comes to pasta, I love a rich and savory sauce. But I don’t like that kind of sauce on pizza. I want it to be light and taste like fresh tomatoes.
If you want to get fancy and make your own sauce, I absolutely love my fresh tomato sauce recipe on this pizza. It’s so so good! But to keep things simple (and cheap) you can use canned fire roasted crushed tomatoes.
Tips for Success
- Pizza Dough: Over the years I have tried so many different pizza doughs. But so far my favorite doughs for the best flavor and crisp texture aren’t homemade. I use Whole Foods pre-made pizza dough, buy dough from my local pizza shop, or use this pizza dough kit by Delallo. This delallo pizza kit has given us the most impressive and authentic pizza dough yet! Highly recommend it.
- Room temperature dough: make sure you let your dough sit at room temperature before you shape it. If the dough is too cold, it will snap back into shape and be quite difficult to work with. Room temperature dough is soft and easily shapeable!
- Best cheeses for pizza: My top cheese choices for pizza are mozzarella and buffalo mozzarella, fresh parmesan, asiago, and provolone. For dairy free I recommend cashew cheese or just leaving it cheese-less.
- Great pizza toppings: roasted vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, small broccoli florets, arugula, and mushrooms. My favorite meat toppings are sausage and meatballs.
- Pizza seasonings and herbs: to finish off my pizza I top with red pepper flakes, dried oregano, parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh basil.
- Cast Iron Pans: You can use almost any pan for this that’s made of cast iron – use an original 10-inch cast iron pan, a cast iron dutch oven (without the lid), or cast iron casserole skillet (without lid).
Other Delicious Pizza Recipes to Try
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amoré.— Dean Martin
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Preheat the skillet: Preheat oven to 500F. Place cast iron skillet in oven while it preheats. Note: the hotter the pan, the crispier the pizza!
Shape pizza: Form into 10×10-inch circle (unless your skillet measurements are different).
Assemble pizza in hot skillet: Tip: before you remove skillet, make sure your pizza shapes are prepared and toppings are ready, you do not want your pan to cool down. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven. Very carefully use a wad of paper towels/napkins to spread oil in hot skillet. Carefully place dough circle in pan and adjust to fit edges (picture #2 & #3).
Add the toppings: Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce while leaving room for crust to form (you do not need to form crust – it rises on it's own). Sprinkle generous amount of mozzarella & parmesan cheese overtop.
Bake pizza: Bake uncovered for 14-16 minutes – cheese should be bubbling, browned, and crust should be golden brown. When pizza is finished, use a utensil to carefully slide pizza from skillet onto a cutting board. Top with fresh basil and red pepper flakes if desired. See notes for extra toppings.
Repeat baking process with additional dough to make second pizza or use 2 pans at a time. I have found the pizza to get crispier as the baking process continues and the pan gets even hotter. Enjoy!