Is Stovetop Pizza as Good as Oven-Baked? Here's What We Found.
For born and bred Italians, making pizza with anything other than an oven might seem like sacrilege. But that didn't stop our curious taste buds from trying.
Stovetop VS. Oven-Baked Pizza
Up until just a few years ago, I didn't own an oven. That might sound unheard of for hardcore foodies and home cooks, but it's true, and guess what? I survived. Forgoing certain kitchen appliances forces you to get more creative with what you have and to ask questions like, "is it possible to make pizza on the stovetop?" I'm here to tell you that yes, it is possible, and you don't need a cast-iron skillet. But then it begs another question, "is stovetop pizza as good as oven-baked?" Now that I have an oven, it's easier to compare. Here's how they measure up.
For both methods, we started out with a homemade pizza dough that took all of 20 minutes to prepare with the help of instant yeast. Then we rolled it out, brushed on a bit of olive oil and topped with the sauce, cheese and toppings. Baked in a preheated oven at 475°F, it took about 15 minutes for the cheese to become melted and bubbly and the crust to crisp up and cook through. The results were just as we expected: delicious, crispy thin-crust pizza topped with mushrooms, bell peppers, pepperoni and basil.
For the stovetop pizza, we used a Lagostina red ceramic and stainless steel skillet, which had even heating and left us with a thick, chewy and slightly crispy crust. Yes, you could use a cast-iron skillet, but we weren't going to use our oven, period. We also wanted to see if a different kind of pan would work.
Cooking pizza in the skillet means the size is going to be considerably smaller than what you can cook in a traditional oven. But it's perfect for when you just want to make an individual-size pizza without heating up your whole kitchen. It's important to have all your toppings nearby and ready to go because you put them on while the pizza is cooking, and it doesn't take long. Another thing we noticed is that the ingredients weren't fully cooked through with this method, so next time, we'd probably give them a quick saute beforehand. There's definitely a distinct texture and flavor difference here, but overall, it still tasted like pizza. It also fared better after reheating in the oven.
Conclusion: Pizza purists should definitely stick to the oven-baked version if they're looking for that classic, thin-crust pizza taste and crunch. If you like a more doughy crust, however, the stovetop method could work for you. It condenses the crust into a smaller surface area, which makes it soft and fluffy with a satisfying chew. Just be sure to saute the ingredients briefly ahead of time to ensure they're cooked. Get the full recipe for both methods below.
STOVETOP VS. OVEN-BAKED PIZZA
Stovetop pizza isn't on par with the oven-baked kind, but it's an acceptable, satisfying option for those times you want pizza without turning the oven on (or don't have one at all). Here's a recipe for pepperoni, mushroom and bell pepper pizza, made both ways.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: Oven - 15 minutes, Stovetop - 10 minutes
Total time: Oven - 40 minutes, Stovetop - 35 minutes
Makes 1 large pizza (oven) or 2 individual-sized pizzas (stovetop)
- 2-4 cups flour*
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
- 15 slices pepperoni
- 1 cup store-bought tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Olive oil, for brushing
- *You can sub store-bought pizza dough if you prefer, but this recipe is so easy and only needs 10 minutes of resting time before it's ready to roll. The amount of flour needed will vary. Use what you need until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch but still soft and malleable. Just don't go overboard.
- For the stovetop method, we recommend briefly sauteing the toppings (besides the cheese & tomato sauce) beforehand. It should only add about 5 extra minutes.
- Feel free to swap out any toppings for whatever you have on hand. For a vegetarian version, omit the pepperoni.
For the dough:
1. Pour water, honey, olive oil, instant yeast and salt in stand mixer bowl.
2. Combine the ingredients using the dough hook attachment, adding the flour gradually as you go.
3. Keep adding flour until the dough softens and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Touch the dough to check for doneness. It should be soft and not completely sticking to your fingers.
5. Knead the pizza dough for about 3 more minutes.
6. Cover the bowl, and let rest for 10 minutes.
1. Preheat oven to 475°F
2. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to the size of your pizza pan. Pull up and pinch the edges of the dough.
2. Spray your pizza pan lightly with oil and lay the dough on top.
3. Brush the crust with olive oil.
4. Brush with tomato sauce, and add cheese and toppings.
5. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted, and crust is golden brown.
1. Heat a 12-inch skillet over high heat, adding just enough vegetable oil to coat it.
2. Place your pizza dough in the heated skillet, making sure to avoid folds and bunching. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Turn your stove top down to medium heat and flip your dough over to the other side. 4. Top your dough with tomato sauce, cheese and toppings, leaving a border of about 3/4 of an inch. Add a few drops of water, cover the skillet, and cook for about 3 minutes.
5. Your pizza is ready when the bottom of the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
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Chef Tips and Tricks
We are definitely making these Easy Cheesy Mini Pizzas for our next party!
- Pizza Dough (homemade or store bought)
- Shredded cheese
- Pizza sauce
- Cured ham, shredded
- 4 eggs
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Roll out the dough
- Use a small bowl to cut the dough into rounds
- Add shredded cheese
- Place in oven on an oven tray afr 10 min at 355°F
- Put each dough round into a ramekin
- Add 1 tbsp pizza sauce, a handful of shredded cured ham
- Break an egg into each pizza
- Top with sliced cherry tomatoes and a basil leaf
- Place in oven for another 15 mins at 355°F
- Garnish with parsley and a pinch of pepper
- Serve and enjoy!