At the Table

Six Chef Tips for Making Perfect Pizza

By: The Local Palate

Creating a bubbly, crunchy, and chewy pizza at home can seem impossible because there are so many variables to consider to make it perfect. So, we gathered 6 pizza-making tips from Southern chefs to help turn your kitchen into an Italian pizzeria plus a Sweet Corn Pizza recipe from Chef Michael Perez of Indaco in Charleston, South Carolina.

Steven Satterfield
of Miller Union in Atlanta

  1. Get the ideal crispy crust with a pizza stone. Also, a pizza peel (sold in hardware and cookware stores) is very helpful for easy transfer, but you can get by with an upside-down baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal to keep dough from sticking.
  2. Preheat a pizza stone in a grill set to 500 degrees or highest temperature possible. If the bottom of the pizza crust is browned but the top is still undercooked, move your pizza from the grill to the oven using an inverted sheet pan and use the broiler in your oven to cook the top.

Pizza Dough
Grilled Eggplant Pizza with Summer Herbs and Mozzarella
Grilled Peach and Ricotta Pizza with Fresh Basil and Honey
Recipes from Chef Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta, Georgia


LP Satterfield pizza peaches ricotta x

Chef Michael Perez
of Indaco in Charleston and Colletta in Atlanta

  1. Always keep the dough in a warm place so it stretches better.
  2. Use ’00’ flour because it is finely ground, allowing for better absorption. Also it has a lower gluten content that makes the dough less ‘doughy’ and yields a better crunch. Making sure you use this flour as it is the best choice you can make when it comes to cooking pizzas at home.

Bonus Recipe

Sweet Corn Pizza
from Chef Michael Perez of Indaco in Charleston, South Carolina


TLP Test Kitchen

  1. If you plan on baking the pizza in the oven, preheat the oven as high as it will go with a pizza stone on the lowest oven rack for at least 30 minutes. Also, let the stone come back up to temperature after baking one pizza before putting the next into the oven.
  2. If you would like to cook your pizza outside, grilling pizza directly on the grill will produce a crust with a delicious flavor and texture. Be sure to generously oil the grates before placing the dough on top. Also, start the pizza without toppings. Allow it to cook on one side and then flip and add the toppings.

Pork Jowl, Arugula, and Mozzarella Pizza
from Chef Daniel Lindley of Alleia, Chattanooga, TN

Roasted Garlic, Basil, and Shitake Mushroom Pizza
from Chef Dale Hawkins of Fish Hawk Acres, Rock Cave, West Virginia

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