I’ve always wanted to try pizza in a cast iron skillet. Why, you ask? It’s the most versatile pan in the kitchen entire world, so why not push the limits and see what it can do? For skillet pizza, I’ve used both a standard 12-inch cast iron skillet and also a monster 15-inch Lodge cast iron skillet.
I’m a big homemade pizza guy, and I’ll be honest, I swear by my pizza stone. However, the cast iron skillet delivers different, but equally delicious results. I think the big difference when making pizza in a cast iron skillet is the crust. A pizza stone is preheated in the oven at 500 degrees for an hour, giving you a very hot surface to cook your pie on. Much like a hot brick oven, it cooks the crust very quickly, giving you crispier results.
Cast iron, on the other hand, usually gives you fluffier, softer crust around the edges. I’d compare it most to your typical baked oven pizza but with a bit more crunch. I think it’s a matter of preference. Both fantastic, just different.
The Trick to Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
The advantage of cast iron over a standard pan is the heat retention/transferring abilities of cast iron. We can preheat our cast iron pan in the oven just like a pizza stone, giving you a really hot surface to cook your pizza on. This is the game-changing element of cast iron.
Higher oven and cooking surface temps convert to faster cooking pizza and much better crust. This eliminates any chances of soggy pizza, giving you the much-desired crunch most people love. Plus, If you’re making deep dish pizza, then there is no better tool than your cast iron skillet.
Keep the top of the skillet about 8-10 inches from the heat source in your oven, this will ensure your cheese gets that perfectly golden finish, much like those hot pizza ovens at pizza joints.
Do I Have to Preheat My Skillet?
You don’t have to, I’ve tried it both ways, but I think you’ll find better results by preheating your skillet in the oven. I can’t stress enough the importance of high temperatures and the speed of cooking when making homemade pizza.
Should I Precook My Dough Before Adding Toppings?
Some recipes call for this, I never have. I don’t think you need to for excellent results. I build my entire pizza right in the skillet on the uncooked dough and transfer right to the oven. You’ll have perfect skillet pizza in about 10-15 minutes.
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- 18–20 ounces pizza dough
- 1 8 ounce chicken breast cut into bite-sized chunks (fully cooked)
- 6–7 1/4 inch slices fresh mozzarella (8-ounce ball)
- 3–4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup flour (for crust)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 500°F and place the pizza stone in the oven and let preheat for one hour.
- Caramelize the onions: Add the onion slices and butter to a saucepan on low heat. Cook until onions are tender and golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Cook with a little oil on medium heat in the same saucepan used for the onions. Cook until golden and fully cooked through, remove from the heat, and toss with some BBQ sauce until lightly coated. Set aside.
- Roll out the dough into a 12-inch crust. Sprinkle evenly with a little salt.
- Place a small handful of flour onto the pizza peel and spread evenly to prevent the dough from sticking to the pizza peel. Make sure the dough is well floured and doesn’t feel ‘sticky’ to the touch.
- Transfer the dough onto the peel. Evenly coat the top with BBQ sauce, leaving a 1-inch crust. Add the chicken, onions, bacon, and fresh mozzarella in that order. Finish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
- Slide the finished pizza onto the pizza stone and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Be sure to carefully watch the oven because all ovens will cook at different rates. Sometimes it will only take 10 minutes to fully cook. Remove from the oven, let cool, and serve.
If you don’t have the time or patience to caramelize the onions, sautee them for 10-15 minutes until golden and tender. They will still be delicious and less intense.
- Serving Size: 2 slices
- Calories: 1016
- Sugar: 20.2
- Sodium: 2248mg
- Fat: 24.5g
- Saturated Fat: 14.2g
- Carbohydrates: 120.2g
- Fiber: 6.1g
- Protein: 52.7g
- Cholesterol: 139mg
Keywords: bbq chicken pizza, bacon pizza
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com