Cast-iron skillets are much more versatile than they get credit for. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to baby them and, except in extreme circumstances, a hint of acid in a dish isn’t going to break the pan. That said, there is perhaps no dish more slept-on in cast-iron skillet food canon than pizza, and there are few cast-iron skillets better equipped for pizza-making than Smithey Ironware’s new No. 14 skillet.
A fact: homemade pizza isn’t nearly as taxing as it’s made out to be. You require dough, which you can buy pre-made, some kind of sauce, a number of things to throw on top and, in our case, a really large cast-iron pan. The cast-iron skillet’s job is making the crispiest dough imaginable, and the only added step is preheating the skillet (in the oven or on a burner) before tossing some well-floured dough in it. Once the dough is added to the hot pan, let it hang out until bubbles begin to appear on the surface, spread your sauce on top and load it with toppings. Bake it above 400 for 10 or 15 minutes and you have a better pie than most pizzerias.
For best results, use a larger, machine-smoothed skillet. A skillet with 10 inches of cooking space will make a pizza with thicker crust, and cheaper skillets have a rough, sandpaper-like surface that does its best to hold onto food. At $240, Smithey’s new machine-smoothed option isn’t cheap, but there’s always Lodge.
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