You’ve had delivery, dine-in, DiGiorno, and drunk slices at 2 a.m., but there’s nothing quite like making a delicious pizza with your own two hands. Now there’s an arsenal of precise new appliances that make it easier than ever to cook a Neapolitan-style pie out on your deck. Here are the best options.
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All-Clad Pizza Stone
Best for Conventional Oven
If you don't have space for a stand-alone pizza oven, you should invest in a pizza stone, which conducts heat like a brick oven and is porous enough to absorb moisture and create a crispy crust. Our favorite, from All-Clad, is a one-inch-thick soapstone slab that yields a perfectly charred pie every time. [$124.99; bedbathandbeyond.com]
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Pizzeria Pronto Outdoor Pizza Oven
Best for Backyard
This portable oven lets you bake pies in the backyard without the cost or square footage a built-in oven requires. Fueled by propane, the 27-pound unit reaches temperatures greater than 700 degrees, while dual-layer pizza stones and a reflective heat element combine to create a charred pie even the most famous of Ray's would respect. [$299.99; pizzacraft.com]
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Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker
Best for Countertop
For a perfect thin-crust pie, try this 12-inch, waffle-iron-like appliance. Dual heating elements surround a stone and produce 660-degree temps, firing the dough from below and searing toppings from above. In six minutes you'll have a pizzaiolo-worthy pie. [$149.95; brevilleusa.com]
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The Quicker, Easier Slicer (Epicurean Pizza Cutter)
We tried enough wheel-cutters to fill two utensil drawers, but found that the cleanest slices came from the 16-inch wood blade of the Epicurean Pizza Cutter. Grip it with two hands and roll out cuts from above. [$21.99; epicureancs.com]
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The All-in-One Grater (Oxo Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set)
Skip the pre-shredded stuff: Block cheese is a must if you want authentic pie. The nesting Oxo Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set is our tool of choice, as it has both medium and coarse graters plus two slicers. [$29.99; oxo.com]
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Three key tips from Mark Bello, owner of New York's Pizza a Casa school, who's taught more than 15,000 students.
1. Make Your own Dough
"People say to buy dough from a local pizzeria, but that stuff is meant for pro ovens," says Bello. The best dough is the simplest, made with flour, water, olive oil, salt, yeast, and sugar. Download Bello's DIY Pizza Pie app for the recipe.
2. Less is More
Don't overdo your cheese, sauce, and toppings, or you'll get a soggy pie. "The more delicious a pizza looks before you bake it, the more its moisture works against you."
3. Bring the Heat
If you're not using a dedicated pizza oven, crank your oven to its highest setting and pre-heat your stone for an hour. Then transfer your pre-built pie to the hot stone.
Credit: E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune / Getty Images