Level Up Your At-Home Pizza Game With A Baking Tray Hack

You don't need to be a pizza pro to enjoy making pizza from scratch every once in a while. Even using pre-made dough is an easy way to bake pizza in the kitchen and still get a fresh outcome. While homemade pizza is usually baked on a pizza stone, a type of clay ovenware, not everyone has this tool on hand. Thankfully, you can grab a baking tray instead!

The pizza stone is not just a clay surface for the pizza, but also a retainer of heat and a facilitator of cooking. Home ovens might not reach temperatures high enough to cook certain types of pizza, like the thin-crusted and crispy New York pizza, which is ideally cooked at 600 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit — pretty hot for a normal oven. Preheated clay pizza stones make up for this lack of temperature by absorbing and containing enough heat strong enough to create a crispy crust. However, this is a very niche tool to own, and one that might not be worth it if you don't often cook pizzas at home. We've found the baking tray (flipped upside-down) serves as a worthy replacement.

Upside-down baking trays are convenient and effective

Most of us making a pizza at home aren't going for anything as stylistic as the New York pizza. We just want something warm, cheesy, and yummy — in this case, a baking tray is the way to go. Before placing your pizza on the tray, simply flip the tray upside-down and sprinkle the surface with flour or cornmeal, so that the pizza doesn't stick. Flipping the tray allows the pizza to easily slide off without the pan's lip getting in the way. Furthermore, flipping the tray raises the height of the pizza just a little bit closer to the top of the oven (which is the hottest part), so it can cook and crisp efficiently. It's a win-win situation.

There are plenty of fun recipes you can try next time you want to make pizza at home. The baking tray works with any and all types of pizzas, like a quick 15-minute vegetable pizza, which uses pre-made dough and is a great way to use up vegetables in the fridge before they go bad. If you have more time to spend in the kitchen, make a sourdough pizza crust and add toppings like pepperoni, mushroom, and mozzarella for a truly elevated homemade pizza. There are no rules when it comes to a delicious pizza and its topping combinations. Just remember to bake your pizza on an upside-down baking tray for the most pizzeria-like crust, without the baking stone.