How To Get Perfect Char On Your Skillet Pizzas Every Time

If there's one thing Pizza Hut is famous for (aside from the breadsticks), it's their pizza. Anyone who's been to a Pizza Hut even once in their life can tell you that your dish is brought out in a ripping hot cast iron pan, one that is so hot that you must brave its intense heat for your slice. This style of pizza is known as "pan pizza," as it refers to the cast iron pan or skillet it's cooked in. While Pizza Hut may have its own take on this pan-baked dish, making it at home isn't too hard of a task.

The benefits of pan pizza are multiple, according to Bacino's Pizza. You get a thicker crust reminiscent of bread and a somewhat darker, almost fried bottom, thanks to the amount of oil sprayed at the bottom of the pan. This gives the crust a fluffy interior with a crunchy exterior, alongside the thicker crust's added benefit of allowing you to add more cheese and toppings. Whether you're making Ree Drummond's version of skillet pizza (via Food Network) or experimenting with your own version, these are a few of the benefits you'll look forward to when you dig into your cast iron pie.

But how do you get that trademark char on your pizza? You don't want an underbaked pile of dough, sauce, and cheese, nor do you want to run the risk of carbonizing your pie until it's black. So what exactly can you do?

Pre-char your dough before cooking

How exactly can you "pre-char" your dough? According to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (via Serious Eats), pre-charring your dough involves very little work or fancy equipment. In fact, all you really need is your skillet or pan, the dough, and your oven.

You must first prepare your batter, be it making it from scratch or purchasing a pre-made one. While you knead your dough, you should let your skillet get blazing hot on your stovetop. As soon as the skillet is hot enough, add your dough and let it char a bit on one side. Once that side has reached your desired doneness, flip it over to allow the other side to brown. After it has once again reached your level of preferred char, slide the dough out and flip it over to the first side you charred. Add your desired toppings and then place back into the skillet, covering until the cheese is melted and golden-brown. Lopez-Alt suggests using a blowtorch should you desire some extra char, but that's up to you.

Should you be a fan of well-done pizza, there's also another suggested way of getting that delicious sear. The Pizza Heaven recommends using a pizza stone or pizza steel to ensure a "leopard pizza," a term for which the curst is dotted with charred bubbles and spots similar to a leopard's skin.