You don’t need a pizza stone to make great pizza at home, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! A pizza stone helps your hot oven stay hot and produces a cracker-crisp pizza crust, but it isn’t the only kitchen tool to get similar results. These five alternatives each have their own advantages, but most are already in your kitchen and produce pretty perfect pizza with ease.
1. Inverted Baking Sheet
This is Kitchn’s number-one favorite alternative to a pizza stone because we all have a baking sheet and it works well. Take a rimmed baking sheet and invert it on the lowest shelf of your oven before you preheat the oven. Then you can easily slide the pizza onto the baking sheet when it’s time to bake. The surface of the inverted baking sheet will be hot enough to get the pizza crisp and makes taking the pizza in and out of the oven easier than if the baking sheet was right-side up.
2. Cast Iron Pan
Our skillet pizza cooks up in a cast iron pan on the stovetop, but you can also use a cast iron pan in the oven to produce a crispy pizza crust too. Like the baking sheet, a large cast iron skillet preheated upside down can pretty much exactly replicate a pizza stone in the oven. Set it on a sheet pan for safety and ease.
Get the skillet recipe: How To Make Stovetop Skillet Pizza
3. A Hot Grill
You know how you have that one friend who is seemingly obsessed with grilled pizza (or maybe you are that friend)? Well, there’s good reason. Grills, especially charcoal but also gas, can reach temperatures well above what most stoves can. This means that they can make crispy, charred-crust pizzas in mere minutes, which is especially important for feeding a crowd.
4. Pizza Pans
My dad owned a pizzeria most of my adult life and while he had a large, heavy-duty (read extremely hot) pizza oven, he swore by the patina of used, heavy-duty aluminum pizza pans. The more patinated from use, the better!
While I won’t send you on a quest to the used restaurant supply store (although you should go someday — so many treasures!) I can cosign pizza-specific baking pans. They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to store too. My advice? Look for heavy aluminum with either air vents or a ridged design (these allow airflow under the pizza crust) and avoid nonstick.
5. Baking Steel
Okay, so this last one isn’t a common kitchen tool, but it is my beloved alternative to the pizza stone. Baking steels are heavy-duty pieces of steel made for baking in hot ovens. I prefer this to a stone because it has a larger surface area that allows me to bake two pizzas at a time, while still being easier to store. Plus, it’s virtually indestructible!