Baking Steel / Baking Stone
Steel simply makes a better baking surface for pizza than a stone. The steel has more mass thus retains more heat than a stone which gives a lighter airier crust. They can be heated higher than any oven will go plus will not crack like baking stones can. A Baking Steel is what we cook all of our pizzas on and our prefered baking surface. This baking steel, Sur La Table branded, is made by Stoughton Steel Co., the makers of Baking Steel.
The perfect pizza stone for the perfect pizza. These are not designer stones that look pretty and crack during the first use. California Pizza Stones are rough and rugged. They are made of a high grade Non-Toxic Mullite mixture, containing a very high quantity of grog. This makes their Baking Stones virtually indestructible and impervious to thermal shock. They offer a 100% guarantee against cracking and thermal shock. So if for any reason one of their pizza or baking stones cracks while using it, they will replace it!!
A wooden pizza peel is a necessary tool for making pizza on a baking steel or baking stone. It is used to form the pizza on, and then slide it on to the hot stone and lastly remove the pizza. This pizza peel looks beautiful and functions well. The size is also perfect, at 14″ you will never shape a pizza larger than most baking stones or the baking steel. With a short handle it makes for easy storage and use in compact kitchens. Remember, never cut on your pizza peel. Keeping a smooth surface is important as it allows the pizza to slide off easily and smoothly.
Larger Pizza Peel?
I have not been able to find a good enough quality larger pizza peel to recommend. The one I use throughout the website I created myself from poplar wood. If anyone reading this has recommendations on a 16″ or larger pizza peel with a long handle please let me know via the contact page.
Pizza Cutter and Pizza Wheel
This is a large rocker cutter. With a thick blade at a size of 20″ long and 4.75″ tall it makes quick work of cutting a large pizza pie. Intended for commercial pizzerias its built to last and most importantly stay sharp through a lot of use. The handles have pins that attach to the blade in classic knife handle construction. We use this particular rocker knife with our large Boos Block cutting board and love it. However when using it in front of others they may mistake you for a real pizza pro! Wash with hot soapy water, we prefer a soap dispensing brush to wash all knives to keep fingers away.
This rocker cutter is a great way for quickly cutting up a pizza and you will be sure to impress your friends if you decide to share your pizza. With a 14″ blade length this rocker knife is perfect since most pizza stones and the baking steel is 14″ deep. Rocker knives are great as they prevent your toppings from getting pushed like small diameter (3.5″ or smaller) wheel cutters.
If you want a wheel-style cutter look no further than the Dexter Russell wheel cutters. They are durable with very sharp, high carbon steel blades and a textured, slip-resistant polypropylene handle for easy cleaning. It looks like a no frills inexpensive cutter but it is a commercial grade NSF-certified product and cuts through every time.
Deep Dish Pans
Classic Chicago deep dish pan with higher 1.5″ walls.
These are really great pans made with thick metal. I personally own three of them. They bake evenly and the little feet on the bottom makes the crust come out perfect when you set them on a baking stone. The walls are 1″ high so they won’t work for a stuffed crust style deep dish as well as the Chicago Metallic pan does but, this is my go-to pan for a traditional Chicago deep dish. If you live in Chicago, you can buy these in a range of sizes at 1140 W Madison St, Chicago, IL.
These pizza screens can be used for baking pizza or letting cooked pizza rest on them to keep the bottom crust crispy. They are very handy to have around as you can find many uses for them such as placing deep fried items on to drain or as a cooling rack for baked goods. 14″ is the largest that will fit in most standard ovens, for compact ovens 12″ is the largest that will fit. This is a kitchen essential. These are raw aluminum metal, very porous, when new and a pizza dough will easily stick to them. Lightly coat with a non stick spray, wipe dry with a paper towel and bake for an hour at 350°F. It will turn dark but this process coats the raw metal or “seasons it” creating a natural non-stick coating. Mine are all black / brown from lots of use and never stick.
Baking / Sheet Pans
This thick aluminum commercial baking sheet provides even and direct heating. Perfect for making pan pizzas. The reinforced rim prevents warping like less expensive sheet pans do at high temperatures which keeps your pizza flat while baking thus avoiding cheese or toppings from sliding toward one side. Being raw aluminum discoloration from cooked on fat will occur, this is normal and will eventually create a good non stick surface similar to cast iron pans.
A high quality chef’s knife is one of the most essential kitchen tools. The Calphalon Contemporary 8 inch chef’s knife is one of the best value vs quality knifes on the market. The thick tang and contoured handle matched with perfect balance makes for a perfect cutting device that is nimble like a paring knife but slices even the hardest vegetables with ease. The German steel that this is made out of, although won’t stay razor sharp as long as Japanese steel is easy to sharpen at home. For that reason this is my go to knife for general purpose cutting
Global knives are a work horse of the professional food industry and with good reason. First off they are sanitary, no room for bacteria to hide on the solid stainless steel handle. Second they are feather light with perfect balance and strength. The molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel (Japanese steel) allows for a much sharper edge that stays sharp longer. The drawback is it must be hand washed and dried right after use, the stainless steel composition although “stainless” will quickly show rust spots if let sit wet for a few hours, with acid or put in the dishwasher. Consider yourself warned, however its really a wonderful knife that should last you a good long while.
Pots and Pans
All-Clad cookware is more than just expensive shiney cookware. The quality of construction, materials and way they are made make them superior pans for transferring heat quickly and evenly. When it comes to transferring heat the aluminum core version transfers heat much quicker than pans with the large copper bottoms. With the aluminum core sandwiched between two sheets of stainless steel the heat is forced evenly through the pans and up the sides heating perfectly evenly. The qualities instantly will elevate your Sautéing and cooking finesse. The handles are also perfectly comfortable and balanced as well as designed to stay cool under continual very high heat which means no more burning your hand on hot handles. With no plastic or silicone parts and very heavy duty rivets these All-Clad fry pans are made to last a lifetime.
The All-Clad sauce pans are made with the same quality and features as the fry pans. There is only two diameter bases of sauce pans with the varying capacities having taller walls. The 2-quart and 4-quart sauce pans have the taller walls. The 2-quart is perfect for making small batches of pizza sauce.
A great inexpensive kitchen scale that is very accurate. I personally use this one in my own kitchen. This digital scale works like a champ and the batteries last about 9 months under daily use. The weight limit is 11 pounds and measures in 1 gram increments. However, as with any scale that measures in 1 gram increments I would not use it for anything under 5 grams as that leaves you with greater than 20% variance. Just use measuring spoons in those instances as they will be more accurate. I personally like the size of it, it fits basically anywhere and comes in various colors!
These are simply the best measuring spoons,look beautiful and will not bend. I keep mine in a ramekin right on the countertop. The ultra smooth surface releases food easier. Usually a quick rinse under water and its perfectly clean. They are a bit pricy for measuring spoons but after having theses for several years would not consider any other brand.
The All-Clad measuring cups may be a bit excessive and also just look like a novelty item since they look identical to All-Clad sauce pans but they are very heavy duty and one of the few stainless steel measuring cup sets that doesn’t have a handle that can bend when scooping out more dense items like sugar. Like all All-Clad products you will never need to buy measuring cups again.
This set of three stainless steel mixing bowls are simply the best bowls you can buy. The ultra thick 18/10 stainless steel creates a durable mixing bowl that will last a lifetime. The mirror finish of these bowls means dough releases easier than your typical stainless steel mixing bowl and the set of three comes in perfect sizes 5, 3 and 1.5 quarts with a nice handle on the side of each.
John Boos company has been making top notch cutting boards and industrial kitchen surfaces since 1887. They have learned a thing or two about working with and most importantly drying wood. Their maple boards are made from hard rock maple, the perfect wood for durability and keeping your knives sharper longer. Buying any other cutting board will always be a mistake when they crack a year or two later, this is something I have first hand experience with. Wash with as little water as possible and coat once a month with John Boos mystery oil or mineral oil (food grade, laxative section at your pharmacy).
Smooth stainless steel ladles are ideal when spreading sauce out on a pizza because they smooth metal will allow the ladle to glide along the surface as it pushes the sauce outward. The All-clad 4 ounce stainless steel ladle is 100% stainless steel with the perfect handle.
Work in the kitchen long enough or with dough and you will come to need a good scraper. This scraper being all stainless steel is made to last with no room for bacteria to hide. A scraper is essential for remove any dough stuck to a surface and is great for moving diced veggies from the cutting board to the skillet.
A dough docker will keep your pizza dough and pie crusts from rising when you don’t want them to. Simply roll the docker wheel to perforate your dough before baking. The Winco dough dockers have a stainless steel handle and plastic and metal roller and are made for commercial use. For a more economical dough docker the Ateco dough docker is made from high impact plastic and measures 5-inches across, perfect for occasional use.
*Amazon claims this to be 8″ wide. Mine, ordered from this link, is 5″ wide.
There are other less expensive box graters but this particular one has razor sharp blades and grooves on each side to reduce the resistance when grating foods, especially cheeses like deli mozzarella. The grooves also cut more per stroke and the solid non-slip base is also key to making this a fantastic value compared to other less expensive box graters.
A sturdy handheld rasp style grater (similar to microplane) with the drag reducing grooves. Great for shaving hard Italian cheeses such as parmigiano reggiano over a pizza. The fine mesh creates thin shreds and parmesan mesh gives a grated style (like Kraft parmesan).
This extra fine strainer is solid stainless steel so it won’t react to the acid in tomatoes and is fine enough to allow the separation of water from tomato pulp. Great for making sauce from uncooked canned tomatoes or creating a perfectly smooth puree.
Garlic Press by Bru Joy
A garlic press comes in really handy for breaking down garlic for mixing into a sauce or directly onto a pizza. Pressed garlic has a much more intense flavor than garlic that is just chopped as all the flavor is released. This means your sauce will not have a stronger garlic flavor once it sits overnight in the refrigerator. This particular garlic press is made of all stainless steel with long handles for extra leverage making it easier to use.
These should really be just called a masher as just like a potato ricer they have so many more uses than just for potatoes. Great for breaking down food in a hot skillet while cooking. I use one of these all the time. Mashers come in two varieties; the ones with the squiggly bent metal rod and flat ones with holes like this. This style is way more efficient.
Although generally used for making perfectly light and fluffy potato mash a good potato ricer can be useful for making cauliflower pizza crusts or for quickly pureeing canned tomatoes without the use of a blender. Blenders break up the tomato seeds releasing a bitter flavor. One important aspect of a potato ricer is the sturdy handle, cheap ones start to bend at the handle and have to be replaced and are more prone to rust.
Rolling out a dough for a flatbread pizza requires a good rolling pin and what is more sturdy than a straight maple dowel! This straight rolling pin, unlike a french rolling pin which has angled ends, allows you to make an even thickness all the way across. At 19″ long it will reach all the way across any pizza the home cook is putting together. It doesn’t have handles but avoiding rolling pins with handles is ideal as the handles always seem to flex too much when you need to apply downward pressure on the rolling pin.
A solid set of wooden spoons what more does one need to say.
These spatulas have a smooth sides, long handle and perfect shape for most any cooking task. They are BPA free and dishwasher safe.
Unlike stone mortar and Pestles, which are rough, stainless steel ones are ideal for tasks such as breaking up dried hard herbs such as rosemary, peppercorns or mustard seeds as well as breaking down small quantities of nuts. Useful for making rich pastes when you want to ensure no amount of the mixture is lost to the bowl. This mortar and pestle is small, like most stainless steel ones, only allowing you to work with small amounts of food at a time. However the non pours surface means easy cleanup and no contamination. Stainless steel also doesn’t suffer from the residue that can be left by some marble mortar and pestles.
Disclaimer: The Home Pizzeria is not affiliated with nor paid for this endorsement by Amazon or the manufacturers of the products listed above.