The Best Tools for Homemade Pizza

With all of our dedicated gear, delicious homemade pizza is right around the corner.

I grew up watching my mom make homemade pizza on Friday evenings. It’s still one of my favorite things to make. This week I gathered all the kitchen equipment I use to achieve the best homemade pizza. To start, our top-rated paddle-style grater has big, sharp teeth that make shredding cheese a breeze—and it’s flat, so it’s easy to store. There are so many ways to make pizza—on a rimmed baking sheet or baking steel, in a cast-iron skillet, or even in a dedicated pizza oven. Whatever method you use, you need a pizza cutter; our favorite has a thin, sharp, tall blade that rolls right through loaded toppings and crisp crusts.

—Carolyn Grillo, Senior Editor, ATK Reviews

Just 30 minutes after you plug in the Pizzaiolo, you can be sitting down to homemade pizza that rivals the pizzas served at top thin-crust and Neapolitan pizza joints. Heating coils below the baking stone blast the bottom of the dough with heat, while upper coils cook the toppings and outer edges of the crust. Thin-crust and Neapolitan pizzas cook in just 2 to 4 minutes, which means that their crusts remain impressively tender but still chewy. The downsides are its hefty size and weight, its high cost, and the fact that you’re limited to pizzas 11 inches or smaller in diameter.

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Compact and reliable, this gas-fired oven is our recommendation for most home cooks who want to cook excellent pizzas outdoors quickly and easily. A gas flame located at the rear of the oven heated up the baking stone relatively evenly while also heating the inside of the oven. An angled heat deflector on the roof of the oven helped direct heat to the tops of the pizzas as they baked. It was easy to ignite the flame and adjust the heat using a dial located at the rear of the oven.

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This spacious gas-fired oven is our pick for people who want the convenience of propane and the ability to make big, 16-inch pizzas. It has a powerful L-shaped burner located along the left and rear of the oven, which heats both the stone and the air in the oven effectively. We consistently produced pizzas that were perfectly cooked on top and had beautiful char and spotting on their undersides. Because the back left corner gets hotter than the rest of the oven, it’s important to rotate pizzas so that they cook evenly. The oven is impressively sleek, and its legs fold so that it’s fairly compact in storage or transit, but it’s bulkier and about twice as heavy as the Ooni Koda 12.

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This fairly compact oven fits 12-inch pizzas and is a good choice for people who like cooking with wood, charcoal, or gas and want to move their pizza oven with relative ease. We loved that the tall chimney—which is essential for wood and charcoal cooking—can be removed and replaced with a small cap while using propane and when transporting or storing the oven. The gas flame, which is located at the rear of the oven and arcs over the stone, is powerful and easy to ignite. Pizzas had nicely melted and bubbly cheese on top while the sides and bottom of the crusts had good char and spotting. Wood must be cut down to size, and maintaining the heat with both wood and charcoal is messy and requires some vigilance. But if you enjoy both the challenges and potential rewards of using those fuels, including the ability to slow-roast foods, this model is fun and easier to use than others we’ve tested.

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If you want the versatility of making pizzas using wood, charcoal, or gas, this large multifuel model is our favorite option. Just know that those fuels are inherently more difficult and messier to use than gas and do not add flavor to quick-cooking foods such as pizza. You need to cut your wood to size, but the tray-style chamber for burning wood and charcoal is the largest of the ovens we tested and is easy to access. The cooking surface, which measures 18 inches wide by 18 inches long, is about 5 inches wider than the cooking surfaces of other models we tested. A chimney adds bulk but helpfully directs smoke out of the oven without getting in the user’s eyes. This oven can also be used to slow-roast meats and can run on wood pellets with the purchase of an additional attachment.

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This steel did an excellent job browning our pizza crust uniformly while leaving the interior tender and moist. It’s heavy, at 16 pounds, and very flat, so it’s hard to pick up and transfer into the oven, though two corners have cutout circles designed to help lift it (or to hang it on the wall), which we didn’t find particularly helpful. Otherwise, this tough, unbreakable steel is a great choice for home pizza making or bread baking.

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Supereasy to handle, compact to store, and a great boon for those who can’t lift heavy objects, these four lightweight 7.5-inch-square ceramic tiles (each weighing less than 1.5 pounds) are also inexpensive. (Note: You don’t have to fuss with arranging them. Just push them together on an oven rack; nothing falls between the cracks.) While they lack the mass of a thick ceramic stone, they still produced nicely browned, crisp pizza that was just a shade more chewy than the pizza we got from baking on steel or thick, heavy stone. From our temperature monitoring, we saw that the tiles were fully preheated to 500 degrees in just 30 minutes compared with the full hour it took the rest of the lineup. We liked their versatility: Two tiles would fit in most toaster ovens, or you could set all four in a row to bake long breads in the full-size oven.

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Fitted with an innovative cloth conveyor belt, this peel excelled at unloading raw dough without misshaping it and was surprisingly effective when it came to removing the finished breads and pizzas as well. Because it’s on the thick side, though, it wasn’t great at rotating half-baked food, and it takes a little practice to set it up and to learn how to use it comfortably. While we didn’t notice a performance difference in the new wood used to make the peel, we did appreciate its new polymer coating, which guards against moisture in case you wash your peel (or get a lot of sauce on it) often.

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The deeply beveled edge of this scraper cut through pizza and bread dough quickly and scraped the work surface effectively. The textured polypropylene handle was easy to hold on to, even with greasy or floury hands, and was thinner than other scrapers’ handles, helping us hold it flat to the work surface for easier, more effective scooping and scraping.

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This easy-to-store, flat grater made shredding a breeze, thanks to big, sharp holes; a large surface for better efficiency; and a solid, rigid frame that enabled continuous grating (rather than short bursts). It fit over medium and large bowls, or test­ers could hold the grater at any suitable angle; grippy rubber feet stuck securely to the work surface. Since most recipes call for coarse shreds—and we have a rasp-style grater for fine grating—we don’t mind that it grates only in one size.

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Everything we did with this ladle felt easy and controlled, from scooping chunky stew out of a small saucepan to reaching into a tall stockpot to collect broth. The 45-degree angle of the offset handle put our arms and wrists at a natural angle, giving us full control. The slightly shallow bowl worked well for scraping the bottom of a pot, though it was less convenient for collecting and retaining springy noodles than a deeper bowl would be.

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This ultraclingy wrap was the thickest in the lineup, making it strong, resilient, and nearly impossible to rip or puncture. At an unusual 15 inches wide, it was the only consumer-grade product that could cover our large cutting board with a single sheet, though it was great for smaller jobs as well. And we liked its durable dispenser, which came with both a serrated blade and a slide cutter. While the blade worked just fine, the slide cutter was a revelation: It takes just a second to attach and makes it a breeze to produce smooth, perfectly sized sheets.

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Although the grid pattern on this rack is slightly larger than on the other two models, it’s reinforced with an extra support bar that runs perpendicular to the three main bars. It had a touch more wiggle room in the baking sheets, but it kept pace with the other racks during recipe and durability testing.

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Our winning spoons had a simple design that allowed for a continuous, bump-free sweep, with a ball-chain connector (similar to what military dog tags hang on) that was easy to open and close. This set's metal construction felt remarkably sturdy, and ingredients didn't cling to the stainless steel. And while the 1-tablespoon measure did not fit into all spice jars, it was a minor inconvenience for an otherwise easy-to-use set.

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This model, our previous favorite, was not as heavy as the Batali wheel, so we had to use slightly more force, and roll back and forth a few extra times to cut through chewier crusts, but it did the job. It won points for its well-designed wheel, which was easy to clean, its thumb guard, and the large, soft handle that absorbed extra pressure.

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