How to Make a Cast Iron Skillet Pizza?

by | Aug 10, 2022

Stone baked, oven-baked, or skillet baked, every pizza connoisseur has their preferred method of baking their favorite cheese-laden treat.

Unlike stone-baked pizza, which is baked on a round clay, ceramic, or cordierite pizza stone, skillet pizza is baked using, you guessed it, a cast iron skillet.

Both methods produce an evenly baked pizza with a crispy crust and a soft, chewy, cheese-covered center.

However, the advantages of using a heavy metal skillet mean less preheating time is required, and it isn’t damaged by thermal shock (rapid temperature change).

This means it won’t break or shatter should you accidentally drop it while whipping up a culinary pizza storm.

If you’ve recently purchased a cast iron skillet and are looking to hone your cast iron pizza baking skills for the first time, this article will provide you with the information you need.
Pizza and a bottle of wine

What is a Cast Iron Skillet Pizza?

Cast iron skillet pizza is pizza cooked using a cast iron skillet. Skillets are heavy metal pans made from iron and were traditionally used for cooking over open fires and wood-burning stoves due to their robust structure.

The cast iron pan is also known for its excellent ability to retain heat and thus produce top-quality pizza.

When cooking pizza in a cast iron skillet, the metal retains the heat provided by the high temperatures of the oven. This ensures even cooking and a crispy base.

In addition, the sides of the pan wrap around the sides of the pizza, providing the searing heat required for excellent crust structure.

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza Method

Like any dish, baking a cast iron skillet pizza requires following a few simple steps to get the best possible tasting pizza for your efforts.

Step 1: Make your pizza dough

While some pizza lovers prefer to use store-bought dough, others prefer to make their own homemade pizza dough.

In spite of how time-consuming this may sound, this recipe is quite simple, requires just a few simple ingredients, and can be stored in the freezer for future use.

What you need:
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 packet of dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey/ 2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups plain flour
What to do:
  • Mix the water and yeast and allow the yeast to activate for five minutes. Then add the honey and salt and slowly add the flour until it is all combined.
  • Transfer the dough to a glass bowl greased with olive oil and cover.
  • Allow the dough to “proof” at room temperature for at least one hour.
  • Then cut the dough ball in half, wrap one half in plastic wrap, freeze, and use the other half to make your favorite cast iron pizza recipe.

Step 2: Prepare the skillet and preheat the oven.

Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet on high heat on the stovetop or grill.

Use paper towels to grease the skillet with olive oil, and then sprinkle the pan with a light dusting of flour, cornmeal, and a smidge of sugar.

This prevents the pizza from sticking, and the sugar adds a decadent dash of sweetness to the crust base.

Note: Virgin olive oil and Olive-pomace oil are ideal for seasoning your skillet as they have a higher smoke point than extra-virgin olive oil.

This means they are better suited to high-heat cooking and will provide a better crust for your pizza.

While your skillet is preheating, set the oven to its highest temperature setting, approximately 525 – 550 F. Ensure the oven rack is in the center to ensure even temperature distribution and cooking

Vegetarian pizza

Step 3: Add the pizza dough

This is the tricky part! On a lightly floured surface, roll your pizza dough out into a nice round pizza shape, approximately twelve inches in diameter.

Using oven gloves, remove the skillet from the heat and place it on a heat-resistant surface or cutting board.

Then carefully place the rolled pizza dough into the skillet.

Using a wooden spatula, press down firmly to ensure the dough fits the shape of the skillet and makes contact with the pan bottom.

Don’t forget to press along the sides so the pizza crust sides make contact with the pan and crisp up too.

Step 4: Add your toppings and sauce

Return the hot skillet to the stove and heat until the crust begins bubbling a little.

Then remove it from the heat again and add your favorite pizza sauce.

Use a large wooden spoon to spread the sauce evenly over the base up to the pizza’s edges.

Remember, the pan is still very hot at this point, and you should use oven gloves to protect your hands and fingers from burning.

Once you have covered the pizza base with sauce, it’s time to add your toppings and preferred cheese.

This step is completely up to you; simply add lashings of your favorite foods, from garlic to tomatoes, Italian sausage, and parmesan cheese.

Step 5: Bake the cast iron skillet pizza

Now for the easy part! Transfer the pizza skillet to the oven and bake on high heat for approximately fifteen minutes. Your delicious pizza is ready when the topping is deep, golden brown, and crispy.

Best Sauce For An Iron Cast Pizza

The great thing about making pizza in a cast iron skillet is the fact that the sides of the pan are perfect for preventing the sauce from overflowing. This means you can experiment with any tasty sauce that comes to mind.

One of the best sauces for a skillet-baked pizza has to be Italian tomato pizza sauce. Infused with rich tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and onion, this sauce brings Italy into your kitchen.

Then, simply top it with fresh mozzarella for a truly authentic Italian meal.

A unique pizza sauce has to be white sauce. Made with garlic, milk, salt, black pepper, and parmesan cheese, the sauce is thickened with butter and flour and can be topped with mozzarella.

Pepper sauces are also great to use on skillet-baked pizzas. Some of our favorites include roasted red pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, and black pepper sauce.

They’re the ideal complement to meaty-based toppings such as ground beef, chicken, or mushrooms. For those pizza lovers who prefer to keep things simple and want to avoid making pizza sauce from scratch, you could try some of the below pizza sauce alternatives. Most of them are already hiding in your fridge:

  • Pesto sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Pasta sauce
  • Salsa sauce
  • Sundried tomato sauce
2 pizzas on table

What Are The Best Toppings To Put On An Iron Cast Pizza

We all know that the best thing about making homemade pizza is creating tasty, unique toppings.

Experimenting with the different toppings, sauces, and spices is all part of the culinary fun. Of course, nothing beats the taste of fresh, simple ingredients covered with a single layer of gooey cheese.

There are occasions where you might want to glam up your cast iron baked pizza using some of the gorgeous toppings below.

Classic pizza toppings such as sausage, ham, beef, and bacon are perfect for meat-eating pizza lovers. They are also ideal when paired with a tomato-based sauce and topped with layers of cheese.

When used as toppings for the skillet pizza, the sides of the pan prevent them from falling off as easily as they would on a stone-baked pizza.

Deep dish pizza toppings are perfect for cast iron skillet pizza.

Aside from providing a crispy crust, the skillet also allows extra layers of topping to be added without falling off.

For example, Chicago-style pizza is a great restaurant-style pizza to make when you want to add some wow factor to your Friday night pizza pie.

For this pizza topping, you will need to layer pizza sauce, Italian sausage slices, pepperoni slices, minced garlic, olives, red peppers, onions, and crushed red pepper flakes. This is then topped with loads of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese and baked for thirty minutes.

There are many deep-dish pizza topping variations you could use, and just like stone-baked or oven-baked pizza, the cast iron skillet pizza can have as many layers as you can fit onto it.

Choose any topping you prefer and bake until it golden brown. Below are a few topping ideas you could use for your next pizza night:

  • Prosciutoo, fig jam and ricotta cheese
  • Prawns, pesto, fresh mozzarella, and tomato
  • Pastrami, sauerkraut, thousand island sauce, and swiss cheese
  • Roast Potato, caramelized onion, pesto sauce, and mozzarella

Tips For Making Iron Cast Pizza

When making pizza using a cast iron skillet, there are a few tips and tricks you should follow to ensure you make a great-tasting pizza with an extra crispy crust.

  • Prepare your toppings and sauce in advance.
Place your sauce in a small pan and heat it over medium heat while preparing the other toppings. The key to great-tasting, well-cooked skillet pizza is having the toppings nice and warm before placing them on the pizza dough.

  • Preheat your skillet
Preheating your skillet is essential for creating the signature crisp crust of a skillet pizza. Heat the skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for at least twenty-five to thirty minutes before adding the dough. If you are heating your skillet in the oven, place it on the bottom rack and set the temperature to approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit; heat for at least twenty minutes. Remember, you need a hot oven to heat the skillet properly.

  • Room temperature dough is best.
Don’t use dough straight from the refrigerator. Instead, allow your homemade pizza dough to sit at room temperature before rolling it into shape, ready for the skillet. This will ensure the dough is easy to work with and won’t snap back into shape while you are trying to work with it.

  • Ensure your dough is well-floured.
When transferring the dough into the hot skillet, make sure it is well-floured to prevent it from sticking to the pan and burning.

  • Use your cheese to prevent a soggy base
If you want to avoid the hassle of a soggy pizza base, scatter a layer of cheese on the dough before adding the pizza sauce. This will act as a barrier between the dough and the sauce and prevent a squishy pizza bottom.

  • Don’t be in a rush
Oven pizzas bought at the grocery store bake faster than cast iron skillet pizzas. This is because the pan pizza takes time to crisp up on the bottom and will need at least thirty minutes of baking before it is ready. Use an oven-safe spatula to gently lift the crust while the pizza is baking to check if it is done.


If you are looking for the ultimate crispy-based pizza, cast iron pizza is the pizza for you. All you need is a cast iron skillet, some simple, fresh ingredients, a hot oven, and a little patience!

Written By SEODave777

David Nilsson is the founder of The SEO Back Office and former SEO agency Converted Click. Passionate about people, search engines, faith, technology and boxing.

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