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Cast Iron Skillet + Broiler = Perfect Pizza?

Has anyone tried the recipe / technique below?

Preheating a cast iron skillet on the stove top, then cooking your pizza in the preheated skillet in the broiler.

I'd try it but my broiler is currently out of commission.

Read about it here: http://food.theatlantic.com/recipes/r...

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  1. I saw a cooking show on BBC called In Search of Perfection. The host used this technique but he flipped the cast iron over, after it was heated on the burner. I tried it and it worked very, very well. It did get the temperature up to what you need for a pizza. When you heat the pan on the burner, you get a little worried that it's too hot. It's not. When you put it under the broiler, watch it carefully as it cooks in about 5 mins. I used a 16 inch cast iron for a 12 inch pizza. It did however, produce a lightly browned bubbly cheese. Almost like a light cheese crust on top, if you like that kind of pizza. The only trouble is transferring the topped pizza from the cutting board to the hot pan bottom - you need two people to do this right.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TSAW

      Great idea, but preheat your cast iron pan in the oven. The uneven heat on the stove top may crack or warp when heated dry.

      1. re: yakitat jack

        I don't think cast iron will crack or warp when heated dry. I do it all the time for searing roasts etc.. Just dry heat the pan and oil the meat. I have a ceramic top stove. Maybe that makes a difference?
        If you heat the pan the oven I don't think it ever gets to the high temp. required for pizza.

        Love the naan idea! might try that next.

    2. This is a very good way to make naan at home- the dough gets a really good spring to it and you can get some nice char if you're careful ( I think I got the idea from Madhur Jaffrey, way back when...). I always thought that the technique would work for pizza, but haven't gotten around to putting it to the test. It's good to see that somebody has had success with it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: TongoRad

        Ooh, great idea, I am constantly buying naan at the grocery store to make a garlic crusted flatbread like I used to get at my fav Italian restaurant. Do you have a good recipe for naan on the cast iron skillet?

        1. re: lulou23

          I have been using Madhur Jaffrey's recipe from the Indian Cooking book. This recipe I found online seems like the same thing, the only difference is that I have been heating up my pan on the stovetop instead of the oven, though preheating it is definitely the key:
          http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/534227

        2. re: TongoRad

          I tried a variation of this technique for pizza yesterday, and I was really pleased with the results. The only difference was that I (very quickly) assembled the pizza in the hot pan itself before putting it under the broiler, rather than trying to slide it in there. I got more char on the top of the pizza than on the bottom, but that could be rectified next time by moving the oven rack down a notch. These were personal size pies, about the size of a dinner plate, and were done in just a couple of minutes, so my wife and I were essentially eating at the same time. I am definitely going to do this again and try to refine the procedure for my setup.

        3. There are a number of professional pizza restaurants that use a similar technique for preparing a deep dish pizza cast iron skillet, but they don't complicate the process that much. The pizza making procedure described on the link looks pretty "iffy" and, for the results, it doesn't look to me like it'd be worth the effort.
          IMO, Naan yes; pizza no.

            1. yet another great idea to try! I love my cast iron skillets and have not seen the need to replace my grill since I can broil with no loss of flavor or texture- I'll have to report back on this one.