Ah, pizza. The universal language. It's an easy, fast, and unanimously beloved way to end the day. While you can get a hot, fresh pie delivered to your door with a few taps on your phone, it can be even more fun (not to mention delicious) to make it at home.
And before you say that it never turns out as well as one that you order from your favorite pizza place, we can help with that! We asked some experts for their must-haves for the best at-home pizza experience. And good news: You don't need all that much.
1. A pizza steel (aka baking steel)
First and foremost, you need something amazing to cook your pizza on — it'll help crisp up the crust and promote more even baking. Andris Lagsdin, founder of The Baking Steel Company, not surprisingly recommends his own baking steel, but he's not alone. Mark Bello, founder of The Pizza School in New York City, also recommends The Baking Steel as an awesome option. If pizza night is a staple in your house, it's worth the investment. "A cheap, not-adequately-thick pizza stone won't hold heat and will eventually break," says Bello. And an aluminum pizza screen isn't effective unless you have a professional-grade conveyer in your kitchen, says Lagsdin.
Buy: Baking Steel, $89
2. A digital scale
You can keep your measuring cups in the cupboard, but you'll need a digital scale to weigh the ingredients for your dough. "It's a must!" Lagsdin says. Of course, you do not have to make your dough from scratch. In fact, Giada (the formidable Queen of Pizza!) has a much faster and easier suggestion.
If you need a scale: Escali Primo Digital Scale, $25
3. Good cheese
For your toppings, skip the shredded, mass-produced cheese you'll find in the dairy section, says Bello. Get a ball of mozzarella and shred it yourself. Also, "Use the real-deal Parmesan Reggiano for grated cheese. Spending extra on your ingredients will improve your pizza a lot," he says.
4. A sturdy pizza cutter
Once the pizza is prepared, you'll want a well-made pizza cutter, says Bello. Anything too flimsy or cheap will just end up in a landfill, so he recommends a quality cutter like this one.
Buy: Dexter Russell 4-Inch Pizza Cutter, $21
Another option: This Pizza Cutter Will Change Your Life
5. A wine opener
"Don't forget a wine opener," Lagsdin says. "No further explanation needed."
Our favorite: Pulltap's Double-Hinged Waiter's Corkscrew, $10