All pizza, whether made at home or in a restaurant, involves a crust, sauce and cheese, right? Yet, homemade pizza and restaurant pizza often taste vastly different. Why do some people prefer one over the other?
Both types of pizza definitely have their benefits. So, if you’re on the fence about your pizza preference, we understand. It’s difficult not to love all pizza, no matter where or how it was made.
Here are reasons some people are loyal homemade-pizza lovers, while others refuse to flour their hands. Maybe you’ll realize that you want to write your favorite pizza shop a thank-you note, or maybe you’ll feel inspired to give homemade pizza-making another shot.
Reasons to Love Homemade Pizza
A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of making pizza at home. They imagine having to toss giant discs of dough high into the air to make the best homemade pizza possible. Meanwhile, other people can’t wait to roll up their sleeves and feel fresh soft dough beneath their fingertips. Even if you have memories of failed pizza-making attempts, here are five undeniable reasons to appreciate a slice of homemade pie.
1. It’s Less Expensive
Usually, a homemade pizza costs less than a restaurant pizza. Think about it — you choose the ingredients, and you do the work. You are not paying for anything extra.
One homemade pizza requires crust ingredients such as flour, olive oil, salt and yeast. To top the pizza, you’ll need sauce and mozzarella cheese. You may already have some of these ingredients. If not, you will only use a portion of the ingredients you buy and will have leftovers for future use. With all this in mind, including the cost of electricity, one pizza costs less than $5. Depending on grocery prices, you could pay less than $2 to make a pizza at home. A restaurant-style pizza, on the other hand, runs around $10 to $15 or more per pie.
2. You Can Be as Weird as You Want
Are you worried your waitress will gasp if you order a pizza topped with fried oysters and wasabi-flavored sesame sticks? Do you fear others will stare at you as you dip your rolled-up pizza slice in a bowl of melted butter pecan ice cream?
At home, there are no worries, and pizza-making is a liberating experience. You can experiment with any topping, herb, dressing or spice as you please and not worry about what others think. You also get to add the exact amount of toppings you want. The possibilities are endless when you make pizza at home.
3. You Know What’s in It
If you are health-conscious, you probably avoid regularly eating restaurant pizza. However, you likely still experience intense pizza cravings now and then. How can you enjoy cheesy, saucy, doughy pizza without guilt? Make it at home.
Making pizza at homes puts you in control of the health factor. You can use a light pita for the crust if you wish, and pile on tons of fresh, healthy vegetables. You are also in control of how much cheese and oil is on the pizza. For example, instead of layering on mozzarella cheese, you can sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese or feta cheese and save big on calories.
4. You Can Be Proud of Your Pie
Successfully making pizza from scratch is something to be proud of. Not everyone has the patience or skill to make a homemade pizza. So, if you whipped up your best pie ever, call some friends and share your masterpiece. Maybe brag a little bit about your pizza ingenuity too.
5. You Can Have Pizza Anytime
Sometimes you want pizza for breakfast. Other times you want pizza when there are four feet of snow outside. How can you solve the pizza problem when nothing is open or available?
Instead of shoveling your way to the nearest pizza restaurant, remember you have the option to make pizza at home. Even if you use English muffins for the crust, you can create a semblance of pizza any hour, under any condition in the comfort of your kitchen.
How to Make Homemade Pizza Better
The secret to making amazing pizza at home is in the details. You do not need professional equipment or expensive tools to make a quality homemade pizza. Here are secrets to making knock-your-socks-off pizza in your kitchen:
- Consider dough temperature: Whether you buy store-bought dough or make it from scratch, let your dough hit room temperature before shaping your crust. Also, make sure to coat surfaces with flour to prevent sticking.
- Properly top: Some toppings should be added before you cook the pizza, while others should be added after cooking. Toppings like fresh baby spinach and sauteed mushrooms should be cooked with the pizza. Anchovies, chives, fresh basil and thin slices of cured meats should be added after cooking.
- Keep sauce simple: The best pizza sauce comes from quality canned tomatoes and is not cooked. Avoid using too many ingredients or cooking the sauce before adding it to the pizza. Just use whole peeled tomatoes, a garlic clove, about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a bit of oregano if you wish. Strain the tomatoes over a colander and then blend the tomatoes with the other ingredients. Add a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity if needed. That’s it. Also, do not load too much sauce on the pizza.
- Be gentle: As tempting as it may be, do not use a rolling pin with your pizza dough. Instead, shape your pizza with your hand. You’ll need to use some strength, but be patient and gentle at the same time because you don’t want the dough to tear. The dough should be wet and soggy while you shape it, and do not make the dough paper-thin. It is perfectly fine if the pizza is not shaped in a perfect circle.
- Cook it hot and fast: Cook your pizza at a high temperature, around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Most pizza restaurants use a minimum of 800 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your pizza at such a high temp, and it should only take four or five minutes to cook. It’s best to cook a homemade pizza on a pizza stone. If you do not own a pizza stone but regularly make pizza, it’s time to invest in one.
Reasons to Love Restaurant Pizza
Have you ever tried to mimic your favorite restaurant’s pizza recipe but could never get it just right? Are you wondering what their secret is? Well, for one thing, you likely do not own a coal or wood-fired pizza oven which can get up to a thousand degrees. For another thing, you might not have years of experience making homemade pizza dough. Pizza-making is both a science and an art that’s been around for a long time. Sometimes, it’s best left to the pros. Here are reasons to appreciate your local pizza shops.
1. You Can Be Lazy
You know those days when it’s rainy and cold outside, and your favorite TV sitcom is running a marathon? When a pizza craving strikes on this type of day, you have two options. The first option is to get off the couch, look up a pizza-making recipe, make a pizza with ingredients you already have and then wash the dough-covered bowl and cheese-crusted pan. Your second option is to pick up your smartphone and order a pizza by pressing a few buttons. Which option will you choose when the couch feels so warm and cozy?
2. You Can Still Go Crazy With Toppings
Most restaurants offer all the best pizza toppings because they know what works. Pepperoni, olives, mushrooms and extra cheese are some classics you can usually expect. If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, like candied figs and goat cheese, you might be out of luck.
However, even if your local pizza joint does not have the toppings you want, you can add them yourself at home. For example, are you really in the mood for a taco-dip covered pizza? Order a pizza and add what you want when it arrives. It saves you the time of making the pizza yourself and provides you a blank canvas to work with.
3. You Are Supporting Your Community
Whenever you use someone’s services, you help their workers keep their jobs. Waitresses, chefs, pizza delivery drivers, accountants — they all get a little piece of the pie when you pay for your order and leave a tip. So, while you relax in a restaurant booth or your reclining chair at home with a couple of slices, you can enjoy each bite knowing you contributed to your community.
4. It’s Easy
Remember that time you tried to make pizza dough and wound up building a doughy sand castle instead? Or that one afternoon you put a pizza in the oven and forgot to set the timer but did not forget to finish watching the end the movie? If kneading, baking, mixing or the thought of piled dirty dishes bring you to tears, try not to feel bad. Not everyone is cut out for pizza-making, just as not everyone can whistle or do a cartwheel.
Also, homemade pizza-making is not as simple as boiling a pot of spaghetti, for example. It takes a little time and culinary understanding. If cooking is not your thing, there’s nothing wrong with paying a pizza professional to do the work for you.
5. It’s Fast
Did you wake up with a growling tummy and so badly want pizza to soothe your pain? Or did you forget you had invited company over and your fridge is empty? You do not have to serve your guests bowls of corn flakes and condensed milk. Pick up the phone, dial a number, and dinner will be served within the hour.
Restaurant pizza can be at your door in a jiffy when you have a roomful of hungry people or when you are too exhausted to cook something substantial yourself. It takes the stress out of suppertime, and sometimes it’s just so much easier than making a homemade pie.
6. It’s Consistent
Unless you are a pizza-making master, you take a chance when you make pizza at home. You risk not making the dough exactly right, and you risk burning the pizza. At pizza restaurants, they have pizza-making down to a science. It’s what they do all day long, every single day, and they have the equipment, ingredients and knowledge to do it right.
If there is a pizza place you regularly order from, you know what to expect every time — no fear of burnt or undercooked pizza. And, if for some reason the pizza joint makes a mistake, you can let them know about it.
How to Upgrade Restaurant Pizza
Pizza already tastes good, so you might be wondering how you could make it taste better. Well, there are a few ways to make a restaurant pizza pie even more mouthwatering. Here’s how to travel to pizza heaven aboard a magic pizza carpet.
- Add quality toppings: Jazz up any slice of pizza with high-quality toppings like drizzled-on olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil, jalapenos, pesto or roasted garlic cloves. Don’t be afraid to experiment with sweet and savory combinations either. For example, have you tried drizzling honey on your pizza? If not, you’re in for a delightful surprise.
- Reheat leftover pizza the right way: Tossing cold pizza into the microwave often produces a rubbery dried-out slice. Instead, reheat pizza in a skillet or use it in a creative recipe like pizza lasagna or pizza grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Pair it with wine: Everything tastes better with wine, right? Choose a red wine with red-sauced pizza, or white wine with white-sauced pizza. For example, you might enjoy a glass of Chianti with a slice of meat-topped pizza. A glass of pinot grigio tastes perfect with a spinach, artichoke and feta pie.
Six of One and Half a Dozen of the Other
Both homemade pizza and restaurant pizza can be delicious in their own way. It’s really a matter of convenience and personal preference. If you enjoy cooking and baking, and want more control over pizza ingredients, then you might choose to make a homemade pie. If you need a delicious pizza fast and want to avoid spending time in the kitchen, restaurant pizza is the way to go.
Get the Best of Both at Giordano’s
Still not sure what you prefer? Fortunately, with Giordano’s, you don’t have to decide. At Giordano’s, we combine the best of both worlds.
Our pizza uses a family recipe for a rich, comforting pizza that tastes like it’s straight out of Mama Giordano’s oven. We offer a variety of fresh, tasty toppings to help you build a pie just the way you like it. Are you looking for healthy options? We also offer nutritious extra-thin crust and thin crust pizzas to help you stay on track.
Although Giordano’s tastes like home, we offer restaurant-quality speed and service. So, if you’re craving fresh, hot pizza with a homemade flavor, let us do the work for you. Order online or visit one of our locations today!