One thing we love about getting restaurant pizza is the crust. It’s chewy, crisp on the bottom, and able to hold up to all those toppings. When making it at home, though, it can be easy to get a pizza with a soggy middle, making for a limp slice. Follow our tips when making one of our delicious skillet pizzas and you’ll be enjoying a hot homemade slice without the disappointment.

BE PATIENT WHEN PREHEATING

A crisp crust relies on a very hot oven. Before placing your pizza in the oven, make sure it’s well preheated. We can all get impatient and might be tempted to put our pie in before our oven is fully heated, but we actually recommend waiting an additional 5 minutes after the oven beeps or registers as being fully preheated just to be sure it’s hot enough. Once your pizza is in, keep the door closed.

STRETCH, DON’T ROLL

Rolling pizza dough smashes the air bubbles that were created when the dough was rising. This will create a flat, cardboardlike crust. Gently stretching your dough by hand will keep that air intact, creating a chewy crust that puffs in the oven. Place the risen dough on a lightly floured surface, and with floured hands, hold the edge of the dough and pull gently from the center. Alternately, form your hands in fists, drape the dough over your fists, and gently pull the dough out from the center. Rotate the dough as you stretch until you’ve reached your desired size.

GO WITH ROOM TEMPERATURE DOUGH

Pizza dough can easily be made and refrigerated ahead of time, making pizza nights simple. Just remember to let your risen dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before stretching. If the dough is cold, it may not stretch or rise properly, causing it to tear while you’re handling it or the crust to have an undesired texture when baked.