Some Tips for New York Style Pizza at Home

Categories: Cook This

There are two types of home cooks in this world: those who have trudged down the path to pizza perfection and those who have not. If you're in the club, you intimately know the struggles for ever-higher oven temperatures and endless experimentation to determine the optimal placement of your pizza stone. You've likely dabbled in 00 flour and spent far too much money on tomatoes shipped straight from Italy. If you're not in the club, you're missing out on some potential frustration but also the great reward of having a home that smells like freshly baked pizza.

I've had my own struggles with pizza, so this video posted on YouTube by Cooks Illustrated jumped out at me recently. Narrator Christopher Kimball calls the pie at Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn the best pizza he's ever had, a big claim considering the number of pizzerias in New York City alone. Toward the end of the clip when he actually tastes the pie in question you can see how the slice stands straight out to the side as he picks it up. The crust looks thin, crisp and structurally sound. It looks delicious.

Make sure you check out the whole video because the best part is owner Domenico DeMarco bragging about his pies. Secrets include a 1,000-degree deck oven (is that possible?) and fresh ingredients shipped straight from Italy. There are also 50 years of experience built into each pizza -- try finding that in and around Dallas.

Right now my favorite local NY style pizza is served at Italia Express on Cedar Springs Road, but Jay Jerrier plans to bring a similar pizza to Oak Cliff later this year and he's no slouch.

See also:
The Oak Lawn Pizza Wars: Italia Express Is Ready For Battle

Or maybe you're inspired now to try some pizza making in your own home. Check out this video that argues your pizza stone belongs not on the bottom of your oven as many recipes recommend, but up near the top, where the enclosed space more accurately mimics a commercial deck over. Good luck getting yours up to 1,000 degrees though.

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Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I wish someone in this town made a real Neapolitan with non-cooked San Marzanos, and with mozzarella di bufala and olive oil in a middle so divinely soft and tender that you have to eat it with a knife and fork.  And the puffy, char-spotted crust!  Just heaven.


IMO; skip Di Fara (or wait for his Dallas opening - sadly).....head to phoneix and get the best pizza in the US at Pizzeria is closer, it is better, it is less of a hassle, but the lines are as long as the lines at Di Far...but I encourage everyone to make your own; you will be surprised how easy great pizza can be made at home.


The round pie is excellent at Di Fara's but the square pie gives me a food orgasm. It makes my pizza weenie go crazy.

A few Di Fara tips: parking is terrible in that neighborhood, go on a Saturday if you are driving. Want to avoid the crowds? Go on a Sunday when he first opens. No people. Don't be put off by the condition of the place. It's a dump. Bring a bottle of wine and make sure you offer the great Dom Demarco a glass.


@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Jeeze, where have you been? Obviously not to Cane Rosso. They serve exactly what you described. Ask for the "Regina Margherita". I like mine with added Speck or hot Sopresatta.

scott.reitz moderator

@CitizenKane Do you know that guy? That video is great. "It's pretty good. I'm not going to go out there and say this is the best pizza I ever had, but it's pretty darn good."


@scott.reitz @CitizenKane No I don't know him; but I want that Kettle contraption...........I have experimented with cooking pizza on the Weber and his invention would be a god send............that said, here is a better web site of a guy who put a serious pizza oven in his garage in Houston .........he turns out some damn good the early entries of what he went thru to get that damn pizza oven in his garage - hysterical !

He is serious about his pizza; he makes his own sausage for his pies !,14249.0.html

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter


I've been cooking pizzas home-made and otherwise on a Weber for decades.

That contraption looks nice, but it's hardly necessary to turn out a good pie on the grill. Pizza stone is nice too, but again, not necessary to making a great pizza on the grill. You just need to time things a lot more precisely without the stone to avoid scorched crusts.

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