10 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Homemade Pizza

Updated: Feb. 20, 2024

There is nothing better than the smell of fresh pizza dough baking in the oven. Be sure to avoid these homemade pizza mistakes to keep your dinner hot and fresh!

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Shutterstock / trairut noppakaew

Too much cheese

As a Chicago girl and deep dish pizza addict (get our copycat recipe!), too much cheese doesn’t sound like a problem. But it can ruin all your hard work. Mozzarella cheese has a lot of moisture, so adding too much can leave your pizza weighed down and soggy. It could also become one big greasy mess. Sprinkle just enough to cover the sauce to keep your crust crispy. These 32 easy pizza recipes are absolute perfection.

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Pizza dough
Shutterstock / mnimage

Overstretching the dough

If you’re a fan of thin crust pizza, you may have stretched your pizza dough too thin when spreading it out. This just causes tearing and toppings falling out. And if you’re thinking of using a rolling pin, back away from the counter. Rolling the dough down may give you the perfect thickness, but it will make your pizza dense and tough to chew.

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Pizza with vegetables and cheese
Shutterstock / Ruslan Mitin

Too many toppings

Going crazy with your pizza toppings can leave your pizza weighed down and soggy. Your favorite pizza place can get away with it because they have the equipment and pizza ovens to keep your pie perfectly crisp. Less is more when it comes to a light sauce, a sprinkle of mozzarella, and your favorite pepperoni slices.

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Pan baked meat feast pizza
Shutterstock / Bartosz Luczak

Not pre-cooking your toppings

Because pizza cooks at such high temperatures, it’s tempting to just allow your toppings to cook directly on the crust. This is fine for most veggies, but never take the chance with meat. Make sure to cook all meats and even tougher veggies like broccoli ahead of time. Find some new topping ideas with these Italian pizza recipes.

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a raw pizza with tomato sauce, oil, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basilicum leafs ready to put in the oven on a refractory stone
Shutterstock / IsabellaO

Not preheating your cookware

You don’t need a fancy pizza stone to make your own masterpiece at home, but don’t underestimate the power of preheating your baking sheet. Placing your pan in the oven with a swirl of oil while the oven preheats will give your pizza that crispy crust we all crave. Grilling your pizza can also give you a hearty crunch with each bite.

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Male hands preparing dough for pizza on table closeup
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Working with cold dough

I hate waiting for cheesy, bubbly pizza as much as the next gal, but if your dough was refrigerated, it is crucial that you let it come to room temperature before handling it. If you become impatient and start stretching away, it will be stiff and tear easily.

Learn how to make the perfect pizza dough here.

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Corn meal in a measuring cup
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Skipping the cornmeal

Before placing your pizza dough onto your baking sheet or pizza stone, be sure to sprinkle the surface with cornmeal. This will add a rich flavor to your crust while preventing the soft dough from sticking to the pan. You can also use cornmeal to keep your dough from sticking to the counter as you stretch it out.

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Baking pizza at home with ingredients
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Using sauce from a jar or can

If you are already going to the trouble of making your own pizza dough, why smear store bought sauce all over it? It’s easy to tell the difference between jarred and fresh sauce, so give your pizza the love it deserves by whipping up your own sauce. Keep it easy with this homemade pizza sauce recipe.

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Woman putting baking sheet with pizza in oven
Shutterstock / Africa Studio

Setting your oven too low

Have you ever sat next to an authentic pizza oven in an Italian restaurant? Chances are you were sweating before your meal arrived. The perfect pizza needs to be cooked at high temperatures to give it that golden crust you’re after. No matter what your recipe calls for, set your oven at 500 degrees and keep an eye on your pie. Then try any of these all-time best pizza recipes and be amazed at the taste.

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cook holds wooden tray or board with homemade organic flatbread pizza, covered with vegetables, veggies and cheese
Shutterstock / De Repente

Skipping the cooling time

We’ve all had that moment when we dove into a piping hot slice of pizza only to quickly burn our mouths. Prevent those painful moments and keep your pizza intact by allowing it to cool for a few minutes after coming out of the oven. This will also allow the cheese to set, preventing it from sliding off your slice as soon as you cut it. Here are our top picks for pizza cutters. When you make one of these top ten pizza recipes, you won’t want to rush the process.