Yes, you read that right. You can make homemade pizza in a slow cooker. We were as surprised as you that this multi-purpose kitchen appliance from our mother’s pantry can make more than just tasty soups, hearty stews, savory roasts, and perfect pulled pork.
It can make pizza, too! Consider our socks knocked off.
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If you have a slow cooker or just need a reason to buy one, you have to try making homemade pizza in a slow cooker. If you don’t have one of these, what about an air fryer, Dutch oven, or grill? You can make pizzas in those, too!
What is a Slow Cooker?
First, let’s look at what a slow cooker is and isn’t. A slow cooker, sometimes called a crock pot, is an electric cooker that usually has just three settings low, high, and warm. This convenient cooker will save you time and make excellent meals.
You can throw a roast in the slow cooker in the morning with some broth, spices, and vegetables and leave it cooking for 6-8 hours, and when you get home from work, your house will smell amazing, and dinner will already be ready.
Some people confuse slow cookers with the ubiquitous InstantPot or pressure cooker. An Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker in one.
The InstantPot has been around since 2010, and it is an excellent example of technology refining itself. The pressure cooker has been around much longer since the early 1940s and was prone to explosions. The InstantPot is the new and improved pressure cooker with all of the functions and, most importantly, safety features in place.
A slow cooker is the most basic of these devices. It arrived in America’s kitchens in 1971 and has been a busy home chef’s friend ever since. A slow cooker is much slower than the InstantPot.
A pork shoulder that will take hours in a slow cooker can be done in an InstantPot in a fraction of the time. But a slow cooker infuses more flavor with the long steady slow heat.
Our focus here is to look at how to make homemade pizza in a slow cooker. If you have an InstantPot, you can make pizza in that, too, with some modifications.
Why Make Pizza in a Slow Cooker?
Slow cookers are known as the set-and-forget kitchen tool. You can throw everything in there and walk away and return to a freshly cooked meal that you didn’t have to slave over a hot stove to make.
Making pizza in a slow cooker has the same advantage as any other dish; it saves time. It’s like having your own countertop pizza oven.
The other reason you should make homemade pizza in a slow cooker is that it makes excellent deep-dish pizza. Chicago-style deep-dish pizza has a cult-like following, and if you love it as so many people do, then this is a super easy way to make it.
How to Make Pizza in a Slow Cooker
First a foremost, you need a slow cooker. They are definitely worth the investment and the kitchen counter real estate. You can find excellent ones on Amazon. If you are on a budget, you can often find them on Craigslist, MarketPlace, Buy Nothing groups, and at thrift stores. Just make sure all of the wiring is intact.
Slow cookers come in different sizes, from 2 quarts to 10 quarts. We use a 6-quart crock pot. If you cook a lot, you may want to have both a smaller one and a larger one. They are an easy way to bring dishes to parties and potlucks too.
So now you have your slow cooker. You need to spray with nonstick oil and place your pizza dough inside. You can use homemade pizza dough, sourdough, gluten-free dough, whole wheat dough, or whichever dough you prefer.
Push it into the pan, so it covers the bottom. Depending on how thick you like your crust and the size of your crock pot, one pizza dough ball should be more than enough.
Next, pour your sauce and keep it from the edges so it doesn’t end up between the crock pot and the dough. Sprinkle on some low-moisture grated mozzarella cheese. Fresh mozzarella isn’t a good option for this because the excess moisture with make it soupy.
Next, add your toppings. All the meat or seafood toppings must be precooked. The first time we tried this pizza-making method, we decided to stick with classic pepperoni, but for our next homemade slow cooker pizza, we will try to mix it up and see what else works well for this decadent deep dish pie.
After everything is assembled, then turn it on low for two to three hours. When it’s done, use two spatulas to remove it and let it firm up for about five minutes before slicing it into that thick crust.
- Spray the inside of the pot with light oil to keep it from sticking.
- Use crock pot liners for easy cleanup.
- Press the dough to all sides, and don’t let the sauce get under the dough.
- For a Detroit-Style crust, use butter instead of oil.
- For a thinner crust like a New York-style pizza, press the dough thin and cook for less time and always on low.
- Be careful not to go overboard on the sauce because deep dish can quickly become pizza soup.
- Try using Naan bread for a quicker pizza in the slow cooker.
Other Surprising Things You Can Make Besides Homemade Pizza in a Slow Cooker
- Yeast rolls
- Biscuits and gravy
- Crème brûlée
Have you tried making homemade pizza in a slow cooker? What is your favorite way to use your ol’ crock pot?