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Pizza on New Year’s Eve? Cheers to that!
Pizza on New Year’s Eve? Cheers to that!

Pizza on New Year’s Eve? Cheers to that!

Your New Year’s resolution should be simple: make pizza.

But why wait until 2024? Hosting a pizza party this New Year’s Eve is a wonderful way to bring your nearest and dearest together.

What could be better than raising a slice (and a glass) when the clock chimes midnight?

We’ve pulled together our top tips to ensure cooking for a crowd goes off without a hitch.
  1. Testing, testing. New Year’s can be a stressful time, so don’t complicate things by trying out new recipes on the big night. Tried and tested favorite doughs and topping combos are your friend!

  2. Consider gas. Gas-powered ovens are the easiest choice for fuel management: Simply turn on the oven and go. As long as you’ve got a full gas tank, you’ll be able to cook for quite a while. For more specifics on your gas needs, check out our gas consumption table.

  3. Have a backup. Whether it’s dough, a spare gas tank or even an extra bottle of bubbly (or two), we’d recommend having a plan B in place. Overdo a few pizzas in the oven? Pull out those extra dough balls and start again. Run out of fuel? Bring out your extra tank. Have some unexpected guests? Pop open the backup bottles.

  4. Prep in advance. Proof all of your dough, mix your sauce, grate your cheese and chop or slice your toppings ahead of time. We sell pizza topping stations that include containers, but any sealable containers will work great for storing toppings, too. Either way, you’ll thank yourself once you start cooking.

  5. Take the temperature, and take it often. Keep your infrared thermometer close at hand throughout the party and check back in on the temperature of the baking stone every so often. An oven that’s been running for a few hours will be hotter than one that just got going, and a stone that was just cooked on will be cooler than a stone that’s been unoccupied. Speaking of which…

  6. Recharge your stone. Think of your baking stone like a rechargeable battery. When cooking pizzas back to back, your stone will begin to lose heat. Launching pizza onto a stone that isn’t as hot as it should be can result in a less-than-crispy crust or undercooked base that sticks while turning. Waiting a few minutes between pizzas will allow your stone to heat back up and give you great bakes.

  7. Use the whole stone. If you’re launching a pizza, try not to launch in exactly the same place every time. Keeping cold pizzas from landing in the same spot on every launch helps the stone remain at the desired temperature. While this is obviously easier if you’re working with a 16-inch oven, it’s still doable in a 12-inch oven. Shifting ever so slightly right or left, back or front, can make a huge difference.

  8. Make it interactive. Pizza-making is a full-time job at a party. Once you start cooking, you’re working until everyone is full. Take some of the work off your plate by getting guests involved in stretching dough and topping their pizzas.

  9. Consider parbaking. If you want to quickly finish your pizzas in the oven once people have arrived, parbaking is a great way to get ahead and leave yourself more time to mingle. Baking dough to its halfway point in advance means you’ll just have to top it and toss it back in the oven just before you want to sit down and eat. While this isn’t an ideal way to cook Neapolitan style, it will still result in some tasty pizzas and works well for pan pies.

  10. Double up. If you’re cooking for a crowd, firing up two Ooni ovens is a great idea. If you’re hosting on NYE, being able to cook on two ovens means less stone recovery time and more pizzas, faster.

  11. Remember the recovery calzone. Rips and tears happen. Pizzas go wonky when launched. If this happens, don’t panic: Check out our recovery calzone recipe — simply fold, pinch and launch — and keep it in your back pocket as a trick to save torn dough.

  12. Clean as you go. So you didn’t catch a rip before launching and some toppings are now stuck to the stone? Fire the oven for a few minutes at top temperature before launching a new pizza. The heat should burn off any crusted-on toppings. Use your peel or a pizza brush to swipe the ashes off the center of the stone, and you’ll be back in business. Oh, and don’t forget to grab an apron to avoid spoiling your party outfit!

  13. Keep pizzas warm. While cooking in your Ooni oven, it’s not a bad idea to keep your conventional oven on ultra-low so you can keep pizzas warm (if they don’t get gobbled up right away). A sheet pan lined with foil and an oven on low temperature will help ensure your pizza stays ready to eat, even if your guests take a break in the middle of the party.

  14. Light it up with a headlamp. Cooking at night, but don’t have great lighting outside? When our culinary advisor Kelsey Small throws a party that stretches into the wee hours, he uses a headlamp so he can see exactly when his pizzas are done. Now, that’s a pro move.

  15. Finally, the most important rule: Enjoy it! It should go without saying that New Year’s Eve only happens once a year, so don’t waste a second of it worrying if you have a mistake or two on the pizza front. It’s a time to celebrate, so relax, enjoy and have a very Happy New Year!

Previous article Winter pizza: How to make pizzas outside in the cold, rain and snow

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