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Stove Top Frozen Pizza Science Experiment


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How To Cook Frozen Pizza on the Stove Top in a Skillet
Place the frozen pizza in a skillet and cover it with a lid.

Place the frozen pizza in a skillet and cover it with a lid.

Anne Helmenstine
A lot of science comes about from a person needing to achieve a goal. In my case, I was hungry, had a frozen pizza, but did not have an oven. I did have a stove and some basic kitchen utensils.


I had observed many, many frozen pizzas cooked in ovens and I had tried to microwave a few in the past. I knew I wanted a relatively high temperature in order to get a crisp crust, yet if I cooked the bottom of the crust too quickly I could expect to get a soggy, disgusting center crust and undercooked toppings. As far as stove top cooking went, I figured covering the pan might lock in heat to help heat the pizza, yet would also lock in humidity that might make the pizza too soft. Other observations led me to think boiling or steaming the pizza would be a bad plan.


The null hypothesis would be:

You cannot cook a frozen pizza on the stove top.

Thus, any frozen pizza you successfully cook this way would disprove the hypothesis.

On the other hand, if you hypothesized it would be possible to cook a pizza on the stove you can gather data to support the hypothesis, but ruining your pizza really doesn't disprove the hypothesis. It could just mean you're a bad cook!

Pizza Experiment

Here is what I did:
  1. Remove frozen pizza from box.

  2. I tried to place the pizza into the frying pan or skillet, but it was too big for the pan so I broke it into quarters using my hands.

  3. I set a piece of pizza into the pan, turned the stove on low (thinking this might help to thaw the pizza without burning it) and covered the pan (trying to trap some heat). My goal was to avoid starting a fire while cooking the pizza enough that the crust wouldn't be doughy and raw.

  4. This seemed to be going very slowly, so I increased the heat to medium. A good scientist would have noted exactly how long I cooked the pizza and probably would have jotted down some notes about the temperature and characteristics of the pizza.

  5. Once the crust seemed crisp, I turned off the heat. I did not remove the pan from the burner, nor did I remove the lid. My goal was to complete the cooking of the crust and melt the cheese.

  6. After a few minutes, I put the pizza on a plate and proceeded to evaluate my results.

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