How To Pull Off A Great Pizza Party In Your Backyard
Everyone loves pizza. It's a universally enjoyed food staple that can be easily made and shared among friends and family. So if you're looking for a way to get them together for a little backyard fun, there's no better way than throwing a pizza party. With the right tools, killer recipes, creativity, and a bit of planning and organization, you’re sure to pull off a great pizza party!
But before the fun gets underway, Patio Pelican is here to give you some useful tips on how to plan and host the ideal outdoor pizza party!
1. Prepare all the Tools and Equipment You Need
When you're planning a pizza party, it's important to have all the tools and equipment necessary. You don't want to go into it with too little prep work or be caught off guard by things not being ready when guests arrive. Here are some items that you should include in your pizza party kit:
- Digital Food Scale. A Digital Food Scale is the number one most important tool for making consistently good pizza from scratch. For a consistent dough, you'll want the right amount of flour, and to get the most accurate measure of flour, you'll need to use a digital food scale. Measuring by volume by using measuring spoons and cups can give varying results depending on how much flour is packed into each cup.
- Bench Scraper. A Bench Scraper will help you pick up random bits of dough stuck to your counter and clean up dustings of flour with ease. And this gadget is no unitasker — you'll reach for it for a multitude of kitchen tasks, including scraping chopped herbs or veggies off the cutting board, dividing flour, lifting pastries, and more.
- Wooden Pizza Peel. Wooden Pizza Peel absorbs excess moisture and has a rougher surface, which means that your stretched and topped dough will remain loose and easy to launch far longer, saving you from potential pizza-spilled-all-over-the-oven accidents.
- Pizza Wheel. When it comes to portioning pizza, a knife simply won't cut it. At least, not if you don't want to drag cheese and toppings all over the place. Those large, half-moon-shaped rocking blades work great but are a beast to store. Its sharp stainless steel blade cuts through the crunchy crust and is large enough to accommodate thick-crust pizzas.
- Cast Iron Skillet. Cast Iron Skillet allows you to re-create crisp-edged, flavor-packed pizzeria-style pan pizza with no kneading, no stretching, and no real experience required. But keep in mind that due to the shape of the pan, you'll get more of a deep dish-style pie.
- Ladle and Plastic Squeeze Bottles. A ladle does a great job of scooping up the sauce so you can get the right amount every time, while a drizzle of olive oil before and after baking gives your pie a great boost of flavor, and little plastic squeeze bottles are the easiest, most inexpensive way to store and dispense it.
- Thermometer. A pizza oven thermometer is a tool that's used to measure the temperature of a pizza oven. These tools are helpful for every pizza oven but work especially well for wood-fired ovens. Without a pizza oven thermometer, it's hard to determine how hot a pizza oven is.
- Outdoor Pizza Ovens
Gas-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven
Keep it simple with a gas-fired pizza oven! This is a fantastic year-round solution for cooking restaurant-grade pizza in your own backyard. With the flick of a switch, this pizza oven is fired up and ready to go in as little as 5 minutes—perfect for a pizza party! A direct connection to your propane tank of natural gas supply means that a gas-fired pizza oven saves you more time. And when you're done, there's no need to brush up a ton of ashes and debris, just turn off the oven and get back to entertaining your guests!
Browse our collections of Gas-Fired Pizza Ovens HERE.
Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven
The traditional way to fire up a great-tasting pizza! If authenticity is your priority, we think a Wood-Fired Pizza is a way to go. With a wood-fired oven, you get a delightfully crispy base and incredible flavors that pizza is known for. It’s easy to use, flexible and built to last. That's why all the pizza oven brands Patio Pelican carries are designed with both function and durability in mind. So, if you're looking for an authentic taste of Italy for your pizza party, try a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven!
Browse our collections of Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens HERE.
Hybrid Outdoor Pizza Oven
Cook great-tasting pizza for your outdoor pizza party with Hybrid Pizza Ovens. These ovens deliver the best of both worlds. Great for those who want to cook authentic wood-fired pizza when time allows, but also want the option to cook with gas when convenience takes priority! With many brands and models to choose from, you'll find the perfect hybrid oven to meet your needs.
Browse our collections of Hybrid Pizza Ovens HERE.
- Outdoor Grill. If you don't own a pizza oven, your other outdoor options are an outdoor conventional oven or a grill. Most of you maybe don't own the former, which leaves us with the hero of backyard cooking: the grill. The great thing about cooking pizza on the grill is you can get higher temperatures than you would with a conventional oven, and a stone or steel can help you get that direct heat transfer.
- Pizza Cutters. Once the pizzas are out of the oven, the last thing to do is slice them up for easy serving. You can't go wrong with a classic cutter wheel for personal pizzas. A rocking blade cutter is an excellent choice for cutting large pizzas from end to end. Thin-crust pizza can even be cut with all-purpose kitchen shears.
2. Plan Your Menu
Plan your menu in advance. Think about what toppings to include and how many you'll need. Make sure you have enough ingredients for the pizza, plus any extras, including salad or side dishes.
Here are a few ideas for toppings to have on hand:
- Sauces: Best Homemade Pizza Sauce, Basil Pesto, Olive oil for brushing
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Other Cheeses: Feta cheese, goat cheese, burrata cheese, Parmesan cheese, or Pecorino cheese
- Vegetables: Chopped spinach leaves, chopped bell peppers, sliced red onions, thinly sliced tomatoes, avocado
- Preserved Vegetables: Olives, roasted jarred red peppers, artichokes
- Sauteed Vegetables: Sauteed mushrooms
- Herbs: Fresh basil, fresh thyme, or fresh oregano
Your pizza toppings options are almost endless, and you can use whatever your family and friends like best—just remember that things like pepperoni should be used in moderation to limit saturated fat and sodium.
3. Set the Table and Make Proper Seating Arrangements
Now that you've got your menu and start-to-finish plan in place, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty. First, set up the table with all of your dishes: plates, napkins, serving utensils, and more. Additionally, you can't go wrong with a few classic, checkered tablecloths and some floral arrangements for a pizza parlor-inspired tablescape. Then arrange place settings for each guest at the table. In case more visitors show up, you should have a few extra chairs and tables available. Next comes setting up courses on each tray or platter so that everyone gets everything they need!
4. Set the Mood with Music
Music is a great way to set the mood and tone for your party. And if you’re hosting a pizza party in your backyard, then it should be loud enough to be heard but not so loud that it becomes disruptive. Choose music that fits with what you are trying to achieve with this event—whether it's upbeat dance tunes or soft ballads depending on who is coming over. If everyone has different tastes in music then find something everyone likes!
5. Offer an Antipasto Platter
Antipasto platters are a great way to start your pizza party. They're easy to make, you can make them in advance and they're full of delicious food that everyone will love. If you don't have any antipasto recipes yet, this is the perfect time to try one out!
You can create an antipasto platter with anything from store-bought ingredients or homemade ones that you already have at home. Here are some ideas:
- Meats: Prosciutto, Genoa Salami, Soppressata, Coppa, Spianata, Mortadella, Chub Salamis
- Cheeses: Marinated Fresh Mozzarella, Gouda, Panino (Mozzarella Sticks Wrapped in Prosciutto), Asiago, Parmigiano Reggiano, Provolone
- Vegetables: Marinated Artichokes, Store-bought Olives or Marinated Olives, Pepperoncinis, Cheese Stuffed Red Peppers, Marinated Asparagus, Marinated Gigande Beans, Marinated Mushrooms, Caponata or Ratatouille, Pickled Hot Cherry Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, Tapenade
- Crackers: Mini Breadsticks, Flatbread Crackers, Round Crisps, Croccantini
6. Involve Your Guests
Invite your guests and get them involved in the process of making their pizza. You can also ask them to bring their favorite wine or beer, and have it on hand for everyone before cooking. You’ll also want to have some kind of entertainment planned for the evening so everyone has something fun going on at once—whether it’s a game like charades or something more traditional like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey (or whatever your favorite game is). Games are a great way to bring people together, and they can also help make your party more memorable.
7. Don’t Forget Snacks and Desserts
You will want to include a variety of snacks, such as chips, veggies, dip, and nuts. You can also plan on having some desserts like cookies or brownies so everyone has something sweet to enjoy after their meal.
8. Stock Up on Beverages
Finally, after you've taken care of the pizzas, you need to pay attention to beverages. Prepare a lot of water and make sure you have plenty of soft drinks, beer, and wine on hand too. Make sure your cooler is stocked with ice packs in various sizes. Have a variety of drinks available for people who are not drinking alcohol: coffee or tea; lemonade; cola; juice boxes; sparkling water/sparkling mineral water, etc.
Patio Pelican’s Takeaways
Bringing friends and family together over a delicious meal is classic, but pizza parties can be downright magical. A bit of planning, a bit of organization, and a bit of creativity are really all you need to run a great pizza party in your backyard. While there's no such thing as an exact formula for success, the steps listed above should provide sufficient guidance to give you an idea of how to throw an amazing pizza party that everyone will enjoy! The best way to learn, however, is to try it yourself.
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