Home Pizza Kitchens: Your Own Slice of New Haven

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About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

As residents of Connecticut, there’s a certain sense of pride in the state’s iconic New Haven-style pizza. The thin, crispy crust, charred in coal-fired ovens, speaks to Connecticut’s heritage and food culture. From Pepe’s to Modern Apizza, New Haven pizzerias have defined the culinary scene in Connecticut and become synonymous with the state across the country. There’s just something special about the local tradition of gathering with friends and family to share piping hot pies laden with mozzarella and minced garlic. Now more and more home chefs are trying to mimic the magic of a professional pizza kitchen in their own homes. With the right high-heat oven and some practice with dough and toppings, you can re-create the quintessential Connecticut pizzeria experience right in your own home.

Key Elements of a Pizza Kitchen

Transforming your home kitchen into an artisanal pizza kitchen requires careful planning and essential elements like a powerful commercial range, proper ventilation, durable surfaces, pizza making tools, and refrigeration. Here’s a few critical pieces of your remodel to plan right away:

  • High BTU Commercial Range

    A powerful professional-grade range with at least 30,000 BTUs provides the ultra-high heat needed to quickly cook pizzas above 700°F.

    While options for home pizza ovens are available from online retailers like Amazon, and tend to range from $400-$2,000, commercial grade ovens tend to run between $15,000 and $40,000 depending on the build quality and capacity. Finding a comfortable medium between performance and budget is critical to keeping your pizza kitchen remodel affordable and focused on your needs.

    Other options to consider include portable ovens that are available at much lower prices., as well as outdoor pizza ovens. Traditionally styled, bespoke stone stoves are extremely popular options which are very customizable depending on your contractor or handyman’s level of skill.

    For recommendations on Pizza ovens and commercial ranges, check out this full article from Food and Wine Magazine.

  • Ventilation and Hood Systems

    Proper ventilation with a high-powered hood system and ductwork venting outside is critical for handling heat and smoke from the pizza oven.

  • Mixers and Prep Tools

    Investing in a heavy-duty stand mixer and quality hand tools will make pizza dough prep much easier. Look for a mixer that can knead stiff doughs. Durable stainless steel bowls, pizza cutters, and bench scrapers are essential. Popular brands include KitchenAid and Cuisinart.

  • Stone Baking Surfaces

    Using baking stones is crucial for evenly crisping up pizza crusts in home ovens. Round stones emulate the decks of pizza ovens. Perforated stones allow excess flour to fall through for a crisper result.

  • Refrigeration for Dough and Ingredients

    Plan for extra refrigeration space for storing dough, cheeses, and toppings. An undercounter fridge or beverage center is perfect for prepped ingredients.

Design Considerations for Pizza Kitchens

Optimizing the layout and flow of your pizza kitchen takes forethought. Focus on these key aspects:

Consider these tips:

  • Create stations for sauce making, dough prep, ingredient access, assembly, and baking for an efficient production flow.
  • Include ample landing space on both sides of the oven for prepping pizzas before baking and removing them after.
  • Locate the oven close to sinks and trash areas to manage messes during busy pizza making.
  • Have open counter space for temporarily resting trays of prepped ingredients like chopped veggies and shredded cheese.
  • Incorporate walkways wide enough for multiple people to pass through with pizzas during hectic entertaining times.

Choose easy-clean finishes that can handle messes from flour, oil, and sauces.

  • Opt for metal or stone backsplashes that can withstand high heat near the oven.
  • Use tiles or solid surface flooring that reduces slipping and is easy to clean when flour and tomato sauce spill.
  • Look for countertops like butcher block or stainless steel that can handle dough kneading and ingredient prep.
  • Consider durable barstools and chairs in materials like metal or wood rather than upholstered.
  • Select adjustable pendant lights that can be aimed at prep surfaces as needed and lowered for cleaning.

Create the perfect mood and illuminate tasks in your pizza kitchen with these lighting tips:

  • Use pendant lights over the oven and prep areas for focused task lighting. Go for industrial-style metal shades.
  • Install undercabinet lighting or LED strip lights to brightly illuminate countertops for chopping, kneading, and assembly.
  • Add recessed ceiling cans over the dining table or kitchen island for ambient lighting during meals.
  • For fun, install color-changing LED smart bulbs in pendants to create vibrant lighting scenes.
  • Include accent lighting like small picture lights to highlight brick oven surfaces or display special pizza-themed art.

Integrating the Pizza Oven

The heart of your pizza kitchen will be the pizza oven itself. Consider these common setups:

Costs of a Pizza Kitchen Remodel in Connecticut

What can you expect to budget for upgrades like these? Here’s an example estimate of costs for a full kitchen remodel, including gutting the existing room and completely replacing all features.

Costs

  • Appliances and Equipment

    Expect to budget $15,000 to $25,000 for high-end pro-style range, hood, refrigerator, plus pizza oven, peels, and accessories.

  • Labor and Construction

    Around $40,000 to $80,000 for cabinetry, countertops, flooring, lighting, ventilation, and finishes. Higher if structural changes needed.

Estimated Total Budget

In general, plan on spending $75,000 to $100,000+ for a full pizza kitchen remodel. Higher costs possible for extensive layout changes or luxury finishes.

Making the Most of Your Pizza Kitchen

Once your kitchen is complete, it’s time to start experimenting with doughs, sauces, cheeses, and toppings or take a pizza-making class to learn techniques and recipes from the pros. These kitchens are perfect for fun hosting pizza parties for events like kids’ birthdays or a pizza and wine night with friends.

Our culinary culture in Connecticut is so aligned with the New Haven Pizza scene, and it’s no surprise that home pizza parties are an increasingly popular way both to celebrate and relax. If you’re looking at turning your kitchen into the center of entertainment for your social circle, or just hoping to ramp up your pizza game, Fine Home Contracting is happy to talk over the details of transforming your kitchen! 

FAQ

What size pizza oven should I get for my kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:59+00:00

Choose an oven at least 45-60cm (18-24 inches) wide to comfortably fit a 12-14 inch pizza. Larger ovens allow you to bake multiple pizzas at once.

What design tips make a great pizza kitchen?2023-09-05T14:29:10+00:00

Focus on workflow, adequate counterspace, durable surfaces, ventilation, high BTU burners, and refrigeration for ingredients.

How much does a pizza oven cost?2023-09-05T14:28:50+00:00

Prices range widely from $300 for entry-level consumer models to $10,000+ for professional-grade pizza ovens. Built-in brick ovens cost $10,000 to $25,000 installed.

About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

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