Detroit Pizza is Truly Uniquely Delicious

I know I’m a little late to the Pizza Party on Detroit Style pizza. Detroit pizza is totally different with a very delicious taste. What makes this pizza different from other pizza the wall of melted cheese around the sides. As the cheese melts the pizza there is a chewy, almost burnt taste around the edges.

I first heard about Detroit Pizza when Tony Gemignani mentioned this style at Pizza Expo. My conversations with Jeff Smokevich (Brown Dog Pizza and Blue Pan Pizza) gave me an in-depth explanation.  

History of Detroit Pizza

Tony offers his Detroit recipe in The Pizza Bible. Here’s a bit of pizza history of the Detroit style pizza from Tony Gemignani in The Pizza Bible:  

Detroit style pizza was invented in the 1940’s by Gus Guerra, the owner of Buddy’s Rendezvous. It’s rectangular, thick and fluffy like a Scillian pizza and is framed by a border of crispy golden brown cheese that tastes like the best part of a grilled cheees sandwich- the stuff that leaks out of the edge and gets toasted in the pan.”

The result was incredible. The recipe came from Peter Reinhart’s book Perfect Pan Pizza. This book has been officially released. There is a great Detroit Pizza recipe in Tony’s Pizza Bible. 


You can also find some great Detroit as well as other pizza recipes in Peter’ Reinhart’s book: Perfect Pan Pizza

Detroit Pizza uses a special pan to cook the pizza. steel blue pans were originally used as parts trays by car manufacturers in Detroit. To get the crust right I recommend you use a  LloydPans Kitchenware 10 inch by 14 inch pan. I was very satisfied with the results.

Dough resting in pan for Detroit pizza

Dough resting in pan for Detroit pizza

For the flour, I used Gold Medal Better for Bread. The dough was made the day before to let it proof overnight in the fridge. Olive oil and butter were rubbed all over the Detroit Pizza Pan.  Then, I gently pressed the dough into the pan. Most importantly make sure you allow the dough to rest a bit and work it into the corners of the pan.

In the pan ready to cook Anchovy Detroit

The original recipe called for a mixture of Brick Cheese and White Cheddar or mozzarella. Brick cheese is an actual type of cheese. Brick cheese is difficult to get in Hawaii so I used a mixture of low moisture mozzarella. I used 8oz. of cheddar and 8 oz. of mozzarella. for the first one, I topped it with roasted vegetables and then with mozzarella. The last step was to top with a red stripe of tomato sauce (gravy). It is important to line the edges of the dough with cheese so when the pizza cooked, the cheese would ooze down the sides creating a wall of melted cheese.

Make sure you pre-heat the oven to 475 F. Then bake the pizzas for 8 minutes and then rotate the pan 180 degrees.

Side view of Detroit Pizza

Here’s the Verdict

Now I am not pretending to be an expert or even a pizza maker who knows what he is doing by baking this pizza. The results were astounding. The cheese taste along the sides was amazing. Almost indescribable. The cheese along the sides created a burnt cheesy taste. The entire pizza was in a word: wonderful.

Anchovy Detroit Pizza

Anchovy Detroit Pizza

You can discover an in-depth review and recipe of Detroit Style Pizza in the Food Lab with  J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats. This post gives lots of tips on how to create your own Detroit Pizza masterpiece. The title explains Detroit-Style Pizza Is the Best Thing You’re Gonna Make This Year

To Sum Up

As a result of my Detroit Pizza Experiment, this pizza will definitely be part of my repertoire. I can see bringing a Detroit Pizza to the next pot luck party. I am sure it will get rave reviews.

You can see Jeff Smokevich Talk About Detroit Style Pizza, here.

Here is all you need to create your own Detroit Pizza.

When making Detroit pizza, I recommend this one.


Peter covers Detroit and many other pan-pizza styles in this book.

And of course, Tony’s Book The Pizza Bible is a must-have for any pizza lover:




Vincent · December 2, 2019 at 7:19 pm

I made one following Tony’s directions from his book. Excellent pizza but be sure to tell your family and friends the blue steel history of the pans that were re-purposed auto parts pans from the auto industry there in Detroit. Makes for a fun experience!

    pizzatherapy · December 6, 2019 at 12:39 am

    True! Thanks for the reminder. That is truly an interesting story.
    And you can get a great replica of these re-purposed auto pans here: (Affiliate link)

Ray Melchiorre · December 25, 2019 at 6:05 pm

What is the best anchovy’s to use on pizza.

    pizzatherapy · December 25, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Great question.

    Here in Hawaii, there are not a lot of choices. I use what i can get. I have found all to be equally good.
    I would love to hear the results of your research.

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