Ladies and gentlemen, I have an affliction known as pizzamania. It's a largely manageable condition that at times flares up and inspires flights of fancy that preoccupy my cheese-addled brain. During one particularly intractable bout, I had the crazy notion that I'd turn my home into a sort of clandestine pizzeria, serving up small pies to guests who would, of course, be seated at tables bedecked with red checkered tablecloths.

When my madness subsided a bit, I found I had a kitchen full of supplies that would make any pizza party run smoothly. Here, I give you the Slice–Serious Eats Pizza Gift Guide, with tips on equpping the aspiring pizza-maker in your life—along with some pizza-related gifts for the non-baker.

Prices don't include shipping unless otherwise specified.

14-by-16-Inch Rectangular Pizza Stone and Peel

This one's for the budding pizzaiolo. (It's a given that the advanced-amateur pizza-maker already has a stone and peel). At the time of publication, this set, available from Amazon, carried the same price as a similar stone on the site that did not come with a peel—and it was only $3 more than a similar peel-free stone at Target. Avoid the round stones—they're smaller and their circular shape doesn't allow much flexibility if your recipient is not precise in sliding the pizza onto it. Pizza stone and peel, $39.95

Pizza Peels

A well-equipped home pizza kitchen should have at least two pizza peels—one to build a pie on and a free peel to retrieve a pie-in-progress from the oven. (Though three is a good number to have on hand for larger parties.) These peels from Amazon work as well as any and won't set you back too much, but you might be able to find them priced less at a kitchen-supply store. Pizza peel, $15.99

16-Inch Pizza Pans

I often cut and serve pizzas directly from the peel (essentially eliminating the need for these), but pizza pans are a nice touch for serving pies if you're hosting a pizza party. Two's a good number for starters, but three will provide more flexibility in making a number of pies. Grab 16-inch pans, as they'll be able to handle the largest pies possible with the stone above. Get them at a kitchen-supply store, where they'll likely be less expensive than those found at houseware or home-kitchen stores. 16-inch pizza pan, $4.55 each

Pizza Cutter

I'll be honest with you—you don't have to put too much thought into a pizza cutter. It's a stocking stuffer or something to supplement one or more of the other items on this list. As such, a basic no-nonsense cutter like this Pedrini model will work just fine. Avoid mezzalunas, pizza scissors, palm-held cutters, and otherwise overdesigned crap. No need to reinvent the wheel here. The real artistry should be in the pie, not the stupid thing that cuts it. Pedrini pizza cutter, $9.99

Wire Pizza Tray Stand

You go to your favorite pizzeria, take a seat, place your order, and chat with your dining companions for a bit. You watch pies land on neighboring tables. Your hunger grows. "Where the heck's ours?" you grumble. Then the waiter places a tray stand on your table and you know the main event's about to start. Two minutes later, your piping-hot pie arrives—a culinary work of art placed atop its pedestal. Help your amateur pizza-maker duplicate that build-up and denouement at home with a pizza tray stand. A pair works even better if you know she'll be throwing pizza parties. About $4.50 at kitchen-supply stores or $3.14 from Instawares.com

Alessi Pizza Plates

Italian kitchenware company Alessi sells a series of whimsical 12-inch pizza plates that come two to a set. Two of these sets depict Pulcinella, a jesterlike figure who has become a symbol of Naples and whose visage sometimes shows up in pizzerias. My favorite is this set, but there's this one, too, and a third that features a pizza-spewing volcano and a multiarmed woman slinging pies. Pummaroriella Piatti, $38 for set of 2 plates

Cheese and Spice Shakers

OK. So this is really going overboard, but these little swirled-glass cheese and spice shakers are a nice touch and probably something not even the most avid home pizza-maker has in the arsenal. You can find these cheap at restaurant-supply stores. Buy three shakers—one each for cheese, red pepper flakes, and oregano. To seal the deal, see if the store sells a wire caddy to hold them all. Fill them with cheese and spices shortly before gifting them, slip them into the caddy, and wrap. About $2 at kitchen supply stores or online at foodservicedirect.com

Kitchen Aid Mixer

Kitchen Aid MixerSure, it's appeared in the Serious Eats Essentials Gift Guide, but it's worth repeating here. A Kitchen Aid stand mixer is the home version of those gigantic dough mixers you see in pizzerias. One of these little babies, in red, of course, will save your pizza-maker some work and make him or her seriously happy. No need to get too crazy: The standard model will work fine for simple dough mixing. $270, from Amazon

Beehive Pizza Oven

For someone on your list who has been very nice. The Beehive pizza oven may help a would-be wood-fired pizza-maker take his game up a notch. This 33-by-25-inch (somewhat) portable terra-cotta oven is for anyone who might not yet want to make the investment in installing a permanent backyard model. Beehive Oven and stand, $1,495, plus (substantial) shipping


Books are always an easy gift, and, don't you know it, there are several for the slicehead. These all cover similar ground—exploring the best pizzerias out there, from the Italy to the U.S—but in slightly different ways, which makes them all worth having:

American Pie, by Peter Reinhart, baking instructor and cookbook author, takes readers on a journey the best pizza, with an emphasis on artisanal pizzerias and the process behind making a world-class pie. With recipes, of course. $18.45, from Amazon

Pizza: A Slice of Heaven, by Ed Levine makes it on this list not because he's the publisher of Slice but because it's worth keeping around as a sort of guidebook and travelogue. With listings and descriptions of noteworthy pizzerias nationwide (and some in Italy) compiled by Ed, it's also interspersed with pizza trivia and essays. Consider it a sort of encyclopedia of pizza and a road map for a pizza-lover's road trip. $16.47, from Amazon

Everybody Loves Pizza, by Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby is similar to Levine's travelogue/laundry list but goes more into the history of pizza and dotes a little more on pizzerias not on the East Coast. The authors are from Chicago and, accordingly, treat the deep-dish and stuffed pies of the Windy City with a bit more respect. $13.57, from Amazon

Pizza Party Elmo

This one's for any youngsters on your list whom you'd like to gently prod along the pizza path. A noted improvement, in my book, on the non-pizza-obsessed Tickle Me Elmo and Tickle Me Elmo Extreme of years past. This one sings a pizza song—the little pizza he's holding sings, too. Check out this video on YouTube. [Note to friends and relatives: In no way should you interpret the appearance of this item in this guide as a wishlist hint on my part. —Adam] $24.36, from Amazon

Carbon Offset Credits

Know someone whose love coal-oven pizza is taking a toll on the environment? Why not buy them some carbon offset credits? After a somewhat hasty analysis of this chart at EcoBusinessLinks.com, Carbonfund.org looks to be the best carbon credit deal out there. It's the least expensive; is nonprofit; offsets for home, car, air, events, and business; and does so through renewables, efficiency promotion, and reforestation. Just know that your recipient may repay such a sanctimonious gift with a lump of coal in your stocking. $4.30 to $5.50 per metric ton of carbon dioxide

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