We cooked pizza on a car dashboard—here's how it went

Some demand brick oven, but we want Subaru front seat

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Here at Reviewed, we’ve cooked with fancy induction ranges, magical Instant Pots, and beautiful Dutch ovens, but we enjoy cooking in unconventional ways, too. After making dinner in a dishwasher, we were looking for new cooking challenges. And in a recent heat wave, it was just way too hot to cook. Since everyone here loves pizza, we thought we’d try another experiment—baking a pie on the dashboard of a car.

The preparation

Pizza prep
Credit: Mike Roorda/Reviewed

We wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so our shopping list was short.

• Since we knew the car temperature (which was about 104 degrees at the time of cooking) would never be able to bake dough, we purchased a pre-made pizza crust.

• Along with that, we got a can of tomato sauce and some fresh-sliced mozzarella. That, plus some oregano from our office, was it.

• We put our pizza on a baking sheet and it was ready to go.

To prep the car, we simply pulled it into a spot in our parking lot where it was facing the sun, and laid a trash bag over the dashboard to prevent any leakage.

After setting up a GoPro camera to monitor it (we could also look directly down at it through our office window), we slid the pizza into the “oven” and left it to bake in the sun.

Dashboard pizza
Credit: Connor Whooley/Reviewed

The process

When we put the pizza in, our plan was to let it cook for an hour and come back to it.

With the ability to look out our office window, we could peer down and see exactly what was happening.

Window view
Credit: Connor Whooley/Reviewed

• The cheese was noticeably melting right away, while the sauce got a little runny and seeped into one side of the crust (more on that later).

• After half an hour, it was clear that the pizza was “cooking,” but we also could tell it would need more time, so we decided to tack on another 30 minutes.

• Finally, after an hour and a half, we pulled the pizza out of the car. The baking sheet was very hot to the touch and the pizza looked (somewhat) like what a cooked margarita should look like.

At last, it was time to dig in.

The results

BEFORE

Before pizza
Credit: Mike Roorda/Reviewed

AFTER
After pizza
Credit: Mike Roorda/Reviewed

Using a premade crust in low heat led us to believe there would be no crispy crust on our pizza, but interestingly enough, we were wrong.

• The crust on one side of the pizza had browned a tiny bit, and while they weren’t like brick oven slices, there was a noticeable crispness to them.

• The problem was on the other side. Since the dashboard was slightly tilted, the sauce had run onto the crust, leaving it soggy. We could’ve baked the crust beforehand for a better crisp, but in the spirit of the test, that just didn’t seem right.

• The sauce was fine for a canned tomato sauce and some dried oregano, while the cheese was slightly melted. Next time, we think we would try shredded mozzarella instead.

Our conclusion

Overall, after testing it with coworkers, we all agreed that it wasn’t the worst pizza we’d ever had. Heck, it was even better than some of the frozen pizzas we had tried in our massive taste test.

And there was one final discovery as well. While it may not be the most optimal place to actually cook your pizza, it could be a pretty solid way to heat up a cold slice. So, whether you’re at the beach, out for a drive, or just parked in your driveway, it’s another method to think about.

So, in summation, if you’re looking to have a little fun while keeping your house cool, baking a dashboard pizza is a great way to spend an afternoon. Plus, your car might end up with a permanent pizza scent and honestly, who doesn’t want that?

Slicing the pizza
Credit: Mike Roorda/Reviewed

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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