Tools They Use: Luke’s Pizza Owner & Pizzaiolo Luke Smith

May 16, 2017
a man wearing a hat
By Jackie Tran
By Jackie Tran

Tools They Use takes a look at local food artisans, such as chefs, bakers, brewers, and more with a simple photo displaying their signature items and favorite tools.

Luke’s Pizza owner and pizzaiolo Luke Smith began his culinary path by learning to make scrambled eggs, since his mom always burned them. In college, creating gourmet meals for friends became his method of homework procrastination.

After one summer with some master Italian pizzas chefs, Smith was hooked. He spent time with Fiamme Pizza Napoletana before parting ways and opening his own business, Luke’s Pizza. Though his pizza roots are Neapolitan, he’s paving his own way with non-traditional ingredients and his sourdough crust charred just the way he likes it.

Thermal Predator Infrared Thermometer

The 700 – 1000 degree F oven is one of the main reasons the Neapolitan pizza is so difficult to recreate at home. If you have an oven hotter than the one in your kitchen, use an infrared thermometer to make sure it’s hot enough to create those signature leopard spotting on the crust.

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GI Metal Cutting Wheel

When it comes to pizza tools, Smith considers the GI Metal brand among the best of the best.

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GI Metal Small Triangle Peel

“It is used for carefully removing dough from the proofing boxes without losing their form.”

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Wooden Pizza Peel

The wooden peel is used to place the pizza in the oven, while a separate metal peel is used for pizza removal.

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“We source as much local ingredients as we can, and are working on developing more relationships with farmers as we progress. I have a guy who harvests local farm eggs for me to use on the bacon & egg pizza as well as other specials. And we do get some veggies from a local farm called Larrys veggies. But are still searching for the right consistent farms that can produce the volume of the veggies we need and also start to coordinate our menu with seasonal products.”

Owner and pizzaiolo Luke Smith of Luke's Pizza (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Owner and pizzaiolo Luke Smith of Luke’s Pizza (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Red Pepper Flakes and Parmesan

Smith also finishes many of his pizzas with freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Saucing Spoon

Start with a dollop of sauce in the middle and work on an outward circular motion for even saucing.

Microplane Grater

The sharp, small ridges effortlessly creates wisps from hard cheeses.

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Nina San Marzano Tomatoes

The low moisture content and thick flesh make San Marzano tomatoes a popular choice among tomato sauce connoisseurs.

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Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

A light drizzle of EVOO on a finished pizza can bring rich and fruity or peppery flavors to enhance pizzas and nearly anything.

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Article By

Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...

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