Pizza is certainly one of the world’s most beloved foods. Thick, thin, simple cheese, or piled high with toppings – no matter how you like your pie, you need a great pizza pan to cook it in. This post will give you information on the different types if pizza pans that are available so you can choose the one best suited to make your perfect pizza.
Most pizza pans are made from aluminum pizza pans or steel pizza pans. Both of these materials should be sturdy and long lasting though some chefs prefer one over the other. You can also find some pizza pans made out of cast iron. Fans of cast iron claim that it will give the crust an additional boost of flavor as you bake. As with other cast iron pans, it must be seasoned so that your tasty creation will not stick to it. Pans may be circular pans or rectangular pans depending on the look you want and come in a variety of sizes from small pizza pans for romantic couple’s dinner or a large pans ready to feed hungry guests at a football party.
Popular brands include All-Clad, Pampered Chef, and Old Stone, though many chefs report great success with lesser known brands as well. When comparing different pans, be sure to check the thickness of the metal. Not only will a thicker pan withstand repeat uses and the test of time better, they are also better for cooking your pizza evenly. A thinner pan is much more likely to burn the bottom and edges of your crust before it is ready to take it out of the oven. A nonstick coating will help with removal of the pizza from the dish and make it easier to clean the pan. Often referred to as air bake pans, some pans may be perforated, or have little holes along the bottom. These holes help the crust bake drier so that it does not become soggy. They also allow you to use a thin coating of cornmeal for additional flavor and texture on the bottom of the crust, if you desire.
The next step is to consider what type of crust you desire for your pizza. For a chewy thick crust, you will need a pan with raised sides to shape and contain the crust as you cook it. The most common depth for these pans is 1”, though there are also 2” deep versions available also. A spring form pan like is used to bake cheesecakes where the bottom detaches from the sides will make the task of removing a deep dish pie from the pan much easier.
If a thin, crispy crust is what your taste buds desire, then you should look for a flat pan with flat or slightly raised edges. You can find a wide variety of options in flat pans, such as coupe-style, wide rimmed, and beaded edged. The variances between these pans is slight and primarily only in visual appearance, so your decision may be based purely on the aesthetic you like best if you will be serving the pizza on the pan as well.
Another increasingly popular option for thin crust pizza are pizza stones. Just as simple as it sounds, they are a stone that is designed for baking a pizza. They are more costly than a metal pizza pan, but justify the price difference with their even cooking and unique visual appeal. Like a cast iron pan, many feel that a pizza stone adds to the flavor and charm of a pizza crust. These stones are perfect for use in creating wood fired pizzas, which are a big trend in modern pizzerias. Some brands seem prone to cracking after a few years of use, though some chefs have happily used the same stone for fifteen or more years.
Though you should never cut anything directly in any cooking pan, after slicing your pizza you can return it to the pizza pan or stone for a simple serving dish. If you prefer something more unique and catchy, you can also find a wide variety of cute pizza serving dishware. You might also find that you prefer to use pizza screens which help prevent charring and are also a great way to serve pizza. No matter how you like your pie, there is the perfect pan out there to help you create your perfect pizza.