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Pizza – utter this word and probably everyone will imagine a crust loaded with some of their favorite toppings and fully loaded with melting cheese. The crust now differs from person to person – few people would like it thin and more of toppings while the others would prefer the pan crust and not to forget the one yummy pizza filled with cheese. However, most of the times we either see people stepping out from the comfort of their houses to grab a pizza or place an online order. Not many people are keen on eating a home-made pizza; since it tends to be so different from your restaurant-style. So what is so special about their pizzas? What can we do to get the same quality in the comfort of your home? All that you need to do is to try and experiment with the topping, pizza base and get the flavors right. However, what about the crust? How do the restaurants and all the pizza places manage to get the crust right and also in so many varieties? Is it the burning pizza oven that they have or is it something else?
Well, it’s nothing to do with the oven! Your normal convection oven would work just fine for this. However, what finally does matter is the pan that you use. Pan? Yes, the pan makes all the difference in the crust or the base of the pizza. Sometimes, look carefully and you will see that every time you order pizza at a pizza place, depending on the crust that you have ordered the pan containing the pizza changes. So there is your answer – the pizza pan. Now let’s understand which pans are the best and why are they considered the best?
Pizza Pan Review Center 2019
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#1 – Lodge P14P3 Seasoned Cast Iron Baking and Pizza Pan, 14 Inch
When it comes to cast-iron pizza pans, the first thing that we need to remember is that though their heat retention is unparalleled, they have to be seasoned before they can be used. This particular cast iron pan is already pre-seasoned with oil for a natural and easy-release finish that instead of diminishing, improves with use. Not only can this pizza pan be used for baking pizzas, you can also use it for baking goodies or even roasted vegetables that either needs to be seared, baked, broiled, fried or grilled. It also has side loop handles make it easy to carry and transport. This is one pan that can, not only be used in the oven but also on the stove, over the grill or over the campfire and its ideal for even induction cook tops. Additionally, the large cooking or baking area of 14-inches makes it ideal for cooking of any sort.
Maintaining this pan is also relatively simple. You just need to hand wash it, dry and rub cooking oil over it to preserve the seasoning. Due to the material, the heat is evenly spread out across the pan creating a perfect uniform crust and the best pizza ever. Due to the design of the pan, there are no restrictions to the technique of pizza making that can be used. The simplest thing that you can do it slap the dough on the cold surface of the pan, top it and bake. The result is a soft pizza with a crispy crust. The only thing that’s not possible with this pan is a deep dish; since the pan is flatter and without edges.
What we like about it
Firstly, the pan is made of cast-iron and pre-seasoned which makes it ideal for making pizzas and roasted vegetables. The 14-inch size ensures that it fits into the oven as well as makes large pizzas with a thin crispy crust. Also, having the handles to carry around makes the transportation easy and adds to this the functionality of using it anywhere along with making anything on it that requires a flat surface and finally with an easy clean-up option.
#2 – T-fal AirBake Nonstick Pizza Pan
This is a non-stick pizza pan from T-fal made of 2 sheets of aluminum with perforations. The perforations ensure that there are enough airflow and the pan heats evenly and the pizza is cooked and browned perfectly. Further, the pan uses a MicroDome technology which reduces the cooking time by 15% over traditional pans that are used. The design of the pan is such that the bottom layer sheet blocks the direct oven heat while an insulation layer in the middle acts as an insulator and prevents the top sheet from overheating. The size of the pan is about 12.75 inches and is grey in color. Since this is made of aluminum it doesn’t rust easily and also the non-stick coating ensures that the pan can be cleaned and maintained without any additional efforts.
It’s also great for cooking or defrosting frozen pizzas when you don’t feel like cooking. Even with the frozen pizza, the crust forms perfectly on the pizza. However, one thing that you need to be careful about is that since this is a non-stick pan, you need to avoid using anything sharp like traditional knives or a metal pizza cutter as this would damage the coating on the handset. All in all, this is a great pan and definitely a value for money for a product in this range. There are a few things that you need to be careful of while using the pan so that the coating doesn’t get damaged and the life of the pan increases.
What we like about it
The design of the pan ensures that the pizzas brown perfectly and form the ideal crust. The best feature of the pan is the fact that it can cook even frozen pizzas as perfectly as the normal dough pizzas. The size of the pan is perfect and fits in everywhere. Due to the non-stick coating or technology, there is less or almost no grease supporting healthy cooking. Simple soapy water dish towel cleaning and let it air dry in your dish drying rack, making cleaning an effortless experience.
#3 – Chicago Metallic 16124 Professional Non-Stick Deep Dish Pizza Pan,14.25-Inch
Crazy about deep dish and stuffed crust pizzas then the Chicago Metallic 16124 Professional Non-Stick Deep Dish Pizza Pan is what you need. Not only the deep dish or the stuffed crust pizza, even the thin crust “St. Louis” style can be easily prepared in this dish with complete perfection. This pan has been designed for strength and durability. It is made from heavy-duty carbon steel with a non-stick design making it easy for both baking and cleaning. The craftsmanship on the product is brilliant and is dishwasher safe. However, since the pan has non-stick coating hand washing is preferred so that the life of the product can be increased.
The Chicago Metallic Professional line is known for its durable, non-stick line and they are designed such that the pan bakes each recipe to excellence and additionally making cleaning effortless along with a lifetime warranty on the product. One thing to remember is that there is a non-stick coating on the pan which means that you need to refrain from using any sharp objects in the pan, like traditional knives or pizza cutters; since this would damage the coating in the pan. The other thing that you also need to make a note of is that heating it beyond 480 F is not advisable since the non-stick coating would start losing its property. However, the pan is designed in such a way that such high temperatures are not needed for cooking this pan. Even at medium temperatures, any type of pizza crust is cooked perfectly in this pan.
What we like about it
A pan capable of doing both deep dish and thin-crusted pizzas is just the right combination. Additional being sturdy and non-stick just adds on to the list of features that the pan has. This pan definitely gets thumbs up from pizza makers; being low maintenance and dishwasher safe covers all the possible features that one might want in a pizza pan. The only thing you probably need to worry about is not using sharp objects so that you don’t damage the coating.
#4 – California Home Goods 14-inch Cast Iron Pizza Pan
There are some companies that just set a new standard when it comes to preparing the right equipment for the right use. That is exactly what the California goods company does when it created this pan that is used by professional gourmet chefs also. The pan heats up quickly and evenly and retains the heat; thus ensuring that you have the perfect golden crust on your pizza. Made of cast-iron, this pan comes pre-seasoned and ready to start baking your favorite pizza. Use it on the gas cooktop or in the oven, this big griddle pan can be used anywhere, each time giving you the perfect cooking and texture on whatever you cook.
And not just your pizza, this cast-iron griddle pan is versatile and you can use it for grilling, frying and broiling anything from vegetables to meats. Side loop handles make it easy to transport from one place to another. Once you have finished using the pan, all you need to do is take hot water and rinse it and the pan is ready to be used again. This 14-inch pan is a complete cookware set in it, allowing you to cook everything from crepes to pancakes to tortillas to barbeque vegetables and meats. And the final icing on the cake is the lifetime guarantee on the product.
What we like about it
Everything about this pan is perfect right from the size to the material used to design. This cast-iron pan is all set to complete your kitchen cookware collection and completing it in every way. This pan can do everything for you right from baking pizzas to broiling and frying meats or vegetables. You name it and you would be using this pan for everything that you need to cook or bake. Last but not the least; a lifetime guarantee shows that the company stands behind the product at all times.
#5 – Cuisinart AMB-14PP Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch Pizza Pan
The final one on the list is the Cuisinart AMB-14PP Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bake ware 14-Inch Pizza Pan. Silver in colour, this pan comes with a perforated surface to allow the heat to follow evenly; leaving an evenly toasted crust, on your pizza, at the end along with the right amount of crispiness. For sturdiness, the pan is built using heavy gauge aluminum; which also additionally supports even heating on the pan. Both the interior and the exterior of the pan are coated with non-stick technology so that the food doesn’t stick to the pan and when done, you can clean the pan easily all over. Additionally, this comes up with thick rolled edges which helps prevent warping.
Put the pan in the dishwasher and no more worries about cleaning it. So finally be store bought pizzas or make the complete pizza at home; this pan is ready for anything. To ensure that you don’t damage the non-stick coating, avoid using sharp objects like traditional knives and pizza cutters on the pan.
What we like about it
The aluminum base 14-inch pizza pan with its rolled edges is perfect for home cooked pizzas or even store-bought pizzas. The non-stick technology on the inside and the outside makes it easier to clean even if you don’t have a dishwasher at home. The pan comes with a limited lifetime warranty, though the company makes the best equipment keeping in mind today’s cooks. This is the best in its range and definitely worth the money that you spend on this.
How do we Choose the Top Pizza Pan in our List?
At the end of the day, the type of pizza pan you choose is based on the type of crust that you prefer. Here’s a list of the features of the pizza pans that could work in your favor to help you make the right selection –
Cast iron vs. stainless steel
Using a stainless steel, only ensures that it is easier to maintain. However, if you are just getting into pizza-making, stainless steel wouldn’t be the best choice, since the pizza burns more easily in a stainless steel pan. The cast iron one is quite popular since it imparts a great flavor to the pizza. However, this one requires more care and also more tedious to clean. Additionally, the surface needs to be seasoned well before setting the pizza in.
Vents vs. no vents
A vented or a perforated pizza pan as the name suggests – has holes in the bottom of the pan so that the heat can follow under the pizza resulting into a crispier crust.
If you want a deeper crust or stuffed-crust, this is the right thing to look for in a pizza pan.
Non-stick coating throughout is an attractive option while having the pizza pan cleaned; however, there are more downsides to this – the crust is difficult to brown and at high temperatures, you have to worry about the chemicals in the coating contaminating the food.
Pizza pan vs. pizza stone
So far, we have mostly discussed the different types of pizza pans. There is something called as a “pizza stone”. Like the name suggests, the pizza stone is a flat surface, made of stone or ceramic, used for cooking pizzas. So, what makes the pizza stone so special? The pizza stone is meant to replicate the bottom of a commercial oven. Since the heat conducting very well through the stone, the output is a perfect browned crust. The main downside of using a stone is that the pizza cannot be molded, like that in a pan. Hence it can look much uninformed. Also, the pizza stone needs to be preheated before it can be used.
Different Types of Pizza Pan
Baking the right kind of pizza has a lot to do with the type of pizza pan that has been chosen. It’s very important to understand that each type of pizza pan produces a different type of pizza crust. This applies to commercial as well as at home cooking of pizza.
Coupe Pizza Pan/ Pizza Tray
Coupe Pizza Pan/ Pizza Tray is one of the most traditional types of pizza pans that are commonly seen on the kitchen shelves. The design of the pan is such that the smooth flat base makes it best for direct from oven to table service and to add to this, the slightly raised edges make it easier to grab a slice. This type of pizza pan is mainly used for a slower bake time to produce a soft and doughier kind of a crust. The design of the pan allows the pizza to be constructed in the pan itself.
For Example, you can try the 10″ Heavy Weight Aluminum Coupe Style Pizza Pan or the 14″ Hard Coated Aluminum Tapered Pizza Pan
Perforated Pizza Pans
People often want to know why the pizza pan needs to have holes or perforations. The holes in the pizza pan promote the flow of air and prevent the pizza from getting soggy, as the holes allow the moisture to escape while resting and ensuring that it doesn’t get absorbed back into the crust. Also the perforated pans help cook the pizza more evenly leaving a crispy, brown crust. Depending on the size of the holes or perforations, you can predict the exact airflow and create the right kind of pie. For Example, 19″ Hard Coated Aluminum Perforated Pizza Pan or 10″ Wide Rim Aluminum Heavy-Weight Pizza Pan.
Pizza Pans with Nibs
Similar, to perforated pans, we have pans with nibs or raised bumps along the base of the pizza pan. These work in a similar way to the perforations and allow more room for the airflow and ensure that the moisture doesn’t get absorbed back in the pizza. Instead in this type of pizza pan, the excess grease and the moisture will stay in the pan rather than be absorbed back into the crust. For Example; a 10″ Pizza Pan with Nibs or 9″ Hard Coated Aluminum Perforated Pizza Pan
Pizza screens, also known as pizza disks, are mainly used to cook thin crust pizzas and these are the best type of pizza pans for producing crispy crusts. The base of the pizza pan has a more mesh-like construction ensuring the pizza cooks faster; hence it becomes an ideal choice for use on conveyor pizza ovens. Also this type of pan prevents the crust from getting soggy while resting. Since the moisture in the pizza has a place to escape, some pizzerias use the pizza screens as a cooling rack from their fresh-from-the-oven pies. For example, 18″ Aluminum Mega Pizza Screen or 12″ Heavy Duty Pizza Screen.
Deep Dish Pizza Pans
As the name suggests, when you are looking for the authentic deep dish pizza, this is the type of pan that you need to look out for. The tall sides allow you to stuff all of the dough and all the possible toppings that you want to add to create that memorable pizza. You can either select one in the coupe style or the perforated one, depending on the type of crust that you are looking for. For example; 18″ Hard Coated Aluminum Football Shaped Pizza Pan or the 7″ Hard Coated Aluminum Perforated Deep Dish Pizza Pan.
Why do you need the best Pizza Pan in your Kitchen?
Finally, the reason we all love restaurant-style pizzas is the crust. Hence, the crust of your home-made pizza needs to be fantastic. With the best pizza pan you can, not only enhance your culinary skills but also work on baking the perfect crust. Change the type of the pan and your options are limitless, then where it’s then doing a thin crust or a deep dish. It’s important to understand and remember that the while cooking the pizza there are high amounts of heat required, which is difficult to achieve in our home ovens. Making use of the best pizza pan for home, you can counter this problem. Further, the pan also helps in case there is slow cooking required for a crispy and brown crust. A metal pizza pan also is easier to buy even at low costs and easier to maintain. Whatever, amount of money you finally invest, remember, that it’s important that you get the value for your money. The pizza pan should cover the features and points that you intend to use it for. It shouldn’t happen that you buy the pan and it doesn’t serve the purpose and becomes more of an unused utensil in your kitchen.
The best pizza pans reviews have been provided on the top to help you limit your search if possible and choose the right best pizza pan for ovens to be used at your home.
If you’re looking for more cookware products, we suggest looking at these helpful guides:
- All-Clad Cookware
- Calphalon Cookware Set
- Copper Chef Set
- Double Boiler Pot
- Gotham Steel Pans
- Le Creuset Cookware
- Non-Stick Cookware Set
- Red Copper Pans
- Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- T-Fal Cookware Set