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Every day, Americans eat 100 acres of pizza at a rate of 350 slices per second. Yes, that’s a lot of cheese and pepperoni, in case you’re keeping track!
One of the secrets to delicious pizza is the right kind of pan. Whether you’re reheating extra slices from the pizzeria, preparing a store-bought pie or creating your own homemade concoction, the right pan can make all the difference.
With the right pizza pan you can eliminate soggy, limp crusts and instead enjoy ones that are lightly touched with those heavenly char marks that tickle the tastebuds.
To help you find the perfect pizza pan for your needs, we scoured the market to find your very best options.
We’re proud to endorse the five pizza pans in our product matrix above. They meet all the requirements to produce not just great pizzas, but also amazing roasted vegetables!
Selecting the right pizza pan is crucial whether you’re an artisan baker creating pizza masterpieces from scratch, an on-the-go person who wants to prepare your favorite frozen pie, or someone who wants to reheat leftovers.
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We buy the products we test, consult experts, and pore over customer feedback in order to present you the most accurate picture of what’s available.
If you’d like to learn more about what constitutes a great pizza pan, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Once you’ve found the right product for your needs, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, toss your dough, and add your favorite toppings for the perfectly baked pizza pie.
On the surface, it might seem like selecting the right pizza pan would be easy. After all, what could be complicated about making a simple pizza?
But like any important part of your kitchen, a good pizza pan can do more than its primary task. For example, it might occasionally take on the role of a stovetop griddle or vegetable roaster.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a pizza pan:
To roast veggies on your pizza pan, toss them in oil and arrange them in a single layer. Bake at 450°F until the veggies are golden brown.
What are pizza pans made of? Two of the most common options on today’s market are cast iron and stainless steel. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each material —
The pan will impart a deeper, richer flavor than stainless steel.
Cast iron cookware requires more care, including “seasoning” of the surface.
Cast iron is more difficult to clean than other choices.
Fans of cast iron often live and die by their cast iron cookware, using nothing else. A great cast iron option on our shortlist is Lodge’s Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan.
Never season a cast iron pizza pan with olive oil; the smoke point of this type of oil is too low. Vegetable and canola oil are great alternatives.
These pans are easier to use than cast iron and nonstick pans.
Pizza burns more easily in a stainless steel pan.
Experienced cooks might have no problem with a stainless steel pizza pan, but “newbies” may wish to use a different material to avoid burning the crust.
The Chicago Metallic pan in our matrix is a deep dish pan with a nonstick coating. Owners rave about their results with this pan, including the ability to create Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
Pans can either come vented or not. A vented pizza pan like the AirBake Nonstick Pizza Pan has holes in the bottom that allow heat to flow under the pizza through the openings for a crispier crust.
A vented pan, also known as a perforated pan, will cook a thin crust pizza much faster that one without vents. If you’re making a thick crust recipe, a vented pan will help you avoid a soggy crust.
For home cooks, a pizza pan with edges can accommodate a deeper crust. This type of pan is especially fun if you want to try your hand at a stuffed-crust pie. We like the California Home Goods Cast Iron Pizza Pan for its fluted edges.
A nonstick pan like the Wilton Perfect Results Nonstick Pizza Crisper is easy to clean up, but it has its downsides, too. Food cooked in a nonstick pan is more difficult to brown, and at extremely high temperatures, some people worry that the chemicals in the coating could have an ill effect on the food.
Some brave souls have been known to drill their own holes in the bottom of a cast iron pan. The holes allow heat to flow underneath the pizza crust. If you’re not interested in doing this, consider a vented pizza pan like the AirBake Nonstick Pizza Pan.
If you’re interested in baking or reheating pizza at home, you may find yourself choosing between a pizza pan and a pizza stone. We already know that the former is a pan made of cast iron, stainless steel, or a similar material which may be vented for enhanced heat circulation. But what, exactly, is a pizza stone?
A pizza stone is a flat cooking surface generally made of stone or ceramic which can tolerate high heat and is primarily used for baking. For pizzas, it replicates the bottom surface of a commercial pizza oven. Because of its heat-conductive nature, it does a great job browning the crust. Depending on size, a pizza stone can run for as little at $10 or as much as $100.
Even though a pizza stone alone works well in high heat, many cooks prefer to use a pizza pan. Here’s a look at a few reasons why you might choose a pan over a stone:
Pan pizza dough assumes a specific molded shape. Stone pizza does not always look as uniform or aesthetically pleasing as pan pizza.
A pizza stone must be preheated before you can use it.
How will you make your dough? Different recipes call for different methods. You could make your pizza dough in a food processor, a bread machine, or with a stand mixer. Some people prefer to make their dough completely by hand.
Pizza pan care falls into two basic categories: cast iron and everything else.
For most non-cast iron pans, the directions will indicate whether the material is dishwasher safe. Optimal care for stainless steel includes washing the pan in hot soapy water and drying with a towel before the first use. After the pizza is made, the pan must again be soaked in hot soapy water and towel-dried.
Cast iron requires special handling. According to Lodge, a leading manufacturer of cast iron cookware, you must hand-wash your pan and dry it immediately — even before its first use. After every wash, the pan must be rubbed with a light coating of vegetable oil to keep the iron “seasoned.”
Some nonstick pizza pans are dishwasher safe; others are not. Check your product’s user manual before placing it in the dishwasher.
There is a lot to choose from at this low price point. Your best bet in this range is the Wilton Perfect Results Nonstick Pizza Crisper, which gets high marks for its ability to make a golden crust. We also like the AYAMAYA Nonstick Carbon Steel Round Pizza Pan, which is made of carbon steel and suitable for a 10-inch pie, and the Thunder Group 14-Inch Wide Rim Pizza Tray for even larger pies.
Issues with food sticking to the surface and cleaning difficulty are common in this “Under $10” price range.
Going up in both price and quality, the Chicago Metallic pan on our list allows home cooks to replicate Chicago’s famous deep dish pie. Users are extremely pleased with its ability to handle high heat. In fact, many use the pan to cook pizza on their outdoor grills.
While Lodge makes large professional cast iron pizza pans that exceed $100, the 14-inch Lodge P14P3 Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan clocks in at under $50. Other cast iron brands hit the sweet spot around $30.
Notably, the hybrid pizza stone/pan Patina Premium 15" Solid Cast Iron Pizza Stone takes the price up to around $60.
Making homemade dough isn’t as hard as people think. The most labor-intensive part is the kneading. For best results, knead for 15 minutes.
Q: Why do the pros “toss” pizza crust in the air? Is it just for show?
A: It’s not just for show, although it admittedly looks pretty cool. Pizza chefs toss their dough into the air in order to stretch it with minimal hand pressure and tearing.
Q: How much frozen pizza is sold each year?
A: Consumers spend about $4.4 billion on frozen pizza each year, with DiGiorno leading with annual sales of $1.2 billion.
Q: What is the number-one pizza topping?
A: Pepperoni is tops with 36% of Americans, followed by sausage at 14%. Only 8% prefer their pizza with just cheese.
Q: What are some of the most unique pizza toppings?
A: The sky's the limit when making your own pizza, but some people get more crazy with their toppings than others. Veggie lovers may wish to try cauliflower or broccoli on their pizza. Seafood fans may wish to try fried calamari or shrimp. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you may wish to experiment with eggs, corn, or sauerkraut.
Q:What was the first pizzeria in the U.S.?
A: Lombardi's in lower Manhattan opened in 1905 and has been acknowledged by the Pizza Hall of Fame as the first pizzeria in the states.