You might have been baking pizzas for a long time, but if you think you haven’t excelled in the art of pizza-making yet, then you might not have the finest quality pizza pan. There are many features that expert chefs consider before choosing a pizza pan. The surface, thickness, and material – everything matters a lot when buying the best pizza pan.
The right bakeware is essential for baking mouthwatering pizzas. If you mostly buy from amazon, you must have read the reviews for different products before purchasing, which can sometimes be misleading. While cooking, your preferences might be different than the one who gave five stars to the product – what worked for him might not be the best option for you. When you search for the best pizza pans, the long list of results can be overwhelming.
Various brands claiming to offer extremely durable and excellent quality products will leave you more confused. Therefore, it’s better to know about the different types of pizza pans and search for more specific products. With this guide on choosing the best pizza pan, you will make a better decision on getting easy to maintain and long-lasting pizza pans that give you perfect golden crispy crust.
1. Non-Stick Pans
You must have heard the term non-stick many times – everyone prefers using a non-stick pan for baking and frying. The question is, why is it even important to get a non-stick pan? The answer is pretty simple: you want the pizza to slide off easily on the pan, making cleaning easy.
Though you may love the cheesiest pizzas, just the thought of washing all that cheese dropped on the pan while baking may stop you from loading it with cheese. That’s exactly why you need a non-stick pan to scrub off the melted cheese easily from the pan. This is an essential feature that makes a pizza pan good enough to be a part of your kitchenware collection.
2. Perforated Style Pizza Pans
A perforated style pizza pan is the best choice for someone who likes their crust crispy golden. You must have seen those pans with holes on the surface, allowing the heat to directly hit the crust. It saves baking time and gives you a golden-brown crust.
Choosing the right surface is important when deciding which pan to buy because it determines heat distribution. Super-perforated pans are also available on the market, similar to perforated pans, but with bigger holes.
While solid pans are more commonly used with no holes or nibs on the surface, they usually take longer to bake a pizza. The crust is a bit doughy when the pizza is baked using solid surfaced pans. However, if you like your pizza with a crispy crust, you can invest in a solid pan.
Nibbed pans with raised bumps allow better airflow underneath the pizza crust. These types of pans are also useful for getting the perfect golden crust in less time.
Cast Iron vs. Stainless Steel?
We discussed how important the pan’s surface is in baking a pizza and getting the perfect crust – now let’s talk about the pan’s material. It is a bit tricky to say which one of the two is better, as each has its benefits.
Cast iron pans are very durable but require high maintenance. You may get pre-seasoned pans and still need to wash them properly to maintain that seasoning with oil. On the other hand, the stainless steel pan is a low maintenance option but can burn your pizza if not heated adequately. If you are making a pizza in the home for the first time, consider getting a cast iron pan.
You can go for pizza pans that come with side handles. They make it easier for you to lift the pan. Large handles are good for better control of the pan while putting it in the oven and taking it out. With a safe, secure grip, transportation of the pan becomes easier, avoiding any accidents. Some pans have detachable handles that you can fit when required.
Seasoning the Pan
If you own a pizza pan that you bought after a lot of research, and it still doesn’t give you the expected results, then the possibility is it’s not seasoned well. It is important to season your pans regularly to keep them in pristine condition. Before placing your pizza on the pan, don’t forget to hand-wash it in warm soapy water.
Dry the pan and then place it in a pre-heated oven to warm up. Once it is heated, you can remove it from the oven to cover both sides with a thin layer of oil. After oiling the pan, place it again in the oven and bake for 15mins. You can then take out the pan and wipe away excess oil with a clean cloth.
After seasoning your pan, you don’t need to wash it as the oiled surface is essential for preventing the crust from sticking on the pan. This may seem like a time-consuming process, but it will give you flavorsome pizzas every time you bake. Usually, pans come with seasoning instructions and following them step by step is the best bet.
Cleaning it up
While seasoning of the pan is an important factor in deciding which one to buy, don’t ignore the fact that cleaning can be tiresome. Though many pizza pan brands claim to be dishwasher safe, it is always recommended to hand-wash the pan with warm, soapy water. Some pans are difficult to clean, especially scrubbing off the melted cheese stuck on them.
Aluminum specific detergents are recommended for washing the pan than acidic cleaning agents. These detergents can be harmful to the pans and may shorten their lifespan. Using a soft sponge is suggested to avoid getting any scratch marks on the pan.
Baking a pizza is not as difficult as it seems to be – all you need is a perfect recipe and, of course, the right pan. Many brands claim to offer the most durable product that will give you brilliant results; you should keep in mind other featuresbefore buying the pan, including material and maintenance that make a tasteful pizza