Pizza is undoubtedly an important part of a restaurant’s menu. In the U.S. alone, approximately three billion pizzas are sold every year, making it the go-to food for restaurants all around the world. The reason for its popularity is the creativity and flexibility available with toppings.
Your perfect pizza depends upon the right choice of pizza pan since not all pizza pans are equal. Different styles of crust and pizza need different kinds of pizza pan to cook them properly. The material, thickness, and style of your pizza pan affect the outcomes of your pizzas. Therefore, always make the correct choice while buying one for yourself or your restaurant.
Pizza Pan Materials
There are a great variety of materials used for making pizza pans. The material directly affects how your pizza will look.
1. Silicone Glazed Pizza Pan
These pizza pans are remarkable because, in addition to the anodized hard-coating, a glaze is applied to the pan. The silicon helps to cut down the amount of oil needed to coat the pizza pan by 50 percent as it reduces sticking. You do not need to season your silicone glazed pizza pans when using for the first time because of the coating.
2. Anodized Hard-Coated Pizza Pans
Anodized hard-coated pizza pans do not flake since they have corrosion-resistant anodic oxide finish. Because of their dark finish, the expected cook time for pizza decrease with these pizza pans.
3. Uncoated Pizza Pans
Uncoated pizza pans have reflective properties and require the pizza to cook for an extended period. They are lightest in color, and you have to season them before first use.
4. Dark Coated and Light Coated Pizza Pan
Dark coated pizza pans bake your pizza much faster as compared to light coated pizza pans. The reason is that the hard-coated pizza pans absorb heat from the oven, whereas the lighter ones reflect the oven heat; hence, the time increases.
Types of Pizza Pans
There are several unique options available for pizza pans, and each produces a different style of pizza. So, always keep your preference in mind before going to buy a pizza pan.
1. Pizza Stones
If you love the taste of pizzas made in stone ovens, then we have an alternate option for you. The cordierite or ceramic pizza stone will give you a crust texture similar to your stone oven pizza. Pizza stones make the crust crispy as the porous surface of it absorbs extra moistures while baking.
2. Deep Dish Pizza Pans
As compared to regular pizza pans, deep-dish pizza pans are very distinctive as they have high metal sidewalls. They come in both square and round shape. Deep dish pizza pans are available in non-stick, aluminum, and tin-plated stainless steel.
3. Cutter/CAR Pizza Pan
Because of their forging shape, cutter/CAR pizza pans allow the baker to use sheeted or rolled pizza dough for making pizza. Since this pizza pan holds a curved edge shape, it helps lift the edges of the pizza crust. Cutter/CAR pizza pans are appropriate for any commercial oven.
4. Wide Rim Pizza Pans
Just like a coupe or regular pizza pan, the wide rim pizza pans are also used for presentation and service. These pans offer extra room for slicing and handling pizza like a breeze. You can also use aluminum wide rim pizza pans in the oven and serve customers at their tables without using plates.
5. Pizza Screens and Disks
Pizza screens are ideal in a way that they help your pizza bake faster. And to see more significant results, bake your pizza using a pizza screen placed in a conveyor pizza oven. The mesh bottom of the pizza screens transfers the heat to the pizza dough and gives you a crispier crust that you can only get with a pizza screen. It produces a perfect thin crust pizza.
6. Regular (Coupe) Pizza Pan
Most coupe (regular) pizza pans are made of hard-coated anodized aluminum or standard aluminum for extra durability. The material makes the coupe pizza pans ideal to use in a commercial oven. Regular pizza pans are versatile and allow the pizza makers to slice, bake, and serve the pizza on the same pizza pan. They are also easy, durable, and effortless to use.
7. Cast Iron Pizza Pans
The cast iron pizza pans are versatile, and you can use them in the oven, on the grill, on the stovetop, and under the broiler. These pizza pans have a raised edge, which gives structure to the pizza crusts’ edges. Although cast iron pizza pans are heavy, they make an excellent and sturdy choice to bake pizza.
Pizza Pans Surface Styles
Pizza pans not only have different types to consider; they have multiple styles as well. Each style handles heat distribution and airflow differently and alters the finished product of the pizza as well. So, before making any purchase, it is crucial to understand the purpose of each pizza pan style.
1. Perforated Style
The pizza pan’s perforated style has holes and allows the transfer of direct heat to the crust. This results in a crispier crust and also a shorter baking duration.
2. Nibbed Style
The raised bumps of nibbed pizza pans allow preferable airflow underneath the crust of your pizza. They do not allow direct contact with the pizza, and this is what differs them from perforated pizza pans. Compared to traditional pizza pans, nibbed pizza pans have decreased baking time.
3. Solid Style
Solid pizza pan does not feature nibs or holes and is the most common type. Since it does not have holes, the heat takes time to transfer and results in a doughy crust and longer baking time.
4. Super Perforated Style
Super perforated pizza pans have holes, just like the perforated pizza pans. But they have bigger ones as compared to the perforated pans. Therefore, the super perforated style allows even crispier crust and shorter baking time than the regular one.
Seasoning Pizza Pans
It is crucial to know how and why to season your pizza pan to keep them in a good quality condition. Regular seasoning will not only make your pizza taste better, but it will extend the lifespan of your pizza pans as well.
Caring and Cleaning Tips for Pizza Pans
If you are using a pizza stone to make pizzas, you won’t have to season it; instead, spread some cornmeal across the top of your pizza stone – it will save pizza from sticking.
Since pizza stones are quite absorbent and release the moisture they have been holding while baking, you should not use soap to wash them. The use of soap while cleaning them will give your pizza a soapy taste when you bake it the next time. Instead, use a dough scraper or a metal grill brush to remove any burnt bits of pizza dough or cheese off the pizza stone.
Always wash your metal pizza pan by hand with an aluminum-specific detergent and a soft sponge after every use. When cleaning your pizza pans, avoid caustic cleaners, dishwasher, acidic detergent, and a coarse sponge.
Pizza Pan: An Ideal Choice of Pizza Bakers
To have a perfect pizza every time, you need to have the right pizza pan. Depending on your preference, there is a wide range of types and styles of pizza pan to opt for, so choose wisely. You need to know the basics, and it will help you in the long term. And yes, do not forget to season your pizza pans to keep them in a better condition.