Whether you are making pizza in your restaurant or pizzeria, understanding the best pizza pan for your application will help you create a perfect pie every time! Read on to discover the different types of pizza pans, pan features that can make a big difference in the type of pizza you create, and even how to care for your pans!
Pizza Pan Types
Pizza pans are available in many different types, including regular (coupe) pizza pans, deep dish pizza pans, pizza CAR pans, wide rim pizza pans, pizza stones, oven ready disposable pizza pans, cast iron pizza pans, and pizza screens or disks. Each type of pizza baking pan produces different types of pizza crust and can be used not only in a commercial pizza oven, but in a variety of other range options.
These are great for both baking and serving a number of types of pizza, which makes them ideal for fast-paced restaurants and pizzerias. Our coupe pizza pans are made out of aluminum or hard coat anodized aluminum for extra durability.
Designed for baking pan pizzas and Chicago-style pizzas, a deep dish pizza pan has much higher sides than a regular pizza pan. They are available in aluminum, non-stick, and tin-plated stainless steel designs. Aluminum deep dish pizza pans are very durable, and bake just like regular pizza pans. Tin-plated stainless steel pans are also very durable, but may require additional care. They will darken with use and may need to be re-seasoned periodically. They cannot be refrigerated, soaked in water, or left in damp environments.
With their mesh-like construction, a pizza screen helps your pizzas bake faster. Because the heat can easily transfer through the pan's mesh bottom directly to the pizza crust, pizza screens give you a crispier crust. Pizza screens are most popular for use in conveyor pizza ovens. We would suggest transferring your pizzas to a pizza serving tray or directly to a pizza box after baking on a screen. These screens are also ideal for restaurants serving pizza by the slice because their mesh bottom allows air to flow freely to the crust after being baked, preventing it from getting soggy before it is served to customers.
Great for residential and specialty restaurant use, a pizza stone is another way to bake a delicious pizza! If you do not have a pizza oven in your kitchen, they can be used to bake pizza in a standard oven. Pizza stones are generally much thicker than pizza pans and screens and are made from either an unglazed earth stone or terra cotta. Because they hold heat so well, they are great for producing a deliciously crispy crust. Remember, even the best pizza stone needs to be preheated in the oven before baking your pizza. Otherwise the high temperatures can cause the stone to crack.
Cast iron pizza pans are versatile. They can go on the grill, in the oven, under the broiler, or even on the stovetop. The lip on the pan provides structure for the edges of your crust, and most come pre-seasoned. Cast iron produces stone-like qualities in a pizza crust – crisp edges, and some charring – without the difficulties that come with pizza stone care. Cast iron’s biggest drawback is its lack of thermal conductivity. It tends to get hotter in certain areas, while staying cooler in others while heating. This is most evident on a stovetop. Preheating your cast iron pizza pan before use will ensure that it is evenly heated through, and your pizza will come out properly cooked.
With a sharp top edge, you can place rolled or sheeted pizza dough over the top of a pizza CAR pan, and then use a rolling pin or pie roller to cut off the excess dough. They are available with all of the same features as many of our other pizza pans, including nibs and perforations.
Disposable pizza pans come in aluminum foil pizza pans, plastic pizza pans, and corrugated paperboard pizza pans. These types of disposable pizza pans are great for promoting pizza-to-go and are able to be used during prep, cooking, and most importantly, as a recyclable product during disposal. These pans are an inexpensive way to add variety to your takeout possibilities.
Pizza Pan Textures
Heat takes longer to transfer through solid pizza pans, which slightly slows down baking. This slower baking time results in a softer doughy crust. Solid pans are most often used for service and presentation.
Nibs are small bumps on the bottom of the pizza pan that allow hot air to flow between the pan and the crust while baking. This air flow helps speed up baking and makes your crust crispier than a solid pan. Pans with nibs are also great for oven to table service, as the nibs raise the pizza out of the grease to prevent soggy crust.
Perforations are small holes on the bottom of the pizza pan that allow heat to hit the pizza crust directly while baking. Perforations also speed up baking time and result in a crispy crust that will not get soggy after baking.
Super perforated pans have even more holes on the bottom of the pizza pan that allow more heat to hit the pizza crust directly. This results in an even faster baking time and crispier crust. Like regular perforated pizza pans, this helps prevent the crust from getting soggy before it is served to your customers.
Pizza Pan Coating
Pizza pan coatings and seasonings help extend the life of your pan, while also making them much easier to clean and maintain. The basic options between pizza pan colors are light and dark.
Anodized Hard Coated Pizza Pans
This coating is the darkest, and will not flake off. These pans must be seasoned prior to use.
Silicone Glazed Pizza Pans
Silicone glaze is applied in addition to anodized hard coatings, so it does not determine pan color or heat transfer. Silicone is considered a preseasoned coating, so you won't need to season the pans before using them. This coating reduces pizza pan oil usage up to 50%, is PFOA and PTFE free, and helps reduce staining. As an added benefit, silicone is food grade and FDA approved to use specifically on bakeware.
Uncoated Pizza Pans
Uncoated pans are the lightest in color, and do not have any seasoning, so they must be seasoned before use.
Pizza Pan Seasoning and Care
Proper care of your pizza pans will make baking pizzas much easier and will extend the useful life of the pan. Here are some care tips for different types of pizza pan material:
Caring for Hard Coated Pizza Pans
Before using the pan for the first time, hand wash it in warm, soapy water and pat it dry immediately. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and let it finish drying. Remove from the oven and coat the inside and out with shortening. Place in the preheated oven again, with a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any grease drips. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and wipe off excess oil. Do not wash the pan – the extra oil left on the surface will help prevent your crust from sticking.
After using the pan, hand wash it with a soft sponge and aluminum specific detergent. Dry the pan immediately after washing. Using a dishwasher, coarse sponges, caustic cleaners, or acidic detergents will scratch or damage your pan. Re-season your pan from time to time to prolong its life and ensure the best performance.
Caring for Silicone Glazed Pizza Pans
For best results, apply a pan lubricant to your pizza pan prior to each use. After you've finished baking a pizza, wipe the pan clean with a wet towel while still hot to kick start the cleaning process. Once the pan is cool, thoroughly hand wash it with warm, soapy water. Do not use abrasive cleaners, acidic detergents, alkaline detergents, or dishwashers. Towel dry the pizza pan, and then allow it to air dry for several hours before nesting it away with other pans.
Caring for Tin Plated Pizza Pans
Tin plated pizza pans should be seasoned before use. To season the pan, first hand wash it in warm, soapy water and pat it dry immediately. Gently wipe oil on the inside and outside surfaces of the pan and bake it at regular pizza cooking temperatures until the pan is golden or dark brown. This process may need to be done up to 3 times before the pan is fully seasoned.
After use, hand wash the pan in warm water with a soft sponge and dry it immediately. Exposure to a dishwasher, coarse sponges, caustic cleaners, or acidic detergents will damage your pan. If the pan is refrigerated, soaked in water, or left unseasoned in damp environments, it will rust. Tin plated pans may have to be re-seasoned occasionally.
Caring for Pizza Screens
Before using your pizza screen for the first time, wipe oil on the surface and allow to soak for 30 minutes. Then bake the screen at regular cooking times and temperatures. After the screen has been baked, wipe off the excess oil. Seasoning your pizza screens like this helps to ensure that your pizzas will not stick. To wash aluminum pizza screens, it is recommended that you use a mild detergent and then pat dry before storing.
Caring for Pizza Stones
Before baking a pizza, place the pizza stone in the cold oven and allow the stone to preheat with the oven. This will prevent your stone from cracking. To prevent your crust from sticking, cornmeal can be spread across the top of the stone before baking.
Pizza stones are very absorbent, and will release whatever they are holding while they are being baked. Therefore, washing your stone with soap or water will give your future pizzas a soapy taste or may cause the pan to crack as the absorbed water expands within the pan in the oven. To remove any cheese or dough stuck on the top of your stone, use a metal grill brush or dough scraper. You can also put the stone back in the oven to burn the cheese or dough, making it easier to scrape off.
Caring for Uncoated Pizza Pans
Before use, wash the pan with hot, soapy water. Do not use scouring pads, steel wool or abrasive cleaners. Some uncoated pizza pans are dishwasher safe, but handwashing is recommended. Check with the manufacturer before putting the pan in the dishwasher.