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Different Types of Pizza Pans

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. Understanding the different types of pizza pans, what kind of crust they produce, and what kind of maintenance they require will help you determine which pizza pan is best for your business!

Different Types of Pizza Pans and the Crusts they Create

Each type of pizza pan produces different types of pizza crust and can be used not only in a commercial pizza oven, but in a variety of other ovens, as well. The first step in choosing a pizza pan is to consider the oven you’re working with and narrow the list down to the pans that are compatible with your equipment. Once you’ve narrowed the list, think about what kind of crust you’re aiming to achieve.

From 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, every type of pizza pan contributes to a crust quality that’s distinct and advantageous in its own way. This guide will help you find the best pizza pan whether your customers love a crispy, thin crust, or a soft, doughy crust.

Regular (Coupe) Pizza Pans

American Metalcraft HATP28 28 inch Heavy Weight Aluminum Wide Rim Pizza Pan

Our coupe pizza pans are made out of aluminum or hard coat anodized aluminum for extra durability and can be used in any commercial oven.

Pros
Cons
Bake, slice, and serve in the same pan, cutting down on steps and saving time
Simple, durable, and easy to clean
Through repeated use, aluminum may soften and grow thin if scoured

Pizza Style and Crust Type
These are the pans you’d use to make New York style pizza with a crust that’s soft, thin, and easily folded to eat on the go.

Deep Dish Pizza Pans

American Metalcraft 3814 14 inch x 3 inch Aluminum Round Cake Pan

Deep dish pizza pans are available in aluminum, non-stick, and tin-plated stainless steel designs which are all suitable for use in commercial ovens.

Pros
Cons
Aluminum deep dish pizza pans are very durable
Can be used just like coupe pizza pans
Tin-plated stainless steel pans are also very durable, but may require additional care
Will darken with use and may need to be re-seasoned periodically
Cannot be refrigerated, soaked in water, or left in damp environments

Pizza Style and Crust Type
Designed for baking Chicago-style pizzas, a deep dish pizza pan has much higher sides than a coupe pizza pan, and will produce a crust that is chewy and defined.


Square Deep Dish Pizza Pans

American Metalcraft SQ1620 16 inch x 16 inch x 2 inch Heavy Weight Aluminum Pizza Pan

Most of our square pizza pans are made of heavy weight aluminum, making them great for everyday use in commercial ovens.

Pros
Cons
Great for baking and serving Sicilian style pizza
Dough will be thick enough to handle more toppings than a thin crust pizza
Only produce square, doughy crust pizzas
Hard coat pizza pans must be seasoned prior to use

Pizza Style and Crust Type
Square deep dish pizza pans are designed to make Sicilian pizzas, which are square shaped and have a soft and doughy crust that are satisfying to eat.


Pizza Screens and Disks

American Metalcraft 18711 11 inch Expanded Aluminum Pizza Screen

With their mesh-like construction, a pizza screen helps your pizzas bake faster. Pizza screens are most popular for use in conveyor pizza ovens.

Pros
Cons
Ideal for serving pizza by the slice because the mesh prevents sogginess by allowing air to flow freely to the crust after being baked
Cutting pizza on top of a screen is not recommended

Pizza Style and Crust Type
Because the heat can easily transfer through the screen’s mesh bottom directly to the pizza crust, pizza screens give you a crispier crust. Thanks to their light weight design, pizza screens are ideal for making thin crust pizzas.


Pizza Stones

American Metalcraft STONE15 15 inch Round Ceramic Pizza Stone

Great for specialty restaurant use, a pizza stone is another tool that can be used to bake a delicious pizza. If you do not have a pizza oven in your kitchen, pizza stones 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 ceramic or Cordierite.

Pros
Cons
The porous surface absorbs excess moisture from the dough and the stone itself holds heat, producing a crispy crust
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
Cutting pizza on top of stone is not recommended

Pizza Style and Crust Type
Baking pizza on a pizza stone creates crusts that are both crisp and chewy, which are qualities commonly found in Greek style pizzas.


Cast Iron Pizza Pans

Lodge Pro-Logic P14P3 Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 14 inch Baking Pan with Loop Handles

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.

Pros
Cons
Cast iron pans make it possible to cook brick oven style pizza without a brick oven
Lack of thermal conductivity makes the pan heat up unevenly (especially on stovetop), but this can be avoided by preheating your cast iron pan before use

Pizza Style and Crust Type
Cast iron pizza pans produce crust with crisp edges and some charring, like you would find on a traditional Neapolitan pizza.


Pizza CAR Pans

American Metalcraft CAR13 13 inch Heavy Weight Aluminum CAR Pizza Pan

Pizza CAR pans have a sharp top edge, so you can place rolled or sheeted pizza dough over the top and use a tolling pin or pie roller to cut off the excess dough. CAR pans are also available with perforations and nibs, allowing the bottom of the crust to cook quickly and become crispy. These pans can be used in any commercial oven.

Pros
Cons
Maintain a consistent shape and size every time by using this pan to measure and cut your crust
The high sides help these pans “nest” when stacked on top of each other, so they’re less likely to topple over when stored
The high sides of the pan prevent you from baking and serving pizza out of the same pan

Pizza Style and Crust Type
CAR pans can be used to make nearly any kind of pizza. The crust quality depends on the surface style.


Wide Rim Pizza Pans

12 inch Aluminum Pizza Tray with Rim

Most often used for service and presentation, the extra room around the edge of the pan makes the pizza easier to slice and handle when served to your customers. Most wide rim pans are not intended for oven use.

Pros
Cons
Wide rim pizza pans make it easier to slice and handle pizza, which makes them great for presentation
Some wide rim pans can be cooked in, but they are typically intended for serving purposes only

Pizza Style and Crust Type
Any kind of pizza can be cut on a wide rim pan, but since most are not intended for oven use, they will not affect the texture of your pizza crust.


Disposable Pizza Pans

Solut 74557 17 inch Take and Bake Pizza Tray Coated Corrugated Black - 150/Case

Disposable pizza pans are great for promoting pizza-to-go. These pizza pans can be used during prep and cooking. Since they are designed for one-time use, disposable pans will help cut down on your cleanup time. Disposable pans are available in aluminum, plastic, and paperboard. Many disposable pizza pans are oven safe for one hour up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros
Cons
Disposable for easy cleanup
Some pans even come with lids, making it easy for customers to take their orders home with them
Disposable pizza pans are not as durable as standard pans, and they do have some cooking limitations
Need to be restocked which can cost more than investing in reusable pans

Pizza Style and Crust Type
You can’t get too fancy with disposable pizza pans, but they can be used for most soft crust types.

Pizza Pan Surface Styles

Many types of pizza pans are available with different surface styles, including solid, nibs, perforations, and super perforations. These distinguishing characteristics factor into airflow and heat distribution so you can choose the perfect pan for your needs.

Solid

Solid Pizza Pans

• A solid pizza pan features no holes or nibs and is the most common type of pizza pan
• Heat takes longer to transfer through solid pizza pans, which slightly slows down baking, resulting in a soft, doughy crust
• Good for baking and serving in the same pan

Nibs

Pizza Pans with Nibs

• Pizza pans with nibs feature small bumps on the surface of the pizza pan that improve airflow below the crust
• Speeds up baking and makes your crust crispier than a solid pan
• Pans with nibs are also great for oven-to-table service because they prevent soggy crust

Perforations

Perforated Pizza Pans

• Perforated pans are essentially pizza pans with holes in them. These holes allow heat to hit the pizza crust directly while baking, resulting in a crispier crust
• Perforations speed up baking time and make a crispy crust that will stay crispy
Super Perforations

Super Perforated Pizza Pans

• Super perforated pans have even more holes on the bottom of the pizza pan to increase the crispness and speed up the bake time even more
• Additional perforations prevent the crust from getting soggy before it is served to your customers

Pizza Pan Thickness

There is a direct correlation between a pizza pan's thickness and the consistency of the crust. The thicker the pizza pan, the longer it will take for your pizza to bake. Since heat does not pass through the bottom of a thick pan as quickly, it allows the sauce to soak into your crust. This, along with the slower baking, will result in a chewy, doughy crust. Heat passes through thin pans very quickly, giving the pizza a crispier crust. We offer many styles of pans to accommodate whichever type of crust you prefer.

How is Pan Thickness Measured?

Pan thickness can be determined by its gauge. Gauge is a standard measure of thickness, allowing you to consistently purchase materials for your business that will perform as expected. The chart below shows the approximate thickness of pizza pans based on their gauge and the material they are comprised of. Because different manufacturers will use different equipment or processes, gauge may differ slightly depending on where the material is milled. For example, one manufacturer’s 20 gauge pan might be slightly thicker or thinner than a 20 gauge pan from a different manufacturer, but the difference is nominal.

Gauge
Inches
Millimeters
Pan Material
14
0.0641
1.628
18
0.0403
1.024
20
0.032
0.813
22
0.0299
0.759
26
0.0179
0.455

Pizza Pan Coatings and Materials

Pizza pan coatings and seasonings help extend the life of your pan, while also making them easier to clean and maintain. Additionally, some coatings can affect baking times. It’s important to understand the difference between these coatings so that you can know which maintenance technique to use for your pans and how the finish will affect your cook time.

Dark Coated Pans Vs. Light Coated Pans

When choosing the finish of your pan, the basic color options are light and dark. Darker finishes retain more heat, which accelerates bake times, while lighter silver pans reflect heat and cause the baking process to slow.

Choice Economy 8 Qt. Full Size Stainless Steel Chafer


Anodized Hard Coated Pizza Pans

This coating is a corrosion-resistant anodic oxide finish that will not flake off. It is the darkest of all the finishes, making it the best finish for retaining heat and shortening cook times. To maintain anodized hard coated pans, they 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 pre-seasoned coating, so you won't need to season the pans before using them. This coating reduces pizza pan oil usage up to 50%, helps prevent staining, and is PFOA and PTFE free. 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, which will extend your baking time. Since these pans don’t have a nonstick coating, 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.

Basic Seasoning Tips

Most pans (including hard coated, silicone glazed, and tin plated) need to be seasoned before their first use and should be reseasoned periodically. Reseasoning prevents pizza dough from sticking and to ensure that you get the longest life out of your pan. Here are some basic steps to follow:



1. Preheat your oven to a normal pizza baking temperature.
2. Hand wash your pan in warm, soapy water.
3. Pat dry immediately.
4. Place your pan in the oven, allowing it to dry completely and warm slightly.
5. Carefully remove your pan from the oven and coat both sides with a thin layer of shortening or oil.
6. Line a baking sheet with foil and place it on the bottom rack.
7. Return your pan to the oven on the rack above the foil-lined baking sheet, and be sure to position it so that the baking sheet will catch any drips of shortening or oil.
8. Bake for 15 minutes.
9. Remove your pan from the oven and wipe off excess oil with a clean cloth.
10. Do not wash the pan at this point! The extra oil left on the surface of the pan will help prevent your pizza crust from sticking.

Basic Daily Cleaning Tips for Coated and Uncoated Pans

For daily cleaning after use, wash your pan by hand 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. Reseason your pan from time to time to prolong its life and ensure the best performance.

Caring for Pizza Stones

Pizza stones don’t require seasoning before their first use. They do, however, need to be placed in a cold oven so that their temperature can increase gradually. Since most pizza stones are made from ceramic, they will crack if they are introduced to a drastically new temperature too quickly. 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 moisture 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.

How to Season Your Pans

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