The Best Pizza Pans That Every Kitchen Needs
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We all love pizza – there’s no getting around it. Unfortunately, many people ALSO think that there is no way around having to order out every time you want good pizza! What if I told you that you could seriously bump up your pizza game with a single addition to your kitchen? Yep, it really is that easy.
The Best Pizza Pans (2021 Update!)
Whether you’re heating up a frozen pizza or making your own, using a pizza pan guarantees a crispy crust and even browning! The best part is that they are inexpensive and multipurpose. If you don’t already have one, check out our favorites for 2021.
1. The classic: Wilton Premium 14-inch Pizza Pan
For those looking to dip their toes into the water, this may be the best pizza pan around. It’s simple, durable, and easy to store. Since it’s steel, it has solid conductivity and can be thrown in the dishwasher when you’re done.
It’s also thicker than aluminum, meaning it retains heat better (ideal when pursuing that crispy brown crust). If you want something cheap to crisp up your store-bought crust or leftover pizza slices, this is a solid option. With a non-stick surface, you can be sure you won’t be scraping burned cheese off with a wire brush for what feels like forever.
2. Dependable for a reason: Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast-iron Pizza pan
- Durable cast-iron
- Great heat retention
- Multi-use on grills or in ovens
- Naturally non-stick
Cast-iron is the mack-daddy of pizza pans. Since it’s so heavy-duty, you will probably be passing this piece of cookware to your kids and their kids. Also, cast-iron has a natural patina that occurs with proper care. A well-seasoned cast-iron has a shiny oil coating that helps release less (or no) cooking oil.
With good care and maintenance, this pan will be serving you for a very long time. Its thickness also serves to create an extremely hot surface that doesn’t cool down when you drop a cold pizza on it, meaning a richer and crispier crust when allowed to preheat.
3. The Deep Dish: Chicago Metallic Deep Dish Pizza Pan
- Designed for Chicago-style pizza
- Made with heavy-duty carbon steel
- Non-stick coating
- Dishwasher safe
Look, we aren’t here to debate whether this counts as lasagna or pizza (or maybe even a casserole). We ARE here to talk about pizza pans. If you like Chicago-style, power to you. This carbon-steel pan is durable and incredible at delivering heat to the crust.
For Chicago-style, fighting moisture is paramount, so a good pan is essential. This pan comes with a silicon non-stick surface for easy release and cleaning. For all the deep dish lovers out there, this is a solid option that you can toss in the dishwasher after you finish eating
4. Extra crispy: Cuisineart Classic Perforated Pizza Pan
- Stainless steel design
- Perforated for extra air-flow
- Non-stick interior
- Rolled edges for non-slip movement
If you like all the new features on the latest phones, you will love this pizza pan. It’s a 14-inch stainless steel pan with perforation on the bottom, theoretically allowing air to circulate and brown the crust while letting out moisture.
If you’ve ever seen the little brown dots on the bottom of your neighborhood pizzerias finest, they probably use something like this. Its rolled edges make sure you don’t accidentally slide the pizza off when moving it, and it’s totally dishwasher safe. It also comes with a lifetime warranty so expect to use this thing heavily without any issues.
5. The complete set: Megoo Cast Iron Cookware Set
- Comes with literally everything
- Durable construction
- Pre-seasoned and non-stick
- Versatile for any kitchen
Do you want the ability to make pizza AND everything else under the sun? This is the set for you. It comes with a 10,” and 12″ skillet and pizza pan (all cast iron), glass lids, a pan rack organizer, silicon handles for cooking, and a scraper. As far as variety goes, this is the best around.
The pizza pan alone is nothing to sneeze at, either. It’s cast iron, durable, and sure to last a lifetime. Even better is that everything comes pre-seasoned, but is something still happens to stick, it includes a scraper to help get it off.
6. The unique one: Good Cook Pizza Pan
As we mentioned before, perforation is designed to let out moisture and allow air to circulate the crust better. Its effect is a crispier and browner crust with a ton more flavor. The Good Cook pan does that but with style.
Its perforation style is radiated out from the center, letting you get some really unique designs on the bottom of your crust! If you are bored with regular pizza crust and are in the market for a pan, this is a great option for you. The crimped edged aren’t dishwasher safe, however, so make sure to hand wash.
7. For the pro: American Metalcraft Aluminum Pizza Pan
When we go to our neighborhood pizza joint, this is something we expect to see. A server walking over to the table carrying one of these high above their head with one hand and a little wooden folding table in the other.
There is a reason that these pizza pans are so synonymous with pizza places around the country. They are designed for the prep, cooking, and serving of pizza. If you own a shop or just want something as true to the original as you can get, this is the go-to for you without a doubt.
8. Ultra-breathable: Beasea Aluminum Alloy Pizza Pan
Really, it all comes down to the crust, doesn’t it? Getting that perfectly browned and crispy crust is just SO hard at home sometimes. Whether you are going with a frozen pizza or a homemade one, this one has enough holes for both. It’s literally covered in them.
Made with an aluminum alloy, it claims to be harder than steel and great to use in the kitchen. It also has an anti-scratch coating, so it doesn’t show the wear of knives or pizza cutters over time. It can also be used for other baking activities, bread or rolls in particular.
9. Inexpensive and restaraunt ready: New Star Food Service Aluminum Pizza Pan
- Personal pizza size
- Wide rim for good crust
- Durable for prep and service
- Sloped edges for topping customization
When you order a personal pizza at a restaurant, you don’t expect to take any leftovers home. There’s no shame in that. This is the tray they would probably bring out your pie on! It’s a durable prep and service tray, meaning you can make, cook, and serve, all with one pan.
It comes in tons of other sizes and has a glossy finish. It doesn’t have a coating, making it dishwasher safe and will never flake. Its aluminum construction conducts heat and promises a crispy bottom crust. They also come in packs of six or twelve if you want to have your own pizza making party at home!
10. The all-around cookware: Victoria Cast Iron Pizza and Crepe Pan
- High-heat retention
- Easy-pickup handle
- Pre-seasoned and high-temp ready
- Incredibly versatile
One of the greatest “kitchen sins” that one can commit is taking up space without reason. Single-use kitchen items can usually be replaced by something already in your kitchen (think “avocado knife”). With a Victoria, you won’t have to worry about that.
Cast iron is ideal for super high temperatures, and super high temperatures are necessary for a crispy crust. It also has a handle so you don’t get your mitts all dirty trying to pull it out of the oven. It can work as a crepe pan, skillet, and Roti Tawa maker. Really, this thing can do almost everything. You could even take it camping if you wanted.
11. Bonus Item: Betty Crocker Pizza Maker
Betty Crocker is a name that’s been in the game longer than any of us reading this have. Of course they have a pizza maker! If you are looking for something compact and fast to make pizza and bread with, this should be your go-to.
Dealing with screaming hot ovens and pizza pans can be a bit of a hassle, especially for a single pie. This is an energy-efficient way to scratch that pizza itch without dirtying up your whole kitchen and raising the house temp by five degrees. You can also use it for a TON of other things.
Pizza Pan Buyer’s Guide
So, you’re ready to buy a pizza pan. You’ve seen some of the best options, but you’re an informed customer, aren’t you? Good. If you don’t like to do that extra bit of research, we can help. We have put together a buyer’s guide going through all the specifics of picking and using a pizza pan for your future cheesy endeavors.
From top to bottom, this will cover the materials, uses, and some things to look out for when picking one for yourself.
What Is A Pizza Pan?
At its core, a pizza pan is simply a piece of material that you can prep a pizza on and then place in the oven. While that may explain what it is, it doesn’t give us any insight into its purpose.
For most people, a pizza pan is used to help get a crispy and browned crust on the bottom of their dough. A browned crispy dough with an internal chew is the trademark of a pizza oven. With a scorching surface, you can even get a better rise and crumb in the final product (a more “holey” dough).
On the contrary, soggy, “unbrowned” dough is a sign that you can’t get enough temp in your oven to cook pizza. For most home cooks, a pizza stone or pan is a great way to get that crust in an oven that can’t get the required 800-900 degrees for that classic pizzeria style.
How Does A Pizza Pan Work?
Now that we know the goal of a pizza pan, we can look into how it works. The good part is that the reasons behind things work for those trying to amp up their frozen pizza game AND for those venturing to make their own pizzas at home.
To get a brown crispy crust, we need high temperatures, direct heated contact with a surface, and a way to let moisture escape from the dough. When looking for a pan, we need to keep these in mind as they will produce the best results. Let’s get into each one of these specifics.
Ultimately, a pizza pan can’t change how hot your oven can get. What it CAN change, however, is how evenly a pizza crust browns and cooks. Inside an oven, the temperature is never really equal throughout. When you turn a sheet of cookies around, for example, you are making sure they are heating evenly on all sides.
A pizza pan ensures that the same even heat is distributed across the bottom of the crust. For an ideal pizza pan, you want to make sure that it can take high temperatures and deliver those temps directly to the crust.
As a general rule, the best way to do this is to allow your pan to preheat in the oven for at least 10-20 min. If you are making homemade pizzas, we recommend up to 30. Air isn’t a great conductor and allowing your pan to get as hot as the oven makes sure that your crust starts cooking as SOON as you place it in.
If you’ve ever made a steak before, the trick to getting a nice brown crust is allowing the pan to preheat so it cooks as soon as you place it on the heating element. Pizza works the same way!
The Power Of Conductivity
This may well be the most important factor when picking out a pizza pan! How well a pan can transfer heat from the oven to your crust is paramount to getting something delicious. In the world of pizza pans, this mostly comes down to the materials and thickness used in its construction.
Aluminum is the cheapest and lightest material used for most pans. It is highly conductive, but it doesn’t hold heat well. That means that when you place (relatively) cold pizza dough on a hot aluminum pan, the pizza will cool the pan faster the pan heats the pizza.
A pans ability to retain heat usually comes down to thickness (the thicker, the better). Most aluminum pans are thin and more geared towards serving than browning.
Cast iron is legendary for its uses in the kitchen. It has decent conductivity, but where it really shines is in its ability to retain heat. With a cast iron pan, preheating is a MUST. It may take a bit more time, but a cast iron pan is one of the best ways to make sure that your pizza crust is browned and crispy.
For the same reason that cast iron is the go-to for searing a steak, it has been used in baking and pizza cooking to get beautiful crusts. For the home cook, cast iron is a solid option that will get great results and last forever.
Stainless steel combines the pros of both aluminum and cast iron. It’s highly conductive, like aluminum, but retains heat, like cast iron. When looking for steel pizza pans, thickness is critical. Sometimes listed as “pizza steels,” a thick, steel pan or sheet is ideal for getting a browned crust. Like the cast iron, it does need time to preheat but it is well worth the wait.
The Importance Of Air-flow (And How Water Plays Into The Equation)
In a few of the options that we listed above, you will notice some are perforated. The reasoning behind this is that oven air (usually very dry) can circulate under the dough and dry the surface out. A dryer surface means a browner crust.
In theory, a perforated surface does allow water to escape instead of being forced back into the dough as it evaporates. When dealing with HIGH levels of water (frozen pizzas), a perforated pan may be a great way to help dry the crust out.
Many neighborhood pizzerias use these perforated pans in their ovens! The next time you order delivery, check out the bottom of the crust. If you see slight browned dimpling, they are using a perforated pan.
A Thorough Testing
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a food science legend. He also did a TON of testing to figure out the best way to get a good pizza crust. If you want to check out his methods and recommendations, click here. One metaphor that he uses that should help us all understand why a pizza steel or pan works so much better than just placing it in the oven is this phrase:
“It’s the same principle that allows you to stick your hand in a 212°F oven, while sticking it into a pot of boiling 212°F water would scald it.J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
If you want a look at the science behind the materials, airflow, and methodology, check out his incredibly in-depth summary above. Armed with the science of WHY, picking out a pan should be much easier. Knowing what we need usually only comes after knowing why we need something.
We’ve made it to the end! Hopefully, you feel empowered to make some amazing pizzas at home (or at least step-up your store-bought game). As a final word of advice, we recommend a thick, highly conductive pan made of cast iron or steel, especially when making your own at home.
If you are just looking to reheat yesterday’s pizza or thaw out store bought stuff, you have a ton more flexibility to try out the thinner or perforated options. For most people, the larger, shiny trays we normally see while out to eat should probably be left for those with access to a legit pizza oven (or a Big Green Egg).
They don’t have too much practical use in the home kitchen unless you are going for style points. What we can promise is that whichever one you choose, your pizza game will never be the same!