As a seasoned chef, I can tell you that there’s nothing better than a perfectly cooked pizza. But when it comes to cooking that perfect pizza at home, choosing the right equipment can make all the difference.
What’s the difference between pizza pans and pizza stones? Pizza pans are metal trays with a flat or perforated surface. They’re easy to handle but may not deliver a crispy crust. Pizza stones, made from ceramic or stone, mimic the effects of a brick oven, resulting in a crispier, evenly cooked pizza.
Let’s look at the difference between them both, and help you decide which is best for your pizza-making needs.
In This Article
Pizza pans are versatile and easy to use. They come in a range of sizes and materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic.
Pans with perforated bottoms are especially popular as they allow hot air to circulate around the crust, resulting in a crispy texture.
If you’re making pizza at home, a pan can be a great option. They are affordable and can be used for other baked goods as well.
Pans are also great for making deep dish pizzas, as the raised edges keep the sauce and toppings in place and prevent spillage.
One downside of using a pan is that the bottom crust may not get as crisp as it does with a pizza stone.
Additionally, with some types of pans, the pizza can stick to the surface, making it difficult to remove without damaging the crust.
Read our guide: The Best Pizza Pans For Your Kitchen
Pizza stones are made of natural materials such as ceramic, clay, or cordierite. They are thick, heavy, and can retain heat very well.
Pizza stones are popular because they distribute heat evenly, ensuring that the crust is cooked throughout.
Using a pizza stone also allows you to achieve the traditional charred spots that are so desirable in Neapolitan-style pizzas. It’s also ideal for cooking thin-crust pizzas.
Another benefit of using a pizza stone is that it can absorb moisture from the dough, resulting in a crust that’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
However, pizza stones can be expensive and heavy. They also require preheating, which can be time-consuming.
Additionally, they can crack if not handled carefully or exposed to sudden temperature changes.
Pizza Pans Vs Pizza Stones: Which One Should You Choose?
Both pizza pans and pizza stones have their advantages and disadvantages.
If you’re on a budget and want a versatile option that can be used for different types of pizzas, a pizza pan is a good choice.
But if you’re looking for crispy crusts and perfect, evenly-cooked pizzas, investing in a pizza stone is worth it.
It’s also important to consider your kitchen setup and oven type. If you have a smaller oven, a pizza stone may not fit.
Additionally, if you predominantly make deep dish pizza, a pan may be a better option for you.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and the type of pizza you’re making.
My Experience As A Chef Using Pizza Pans and Pizza Stones
When it comes to making pizza at home, I always choose a pizza stone. As a chef, I’m always striving for perfection, and a pizza stone helps me achieve that.
With even heat distribution and the ability to absorb moisture from the dough, I can always count on a beautifully cooked pizza with a crispy crust.
Of course, there are times when a pizza pan is more practical, such as when making deep dish pizza or when I’m short on time.
But for the best results, a pizza stone is always my go-to.
Whatever your choice, just remember to have fun and experiment with different techniques and ingredients. After all, that’s what pizza is all about!
Do Pizza Stones Need To Be Seasoned?
Yes, pizza stones need to be seasoned before their first use. This involves brushing the surface with oil and baking them at a high temperature for several hours. This process will create a natural nonstick surface.
Can You Cook Frozen Pizza On A Pizza Stone?
Yes, you can cook frozen pizza on a pizza stone. However, it’s important to preheat the stone in the oven before placing the frozen pizza on top. This will ensure that the crust cooks evenly.
Can You Use A Pizza Stone On A Gas Grill?
Yes, you can use a pizza stone on a gas grill. However, it’s important to preheat the stone on the grill for at least 30 minutes before placing the pizza on top.