Your palatable pizza is incomplete without the perfect pan!
Do you wonder why the pizza pan when pizza is all about the crunchy crust, cheese, and delicious toppings?
Though we tend to forget it, the right pan is necessary to ensure that your pizza crust is smooth and round, either soft thick, or crunchy thin. As much as we love the fresh aroma of herbs from a hot pizza, we also want to see it in the right shape.
But aluminum vs. steel pan: which pizza pan is better for the perfect pizza?
Aluminum and steel are both preferred over other pans. Other than design, the basic difference is how they are used. Aluminum pans are much lighter, but steel pans are more durable. So aluminum is used mostly at homes for occasional baking, while steel performs well for mass production commercially.
How to understand which one to choose? Read on to find out!
Aluminum Vs. Steel Pizza Pan: Which Is Better For Baking Pizza?
Since the difference is in design, there are other factors for which the pans have different uses. Check them out to see which one offers a better pizza.
|Parameters||Aluminum Pizza Pan||Steel Pizza Pan|
|Weight||Lightweight and easier to handle||Heavy|
|Durability||Easy to damage||Durable|
|Heat Tolerance||Lower heat capacity||Almost 1.623 times higher heat capacity|
|Heat distribution||Transfer heat 4 times faster to cook faster||Take longer to cook|
|Burning Issue||May burn the bottom part||Retain heat to keep pizzas warm|
|Usage||Universally used for convenience, especially at home.||Suitable for use in commercial convection ovens, brick ovens, or outdoor baking equipment.|
1. Steel Pizza Pan
Stainless steel has undoubtedly been ruling the market for durable utensils. A pizza pan is simply one of them. If your pan is made of steel, it is bound to last longer and is very strong.
As a result, your pizza will smoothly remove from the pan after baking. Even after long-term use, you will hardly see any damage occur.
The only issue is the weight which makes it challenging to handle. It isn’t an ideal option if you don’t want to pull around heavy things.
But the best part is that any steel pan is greasy on the surface, so the dough doesn’t stick. Some are so uniquely made that they can work as the serving tray.
The best part about this is obviously what it does to your pizza crusts. The crust will be crispy and not too much that it can hurt your mouth!
Carbon Steel Pizza Pan
Similar to stainless steel, carbon steel is equally durable. It is also heat resistant, allowing around 1200F inside the oven to bake anything. So, this is great for pizza. Since carbon is a conductor of heat, it offers high temperatures without any damage.
Simply brush up some oil around the pan for your pizza and take it out smoothly without the dough sticking.
2. Aluminum Pizza Pan
In contrary to steel pans, aluminum pizza pans are much lighter to handle. These have a nonstick coating which helps to take our pizza out smoothly.
You can try any pizza with aluminum pans to get the best results. Brushing some oil around reduces friction to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan.
However, aluminum pans are not as durable and don’t allow much heat. Too much heat can make the surface crack. Hence we need to be careful with them to increase their longevity. If you use them right, you can even make gourmet pizzas.
What about the Ones with Holes?
Pizza pans with holes in the bottom are also known as perforated pans. The holes are added so that the pizza is baked evenly. This pan will cook the pizza for the right amount of time. You will also get a satisfying brown crust with some crisps.
Those without holes make your pizza like a cake. In most cases, the pizza might be alright, but not even.
Types of Pizza Pans Commonly Used
Other than an aluminum or steel pizza pan; you have other pizza pan options in the market for various pizzas.
1. Sicilian Pizza Pan
A Sicilian pizza pan is usually round and deep. There is a nonstick coating on the top. This pan is also free from PTFE.
In addition, the bottom has a natural material that removes stains easily. This surface is ideal for making pizzas without worrying about the dough sticking.
2. Detroit Pizza Pan
Another popular one is the Detroit pizza pan. This square-shaped one is large enough, around 10 inches by 14 inches, with flared sides to allow the pizza spread well. You can use this pan to about 700 degrees with a lot of flexibility in the kitchen.
A larger one is suitable for making outdoor pizzas.
You can use this pan for making pies with the perfect crispy crusts. The pizza or pie usually comes out narrow but large, the ideal Detroit pizza. Such pans are attractive as well.
3. Non-Stick Pan
In case you want to be extra careful to take out your pizzas smoothly, you can try nonstick pizza pans. These are also made of aluminum with a bit of tin plating. So, the pan is lightweight and durable. This pan is also great for making thin crusts and grilled pizzas.
4. Cast Iron Pizza Pan
This pan is very sturdy to prevent damage. You can place the pan in the oven, broiler, or stove. It works the same as a pizza stone to provide the perfect pizza crust. However, iron is more susceptible to rusting and is also heavy to handle.
5. Pizza Steel
A pizza steel works the same as a pizza stone, with similar outcomes. It doesn’t overcook your pizzas. But the steel has more conductivity to bake your pizza even quicker. Besides, it also allows you to make larger pizzas.
Seasoning Pizza Pans
Regardless of the type of pan you use, all of them need seasoning before baking pizzas. It involves some simple steps. You can use this method for seasoning aluminum pizza pans as well.
- First, clean your pans and wipe out the moisture using a cloth or towel.
- Now, you can coat the surface using oil after ensuring that the pan is completely dry. It can be any oil, mostly cooking oil.
- Preheat the oven and bake the pan until the oil burns.
- Cover the surface with a foil sheet and place it on the bottom rack.
- Remove excess oil using a cloth, but don’t clean it. It makes the pan rust-free to make it durable.
- After use, clean off the surface for use again.
How to Select Pizza Pans?
You need to consider certain criteria before buying your pizza pans.
- Size depending on the type of pizza
- Shape, either round or rectangular
- Easy to clean
- Durable and lightweight
- Thickness and coating.
Does a Pizza Stone Differ from Regular Pans?
A pizza stone offers a traditional pizza-making experience. It differs from a regular pan with some perforations on the surface and the complexity in use. However, the overall design is suitable for making some of the best pizzas.
It absorbs moisture and bakes pizzas faster. The pizzas come out perfect, with the right amount of crispiness and softness. You can rest assured that your pizza isn’t overcooked.
Either use a pan and stone together or place your pizza on the bottom of a cast iron skillet to make a pizza stone at home.
- What is the best material for pizza pans?
The best material for any pizza pan is metal. So, you can try either a steel or aluminum pan. But aluminum pans are more popular due to their properties. Overall, the best material is easy to handle, clean, and long-lasting.
- Is it safe to cook pizza on an aluminum surface?
Aluminum pans are safe to use. But before using one, ensure that the surface has a nonreactive or ionized coating. Otherwise, the pan will wear off and damage your pizza. Besides, you shouldn’t use the pans in too much heat as it can crack the surfaces.
- Which is the best non-toxic pizza pan?
Any pizza pan claimed to be safe from toxic materials like PFAS, PTFE, PFOA, or other chemicals is safe. Ensure the pizza pan has a protective coating to keep off toxic elements like lead or cadmium. One brand, like Caraway pizza pans, is proven to be non-toxic.
The Bottom Line
Aluminum vs. steel pizza pans – choosing the one depends on your preference. Both are great for making pizzas, and each has its benefits and drawbacks.
For lighter pans, choose aluminum. If you are more thoughtful about longevity, then go for steel ones. A steel pan will also keep the pizza warm for longer. On the other hand, aluminum cooks pizza faster.
But the most important thing is to season your pan before use. In addition, clean and dry off the pans before using them again.