Have you ever wondered what type of pizza pan your favorite pizzeria uses? How do they get the crust so perfect? Different pizzerias use different pans, but you can find out which pizza pan will produce the results you want.
Types of Pizza Pans
Cast iron pizza pans hold onto heat. They are also versatile, allowing you to cook other recipes and cook outside of the kitchen. Cast iron pizza pans can be found in various shapes, which makes them perfect for any type of crust.
Aluminum pizza pans are available in several different types of aluminum, but it's best to buy high-quality hard-anodized pans. Another key feature to look for is holes in the pan. This allows the crust to become crispy as it cooks. Aluminum pizza pans work best with hand-tossed and thin crusts.
Stainless steel pizza pans are built to last. Most come with warranties, and they're even dishwasher safe. Another advantage to stainless steel is that it doesn't rust. Stainless steel pans work well with hand-tossed or thin crusts. Unfortunately, you won't see many chefs using this type of pan.
Deep-dish pizza pans have deep sides, ranging from one- to two-inches deep. These pans are best suited for making Chicago-style pizza and are available in both aluminum and steel.
The All-Important Stone
Pans are not the only cooking device used to make great pizza. In fact, many chefs prefer stones. If your favorite pizzeria uses a pizza oven, then a stone is exactly what you need to make great pizza at home. A stone gives you the perfect crust each time. The outside of the crust will be crisp while the inside remains chewy. Best of all, there's no clean up. All you need to do is slide the pizza out of the oven, and enjoy. If cheese does happen to get on the stone, all you have to do is scrape it off.
Different Ways to Cook Pizza at Home
For many home cooks, a pizza pan is the best option. A pizza pan is not only easy to use, but it is also rather inexpensive to purchase. Many people also turn to pizza pans because popular pizzeria chains use them. That doesn't mean that this is the only way to cook pizza at home though.
Cooks who have spent years in the kitchen prefer stones. Stones are not only great for making pizza. They are wonderful for almost any baked good, including biscuits and bread. Believe it or not, a decent pizza stone can actually be purchased for less than pans, and they usually last longer as well.
Some cooks prefer to leave the kitchen entirely and cook their pizza on the grill. This option doesn't require fancy pans or even stones. All you need is a set of tongs and a hot grill. Not only does this cooking method allow you the freedom of the great outdoors, but it also gives you the quickest results.
A Few Needed Extras
A pan or stone isn't the only thing needed to make great pizza at home. For example, when using a deep dish pan, you also need olive oil. Olive oil not only gives the crust a bit of flavor, but it also transforms the crust into golden brown goodness. Of course, if you prefer a stone over a pan, you will need a peel to transfer your pizza on and off the stone. You will also need cornmeal to ensure that the dough doesn't stick to the peel. Last, but not least, a good pizza cutter is essential. Skip the cheap models found in your local department store, and shop online for a high-quality brand.
Pizza at home doesn't have to be difficult. Even choosing the right pan doesn't have to be hard. All you need to remember is that some pans work best for different pizzas. Also don't forget that a pan isn't all you need to make great pizza. More importantly, remember that a pan isn't the only way to cook a great pizza. A grill or a stone also makes good pizza.
Pizza is a cheap and easy meal, which is, no doubt, why delivery joints make money hand over fist selling them to you. But pizza is something you can make at home, without having to purchase and store those pre-made crusts.
If you're like me you love pizza but not the calories. You want a healthier crust and a guilt-free, nutritious pizza that still tastes delicious.