Making pizzeria-style pizzas at home is easier when you have the right tool at your disposal. When it comes to homemade pizzas, pizza pans and pizza crispers are two of the most common cookware used.
They both allow you to cook and serve pizza in your home or commercial kitchen. But what are the differences between these two baking pans? And which one is better for making pizzas in domestic kitchen ovens?
Pizza crispers have holes in them, which are designed to let steam escape while baking, making them ideal for thin-crust pizzas. On the other hand, pizza pans tend to be flatter than pizza crisper and have straight sides instead of sloping ones, resulting in a chewier, bread-like crust.
So, which is the better pizza-baking tool? The answer isn’t quite so simple.
In this article, I am going to explain the benefits of pizza crispers and compare them to pizza pans. I’ll also share some tips for using both tools so that you can get the most out of whatever one you choose.
What Is a Pizza Crisper, Exactly?
A pizza crisper is a baking sheet with little holes in it. These holes are designed to let steam escape from the pizza as it cooks. This prevents soggy crusts and ensures that your pizzas come out crispier than ever before.
Pizza crispers come in all different shapes and sizes, so you can use whatever size fits best into your oven. Generally, pizza crispers are placed at the bottom rack of the oven, directly under the heating elements.
This allows the steam from your pizza to rise up and escape through the holes while also keeping your pies nice and crispy on top.
You can also use a pizza crisper to make other types of foods crispier than usual – like chicken nuggets or fries.
Here’s another cool thing about pizza crispers – they are great for cooking frozen pizzas as well. The pizza crisper is like a mini-oven. It heats up very quickly, so you can put your frozen pizza in there and have it come out nice and hot.
I have also used my pizza crisper to reheat leftovers or make toast with great success.
What Is a Pizza Pan?
Pizza pans have been around for decades and are more widespread than pizza crispers. Pizza pans are round and made of metal, with a lip around the edge. The pans are generally coated with some sort of non-stick coating and come in various sizes.
The metal build allows pizza pans to retain more heat, resulting in faster cook time. The most common size is 12 inches, and it goes all the way up to 14 inches.
You can also find pizza pans in square and rectangular shapes. Pizzas baked in a pizza pan generally tend to be on the thicker side. So, a pizza pan is a way to go if you like thick slices with lots of sauce and toppings.
Pizza pans are also a great option for making Pizza Hut-style pan pizzas, which are typically baked in the oven for about 15 minutes before being topped with sauce and cheese. In addition, you can use a pizza pan as a baking sheet for other types of dishes, such as cookies, bread or chicken tenders.
Read Next: Best Wood Fired Pizza Oven to Bake Like a Top Pizzaiolo
Chicago-style deep dish pizzas require a different type of pan than regular pizzas. Deep dish pizzas are baked in a rectangular baking pan with a removable bottom, which makes it easier for you to serve the slices without making a mess.
Pizza Crisper Vs. Pizza Pan
To give you a better understanding of the differences between pizza screens and pizza pans, I have created a comparison table. This will help you decide which one is the best option for you.
|Key Differences||Pizza Crisper||Pizza Pan|
|Material||Heavy-duty aluminum, nickel-free stainless steel||Heavy-gauge aluminized steel, carbon steel, cast iron, ceramic or cordierite stone|
|Perforations||It has several holes which allow heat to escape, resulting in a crispy, crunchy base||Non-perforated, therefore, heats up more quickly and evenly, resulting in a softer, fluffier base.|
|Durability||Exceptionally durable and scratch-resistant||The non-stick coating tends to wear off after a few months of heavy use|
|Ideal Use||Thin-crust Italian crust pizzas, toast, crispy chicken nuggets. Best for cooking frozen pizzas as well.||Soft and chewy deep dish and other homestyle pizzas made from fresh dough. Also great for baking cakes, tarts, cookies, and certain kinds of bread like focaccia.|
|Suitable Ovens||Microwave, OTG, convection ovens||All kinds of ovens, including wood-fired ovens|
Pizza Crisper Vs. Pizza Screen Vs. Pizza Pan: Which One Is Perfect for Italian-Style Pizza?
The easier way to put an end to a pizza pan with holes vs. no holes debate is to consider what kind of pizzas you intend to make. For example, if we are talking classic Italian-style pizzas, then pizzas with no holes, i.e., pizza crispers or screens, would be a better option than pizza pans in standard convection ovens.
The holes in the pan allow for an even distribution of heat and help in browning the crust. Both pizza screens and pizza crispers have holes in them. The only real difference is that pizza screens are essentially flat mesh disks made of heat-retardant aluminum.
They are more lightweight than pizza crispers which are built from heavy-gauge aluminum or carbon steel.
Pizza screens will result in an even crispier crust than pizza crispers. They are better suited for microwave ovens and small kitchen ovens.
Pizza pans are rather better suited for thicker, chewier pizzas, like a deep dishes or Detroit-style pizzas. The pizza pan is also a better option when you are making calzones, cookies, brownies, focaccia, and many other baked goodies.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what kind of pizza crust you intend to make and the type of oven you’re using. In my humble opinion, pizza pans are more versatile cookware and can be used for a wide range of recipes, whether it’s pizza or cookies.
On the other hand, pizza screens are better suited for making thin-crust pizzas and helping your food cook faster in small convection ovens or microwave ovens.
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose cookware that can be used for any type of pizza crust or other recipes, then I highly recommend purchasing a pizza pan. However, if you want to make pizzas with crispy thin crusts and toasts, then I recommend getting a pizza screen instead.