Choosing between a pizza pan vs stone entails many considerations. However, your decision will entirely depend on your preference regarding how your pizza bakes.
You can opt to buy dough at the market or make your own. The most important thing is how you cook it.
Moreover, this is when you are faced with a decision whether to use a stone or a pan.
Now, the question lies – which of them is better? Your choices: pizza pan vs stone.
The secret in achieving the perfect pie is to understand how to heat the bottom of the pie rapidly and how to distribute uniform heat throughout the crust.
Both have their unique ways of applying and distributing heat to the pie while baking in the oven.
Let’s try to have a closer look at the comparison between a pizza pan vs stone and see what they got in store for us.
These come in 3 shapes – round, square and rectangular.
These stone slabs contain terra cotta material that adequately supports the pie while in the oven.
This material contains small pores which instantly absorb moisture from the dough.
This process applies heat to the bottom of the mixture right away while evenly distributing the heat throughout the crust.
In return, the pie is evenly cooked, and you get to have a crispy crust without any worry of the bottom getting burned.
They come in different sizes and thickness. The size may range from 10 to 20 inches, and this is where you should also consider the size of your oven.
You don’t want to end up buying a big version that won’t fit into your oven. The thickness can range from ½ inch to 1 inch.
Some stones have handles called “lips” which make them easier to hold and move from one place to another.
The biggest downside for stones is that – just like any other stone – they tend to crack or break when exposed to a sudden change in temperature.
Of course, they would also break when you drop them.
To minimize cracking, always put the stone onto the middle rack of the oven before you switch on the stove.
Wait until the stove reaches 425ºF before you can place the pie on the product by using a pizza peel.
It is advisable to prepare the pie while you are preheating the oven and the stone.
Then move the pie to the heated stone after it has reached the required temperature.
If you’re using one of these products, expect to have a hotter kitchen especially in the summer because the oven is turned on longer as usual.
If you want to be a little more creative with the shape of your pizza, you can do that with these type of products.
With pans, the form of the pie depends on the way of the pan.
Another critical thing to consider in using stones is that they can quickly absorb moisture.
Which also includes liquid detergents when you wash them.Stay away from using dish washing liquids or any other detergents in cleaning stones.
Just wash them with plain water using a brush or cloth.
Pans are made of aluminum or cast iron. Some are made of hard coat anodized aluminum for extra durability.
These metal pans can absorb and distribute heat rapidly.
Just like pizza stones, they evenly distribute the same amount of heat throughout the pie, so you don’t have to worry about getting the bottom of the pie burned.
However, unlike stones, regular coupe pans do not have pores that can absorb moisture from the dough.
As a result, solid pans yield a soft and doughy crust. Also, it has a slower bake time because the oven will need time to heat the solid pan.
However, pans come in different surface styles to cater the needs for thinner and crunchier crust.
Perforated pans can be used to let heat pass through the pie quickly while allowing air to absorb the moisture from the dough.
The tiny holes on the surface of the perforated pans and mesh screens allow you to cook crispy thin-crust just like stones do.
Another good thing about pans is that they don’t crack or break even when exposed to a sudden change in temperature.
Dropping them won’t also break them, although it can cause some dents on the surface. There’s no need to pre-heat these in the oven.
You can conveniently prepare the pizza on the pan and place it into the oven without any worry.
There is also no need for a pizza peel because you can serve the pie on the pan straight to the dining table.
Wash the pans after every use. Since they do not absorb liquid, you can wash them with dishwashing liquids and liquid detergents as long you thoroughly wash them with water after.
Then wipe the surface with a clean towel until completely dry.
Pizza Pan vs Stone: which is better? The verdict will depend on how you want to cook your pizza.
Everything boils down to how the crust turns out.
One thing is for sure; no one wants a soggy crust so you might want to avoid this at all costs. Stones can guarantee an evenly-baked pie regardless of how thick or thin the crust is.
You don’t have to worry about the toppings insulating the bottom of the pie because the preheated surface of the stone will make sure that won’t happen.
On the other hand, solid tray pans may not do as well as pizza stones in distributing uniform temperature throughout the pizza.
However, perforated pans and screens can be used to address this problem.
Additionally, one of their advantages is that they do not break under a drastic change in temperature, unlike stones.
Most pizzerias still prefer the pizza stone over the pan. However, there’s also no denying that pans are also rising to the challenge.
None of these 2 is better than the other. Again, your choice is only a matter of preference between a pizza pan vs stone.
You may also check out some buying guides here.