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The best pizza pan

Not all nonstick pizza pans are dishwasher-safe.
Not all nonstick pizza pans are dishwasher-safe.(BestReviews)

When it comes to crowd-pleasing family dinners, you just can't beat a hot, delicious pizza. But calling for delivery every week can get pricey, and since pizza is so easy to make, there's no excuse not to make it at home -- as long as you have a high-quality pizza pan. With the right pizza pan, you can achieve a crispy, charred crust that tastes just as good as any pie from your favorite pizzeria. Choosing a good pan should be pretty easy, but there are so many options on the market that it can get confusing.

Our buying guide is chock-full of tips to help you find the best pizza pan for your next pizza night. We've included some specific product recommendations at the end, too, including our top pick from Lodge, which is made of durable, quick-heating cast iron that's pre-seasoned for a naturally nonstick surface.

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Considerations when choosing pizza pans

Material

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Pizza pans are typically made of either stainless steel or cast iron. Stainless steel pizza pans are a lower-maintenance option than cast-iron pans, but they have a tendency to burn your pizza. If you're new to making pizza at home, you probably don't want to start with a stainless steel pan.

Cast-iron pizza pans require more maintenance than stainless steel pans because they must be seasoned regularly to maintain their nonstick surface, and they must be washed by hand. Regardless, many at-home pizza chefs love the deep, rich flavor they give pizza crust. Cast-iron pans are also incredibly durable and can last for decades.

Nonstick coating

Though it's easier to wash a nonstick pizza pan because cheese and other baked-on food can be scrubbed away, some people find that nonstick pans don't char and brown pizza crust as well as pans without the coating. There's also some concern about the chemicals in nonstick coating leaching into food when the pan is cooked at the high temperatures that pizza usually requires.

Features

Vents: Some pizza pans have holes or vents in the bottom that allow the heat to flow beneath the pizza. If you prefer a crispier crust, opt for a vented pan. It can also help cook a thin-crust pizza more quickly.

Edges: If you prefer deep-dish pizza, look for a pizza pan with edges. Not only does it allow you to make a deep-dish pie, you can also create pizza with a stuffed crust.

Handles: Some pizza pans have handles to help when you're carrying the pan. This makes it easier to move your pizza to and from the oven.

Price

You typically pay between $10 and $100 for a pizza pan. For $10 to $25, you can get a high-quality pan or styles that are designed for deep-dish pies. If you want a large cast iron pan, you usually have to spend around $30 to $50.

FAQ

Q. Do pizza pans require special care?

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A. It depends on the type of pan you choose. A cast iron pan has to be seasoned every so often to maintain its nonstick surface, which requires rubbing it down with oil and heating it. It can't go in the dishwasher either, so you need to wash it by hand.

Q. Can I use a pizza pan for other dishes?

A. You can use a pizza pan to roast veggies and cook meats like chicken, beef, and pork chops.

Pizza pans we recommend

Our take: A durable, high-quality pan that offers more versatility than a pizza stone since you can roast vegetables and meat on it.

What we like: Made of extremely heavy-duty, durable cast iron. Pre-seasoned to allow for use right away. Features side loop handles for easier handling.

What we dislike: Requires hand washing. Heavier than stainless steel options.

Our take: A budget-friendly deep-dish pizza pan that's extremely durable and bakes excellent pizzas.

What we like: Features a nonstick surface but is still dishwasher-safe. Includes a 25-year warranty. Versatile enough to make thin-crust pizza, too.

What we dislike: Doesn't have handles. Can be scratched easily by pizza cutters and knives, so it's best to cut pizza out of the pan.

Our take: A great pizza pan if you're new to making pizza at home and like a crispy crust.

What we like: Features a micro-dome surface to allow for faster cooking. Vents in bottom provide a crispy crust. Dishwasher-safe.

What we dislike: Some buyers complain the nonstick coating is thin and scratches easily.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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