Author Topic: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?  (Read 6836 times)

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Offline arnol215

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Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« on: April 12, 2013, 09:12:13 PM »
Hello,

I've been making deep dish pizzas for about a year now and I have been looking to buy a new pan. I currently have a UNO's aluminum pizza pan set and a Chicago metallic commercial II nonstick pan. I've been searching around these forums trying to find the ideal kind to buy since the crust doesn't seem to be turning out crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside like it does at restaurants. I know that the dough is supposed to fry itself when the dough and pan are properly coated with olive oil. My nonstick pan repels liquid and refuses to be coated. I've also read on these forums that shiny aluminum pans like my other one don't work well either. I could probably season it myself, but it is too small anyways so I still want to buy another one.

So I've been trying to figure out what kind of pan works best. I know that a lot of people on these forums like coated aluminum pans like PTSK. However, I doubt that restaurants use those. This forum thread:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11527.msg105536.html#msg105536
indicates that restaurants use steel pans. I know that Old Chicago and Davanni's serve their pizza in the pans and cut it with metal utensils. When I try that with my aluminum pan it scratches the bottom of the pan deeper than the scratches in the bottom of restaurant pans. Steel and Aluminum also have different thermal properties. So which is better, a steel pan I season my self or a coated aluminum pan?


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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 09:19:26 AM »
arnol215

You will find a wide diversity of opinion on this subject, because our members have their own favorites that may not be suitable for you for any number of reasons, so my best advice to you is to click on the button on the top of each forum page called "Search", enter the words "deep dish pans" (without the quotes) into the search box, and check the box called "Search in topic subjects only". Then start reading to determine which factors and criteria most closely apply to you personally and to your circumstances and pocketbook. As an example, I tried to lay out a path to approach this subject at Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5780.msg49105.html#msg49105 and also at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5498.msg46503.html#msg46503 and Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12461.msg118612.html#msg118612.

If, after considering all of the factors, you come up empty or confused (which would not be unusual), then you might come back for more assistance. At least at that point you should better be able to define your specific needs.

Peter

Offline wrm2012

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 10:25:11 PM »
Just thinking out loud because I really donít know.  Iím guessing you canít judge what the pans are made of in a restaurant by how much they are scratched.  As they are used they are being continuously seasoned.  Iíd think the seasoning would fill in scratches as well as be a buffer between any cutter and the metal in the pan.  With that said I did get a black aluminum pan and seasoned it.  I donít cut the pizza in the pan I pop it out and cut and serve on a board.  Next time some one goes to a pizza place maybe they could take along a small magnet and check to see if it sticks. 

Offline arnol215

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 12:14:01 AM »
So I have been doing more searching on the forums. I've seen that many people really like the PTSK and other coated aluminum pans and that restaurants use tin coated steel, but not much more than that. So as far as buying a new pan goes, I seem to have three options. I could buy a new PTSK pan, a new tin plated steel pan, or a used restaurant steel pan on ebay. I haven't found much on the advantages or disadvantages of each.

So is there a reason that restaurants use steel pans instead of coated aluminum? They don't have issues with seasoning since they make so many pizzas, but are steel pans more durable or does the PTSK coating wear off over time or is it just a matter of cost?

As far a my needs go I always serve the pizza directly out of the pan. I generally eat one pizza by myself over three or four meals and cover the pan with aluminum foil and put the whole thing in the refrigerator. So I need a pan that is durable and can handle pizza being served inside it preferably with metal utensils and will last a long time. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 12:32:56 AM »
So I have been doing more searching on the forums. I've seen that many people really like the PTSK and other coated aluminum pans and that restaurants use tin coated steel, but not much more than that. So as far as buying a new pan goes, I seem to have three options. I could buy a new PTSK pan, a new tin plated steel pan, or a used restaurant steel pan on ebay. I haven't found much on the advantages or disadvantages of each.

So is there a reason that restaurants use steel pans instead of coated aluminum? They don't have issues with seasoning since they make so many pizzas, but are steel pans more durable or does the PTSK coating wear off over time or is it just a matter of cost?

As far a my needs go I always serve the pizza directly out of the pan. I generally eat one pizza by myself over three or four meals and cover the pan with aluminum foil and put the whole thing in the refrigerator. So I need a pan that is durable and can handle pizza being served inside it preferably with metal utensils and will last a long time. Any advice would be appreciated.
Restaurant's steel pans are thinner and cheaper$
PSTK won't wear off....it is not a coating like Teflon ...it is thicker/heavier than Rest' steel pans and will serve you better in our home ovens.

Bob
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Offline ridr44

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 06:03:55 AM »
Here is your answer and it is a cast iron pan...it works great!

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/01/foolproof-pan-pizza-recipe.html

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 09:08:30 AM »
Arnol;
When it comes to making Chicago style deep-dish pizza one must consider several things when selecting a pan. Steel pans work well, but they must be seasoned to give good release properties as well as improved baking properties. While this next one won't impact you at home, it will have an impact on a store's pan selection. If the pizza is sent out to the table in the pan it is baked in, the food safety laws will dictate that the pan be washed before it can be reused. Steel pans are prone to rusting, but the biggest problem is with the seasoning, if the pans are soaked in hot soapy water for any significant length of time, the seasoning will begin to peel off like a bad sunburn, the consequences of which are to raise the concern of the health department as they ponder where the material went, did it go with the pizza? Did the customer eat it? Not good. Hardcoat, anodized aluminum pans (good ones are made from heavy weight aluminum stock). The dark color of these pans will not lift off even if soaked for an extended time in hot soapy water. The finish on some manufacturers pans is very durable (can't be scratched or abraded with the edge of a coin), but just like a seasoned steel pan, the anodized coating can be damaged by cutting the pizza in the pan. This is why we commonly see the pizza removed from the pan for cutting and then placed back into the pan for serving. Pizza Hut used to do this at one time with their deep-dish pizzas, maybe they still do, but can't tell you the last time I was at a P.H., but the time would be measured in years. The better pans/coatings are also resistant to scratching when the pizza is dug/guided out of the pan using a cake decorating spatula.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline arnol215

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 08:40:08 PM »
Are the tin or aluminum coated steel pans also prone to rusting? As far as scratching the inside of the pan goes, I have a plastic pizza cutter which won't scratch my nonstick pan an should work fine. It's not the most durable thing in the world but it works. Also are used pans bought off ebay of good quality? From browsing around, it looks like most pans are sold by people who have a lot of them and you don't actually get to see a picture of the pan you're buying. And do each of these types of pans basically last forever, or do the coatings degrade over time?

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 08:47:05 PM »
Aluminum doesn't rust dude. I get excellent quality pans for around 12 bucks...why would you want to mess around buying used?
btw, tell me what a "tin" pan is please.

Bob
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Offline grathan

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 09:07:08 AM »
The Lodge 17" cast iron pan will be around longer than you will. It holds enough pizza for 3 days. Cleaning it takes about 10 seconds. It keeps pizza warm in the pan while it is being served. I would say a half hour it can sit in the pan and still be good.


As far as crunchy on the outside and chewy inside that is gonna come more from a good preheated oven and good dough recipe fermented just right.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 09:09:45 AM by grathan »

Offline arnol215

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 01:53:11 PM »
When I say aluminum or tin I mean that nowadays apparently you can't buy plain steel pans. Steel pans are coated with tin or aluminum possibly to prevent them from rusting. According to this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11527.msg105536.html#msg105536, the pans are mostly called tin-plated steel while they actually coated in aluminum. I imagine if the pan gets scratched through the coating it will rust. But I'm wondering what the difference is between an aluminum coated steel pan and a plain aluminum pan (or coated aluminum) as far as how a pizza would turn out.

I hadn't considered cast iron pans until now because not many people mentioned them in the threads I read through. Do pizzas turn out well when cooked in cast iron pans? Do they have problems with rusting or do their thicker sides cause them to take longer to heat up and affect how a pizza will turn out?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 08:23:09 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 02:29:19 PM »
Arnol;
Dark colored, heavy weight aluminum pans will provide you with MANY years of great service. Cheap aluminum pans are just that, cheap. They will be easily damaged and the coating is not very durable either. Many of the big box chains have gone to the Lloyd Pans product due to their durability. These box stores probably cycle their pans more times in a week then most of us would do so in a full year. Added to that, the person handling the pans is only concerned about getting his/her next pay check, so the pans are typically handled with tender loving sledge hammer care. I've got one of those cast iron pizza pans (deepsided cast iron frying pan) and it works great, it has been in the family for over 75-years now and it still looks as good as it ever did, but it does take a little longer to heat up. Rusting??? The only way it will rust is if you wash it, and in my house that is a short cut to a world of pain. Cast iron gets wiped out with a clean paper towel, but it doesn't ever go near water.
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor

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Offline grathan

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2013, 10:02:35 AM »
Cast iron is a little different than cooking on a stone. I don't preheat the pan because the oil seasoning would smoke too much. It doesn't rust unless you wash it constantly. It's also heavy. It has great resale value.

A stone might effect the bottom of the crust by wicking mosture away, not too sure about the difference. Life is long and I plan to explore cooking on a stone in the future, but not in a hurry.

My experience with "thin" pans like steel or aluminum is that you can get some great oven spring because the massive heat from the oven burner transfers through the pan quickly. This can also be a burden because timing becomes more critical to avoid overcooking.

Neat article on some comparisons:
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/06/the-best-surface-for-baking-pizza-finale.html
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 10:05:14 AM by grathan »

Offline arnol215

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2013, 09:52:00 PM »
So people seem to be giving me a variety of recommendations which is unsurprising. If there was a single best type of pizza pan I wouldn't need to ask what it was. Does it actually matter what the pan is made of or will any sufficiently seasoned pan give approximately the same results after adjusting for differences in baking time and other factors?

As a side note be careful when going to the seriouseats link grathan posted above. The first time I went there my antivirus software said the page was trying to install a virus. It seemed fine the second time though.

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2013, 10:14:30 PM »
So people seem to be giving me a variety of recommendations which is unsurprising. If there was a single best type of pizza pan I wouldn't need to ask what it was. Does it actually matter what the pan is made of or will any sufficiently seasoned pan give approximately the same results after adjusting for differences in baking time and other factors?

As a side note be careful when going to the seriouseats link grathan posted above. The first time I went there my antivirus software said the page was trying to install a virus. It seemed fine the second time though.
My pan doesn't need seasoning.

Bob
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Offline Marvin

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2013, 10:44:28 PM »
I use two 9" Chicago metallic pans from Ross 5 bucks each
They are square and a 10" dough for round pie works perfect.
They have 2" sides. Didn't have to season and never have stuk
 Thanks Marvin

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2013, 10:49:22 PM »
I use two 9" Chicago metallic pans from Ross 5 bucks each
They are square and a 10" dough for round pie works perfect.
They have 2" sides. Didn't have to season and never have stuk
 Thanks Marvin
What he said.... ^^^
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Offline arnol215

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Re: Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan Material?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2013, 02:54:43 AM »
What I meant to ask is: does it matter what type of pan you use? Do pre-seasoned coated aluminum pans and well seasoned steel or cast iron pans all produce approximately the same quality of finished product? Is there any type of pan that produces better pizza ignoring considerations of price, difficulty of seasoning, cleaning, or longevity, or are they all basically the same in that sense?