There is nothing such as fresh and hot cheesy pizza. However, not all people can cook pizza properly at home. The main issues that they face are either a lack of proper browning on the cheese or the crust. Both of these happen because of the lack of any heat retention object.
There are two go-to options when it comes to a heat retention object for the oven. It is either the pizza pan or the pizza stone. But is it all about personal preference? Well, that is exactly what we will unravel in this discussion pizza pan vs stone. So, let us get into it without further ado, shall we?
What Is Pizza Stone?
Just like the name suggests, the pizza stone is a slab of stone. It will either be circular or rectangular, depending on the model you will buy. And as it is just a slab of stone, you will notice that it has the same structure and surface as a stone. In other words, there will be tiny pores on the surface.
Usually, the pizza stones will be of terra cotta. And it will come in plenty of different sizes, including 15 inches or 12 inches. However, not all of the pizza stones are the same. Why? The quality of the stone will not be the same for all.
Due to the quality difference of the stones, some will be more durable than others. For them, accidental drops or sudden temperature changes can make those pizza stones easily break.
How Does Pizza Stone Work?
Like a stone, the pizza stone will retain and absorb a lot of heat when you preheat it inside the oven. In simpler words, it will work like a heat retention object. That will eventually make your pizza crust get the right amount of browning. The same thing applies to the cheese of the pizza.
After the preheating, the stone will get reasonably hot. That will make the crust get pretty crisp. So, along with the browning, you will be able to give your pizza the perfect crust.
Pizza Stone Advantages
The pizza stone brings a lot of benefits to the table. Among all of them, the significant benefit that you will enjoy is that you can make the crust get a proper level of browning. The crust will also have the right crispiness, eventually offering you a stellar pizza-eating experience.
Other than that, the pores of the pizza stone will absorb all of the moisture on the pizza dough. That will translate to the pizza cooking a bit faster than usual. The heat retention mechanism will also ensure that the pizza does not burn while making the crust brown.
Pizza Stone Disadvantages
One of the significant disadvantages of the pizza stone is that they are more prone to breaking or cracking. If you happen to get a low-quality stone, you might not be able to use it for long.
Other than that, they are also prone to thermal shock. That means that the stones can easily shatter if the temperature change is rapid. In other words, you will need to use the pizza stones with a good amount of caution.
What Is Pizza Pan?
Have a standard pan that you currently use on the stovetop? Well, pizza pans are pretty similar to those. Usually, these pizza pans will either be of aluminum or cast iron. Again, the construction material will depend on the model you are getting. And when it comes to the size, there are loads of different variations.
Even though loads of different variations are available, deep-dish pizza pans are the most popular. They are multifunctional and will work for both regular pizzas and deep-dish pizzas.
Pizza Pan Advantages
The pizza pans' first benefit is that they will do a proper job of retaining the heat. Thanks to that trait, your pizza will get the right amount of browning on the crust and the cheese.
Apart from that, you will notice that the pans have small perforations on the bottom. These perforations will ensure that your dough does not hold high moisture. That will eventually make your pizza get the right amount of crispiness. Also the moisture-controlling mechanism will also make the pizza less sweet.
Furthermore, due to the construction being of metal, you can expect these to last for a prolonged amount of time. You will not even have to worry about the pan shattering if you accidentally drop it.
Pizza Pan Disadvantages
The main disadvantage of the pizza pan is because of the construction. Its metal construction will make it remain cold when not using it. For that reason, it will take more time to heat up. Other than that, the pan does not really have many disadvantages.
Pizza Pan vs Stone: Head to Head Comparison
Let us now get to the main thing that brought you here. So, after comparing the pizza pan and pizza stone head to head, here are the differences that we have found:
Baking the Crust
As you know, the pizza crust is as important as the sauce, cheese, and toppings. In other words, a pizza without a good crust cannot be referred to as a good pizza. And a perfect crust for pizza would be the one that is cooked quickly without getting the toppings burned.
Nonetheless, the pizza pan and pizza stone will adequately make the crust cook quickly. However, if you compare both heat retention objects, the pizza stone will be ahead. It does not remain cold in the initial stage, so it will not take that long to heat up.
Did you know that you can build the pizza on both the pizza stones and pizza pans? Yes, you indeed can! After building the pizza, you can just transfer the stone or the pan directly into the oven.
However, if you compare the pan's and stone's weight, you will find that the pan is much lighter. That will make it easier for you to move it from your countertop to the oven.
Although the pizza stone is heavier and takes a good while to heat up, the overall pizza-eating experience that you will get will be truly worth it. In general, the pizza stone will enable you to bake a pizza that will resemble the fire oven pizza.
Other than that, as the pizza stones can hold more heat, you can make your base a bit thick. But the same thing is not applicable to the pizza pan. The pizzas from pizza pans will taste pretty much like an average pizza. There will be nothing special to the cooking quality of that pizza.
Storing and Cleaning
Pizza pans have a smooth overall surface. For that reason, you will not need to worry about the cleaning task that much. On the other hand, pizza stones have a rough surface. That type of surface can make you go through a good amount of hassle when it comes to cleaning. Bits of pizza can get stuck on the small pores.
Other than that, storing the pizza pan is also easy. They are light in weight and will generally be easy to transport. For that reason, you will not face any issues at all while trying to store it after baking a delicious pizza.
Easy Cleaning Tips for Your Pizza Pan and Pizza Stone
Whether you are using a pizza pan or pizza stone, if you take proper care of it, you can use the heat retention object for a prolonged amount of time. And when it comes to taking care of your pizza stone, keep these in your mind:
- Never clean the pizza stone with soap
- Do not soak the stone in water
- Only clean when it is needed
- Do not handle it too much
Now, in the worst-case scenario, you might have the pizza bits stuck directly in your stone. In that case, you will need to soak the stone in water overnight. After that, get the bits out of the surface and thoroughly dry out the stone.
With the pizza stone out of the way, let us focus on the pizza pan. These are the tips that you should keep in mind while you are cleaning the pan:
- Remove any burned food from the surface as soon as possible
- Use hot water and a nylon brush to give the pizza pan a proper clean
- Rely on paper towels to get the pizza pan to dry
Tips to Seasoning Your Stone and Pan
Seasoning is another thing that is crucial to make your pizza pan and stone last for a prolonged time and ensure a good overall taste. If you do not season the pizza pan, for example, it will be less stick-resistant and will have rust on it.
Tips for the Pizza Pan
When it comes to the seasoning of the pan, you will need an oil that has a high smoking point. In this case, the flaxseed oil will work like a charm. Also, before seasoning the pan, you will need to clean it properly. And do not warm the pan in the oven with a temperature higher than that 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips for the Pizza Stone
Do not season the pizza stone! We repeat, there is no need to season your pizza stone! You will not get any benefit from seasoning the stone. In fact, if you add oil to the stone, you will ruin it!
Frequently Asked Questions
How heavy are pizza stones?
Pizza stones will be pretty hefty. Most of them will be from 13 pounds to 16 pounds. For that reason, the bakers will not usually move the stones around that much.
Do I need a pizza peel for pizza stones?
Not really! You can use a metal pan or a cookie sheet instead of the pizza peel. In fact, you can even use a large cutting board.
How should I clean the pizza stone?
Use hot steam or a little bit of hot water to get any of the food that is on the surface. Then, use a stone brush to get the other food particles away. After that, let the stone dry.
So, when it comes to pizza pan vs. stone, the thing that you need to prioritize the most is the taste. The pizza takes a whole different level in terms of taste with the pizza stone. Other than that, the pizza pan will take the lead if you consider the ease of cleaning, storing, and handling.
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