Very little in life can compare to the splendor felt after pulling a perfectly cooked pizza that you constructed yourself out of the oven. However, there’s still a moment of hesitancy. That brief flush of panic that washes over you when you cut into it. Is it cooked enough? Did the crust get crispy enough?
The best pan to cook pizza in the oven is one that’s cast-iron or some other material that’s able to handle heat up to 500 degrees. The key here is to find a pan of the appropriate thickness to both handle the temperatures while also baking it to desired crispiness.
You might want to cook a pizza in a cast iron pan because:
- It results in a crispy and delicious crust
- The sauce and toppings will heat up more evenly than if you used an oven
- The pan will retain heat and keep your pizza warm longer after it’s been cooked.
So, if you’re looking for a delicious and slightly unconventional way to cook your next pizza, give the cast iron pan a try! The results may just surprise you.
There are a few common challenges people face when cooking a pizza in a cast iron pan. The first is that the crust can be difficult to get just right – it often ends up being too crispy or not crispy enough.
Secondly, some people find it hard to get the sauce and toppings evenly distributed on the dough.
And finally, it can be tricky to know exactly how long to cook the pizza for so that the crust is perfectly golden brown.
You might be struggling to cook a pizza in a cast iron pan because you’re not getting the crust right, the toppings are unevenly distributed, or you don’t know how long it should take.
Don’t worry though! You’re not alone.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to help people who want to enjoy cooking their pizza in a cast iron pan.
In the following sections, we’ll go over all of the steps you need to take to make a perfect pizza in a cast iron pan.
Preheat Your Cast Iron Pan On Medium Heat
When cooking a pizza in a cast iron pan, it’s important to preheat the pan on medium heat.
This will help ensure that your crust is crispy and that your toppings are evenly heated.
If you skip this step, your crust may end up being too crispy or not crispy enough, and your toppings may not be cooked through.
The Importance of Preheating Your Cast Iron Pan
Preheating your cast iron pan is important because it helps the pan reach a higher temperature more quickly. This is important because it allows the oil to heat up more quickly, which leads to a better sear on whatever you’re cooking.
It’s also important to preheat your cast iron pan because it helps to evenly distribute the heat, which results in a more consistent cooking surface. This is particularly important for items like hamburgers or steak, which can be easily botched if they’re not cooked evenly.
Preheating your cast iron pan is an easy way to make sure your food turns out just the way you want it – every time.
The Best Way to Preheat Your Cast Iron Pan
There’s more than one way to preheat your cast iron pan, but the best way is to heat it slowly over low heat. This will help ensure that your pan is evenly heated and that the seasoning on the pan is not damaged.
You can also put a little oil in the pan before you heat it, which will help to prevent food from sticking.
And finally, make sure to never use soap on a cast iron pan – this will strip away the seasoning and can damage the pan.
What Temperature to Preheat Your Cast Iron Pan At
It is best to preheat your cast iron pan at a medium-high temperature (between 375 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit) before adding oil or food. Cast iron pans that are heated properly will cook food evenly and prevent sticking.
If you have a newer cast iron pan, it is important to season it before using it for the first time. To season your cast iron pan, heat the pan on the stovetop until it is hot, then add a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening.
Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel, and place the pan in the oven. Bake the pan at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. remove from oven and let cool.
Seasoning your cast iron pan this way will help to prevent sticking and will help the pan to better withstand high temperatures.
How to Tell When Your Cast Iron Pan is Preheated
The easiest way to tell when your cast iron pan is preheated is to sprinkle a little water on the pan. If the water dances and evaporates quickly, the pan is ready.
If not, give it a few more minutes until it’s hot enough.
Spread Some Olive Oil Or Cooking Spray On The Pan
When cooking a pizza in a cast iron pan, it’s important to spread some olive oil or cooking spray on the pan before you add the dough. This will help to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan, and it will also help to give the crust a crispy texture.
You can use any type of cooking oil or spray, but olive oil is a good choice because it has a high smoke point and a strong flavor.
Some people might recommend using a pastry brush to spread cooking oil or cooking spray on a pan, but I find that it’s much easier to just use my fingers.
I simply dip my fingers into the oil or cooking spray and then smear it all over the surface of the pan. This method is not only faster and easier, but it also helps to ensure that the oil or cooking spray is evenly distributed.
Place The Pizza Dough In The Center Of The Pan
When cooking a pizza in a cast iron pan, it’s important to place the dough in the center of the pan. This will help ensure that the dough cooks evenly and that the toppings are not crowded.
If you put the dough too close to the edge of the pan, it may cook too quickly and become crispy or burnt.
Center placement ensures even and thorough baking. If the dough is placed too close to the edge of the pan, it will likely over-bake while the center remains underdone. This can lead to an unevenly cooked pizza with a tough crust and an undercooked center. ‘
Placing the dough in the center of the pan also allows for more even browning, as heat circulates more evenly around the dough when it is in the center of the pan.
Add Sauce, Cheese, And Toppings To The Dough
Adding sauce, cheese, and toppings to the dough is important because it helps to ensure that the pizza will be evenly cooked and that it will taste delicious.
Sauce helps to add flavor and moisture to the pizza. It also helps to bind the cheese and toppings to the crust.
Cheese is a key ingredient in pizza, and it helps to add flavor and richness to the dish.
Toppings can be anything that you like, but some of my favorites are pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers.
Bake For About 15-20 Minutes Or Until The Crust Is Golden Brown
Baking for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown is important because it will help to ensure that the pizza is cooked evenly and that it will taste delicious. If you bake the pizza for too long, the crust will become crispy or burnt. If you bake it for too short a time, the center of the pizza will be undercooked.
The crust should be golden brown and crispy in order to provide a good contrast in texture against the sauce, cheese, and toppings.
Undercooked crust can be soggy and chewy, while overcooked crust can be dry and tough.
Cooking a pizza in a cast iron pan is simple and the results are delicious. Preheat your pan on medium heat, spread some olive oil or cooking spray on the pan, place the dough in the center of the pan, add sauce, cheese, and toppings to the dough, and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Pans to Cook Pizza in an Oven
Each different kind of pizza pan is bound to produce wildly different pizzas. The key is to know what kind of pizza you’re trying to make. Perhaps you’ve never had a Chicago style, and want to try it but don’t care for the wind? You can easily replicate it with the proper equipment in your own kitchen.
Here are some various types of pizza pans.
Cast Iron Pans
Cast iron is one of the most versatile materials to cook on. It can be used on the grill, the stove and even in the oven on broil without any concern or ruining it. The raised edges give you just the right leeway to create complex crusts (if you’re opting to try a stuffed crust, consider cast iron your go-to).
It should be mentioned that cast iron is fairly heavy, but so are stones. If you’re working with one, there’s no reason you shouldn’t handle the other. Cast irons tend to offer similar performance to pizza steels, so it makes sense that you’d want to use one for your Neapolitan pizzas.
Regular Pizza Pan
Typically, regular (or coupe) pizza pans are made with a hard coat of aluminum to protect them from extreme temperatures and keep them durable. This is why they’re perfect in commercial ovens, and often used at local pizza chains that don’t specialize in wood-fire.
It’s durable and simple, but don’t expect a better result than you’ll get at a chain.
The aforementioned Chicago-style pizza. Distinctive due precisely because they’re so deep, a pan like this is ideal for the layered pizzas that the city is known for. The high metal walls allow you to cook some intricately stacked dishes.
They’re available in aluminum, which can handle heat, and come in both square and round shapes. I always say if you’re truly going the Chicago way, square is the only way to go.
Chicago pizzas are not my forte, but I can see the appeal. Personally, the foldable NYC slice is much more my speed, which is why I always prefer to use:
Pizza Pan Alternatives
I don’t know any serious pizza chef, or even just a casual fan, that hasn’t invested in a pizza stone. It’s the closest you’re going to get to a wood-fired oven right in your own kitchen. And if you’re trying to produce an authentic, Italian dish, there’s really no better option than a high-quality stone.
It’s vital that you don’t get the stone wet when you’re cleaning it, which can make the process a bit frustrating. But keeping a stone clean is just as important as cooking with it. Otherwise, it can easily crack and break.
Stones are exceptionally good at absorbing moisture, so it’s important to avoid cleaning products that the stone will take in. The last thing you want is to bite into a pizza and taste soap.
Pizza Screens and Disks
If you’re looking to bake a pizza fast and easy, a pizza screen or a disk is the quickest option. You don’t need to preheat them for a long time like you do with stones and other material. Thanks to the mesh bottom, the heat can be easily transferred to the dough.
As a result, you’re guaranteed a crispy, crunchy crust every time. I’ve found this works best for thin-crusts, as they won’t take very long to cook. It’s a great, fast alternative when you have an unexpected guest you want to impress.
How Thickness Affects Crust
The right type of pizza pan is going to determine the thickness of your crust. A thick pan is going to take longer to cook, but it should handle even the most extreme temperatures.
Whatever pan you choose, there’s no shortage of options available that cook virtually any type of pizza.
Q: Can I use a pizza stone to cook my pizza in a cast iron pan?
A: Some people might recommend using a pizza stone to cook your pizza in a cast iron pan, but I find that it’s not necessary. A pizza stone can help to create an even crust and it can also help to heat the pan more quickly, but I have found that a cast iron pan can achieve similar results without the need for a pizza stone.
Q: What is the best type of dough to use for cooking a pizza in a cast iron pan?
A: There is no one “best” type of dough to use for cooking a pizza in a cast iron pan. Any type of pre-made or homemade dough will work. However, it’s important to make sure that the dough is not too thick or too thin. If the dough is too thick, it may not cook evenly and it may also become burnt or crispy. If the dough is too thin, it may become soggy and undercooked.
Q: Can I use a baking sheet to cook my pizza in a cast iron pan?
A: You can use a baking sheet to cook your pizza in a cast iron pan, but I find that it’s not necessary. A baking sheet can help to create an even crust, but I have found that a cast iron pan can achieve similar results without the need for a baking sheet.