Pan Pizza Vs Hand Tossed (Including Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan)

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One of the most common food that almost everyone in the globe enjoys is pizza. People enjoy them, though, because they are diverse with several options to try.

No wonder it keeps evolving. With over 100 years of life, it’s a surprise people still like it just as much as they did at first.

I know what most people think: aren’t pan pizzas and the hand-tossed ones the same? Although they will come to you in the same pan style, they aren’t the same.

This article is going to show you the difference. Of course, you need to know everything before you go out to buy the pizza.

Whether you like the original pan or hand-tossed one is a decision you will have to make before ordering your favorite pizza.

The difference by definitions

What is pan pizza?

This is also what they refer to as the Chicago pizza, and some people refer to it as the deep dish pizza.

Related article:

Chicago Vs New York Pizza

Since the 1940s, when the people of Chicago first started to make different pizzas styles, they used the pan to prepare the pizza.

Here, you will not need to toss the dough in the air when you make the pizza.

pan pizza

Therefore, the easiest way is to make some balls and then roll them on the pan directly. So then it will always take the shape of the pan.

You will have to bake it for a short while before you finally add the different kinds of cheese and the meat.

Note that the pan pizza you make in the oven then will be ready in 15 minutes.

Hand-tossed pizza

The unique thing about this is that you will need to toss the pizza dough in the air.

But even before you do that, you will need to make sure you knead the dough until it’s very soft.

So then keep tossing the dough up until you are sure you have the right size.


Notice that not everyone will manage to toss it as it needs a lot of practice to master. Of course, once you finish making the dough, then you will add the sauce.

Next, leave it out for 2-3 hours. After it has risen, you can add the toppings to it and the cheese before you set it in the oven. Finally, cook it in the highest heat of about 500F but only for 15 minutes.

You expect the crust of the dough, though, to be crispy.


Of course, if you are checking the information on this pizza, you will need to check its similarities.

  • It uses the regular pizza dough that’s made using yeast, salt, flour, and water.
  • The toppings may vary, but mostly, they come out the same as you will use different types of veggies, different meats and mozzarella cheese, seasonings, and different pizza spices.

The clear differences

  Hand-tossed Pan pizza
Origin Italy Chicago
How to make the crust You have to toss it in the air You oil the pan then spread it by hand to the edges.
Toppings It has lesser toppings Has more toppings
Baking temperature 500°F More than 500°F
How to eat it You should use bare hands Use a fork.

Lets talk about the dough

Understand that the pan pizza name and the hand-tossed names refer to the name of the preparation techniques.

So when it comes to the pizza dough, there’s a difference, and it may even be the clearest difference between the two.

I know a few pizza places that don’t even bother to make the authentic dough making style.

Suppose you are the type of person that likes to make pizza or any meal using an authentic recipe. Then you should know this fact below.


If you’re going to use the hand-tossed one, then you will have to toss it in the air. That’s what makes the name hand-tossed. Like we said earlier, you will need to be experienced in this, though, for it to work for you.

Then there’s pan pizza that’s more like the Chicago pizza.

Furthermore, they like to use hydrated dough. Therefore, you should expect it to be softer as it’s hydrated, but it further has some extra salt. The aim is to make sure it will brown easily.

The crust

Of course, you have to know what kind of crust you are using because it will show you whether you are using a pan pizza or the hand to seed one.

The pan pizza is deeper than the hand-tossed one. Generally, though, the pan pizza will be fluffier and also thicker and fleshier. You know the hand-tossed one has its origin in Italy, so it’s one of the thin types.

The tools and the techniques

So remember, the tools you use may differ. And the ones you have for the pan pizza and the ones for the hand-tossed ones are different. Nonetheless, if this is the first time you are making the pizza, you should make the pan pizza a lot easier to make. It would help if you had not much specialty to make pan pizza.

Therefore, you will only need the rolling stick and the cake pan, the cast iron skillet, and any other deep-sided pan. If you think you used a very soft dough, you won’t have to worry since you can use let it spread by itself.

For the hand-tossed pizza, you have to think of the tools you will use because anything that goes wrong affects the way it looks.

If you are going to cook the pizza at home, you will need a very hot stone. I, in fact, enjoy the flavor of the pizza made using a hot stone. Notice that this one will require experience to make it work; otherwise, it may not look nicely shaped.

It would help if you also bought the pizza peel to make sure you will quickly transfer the pizza to the stone. The stone then takes the place of the baking sheet. You should further know that you will need to toss the pizza onto the air if you have to make it perfect.

You may sometimes need a rolling pin if you are not so good with the pizza dough’s tossing.

The toppings

Notice that most American pizzas have a lot of toppings. So if you’re making an American pizza, you expect it to have many toppings. Nonetheless, the size of the crust determines the amounts of toppings it can also hold.

In this case, since the pan pizza often has a bigger and thicker crust, it will hold many more toppings.

The hand-tossed one is an Italian version, and therefore it does have a lot of toppings but not as much as the pan pizza one.

What is the origin

There will be a difference in the origin too. Notice that the pan pizza is from Chicago, while the hand-tossed one is from Italy. Of course, the place it’s from influences how they make it and the toppings too, thus the flavors.

They may have a difference in taste and texture.

You will always see that the main difference here is the thickness of the crust. Notice that the hand-tossed option has a thinner crust. That’s because during the tossing, it will lose the air bubbles in the oven, and therefore, it won’t rise.

The two types of crust are both crispy but with the pan pizza, one being crustier. It does develop a brown color with the perfect crust.

The hand-tossed ones have their edge free of toppings. The pan pizza has cheese, sauce, and other toppings in all the pizza parts, including the edges. Besides, since it has a thicker crust, it will be easier to hold the toppings. This means that you will have a greater amount of toppings. It will have a little more cheese, meats, and even sauces.

The cooking temperature

Of course, once again, you will have different temperatures for cooking the pizza. The hand-tossed pizza will take about 500°F, and it will often take about 10 minutes but sometimes 15 minutes, depending on the size, to cook it.

Pan pizza will cook at a higher temperature than this, though.

Another greater difference

You will see that the pan pizza crust has more oil, and therefore it maintains a crusty texture. Its sometimes even shaped by hand to reach the edges. Notice that the hand-tossed one often has a flatter, crispier crust as it’s made when you toss it by hand.

The shape difference

I know this may not be a significant point, but you must know the difference when you’re going to make the two pizzas. Remember you should have a pan with oil you spread through, so spread the dough into all the pan’s sides. This then means that the pizza will take on any shape depending on the pan you are using.

The hand-tossed ones, though, are the type you will be throwing on the air, which will then get it nicely circular. You will therefore set it on the stone to make the perfect-shaped pizza.

Pizza hut hand-tossed pizza and pan pizza.

The pizza huts pan pizza is a signature style of pizza that has been in existence for ages. This will be more of a personal choice, though.  From the one I’ve tried, though, you can be sure the pan pizza is way better than the hand-tossed one.

Here are 11 Types Of Pizza Hut Crusts you may want to check out.

I think that they make the hand-tossed one thicker than most other places. Well, other people may also have a different opinion, and that’s okay. Note though that generally, you will like their different kinds of pizzas.

What do you think about dominos’s handmade pan pizza?

I know we all mostly love domino’s pizza as well but do you like its handmade pan pizza? I do because it has a soft crumb with a thin layer to the crumbs too.

But to me, the pan pizza is way better than even the hand-tossed revamped one. Well, maybe that’s just me being a change freak, lol.


Which one of the pizza types is costly?

This one will depend more on the chain you are buying it from. Some chains will make the pan pizza costly, while others make the hand-tossed one more expensive. Generally, though, they’re both costly. The reason behind it is just that both options are labor-intensive.

The hand-tossed one will be even more costly because of the labor work that goes into it.

Will the pizza pan affect the quality of your pizza?

At the very start, they were using the different styles of the pan to make the pizza. So whenever we are talking of the pan pizza, we go back to the traditional style of pizza making. The pan you use, though, matters. This then means you either have a quality pizza or not.

Most people like to use aluminum or even cast iron. Also, ensure the pan comes in a brighter color. When the color is bright, it’ll receive the reflection of light, making it easy to attain the right temperature.

You can be sure you will have the crustier exterior that’s soft and fluffy exterior with such a temperature.

It will also be different if you are using the cast iron pan that isn’t only heavy. They will retain the temperature making it easy to attain the crusty, crispy crust. And if you want, you will also find the grill pans to use too. This will further mean that you can grill the pizza, too, instead of baking.

You can also use the pizza cutter pans, and they will further cut the pans and making it easy to lift the slices. The edge will also maintain the perfect texture. And since it cuts easily, then it maintains the supreme nature. You can use aluminum and tin. With that said, then you have the best pan choices.

But which one is the best?

Both the pan pizza and the hand-tossed ones are great it only matters the one you would like to eat on a particular day.

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