Pizza Stone Vs. Pan Vs. Steel Vs. Pizza Screen – Which One Should You Choose

We have so many debates that regard the right way to cook pizza. Some say you must use the stone; others say the screen is excellent others vouch for the pan.

Whichever method you decide to use, we are here to show you that they are all great.

There are a few things that will make the pizza perfect. It includes how you make the dough, the cooking method, but also the cooking tool.

Some will get you the crispy crust, while others will get you a soft one. In this article, we will show you the difference between the most common tools you use when making the pizza and which one is the best to use.

  Pizza pan Pizza stone Pizza steel Pizza screen
What makes it Steel or aluminum Ceramic, cordierite, cast iron Mostly stainless steel Aluminum
Cleaning it and seasoning You need warm water and soap. It’s the easiest to clean, but you will have to season it every once in a while. Easy to clean with warm water and soap, but you have to season it to last longer. Not so easy to clean when the crumbs stick on the holes.
Price A little costly Costly. Averagely priced Cheaper
Durability It will often last long. With TLC, it will last a lifetime. It will last longer if you keep seasoning it. It will last long
Thermal conductivity Heat changes don’t affect it. Drastic heat changes will cause cracking and eventually breakage. Not affected Not affected.

Understanding the pizza pan

The name shows you that the pizza pan is so similar to the regular pan. But this pizza one is ideal for pizza baking.

There are different types of pizza pan, and they determine the shape, thickness, and size of the pizza. Sometimes you will have it being

perforated, deep, shallow small, larger coated, or uncoated. This is the general term for all the pans you may use in making the pizzas.

pizza in Pizza Pan

Image: slicepizzeria.com

These aren’t going to be too expensive, and yet they are easy to store and maintain.

Pros

  • They are readily available.
  • You will not struggle to clean them.
  • It cooks your different pizza differently depending on the surface you have.
  • It’s easy to use and will heat up faster.
  • You have different surfaces to choose from and use.
  • They come in various sizes to serve your different needs.
  • It is scratch resistant.

Cons

  • It can be expensive.

Types of pizza pan surfaces

  • The coupe-style pizza pan

Therefore, you have the flat base of the pan, but it often also has a flat tray with a rounded rim. They make it easy to handle the pan than you would do other pans. People like such pans for their versatility. You can also use them to slice, bake but also serve the pizza.

  • Deep dishpans

They are literary what the name indicates a deep dish, but they are mostly made using strong metals. It will always have raised edges and sides. You can use them to make the deep-dish pizza and the Chicago pizza if you want to.

  • Perforated pan

This one normally has holes at the bottom. It will make it easy for the air to go at the bottom of the pizza crust, making it crispy but also tasty.

  • Smooth pizza pan

This one works best when you want to bake the thick and bread-like crust. Remember, though, you would have to oil it before you finally set the pizza dough on it.

Understanding pizza stone

This is one of the tools those big pizza chefs use in their restaurants to make an excellent crispy and brown pizza. If you like cracker-like pizza, you will have it serve you best.

Sometimes they even call it baking stone, but it refers to the same thing. It features the use of a flat slab made using the stone or ceramic that you will always set in your oven rack to bake it. If you have it, you will find it easy even to keep the pizza hot.  

It features the use of stones like ceramic stone, cordierite, cast iron, among others. This they mold to make a pizza pan and stone-like pan.

pizza-stone-2

Image: slicepizzeria.com

It takes a lot of time to become hot, but once it does, then it retains the heat and cooks the pizza at the desired temperature. This will save you when the oven abruptly goes off, too, because it will make sure the pizza keeps cooking.

They come to you in different thicknesses, and of course, the thicker ones are way better to use as they will quickly cook the pizza.

Pros

  • This will always give you the traditional pizza flavors.
  • It’s easy to clean after use.
  • It will generally give you a fast baking time once it heats up. Besides, you can use it to keep your pizza warm for about three hours.
  • The stone will never have strange odors.
  • If you take proper care of it, then it will last a lifetime.
  • There’s no other pan that will cook the pizzas for you as the stone does.

Cons

  • You will require constant maintenance for a lifetime.
  • Don’t drop it because you will break it.
  • This one is more expensive than most other pans you have here.
  • You have to take the time to cook it right.

Understanding pizza screen

The pizza screen is what it sounds like. They were made to deliver the same pizza as the one that the pizza stone does. It will make you attain a crispy yet nicely brown color pizza.

They feature the use of a flat mesh-like pan to mean it has perforated holes. They will cook the pizzas quickly, making them attain the crispy crust. You will have it coming in 6 – 28-inch diameter.

pizza-on-a-pizza-screen

Image: Slice Pizzeria

Also, they mostly feature the use of aluminum, but sometimes they are made using steel. They’ll come in different shapes, sometimes circular and other times rectangular.

This one often has holes, and it’s lighter to allow it to cook easily fast and even make it crispy brown. The perforated holes are great, and they will allow the rapid circulation of the air, thus cooking the pizza faster.

Pros

  • This screen is lightweight, and it’s also often available in different sizes. You can have it in enormous sizes to make your favorite large pizzas.
  • You won’t damage it quickly since it’s made using metal. It can fall, and you won’t still damage it.
  • It features the use of non-toxic material.
  • Notice that this is more affordable than most of the pizza pan options.
  • This is corrosion resistant yet very strong and scratch-resistant too.
  • It’s easier to clean and maintain
  • It will bake the pizza first since it delivers the perfect heat transfer.
  • It’s not even affected by thermal shocks, so you can set it in the oven at whatever temperature.

Cons

  • It’s going to be hard to clean the holes when the pizza crusts stick on those surfaces.
  • The dough will get burnt if you don’t check it frequently.
  • The pizza steel will not give you a soft dough, so if that wants you like, then use another one, not this.

Pizza steel

Pizza steel is just as standard as the pizza stone. People like it for being cheaper and also readily available. It will then conduct the heat better than the pizza stone does.

pizza-steel

Image: Slice Pizzeria

It will cook the pizza perfectly and fast. This is why some people decide that it doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive pizza stone when you can use pizza steel.

Pros

  • This is more affordable than most.
  • It’s easy to maintain since you just need to clean it with soap and water then keep it dry.
  • It is durable.
  • It will cook different styles of pizza with ease.
  • It’s versatile; you can also use it over the stones for other uses.
  • It will heat up faster, so you don’t need the cooking time.

Cons

  • It may rust or corrode if you don’t care for it. Mostly you may need to season it to prevent rusting.

Pizza pan vs. pizza stone

One common thing to remember is that they both aim to make the best pizza. Of course, everyone has a single way they like their pizza, and that’s why different people choose different tools for their pizzas. We will look at the differences based on the results they make.

The crust

One of the main parts of a pizza is the crust. Some people like it soft, but others like it crispy. Now the good thing is that they will both get you a crispy crust.

crust-pizza

They can cook the pizza crust faster and therefore attain the texture needed while getting it fully cooked. You will always have the crust cook correctly, but we must say the stone is better.

The pan you are using remember will determine the shape and size of the pizza you’re going to make. Remember you should cook the crust first if you will have it not becoming soggy but remaining perfect.

Convenience rate

These are both convenient, and they will let you build your pizza right on top of the pan or stone. Again the moment you build the pizza, you can move it in the oven to bake it right. The pizza stone calls for you to set it in the oven to prep it.

It will take about 20 minutes to be hot and ready for the baking process to take place successfully. Notice too that the pizza pan is much lighter, so it will take less effort to carry it from one side to another.

And you don’t need the prepping time when you are cooking in the pan.

Does it ever have a taste difference?

This one has to be different, and that’s why the founders of pizza liked to use the pizza stone. It may take a little longer to cook your pizza, but it’s going to be everything.

It cooks the pizza in the regular oven, but the results are as though you made it in the wood fired oven.

You can use the pizza stone in the wood or brick fire oven. So if you like the wood flavor, you should always use the right oven, but the stone is everything for you.

The skills you need

You probably already know of the baking pan because they are the most common tools in the kitchen. You may sometimes use it to make your favorite eggs and the likes.

Still, they make great pizzas, and this is why we like it the most. You don’t need high skill levels to cook it fast.

As for the stone, you may not have used it for other things already. Most pizza lovers like to use the crispy ones and to attain that here, you will need some experience. This is not something to go to school for; you need to observe.

You first have to get it to specific temperatures before building the pizza on its surface. This way then you will comfortably attain the right crust.

How to clean and store

Of course, when you finish cooking the pizza, you will need to clean the tools. The easiest to clean them is the pizza pan; remember, it’s light, and you can clean it simply with water and soap.

However, if you are using the stone, you just have to know the type of stone you are using. When you do, then you will choose the right cleaning method.

Some methods may not work for different stones. For example, you can’t clean cast iron with any detergent as it will hold the smell.

The price

Generally speaking, the pizza stone is going to be expensive than the pizza pan. But you shouldn’t buy into the very cheap pizza stones you find around; they aren’t real ones.

Pizza pan vs. pizza screen

You can easily differentiate the pizza pan and the pizza screen. Nonetheless, it’s important to mention that the pizza pan comes in different styles, as discussed already.

On the other hand, the pizza screen is flat, but it will also cook the crispy pizza crust. They often have the mesh construction, which you will use to make the crispy pizza.

The crust they are going to create

The pizza pan is good for cooking soft but also doughy pizza. The crust is more beadlike, and it will blend perfectly with the toppings too. For the pizza screen, though, you will cook the crust to begin being crispy.

The pizza screen is ideal for the thin crust, but if you are looking for a deep pizza with a thicker crust, then you should buy the pizza pan.

The convenience

Again here you have both pizza pan styles being convenient to use. They are easy to move in the oven when you need to, but they are also easy to maintain depending on the material you bought.

So the main difference here is in the crust. They’ll give you the soggy beadlike pizza, but the other is thin crust, and it’s brown yet crunchy.

Pizza steel vs. pizza stone

Of course, the first thing is to make the pizza stone, then make it using cast iron, ceramic, cordierite cast iron, and more. The pizza screen features the use of aluminum or stainless steel.

This is the main difference, but you will realize that there are also more differences in how the pizza comes out.

Heating time

Now just like the other screen and pans, you won’t need to heat it. Pizza steels are efficient and fast when heating up, so you just need to set up the oven and place your pizza on the pan. For the pizza stone, you will then need to heat the stone for 20 – 30minutes. After that, though, you can be sure the pizza will cook right and within a short time.

The price

The pizza stone will be a lot costlier than the pizza screen. If you find the cheap pizza stones, then be wary as it may not be good.

Durability

Both the pizza steel and the pizza stone are durable. They are bound to last longer. You see, the pizza stone may last a lifetime but not without some TLC. You have to handle it well; remember to season it from time to time. Also, avoid thermal shock as that will break it down.

Pizza steel is better, though, because it will last long without the need for TLC. Just make sure you clean them right and dry them, then that’s it. They are never affected by thermal shock, and the best part is that you can use them on your stove too.

The crust

Remember they will cook just the same, and in the end, you will have a crispy crust and delicious toppings as you may like. But if you like to make a lot of pizza at once, you may need to use pizza steel unless you don’t mind being patient for the best flavors and tastes.

Pizza stone vs. pizza screen

One of the biggest advantages of using either a pizza stone or a pizza screen is making it easy to attain the best and crusty pizza. They use different concepts to attain almost the same results.

With the constant heat circulation through the mesh, you have the pizza being nicely crusty.

Cooking time

As you would expect, the screen with the mesh surface will cook much faster. If you like the crispy, nicely brown pizza within a short time, then it’s better to use the pizza screen. If you don’t mind the time and you only want to make the traditional pizza flavors, then you can use the pizza stone.

Durability

When talking of the pans themselves, you can be sure the pizza stone will last much longer. The difference is then that you have to take good care of it. Take time to give it some TLC. The screen will last long but not as much as the pizza stone can if you care for it.

The price

As you may expect, it’s more expensive to buy a legit pizza stone than it is the pizza screen. It often depends on where you are buying these things. Now the price doesn’t necessarily indicate the value to you.

If you like stones, you like them even if it’s costly or cheaper, and if you like steel, you will like them even if the price is lower.

Which one is best

I say this depends mostly on your personal preference.

If you like to cook the pizza to become crispy, you may need the screens or perforated pans. They will achieve the desired crust in no time. You can still use the stone and know the temperature to cook if you like to attain a crispy crust.

If you want the traditional flavors, then there’s no way you can go for any other pan aside from the pizza stone. There’s something about it that will make it deliver the crispy pizza with deep rich flavors, but especially if you cook it in the wood-fired oven. The other remaining types will give you the perfect pizza, but it may not have the exact flavors you are used to.

If you want to cook it quickly, then you can’t use the stone. All the other types of pans don’t need you to heat them for a long time; instead, you will need to cook them immediately after the oven is hot. But the screen and the perforated pan will cook your pizza faster than others. This is because they allow the circulation of heat through the pizza.

If you like to use a pizza pans style to keep your pizza warm for at least an hour, this pizza stone is the one to use.

You should use the pizza pan or steel for the thick pizza because of the lifted edges. I mean, you can’t use the screen for the thick pizza as everything will flow over the screen to fall off.

As you can see, all the ones we suggest are great; it’s only a matter of what you need. This mostly goes to personal preferences.

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