Pizza is a famous Italian cuisine throughout the world. Mentioning the name is enough to make our mouths watery. While you might not resist keeping ordering your favorite pizza, it’s not always possible.
With pizza pans readily available, you can make homemade pizza whenever you wish. But one of the most asked questions by home pizza makers is whether you should grease the pizza pan before baking.
Do You Need to Grease Pizza Pan or Tray?
Yes! It is essential to grease a Pizza pan regardless of the type, including a perforated or stone pizza pan. This is the best way of preventing the dough from sticking or burning the pan once you are done cooking.
To grease the pan, you can use a tablespoon of oil to scrub the surface thoroughly.
This gives the pan a nonstick surface and distinctive flavor that works well with baking pizza. When baking pizza, greasing the pan is essential in preventing it from sticking.
Related: Can You Cook Pizza on an Aluminum Pan?
What Oil Best for Greasing the Pizza Pan and Why?
Butter and shortenings are the common oils for greasing baking pans. Butter imparts a richness to the pizza and helps get a golden-brown exterior.
Shortening is also a great option as it is flavorless. You should not use vegetable or oil-based sprays to grease the pizza pan.
Olive oil is also a perfect choice for greasing the pizza pan and preventing sticking.
It has a distinctive flavor that works perfectly with baking pizza, although it might not work for other food and desserts.
Olive oil is a healthier option than butter or margarine due to its high antioxidants and unsaturated fats.
According to scientific evidence, replacing saturated fats derived from butter and other animal products with the unsaturated fats in olive oil has significant health benefits.
For instance, it helps increase HDL cholesterol that is considered a healthy cholesterol type.
A teaspoonful of olive oil offers 119 calories and about 14 grams of fat but does not have other macronutrients. However, olive oil contains small traces of minerals and vitamins.
Alternative Grease for Baking Pans
Most chefs prefer butter or margarine to grease a pizza pan before baking. But for people looking to avoid fat, there is a perfect option for you.
Sprinkling cornmeal on the pizza pan is a good alternative to prevent your pizza from sticking on the pan.
Cornmeal has no extra fat like oils, margarine, or butter. It is recommendable to use one to two teaspoons of salt cornmeal to dust the pizza dough. A quarter of the cornmeal has 150 calories and about 35 grams of carbohydrates.
Therefore, while using cornmeal for greasing your baking pan will increase the carb count for your pizza, it has low-fat content than butter and oil.
Why Should You Consider Perforated Pizza Pans?
Perforated pizza pans are types of pans with holes. The holes help in heating the pizza directly. This produces a crispy and brittle pizza compared to soggy and moist pizza made with flat pans with no holes.
The perforated pans offer airflow for even baking to get a crusty and crusty pizza. The holes allow moisture to escape keeping the pizza from being soggy.
They also allow heat to reach the crust more efficiently, giving you a faster cooking time. However, this means you will need to monitor your pizza more carefully when baking the pizza to avoid burning it.
If the quicker cooking times and crispy crust appeal to you, you should consider getting a perforated pan.
But keep in mind that perforated pizza pans are not perfect for preparing thick crust pizzas. Instead, the perforated pans are best for thin-crust pizzas, making them less chewy but with the original, sweet pizza taste.
How To Grease a Pizza Pan?
Homeowners who love pizzas can readily prepare them at home, reducing their budget on restaurants. To prepare a crusty and delicious pizza that does not stick, here is how to grease your pan.
- Pour a spoonful of cooking oil on the pizza pan surface.
- Use a basting brush or paper towel to coat the entire surface of the pan with the oil.
- After the pan has a thin oil coating, sprinkle one or two tablespoons of cornmeal over the oil coating. This will ensure the pizza dough will stick on the pan or burn.
- To grease perforated pizza pans, you should ensure you put the perforated pan on paper towels.
- Spray the nonstick cooking spray on the surface to coat it evenly or rub the pan’s surface with a thin layer of oil such as canola oil or olive oil. The paper towel will prevent the spray from getting on your table or countertop.
- If appropriate, dust the surface by sprinkling with some cornmeal.
How To Care Your Pizza Pan?
Now that you understand how to grease and bake with a pizza pan, it is crucial to know how to take care of and maintain your pizza pan.
One of the main ways to take care of your pizza pan is to clean it after use. Ensure you handwash the pan using a safe detergent and soft washing sponge.
Handwash the pizza pan with liquid dish soap and air or towel dry. Clean the pizza pan periodically to prevent difficulty in cleaning the buildup. Also, after cleaning the pans, dry place the pan to not become wet.
Although some pizza pans are dishwasher safe, this is not recommended if you want to maintain the integrity of the pan. The harsh detergents in a dishwasher can damage the pan’s surface, affecting its overall baking performance and even shortening its lifespan.
Dishwasher detergents contain sodium hydroxide, a solution utilized in anodizing industry to strip off the anodic coatings; hence this will remove the nonstick coating with time.
Another way of taking care of your pan is regular seasoning, particularly before using the pans for baking pizza. Seasoning means greasing the pans, as already stated, giving them a thin nonstick coating.
Well-greased pans are essential for an excellent nonstick bake and add texture and flavor. This prevents the pan from burning and having the stubborn pizza residues, extending its life.
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Other care tips for your pizza pan:
- Adjusting the temperature immediately can cause discoloration. Hence, it is recommendable not to clean a hot pizza pan with cold water.
- Don’t leave your pizza pan wet for many hours. Wipe the pan with a towel immediately after washing. This will help in preventing stains. Ensure to dry the pan entirely because humidity can make the pan rust.
- Never add frozen food to the pizza pan. This will cause a discoloration that is very tough to eliminate.
- If you are using a stainless pizza pan, you should avoid using steel wool scrubbers. It can cause scratch marks on the pizza pan.
- Avoid using metallic utensils such as a spoon, fork, and knife when cooking, as they can cause scratches on the pan’s surface.
How To Clean a Pizza Pan?
Pizza pans are notorious for becoming greasy and baked-on messes. Over time, the pan gets a grease buildup and becomes tacky or sticky to the touch.
Cleaning and restoring them to their shiny state will not be easy. But with a bit of work, you can significantly enhance the look and lifespan of your pan.
To clean your pan, you will need;
- Baking soda
- Clean sink
- White vinegar
- Large pot
- Cloth scouring pad
1. Begin by filling the pot with water.
2. Add about one and a half cups of white vinegar in each water gallon.
3. Heat the vinegar and water solution to a boil.
4. Plug the sink so it doesn’t drain, and pour the boiling water into the sink.
5. Put the pizza pan to the solution in the sink and leave it to soak. If you cannot submerge the whole pan, rotate it frequently so the entire surface soaks properly. However, be careful when handling it as the metal surface will get hot.
6. After the water becomes cool enough to touch, sprinkle some baking soda on the surface of the pizza pan.
7. Use the soft scouring pad to scrub the pan. The acid content in the vinegar will help loosen the greasy, baked-on residue. The baking soda is mildly abrasive that helps washes the stuck residues away easily. You don’t need to worry about the vinegar and baking soda fizzing reaction. The reaction is normal and dissipates quickly.
8. Once the pan is thoroughly clean, rinse it properly with clean water and dry it with a clean paper towel or clothing.
9. If the water becomes cold before the pan is completely clean, drain the sink and repeat the whole process.
You will require to grease the pizza pan before baking to prevent it from sticking. We hope you have gained sufficient knowledge about caring and cleaning for a pizza pan.
Therefore, if you love delicious pizza, you don’t have to keep spending in the restaurant. By greasing your pizza pan, you can effectively bake a pizza in your home kitchen anytime you have the craving.