With about three billion pizzas sold annually in the US alone, Pizza is one of the favorite menus for most people. Making a pizza at home is easy, quick and fun, allowing you to whip up a delicious version of your usual pizza order.
With different pans, having the correct type of pan makes or breaks your perfect pizza.
This article will take an exclusive look into a perforated pizza pan, why you should use it, how to use it, and its care and maintenance.
Read more: can you cook pizza on an aluminum pan?
What Is Perforated Pizza Pan or Pizza Pan with Holes?
Perforated pizza pans are also known as pizza pans with holes. The pans are often made of aluminum, and the holes allow the heat to cook the pizzas and pies directly.
A perforated pan is a brittle and crispy pizza compared to a moist and soggy pizza made using a smooth pizza pan or pan with no holes.
It is important to remember that perforated pizza pans are not ideal for use on thick crust pizzas.
Instead, these pans are perfect for thin-crust pizzas, making them less chewy while retaining the sweet, original pizza taste.
Why Should You Use a Perforated Pizza Pan?
The holes at the base of the pan enhance airflow for even baking to get a crunchy, and crusty pizza.
Perforated pans also stop crusts from becoming soggy as the holes enable moisture to escape while resting, so it does not get absorbed back to the crust.
Perforated pizza pans also remove excess flour from your pizza base and enable heat to reach the crust faster, resulting in faster cooking times and crispier crust.
After your pizza is cooked, you can easily make even slices with the help of the integrated grid lines on the edge of the pan. A perforated pizza pan also makes it easy to reheat the half-cooked parts or leftovers.
Consequently, a perforated pizza pan gives you a well-cooked, low on calories and less sugary pizza.
You will not only get a crispy crust, but you will also decrease the overall calorie count compared to pizzas made with deep-dish or traditional crusts.
How To Use a Perforated Pizza Pan/ Pizza Pan with Holes?
To use a perforated pizza to make homemade pizza, you should start by spraying the pan with nonstick spray before placing the dough on the pan. Then hold the pan over the sink to allow the oil to go through the holes, misting surfaces and floors.
Sprinkle cornmeal or flour on the countertop and roll the dough out before putting it in the perforated pan. If the dough shrinks back, you should cover it with a towel and leave it to rest for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Peel the dough carefully off the countertop and lay it well on the pizza pan. Do not stretch it out on the pan as it will shrink back during cooking, and the dough might get stuck in the holes. Add the toppings and sauce, and you are ready to bake it.
Pizza restaurants have excellent ovens heated up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, but at home, the maximum oven temp is about 450 F.
Although this temperature might seem high but cooks the crust pretty quickly, making the pizzas turn out crispy.
Start by preheating your oven for about 25 to 30 minutes and then place the pizza in. Pizzas cooked on pans with holes bake faster, so you should watch it closely.
Put the pizza on the bottommost rack to brown the bottom of the pizza and set the timer for ten minutes. At this step, you can put the pizza on the top rack to brown the cheese.
However, you should watch it closely to ensure it does not burn. Fortunately, perforated pizza pans are made for high heat and will not crack or warp.
Immediately the pizza is cooked, get it out of the oven and set the pan on a cooling rack. Leave the pizza to cool for ten minutes for the cheese to set up. Normally, you can slice the pizza directly on the pan.
However, if your pan is nonstick, you should transfer the pizza to a larger cutting board to not damage the pan’s surface.
Heat leftover cold pizza using your perforated pizza pan by simply placing it on the perforated pan and heat it with the oven until it’s perfectly hot. Using a perforated pan allows you to get a crunchy rewarmed crust which is not always possible using a traditional baking sheet or microwave.
Pros Of Perforated Pizza Pan
- It decreases the moisture in the pan to provide you with a crusty pizza.
- The pan holes enable the pizza to cook evenly.
- Ideal for reheating pizza leftovers.
- Perforated pizza pans are mainly made using aluminum that makes them durable.
- The holes enable heat to circulate in each part of the pizza and fasten the cooking process.
Cons Of Perforated Pizza Pan
- It is not perfect for other baking options.
- To require to closely monitor your pizza carefully when cooking the pizza to avoid burning.
- Cleaning is tedious compared to a smooth pizza pan unless you have a nonstick pan.
How To Clean a Perforated Pizza Pan?
Pizza pans are a valuable investment, particularly when you know they will last year to come. However, pizza pans are notorious for building up greasy, baked-on messes over time which becomes tacky or sticky to the touch. Restoring their clean and shiny surface is not easy, but with some cleaning work, you can highly enhance the look of your pan.
- Baking soda
- Clean sink
- White vinegar
- Clean water
- Large pot
- Cloth scouring pad
Steps to clean the perforated pizza pan
1. Begin by filling the pot with water.
2. Add about two cups of white vinegar per water gallon.
3. Heat the water and vinegar to a boil.
4. Plug the sink, so it does not drain the water.
5. Put the boiling water in the sink.
6. Add the perforated pizza pan to the vinegar and water solution in the sink. If the entire pan cannot submerge in the solution, rotate the pan frequently so that the entire surface gets soaked. Be careful because the metal might be hot.
7. As soon as the water cools sufficiently to touch, sprinkle the pan with some baking soda.
8. Use the cloth scouring pad to wash and scrub the pan and holes. The acid contained in the vinegar will help in loosening the greasy, baked-on residue. The baking soda operates as a mild abrasive to help scrub the greasy surfaces away. You don’t need to worry about the fizzing reaction when the vinegar and baking soda water mix. The reaction is normal and dissipates quickly.
9. Then clean the pan normally with water and soap and rinse well. One of the drawbacks of a perforated pizza pan over a smooth pan is that it’s more difficult to clean. You need to give the holes extra attention to make sure each is clean before storage.
10. After the pan is thoroughly clean, finish by re-seasoning the pan with some vegetable oil.
11. If the water becomes cold before the pan is clean, you should drain the sink and repeat the procedure.
How To Care/Maintain Perforated Pizza Pan?
Now that you know what a perforated pizza is and how to use it, it is essential to care for and maintain your pan properly.
After every use of your perforated pizza pan, you should ensure you hand wash the pan using an aluminum-specific detergent and a soft sponge.
To maintain the integrity of the pan, it is vital not to clean the pan in a dishwasher, use acidic cleaning agents or use coarse sponges. Such detergents and tools can damage pans, hurt the overall baking performance and shorten its life.
Aluminum Perforated Pizza Pan Vs Stainless Steel Perforated Pizza Pan?
The perforated pizza pan is available as aluminum or stainless-steel material. Therefore, you are probably wondering which material is best for you.
Perforated pans are mostly made of aluminum, which is a quick heat conductor.
Aluminum perforated pizza pans are durable and provide even heat distribution. The pan heats up quickly, has good thermal conductivity and is not easily deformed.
Although you can find cheaper stainless steel perforated pans, they are not as durable and long-lasting as those made of aluminum.
Aluminum allows fast and even heat distribution, giving them a faster baking time. Pans made of stainless steel are highly likely to produce more burnt pizzas due to the high heat conduction rate.
Differences Between Pizza Pan with Holes Vs No Holes
There are several differences between a perforated pizza pan and pans with no holes. These include;
the names of the pan already suggest the main difference between these two pans. A perforated pizza pan has holes, while a smooth pan has no holes.
The holes enable you to get a deliciously crispy brown pizza while also ensuring your pizza cooks adequately and uniformly.
On the other hand, a smooth pizza pan cooks the pizza like a cake leaving it chewy and mushy and might not be evenly cooked.
Because of even holes, a perforated pan enables for quicker transfer of heat for less cooking time. You will also require to maintain an eye on your pizza to avoid getting a burnt crust.
Pizza pans with no holes mainly have a thick surface. This makes the heat take longer to be evenly distributed across the surface and longer to hit the top of the pizza hence needing a longer baking time.
Cleaning and maintenance
All kitchen equipment needs to be thoroughly cleaned after use. Cleaning a perforated pizza pan consumes more time due to the extra time to remove the crumbs stuck on the holes and surface.
The holes need more attention to ensure they are all clean before storage.
A pizza pan with no holes is easy to clean. You can clean it with a water-vinegar solution in your sink or use the dishwasher. A nonstick pizza pan is even easier to clean.
A perforated pan is limited and cannot be used in other baking types. It is specifically designed to prepare a thin-crust pizza or steaming vegetables. The perforated holes help in even cooking from all directions giving you higher quality food. However, a pan with no holes is a versatile tool to have in your kitchen. You can use it for many other baking needs and can also divide the pizza while still on the pan because of its solid and flat base.
Factors To Consider When Choosing a Perforated Pizza Pan
If you love your pizza crispy and crusty, a perforated pizza pan is your best choice. However, there are other several factors you require to consider when you go to purchase one;
The edges of your perforated pizza pan will depend on what you love. If you like deep-dish pizza, getting a pan with edges will enable you to cook a pizza with a stuffed crust.
A highly efficient perforated pan requires to have strong handles. For instance, if the panhandle snaps when removing the pizza from the oven, a mess on the floor is only what you will get from your baking.
It is hence recommendable to get a pan with strong aluminum handles.
Type Of Material
As discussed earlier, the type of pan material is vital in determining your cooking time and result.
For instance, stainless steel pan needs little or no maintenance, but it is highly likely to produce more burnt pizzas due to the high heat conduction rate.
On the other hand, aluminum pans are more durable and decrease the probability of having a burnt pizza.
With a perforated pizza pan, you can bake delicious homemade pizzas with a crunchy finish.
The secret is in baking! Because of its micro-perforation, the pan allows air to circulate through the holes to get a much crunchier dough.
Delicious! Although most homeowners prefer buying a pan without holes for its versatility in other baking needs, having a perforated pan in the kitchen for a crusty pizza or steaming vegetables won’t hurt.