Deep Dish Pizza Pans – Ratings & Informative guide
If you’re after the best deep dish pizza pan available for sale yet don’t feel like reading a whole article about it, we’ll start off by recommending the USA made Manpans MPZ-PDDPERF12 as the best overall product to buy. What places it above the competition is a unique feature: raised bottom perforations that prevent the pizza crust from getting soggy. According to the many customer reviews we’ve gone through, this is not just a gimmick and actually works impressively well. To boot, the Manpads deep dish pan can safely handle temperatures of up to 700 F, near the limit of most top tier household ovens, and like any other quality product on the market, it’s been specially treated to prevent sticking and burning. If you’re on a tight budget, the Chicago Metallic Commercial II 59124 offers great quality for value, while the WINCO HAC-162 is another great pick if our top rated product isn’t available for sale near you.
These are the aspects worth focusing on when looking for a deep dish pizza pan
Choosing a pan might seem simple at first sight since kitchenware isn’t particularly complex. But one wrong move in this regard might make the difference between a delicious, crispy crusted Chicago pizza and a soggy mess that you can barely chew from.
Material and features
Deep dish pizza pans can be either made from metal or stone. The stone ones are more expensive, significantly heavier and less resilient, but are traditionally considered better at what they do. Technical advancements have made metal pans catch on to their stone counterparts, so we won’t dwell on these high-end, mostly professional products.
Now, metal pans are typically made from enameled iron, steel, aluminum, or a combination of the last two. Cast enameled is really not recommended since it tends to stick and burn, requiring a lot of seasoning.
Aluminum is better for deep dish pizza since it spreads the heat more evenly and assures good heat transfer. It behaves well at the 450-550 F that most household cooks prefer for baking pizza, and it can also prove surprisingly resistant to denting or mechanical forces, if properly treated and of adequate thickness (just make sure that this is the case when you buy)
Some manufacturers only apply a couple of layers of aluminum coating to their steel pans. These tend to be cheaper, somewhat stronger, but otherwise work just as well, maintaining most of aluminum’s good heat conductive properties.
Size and shape
The size you choose should primarily be dictated by your personal need and preference. Just take care that the pan is small enough to fit in your oven while big enough to serve all the people in the household.
We would, however, want to point out that bigger is generally better where kitchenware is concerned. It’s way less convenient to be forced to bake repeatedly on special occasions than it is to have leftover food, which can be consumed at a later date.
Since most of the fun in baking your own pizza comes from experimenting with toppings, the edge height is an important feature of the pan. The deeper it goes, the more space it allows for toppings. There is no drawback to having 2”+ edges, so all other things being equal, go for the deepest pans!
Most of the high-rated pizza pans we found are treated with a non-stick coating. The best non-stick coatings are useful enough to prevent charring, as they allow for a layer of air between the metal surface and the food.
The non-stick coating makes washing a lot easier since it stops cheese and other toppings from adhering to the sides. This is especially useful, as a lot of the better pans out there aren’t really dishwasher safe.
Non-stick coating has a downside, however, as it imposes a temperature limit to which the pan can be effectively used. This generally comes at around 450-550 F for most coating materials, with temperatures higher than that being prone to cause permanent damage to the coating.
Top 3 products I recommend – Review & Advice
After going through dozens of customer and expert reviews, we’ve narrowed our choices for the best deep dish pizza pans to the three products below.
Our top choice for a deep dish pizza pan, the Manpans product is bristling with innovation. The perforation at the bottom ensures a heat transfer that will make the outer layers of dough crusty while keeping the interior soft.
It’s also been coated with an easy release material which prevents pizza dough from sticking, making any pre-seasoning unnecessary. The coating is permanent, comes with a lifetime warranty, is certified PTFE free and can hold to temperatures as high as 700 F.
This last bit is especially important for those who own a convection oven (or other such heavy duty items) and want to use its capabilities to the fullest. It is well known that the best pizza is baked at high temperatures. Professional cooks prefer to work at 750 – 900 F when making deep dish pizza.
It’s been remarked by many users that the Manpans product appears especially sturdy, or in more emphatic words, “built to last.” We found no complaints about scratches or dents among customer reviews, and the manufacturer assures us their pan is especially resistant to such damage. Some, however, do find its rugged aspect unappealing.
Another important thing to note is its considerable depth. At an edge height of 2,25 inches, this pan should be able to handle even the most toppings-heavy pizza.
The raised center perforations assure for crunchy crust and also maintain the natural oils in the dough for added flavor.
It features a permanent easy release coating that prevents sticking, making seasoning unnecessary and sparing you a lot of time in the process. Some customers remarque however that at very high temperatures (above 550 F) some seasoning might be required
Safe for use at temperatures up to 700 F, close to what professional pizzeria cooks work at, for the crunchiest possible pizza
At 2.25 inches, it has a very good depth for cooking layered cakes, deep dish pizza and thick crust pizza, with lots of space left over to add toppings
Its relatively small diameter somewhat reduces convenience. Might make you spend more time when cooking for large families or guests.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.99)
Chicago Metallic Commercial II 59124
The most appreciated feature of the Chicago Metallic Commercial II seems to be its Diamond-quality, non-stick dual coating. It is reported to work well not just for pizzas, but also with notoriously sticky substances such as rye doughs. The risk of scratching the coating is actually reduced by the fact that most pies can simply slide off the surface in one piece. As mentioned before, this also scores well for convenience, reducing a lot of the washing time. Convenience is somewhat of a strong suite for the Commercial II, actually, since it’s the only one out of our three top products to be dishwasher safe (although this comes with a loss of the lifetime warranty).
With the aforementioned reservations in mind, the Chicago Metallic pan generally puts up a good fight against mechanical forces. The steel construction (and aluminum can’t beat steel for toughness) and relatively heavy frame at 1,8 pounds make for a resilient, dent resistant pan.
Just as well, since its large size of 14 inches would otherwise make it particularly prone to denting.
The height, however, is where the Commercial II is lacking. At only 1.5 inches you won’t be able to add the most toppings to your creation.
Highly praised by customer reviewers for its resistance to sticking. It features two layers of anti-stick coating that work well up to a temperature of 550 F, making the time and effort spent on seasoning unnecessary.
Made of aluminized steel that combines the even heat transfer of aluminum with the toughness of steel.
Good overall size, more than adequate for a family of four.
Although still in the upper price range, significantly cheaper than other premium quality competitors
Some users report dents as manufacturing defects. Although the vast majority of reviewers are content with the product, we do recommend you seek a warranty.
Its relatively shallow surface of 1.5 inches can limit your topping possibilities for pizza, or the variety and fluffiness of the cakes you might want to try
Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.47)
The most traditional model we chose, the WINCO HAC-162 is basically a good old reliable deep pan with few special features to its name. The users seem to love its simplicity, however, as attested by the overall positive rating on Amazon. And why wouldn’t they? The Winco does what every other oven pan has done since they were invented, but it does it remarkably well. Its walls are thick and sturdy, made of hard anodized aluminum, ensuring that the body keeps its shape. The same thick aluminum spreads heat in even measure, making it that only a small amount of oil is needed for seasoning.
It doesn’t really matter that some bits might stick to the pan since the WINCO can withstand harsh scrubs “without showing a scratch” (as one user puts it). It doesn’t have an anti-stick coating to get damaged by heat, so with the correct seasoning, you could effectively use it at the highest temperatures your oven can achieve.
With a 16 inch diameter, the WINCO product will come in handy when cooking for guests or a large family, while at 2 inches it’s deep enough to allow both a thick dough base for your pizza and a lot of toppings.
Very good size for a deep dish pizza pan, both in width and depth. It can be used to cook toppings rich deep dish pizzas and fluffy thick crust pizza for a large number of people at a time.
It’s sturdy and reliable, build of hard anodized aluminum of extra thickness which makes it very resistant to denting.
Particularly resistant to scratching, some users have noticed it holds very well even under dry scrubs with hard steel implements.
Traditional design, following a healthy “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” philosophy.
The model lacks an anti-stick coating, making it less convenient than the rest, but somewhat makes up for it by being relatively thick, which helps distribute heat evenly
Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.39)