What Should You Buy—a Pizza Stone or a Pizza Pan?

(Updated From May 10, 2014)

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There’s nothing quite like a fresh, cheesy pizza coming hot out of the oven. Whether you use a pizza stone or a pizza pan, I have found it to be largely a matter of preference. This article will help you decide for yourself which one is better: the pizza stone or the pizza pan.

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The Pizza Stone Vs. The Pizza Pan

With a pizza stone, you preheat the oven and the stone, build the pizza on the counter, and transfer the pizza from the counter to the hot stone with a pizza peel. Using a pizza stone requires you to turn the oven on sooner to make certain that the pizza stone is completely heated. (In our kitchen, we turn the oven on a half-hour before starting to make the pizzas.)

With a pizza pan, you build the pizza in the pan and place the pan in the oven. For me, a pan is a little more convenient: I don’t have to remember to turn the oven on early and I don’t have to use a pizza peel. But the difference is minimal.

The Pizza Pan or Stone Determines the Crust

When you are using stone, your pizza shapes will be freeform. Using a pizza roller to make the process easier, you can make your pizza any size or shape as long as the pizza fits on the stone. You can buy square and round stones. With a pan, the pan determines the size and shape.

It’s important that the crust cooks quickly and completely to avoid soggy, soft pizza crusts. You can great pizza crusts with our favorite pizza dough mixes. This is especially important with thick crusted or fully loaded pizzas. Lots of meats and cheeses insulate the crust from heat above making bottom heat especially important.

With a stone, the crust begins cooking immediately as the dough is placed on the hot stone. There is a delay in cooking the crust as quickly with a pizza pan as the pan heats though more slowly, but that delay is minimized with a pizza pan.

Cleaning and Caring for Your Pizza Pan or Pizza Stone

Pans are easy to clean and store. Stones are brushed or wiped clean and put away. If you drop a stone, it will break.

In summer, with a stone, you’ll introduce a little more heat in the kitchen since the oven is on longer and the stone takes a while to cool.

Debbie prefers stones. I, Dennis, prefer a pizza pan. But that’s mostly a matter of habit. Have we helped you decide? Which one do you think you prefer: the pizza pan or the pizza stone?

Dennis Weaver
Debbie Frantzen
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