The Ultimate Guide to Pizza Pans: To Hole or Not to Hole?

Written by : Tiffany Lai
Tiffany Lai

Tiffany Lai

Co-founder and Key Account Manager at Bonray Bakeware

Table of Contents

The Ultimate Guide to Pizza Pans: To Hole or Not to Hole?

Have you ever stood in the grocery store aisle, gazing at pizza pans and wondered which one guarantees the crispiest crust? Is the presence of tiny holes significant, or is it only a design gimmick?

One of the most hot debates in the pizza-making world is whether to use perforated or non-perforated pizza pans. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and the best option typically comes down to personal preference and the desired objective. But which one truly delivers?

When it comes to achieving the perfect crust, both perforated and non-perforated pizza pans have their merits. Perforated pans allow better air circulation, leading to a crispier crust, while non-perforated pans offer even cooking and versatility. The choice ultimately depends on personal preference and the type of pizza you’re aiming to create.

Want to pick the best pizza pan but not sure which one? Let’s explore the good and bad of each type to help you choose wisely.

Perforated Pizza Pan

two 14.5-inch Nonstick Perforated Pizza Trays and a Christmas tree shape cookie mold beside

What is a Perforated Pizza Pan?

A perforated pizza pan has small holes dotted across the entire surface. The holes allow air to flow through the pan and circulate under the pizza crust as it bakes. This increased airflow promotes a crispier bottom crust layer. The perforations essentially break up the direct contact between the dough and pan surface. With less contact area, moisture can evaporate from the bottom of the crust rather than making it soggy. The perforations are small enough to still support the structure and shape of the pizza. But the added ventilation from the holes crisps up the bottom layer wonderfully. Perforated pizza pans are great for achieving a nice crispy texture in the crust without drying it out too much. They work especially well in home ovens that may not get as hot as professional pizza ovens. The perforated design accelerates moisture loss for the ideal crispy, cracker-like crust.

Description and Design of Perforated Pizza Pan:

Perforated pizza pans are usually made of a round metal base with hundreds of small holes punctured throughout the surface. The holes are evenly distributed and range from about 1/8 to 1/4 inches in diameter. They cover the entire flat bottom of the pan. The holes allow for air circulation while still providing a solid base to support the pizza. The pans are made from aluminum or steel to conduct heat efficiently in the oven. Most are 3/16 to 1/4 inches thick. The perforated design sets these pans apart from standard solid pizza pans.

Main Uses and Audience:

Perforated pizza pans are targeted at home pizza bakers wanting to achieve a crispy crust. The increased airflow created by the perforations makes them ideal for baking crispy crust pizzas in a standard home oven, replicating a pizza parlor-style crust. The perforations allow moisture to evaporate from the bottom layer while preventing a dried out crust. Pizza makers frustrated with soggy crusts will benefit the most from these specialty pans. Perforated pizza pans can be used for all styles of pizza to improve crisping compared to a solid pan.

Pros of Perforated Pizza Pan:

  1. Crispier Crust: Thanks to the holes, moisture from the pizza dough can escape more readily, resulting in a crisper crust. It’s especially useful for pizzas with a lot of toppings or moisture.
  2. Even Cooking: The perforations ensure that the heat is evenly distributed, so the edges and center of the pizza cook simultaneously.
  3. Faster Cooking Time: Direct heat means the pizza often cooks a tad faster than on a non-perforated pan.

Cons of Perforated Pizza Pan:

  1. Mess Potential: Sauce or cheese can sometimes drip through the holes, creating a mess in the oven.
  2. Limited Versatility: While fantastic for pizza, perforated pans aren’t always suitable for other baking needs due to the holes.

Non-Perforated Pizza Pan

What is a Non-Perforated Pizza Pan?

A non-perforated pizza pan has a completely solid, flat surface without any holes. This full, solid contact promotes even browning as the pizza crust bakes. With no perforations, the pan provides complete support across the entire bottom crust. This can result in a softer, chewier crust texture rather than being ultra crispy. Non-perforated pizza pans allow less opportunity for air circulation since the pan is in full contact with the dough. As a result, some moisture can get trapped against the pan, potentially creating a more soggy crust layer. The lack of holes does make non-perforated pans easier to clean, as there are no perforations for food debris to get stuck in. The solid design also accommodates deep dish pizzas and keeps the shape intact better than a perforated pan would. For pizza styles that don’t require an ultra-crisp crust, a standard non-perforated pan often works sufficiently and offers the simplest option.

Description and Design:

Non-perforated pizza pans feature a completely solid, flat surface with no holes or openings. They are round in shape and made from aluminum or steel metals to evenly conduct oven heat. The base ranges from 3/16 to 1/4 inches thick. With no perforations, the pan provides maximum contact area and support for the pizza crust as it bakes. Thesimple,e solid design allows for easy cleaning too.

rosegold nonstick round baking cake pan

Main Uses and Audience:

Non-perforated pans are ideal for homemade pizza makers who are not as concerned with an ultra-crispy crust. The direct pan contact creates a softer, chewier crust texture. The solid design is also better suited for deep dish pizzas, maintaining the intended shape. Non-perforated pans are commonly used with frozen pizzas as well to replicate standard pizzeria-style pies at home. Their straightforward design and function make them the simplest option for the typical at-home pizza baker who is not looking to make specialty artisan-style pizzas.

Pros of Non-Perforated Pizza Pans:

  1. Even Cooking Surface: The uniform surface provides consistent heat distribution across the pizza.
  2. Versatility: Suitable for various types of pizzas, from thin to thick crusts.
  3. No Topping Loss: Without holes, there’s no risk of toppings or cheese falling through during the baking process.
  4. Moisture Retention: Ideal for those who prefer a slightly softer, chewier crust.
  5. Golden-Brown Finish: A solid pan can give the pizza base a consistent golden-brown finish since the heat is not as direct.

Cons of Non-Perforated Pizza Pans:

  1. Less Crispy Crust: Without perforations to allow moisture to escape, the crust might not be as crispy as some might prefer.
  2. Potential for Soggy Centers: If there’s excessive moisture in the toppings or dough, the center of the pizza can become a bit soggy.
  3. Longer Cooking Time: It might take a tad longer to achieve the desired doneness compared to perforated pans.

Comparison Perforated Pizza Pans to Non-perforated Pans

AspectPerforated Pizza PanNon-Perforated Pizza Pan
Heat DistributionMore uneven due to holes, potential for hotspots.Uniform and consistent across the pan.
Crust Crispiness & TextureTends to be crispier due to moisture escape.Softer and chewier, potentially less crispy.
Baking DurationGenerally faster due to increased airflow.Might take slightly longer due to consistent surface.
Moisture EscapeFacilitates moisture escape for a drier crust.Retains more moisture, leading to a moister crust.
Maintenance & CleaningCan be difficult to clean due to holes.Easier to clean given the smooth, continuous surface.
Durability & LifespanDurable but holes can weaken over time.Often more long-lasting due to their solid structure.
Versatility in the KitchenIdeal for crispy crusts; not versatile for moist crusts.Suitable for various pizza types, from thin to thick crusts
Safety Handle with care; edges of perforations may be sharp.Ensure even weight distribution to prevent warping.
HandlingPotential for toppings to fall through holes.Safer, no risk of sauce or toppings dripping through

Both types of pans offer different advantages depending on the desired outcome for your pizza. Your preference in crust texture will largely determine which is right for you.

Practical Tips of Using a Perforated Pizza Pan:

Using a perforated pizza pan can elevate the quality of your homemade pizzas, giving them a crispier and more authentic feel. Here are some handy pointers for getting the most out of this tool:

  1. Preheat the Pan: To ensure an evenly baked crust, preheat your perforated pizza pan before placing the dough on it. This step helps to start the cooking process as soon as the dough makes contact, leading to a crispier base.
  2. Use Cornmeal or Parchment Paper: Sprinkle a light layer of cornmeal on the pan before placing your dough to prevent sticking. Alternatively, using parchment paper can serve the same purpose while also making cleanup easier.
  3. Mind the Toppings: Given the holes in a perforated pan, it’s possible for small toppings or excessive cheese to fall through. Be mindful when loading your pizza, and try to keep toppings a good size to prevent them from dropping.
  4. Rotate for Even Cooking: Every oven has its hot spots. Halfway through baking, give your pizza a slight rotation to ensure even cooking and browning.
  5. Monitor Moisture: Perforated pans are excellent at releasing moisture, which is great for a crispy crust. However, if your toppings or sauce are excessively watery, it might drip through the holes, so it’s a good idea to strain or reduce the wetter ingredients before topping your pizza.
  6. Easy Cleaning: Once you’re done baking, let the pan cool down. Use a soft brush or cloth to clean the holes, ensuring no food bits remain. Avoid using metal scouring pads, as they might damage the pan.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can maximize the benefits of a perforated pizza pan and enjoy perfectly baked, crispy pizzas every time.

Conclusion

Neither pan is definitively superior; it’s all about personal preference and the type of pizza you aim to make. If you’re after a super crispy crust and are mainly focused on pizza-making, a perforated pan might be your best bet. However, if versatility and a consistently golden-brown crust are what you’re after, a non-perforated pan could be the way to go.

Regardless of your choice, the joy of pizza-making is in the journey and the delicious results. So, pick your weapon, gather your toppings, and let the pizza adventures begin!

FAQs

  • What are perforated pizza pans?

Perforated pizza pans have holes that allow heat to go through directly, promoting a crispy crust for a pizza.

  • What are non-perforated pizza pans?

Non-perforated pizza pans have a solid surface that cooks pizza with a softer, bread-like crust.

  • What are the main differences between perforated and non-perforated pizza pans?

Perforated pans have holes that allow hot air to reach the pizza’s bottom, promoting even cooking and a crispier crust. Non-perforated pans, without holes, cook slower, often resulting in a softer crust.

  • How do perforated pizza pans enhance the baking process?

Perforated pans increase the airflow around the dough, reducing moisture and enhancing the crispiness of the crust.

  • What types of pizzas are best cooked on non-perforated pans?

Thick crust pizzas benefit from non-perforated pans as they need slower cooking for proper dough rise and heat penetration.

  • Can perforated pans affect the cooking time of a pizza?

Yes, perforated pans can reduce cooking time because of improved heat distribution.

  • What are the benefits of using a non-perforated pizza pan for thick crusts?

Non-perforated pans are better for thick crusts, as they allow for a more even and deeper baking necessary for the dough to cook thoroughly without burning.

  • Are there specific dough types that work better with perforated pans?

Lighter, thinner doughs work best with perforated pans because they cook quickly and can become crispy with the increased air circulation.

  • How do I choose between a perforated and a non-perforated pan based on pizza style?

For crispy, thin crusts, choose perforated pans. For chewy, thick crusts, opt for non-perforated pans.

  • Where can commercial bakeries purchase high-quality perforated and non-perforated pans?

High-quality pans can be purchased from specialized bakeware manufacturers like Bonray Bakeware or restaurant supply stores that cater to commercial needs.

2 Responses

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