Get the Perfect Pizza Every Time With This Magical Pan

Bye, bye pizza stone!

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April 28, 2020
By: Steve Jackson and Michelle Baricevic

Photo by: Photograph by Ralph Smith

Photograph by Ralph Smith

Test Kitchen Pick: Food Network Kitchen staffers share the kitchen tools they can't live without — both at work and at home — plus, their tips and tricks for using them like a pro.

As a director of Food Network Test Kitchens, Steve Jackson has made a lot of pizzas throughout the years — he even recipe-tested 50 of them for Food Network Magazine once! So, when Steve mentioned to me a few months ago that he had found “the pizza pan to beat all other pizza pans,” I knew I needed to find out more. Here’s everything you need to know about cooking with — and caring for — a Black Steel Sicilian Pizza Pan. Because trust me, after reading this — you’re going to want to buy one (or five.)

Get the Recipe: Sheet Pan Pizza Dough

Get the Recipe: Sheet Pan Pizza Dough

The Proof Is in the Crust

There’s nothing more breathtaking then a beautifully browned pizza crust, but achieving that picture-perfect bottom layer depends a lot more on the type of pan you’re using than you might think. “We tested dozens of pan pizzas in the test kitchen using both standard aluminum sheet pans and the black steel pan,” Steve says. “With the black steel, we consistently noticed a crisper, browner bottom crust. The black steel also absorbs the oven heat more quickly and bakes relatively quickly.”

It’s Fairly Affordable and Easy to Find

Unlike other tools used by professionally-trained chefs, you won’t need to spend a fortune — or go on a wild goose chase — to find a black steel pan. “They’re easy to find online and in kitchen supply stores,” Steve shares. “Your standard sheet pan is just a few dollars less, so this isn’t some indulgent kitchen tool investment.”

Storage Is Key

Once you buy your black steel pizza pan, you’ll want to care for it like you do any other nonstick pan you may already own. “Be careful when cleaning it to not use something too abrasive that might scratch the surface,” Steve cautions. “It’s not a nonstick surface, but it can still be scratched.”

Steve’s hack for storing your black sheet pan also ensures longevity: “Clean gently with soap and water and wipe dry. If you’re stacking something inside it for storage, you can lay a towel over the surface as you would a nonstick pan.”

You Can Use It for More Than Just Pizza

Owning a black steel pan also gives you an opportunity to come up with creative ways to use it. "You can use it as you would a regular sheet pan for roasting vegetables," says Steve. "I think it’s a very good pan for roasting vegetables. Very good for browning and maybe even cooking a bit more quickly. We never tested this pan for cooking meat or fish, though I don’t see why it wouldn’t work."

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