Cast-Iron Pizza Pan

Published November 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.

Since it absorbs and maintains heat so well, cast iron would seem like the ideal material for creating good pizza crust, which requires searingly hot temperatures.

Overview:

After preheating the pan to 500 degrees, we used it to bake multiple batches of pizza, looking for crisp, golden crusts on par with those made with our winning pizza baking stone. The first surprise: While the stone takes an hour to reach 500 degrees, this pan was ready after a mere 30 minutes. And though it weighs nearly 10 pounds (just a few ounces less than the stone), it was easy to move thanks to a pair of looped handles. Worries that the raised edges of the pan might make it difficult to remove the pizza proved unfounded. Best of all, the pan produced perfect crust. The 14-inch circle does limit the size and shape of your pizza, providing slightly less usable space than the 14 by 16-inch rectangular stone (especially if you’re baking something other than pizza), but this pan offers identical results in less time.

After preheating the pan to 500 degrees, we used it to bake multiple batches of pizza, looking for crisp, golden crusts on par with those made with our winning pizza baking stone. The first surprise: While the stone takes an hour to reach 500 degrees, this pan was ready after a mere 30 minutes. And though it weighs nearly 10 pounds (just a few ounces less than the stone), it was easy to move thanks to a pair of looped handles. Worries that the raised edges of the pan might make it difficult to remove the pizza proved unfounded. Best of all, the pan produced perfect crust. The 14-inch circle does limit the size and shape of your pizza, providing slightly less usable space than the 14½ by 16½-inch rectangular stone (especially if you’re baking something other than pizza), but this pan offers identical results in less time.

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