Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Lori Walker
Choosing the right cookware can make all the difference when making homemade pizza. Two popular options are pizza steel and cast iron.
As someone who loves making pizza at home, I’ve had experience using both types of cookware and can offer some insights into the pros and cons of each.
I’ll discuss the differences between pizza steel vs cast iron and which might be best for your pizza-making needs.
Pizza Steel & Cast Iron Compared
Pizza steel is a type of cookware made from steel designed specifically for making pizza. It is a relatively new invention and has recently gained popularity among pizza enthusiasts.
Pizza steel is known for holding and distributing heat evenly, resulting in a crispy crust and evenly cooked toppings. It is also known for its durability and resistance to warping.
“I feel like I see more and more Neapolitan style, that I call ‘fancy pizza’ – that’s not my cup of tea; I think it all tastes the same.”– Dave Portnoy, American Blogger
On the other hand, cast iron has been used for centuries and is a classic choice for many cooking applications, including making pizza.
Cast iron is known for holding heat well and developing a deep, rich crust. However, it can be heavy and prone to cracking or warping if not correctly cared for.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Pizza Steel For Making Pizza?
- Even heat distribution: Pizza steel can hold and distribute heat evenly, producing a crispy crust and evenly cooked toppings.
- Faster cooking time: Due to its ability to retain heat, pizza steel can reduce cooking time, allowing you to make pizza faster.
- High durability: Pizza steel is highly durable and resistant to warping, meaning it can last for years with proper care.
- Versatility: Pizza steel can be used for other cooking applications, such as baking bread, roasting vegetables, or searing meat.
- Cost-effective: Pizza steel is relatively inexpensive compared to other high-quality cookware, making it an affordable option for home pizza-making.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Cast Iron For Making Pizza?
- Excellent heat retention: Cast iron is known for holding heat well and developing a deep, rich crust.
- Versatility: Cast iron can be used for various other cooking applications, such as frying, sautéing, or baking, making it a versatile tool.
- Durability: Cast iron is a durable material that can last generations with proper care.
- Non-stick surface: When properly seasoned, cast iron develops a naturally non-stick surface, making removing pizza from the pan easier without sticking.
- Even heat distribution: Cast iron can distribute heat evenly, resulting in a pizza with a crispy crust and even toppings.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Using Pizza Steel Or Cast Iron For Making Pizza?
- Weight: Both pizza steel and cast iron can be pretty heavy, making them difficult to handle or move around in the kitchen.
- Preheating time: Both pizza steel and cast iron  require a longer preheating time than some other pizza cookware, such as ceramic or aluminum pans.
- Cost: While pizza steel is relatively inexpensive, high-quality cast iron can be more expensive, especially if you want a large pizza pan.
- Maintenance: Both pizza steel and cast iron require proper care and maintenance to prevent rust or damage, including seasoning and hand washing.
- Not dishwasher safe: Neither pizza steel nor cast iron is dishwasher safe, as exposure to water and detergents can damage the seasoning and cause rust or discoloration.
Which One Should I Choose For Making Pizza At Home?
The choice between pizza steel and cast iron ultimately depends on personal preference and cooking style. If you are looking for cookware that can heat up quickly and evenly and cook pizza faster, pizza steel may be the best choice.
On the other hand, cast iron may be the better choice if you are looking for versatile cookware that can be used for many other cooking applications and that can produce a deep, rich crust.
It’s essential to consider factors such as durability, weight, cost, and maintenance.
Is it okay to leave pizza steel in the oven?
Yes, it is generally safe to leave pizza steel in the oven, mainly if it is being used as a baking surface for pizza. Some pizza enthusiasts recommend preheating the pizza steel in the oven for at least an hour before baking it to ensure it is heated evenly and can produce a crispy crust.
Should you put oil on pizza steel?
Yes, it’s recommended to put oil on pizza steel before using it for baking pizza to help prevent the pizza from sticking and to add some extra flavor. But how long do you knead the pizza in a mixer?
Both pizza steel and cast iron are excellent options for making pizza at home.
Pizza steel is known for its ability to heat up quickly and evenly, resulting in a faster cooking time and a crispy crust, while cast iron is known for its ability to hold heat well and develop a deep, rich crust.
Both materials have unique benefits and drawbacks, so the choice ultimately depends on personal preference and cooking style.
Whether you choose, using either pizza steel or cast iron will help you create a delicious homemade pizza that rivals a professional pizzeria.
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