What's the best pan for Chicago style deep dish pizza?

What's the pan of choice for Chicago style deep dish? I'm looking the brand/model that's used by the well known Chicago pizza places like Lou Malnati's, Ginos and Giordano's.

Justin Taylor
posted almost 5 years ago

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Most places use steel pans. The ones I've seen a black. I'm not sure about the brand, but the one recommended in The Pizza Bible (sources section page 304) is a black steel pan available at fgpizza.com:


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Raj Irukulla admin
posted almost 5 years ago

Most of the pizzeria's you mentioned in Chicago use a heavy gauge steel pan to create the traditional crust of a deep dish or stuffed pizza. American Metalcraft is a common brand seen here in Chicago because they are a local company and have been around forever. The pans are typically 16 gauge tin on steel that are 2 inches deep and of the "nesting" variety. These pans need to be heavy to allow proper heat distribution on a product that bakes for 30 minutes in a 475 degree F to 500 degree F oven. You definitely get what you pay for with these. The thinner the metal the cheaper the pan...again, these need to be heavy 16 gauge or else you'll find black burnt pizza crusts.
A word on seasoning your pans...The "black" pans that were mentioned aren't purchased that way. They go through the same process as seasoning a cast iron skillet. Stay away from hard anodized pans! A well seasoned pan will last a lifetime. Once you receive your new pans, they will be bright and shiny. These pans will need to be seasoned before you use them. The process is simple, a little care to details at this point will pay off in the long run. Wash your pans when you receive them because this is the last time you will. Once the pans are seasoned, you simply need to wipe them out with a paper towel and reapply a fresh layer of salad oil before putting them away. Wipe the inside and outside of the new pans with a thin layer of salad oil and place them upside down in a 450 degree oven for aproximately 45 minutes. If you own a restaurant, you want to do this early in the morning, at least a few hours before you plan on opening for the day because there will be smoke and a burnt smell. If you're planning on doing this at home, open your windows and steer clear of your neighbors for a while!!! After the pans come out of the oven, apply another thin layer of oil and repeat the process. When you complete the second bake, you will notice that your pans have turned a golden or amber color. As you continue to bake in these pans, they will become darker and darker until finally turning black. The older the pans, the better the flavor. Again, never wash your pans! Wipe them clean and apply fresh oil. Good luck and happy baking!

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Leo Spizzirri
posted almost 5 years ago

This is very helpful leo. Thanks for the detailed answer!

- Raj   almost 5 years ago

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