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Can this perforated pizza steel beat my heirloom pizza stone?

The short answer: it depends.

Here's a classic margherita pizza next to a dish towel. Credit: Made In

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Making pizza from scratch is probably the best pandemic hobby I’ve picked up. Though I’ve yet to invest in a dedicated outdoor pizza oven, I inherited a pizza stone from my family and I’ve made many delicious pizzas with it.

However, its hefty weight has led me to look for a lighter pizza-making alternative. So when I was served an Instagram ad for the Made In Pizza Steel, a supposedly lighter-than-usual perforated pizza pan that bakes gorgeous pizzas with crispy crust, my instincts told me I had to get my hands on it.

About Made In Pizza Steel

A Made In carbon steel perforated pizza pan is next to a pizza dough.
Credit: Made In

The perforated design helps generate more airflow.

Made In is a trendy direct-to-consumer cookware brand that manufactures many of our favorite products, from knives to casserole dishes. This pizza steel measures 11.5 inches in diameter, just half inch short of a standard medium 12-inch pizza, which typically yields eight slices. It weighs about two-and-a-half pounds, which is significantly lighter than our favorite pizza stone that weighs a whopping nine pounds.

Its perforated bottom helps generate more airflow, which promotes crispiness on the pie regardless of the oven temperature. This means this product could be perfect for fans of Neapolitan-style pizza with thin and lightly charred crust.

To find out how this pizza steel stacks up, I made a few pizzas in it using premade dough from a local pizzeria, as well as frozen pizzas from the grocery store.

What I like

A freshly baked pepperoni pizza is cooling off on a baking rack, accompanied by a bottle of Brightland olive oil.
Credit: Reviewed / Valerie Li Stack

The pizzas we made were consistently delicious.

It’s lightweight

Unlike other pizza steels we’ve tested, this pizza steel isn’t too heavy to handle. This carbon steel pan claims to be able to sustain up to 1200°F without warping. Unfortunately, I don't have the facility to test that claim, but I can confirm the pan retained its shape throughout the testing process, which included temperature up to 500°F.

This pizza steel cooks pizza relatively quickly

The first pizza came out decently crispy on the bottom, thanks to the holes in the steel. It also took less time to cook a pizza in the steel than it would in a heavy cast iron pan, simply because of the perforated bottom that created more contact between hot air and the dough.

What I don’t like

A Made In perforated pizza steel is on a cooling rack
Credit: Reviewed / Valerie Li Stack

This pizza steel was a big difficult for beginner chefs to use.

It lacks handles and other user-friendly features

My biggest qualm about this pizza steel is the lack of handles, a key user-friendly feature. Most of our highly rated pizza stones come with handles, which were of great help and a useful safety measure when lifting and transporting the hefty and glaringly hot piece of stoneware.

I understand that from the storage perspective, a handleless pizza pan is more popular and easy to store. But as a small person who doesn’t do a ton of heavy-lifting ever, this steel was tricky for me to maneuver and I burnt myself during testing.

Considering that a successful freshly baked pizza requires a fast-moving, highly-choreographed sequence, I think this pizza steel could use some improvement to make it more user-friendly for non-professional chefs.

How to clean pizza steel

There’s absolutely no need to wash the pizza steel with soap. Once you let the steel cool completely, grab a piece of paper towel and wipe as much residue as you can. If there are any cooked-on bits, you can use a brush to scrape them away. If you rinse the pizza steel under water, dry it immediately because it’s prone to rust.

Should you get a Made In Pizza Steel?

A freshly baked pizza is seen taking out of the oven.
Credit: Made In

If you like pizzas, you may want to invest in a dedicated baking tool.

If you’re a fan of thin crust pizza and have an oven that can reach temperatures above 500°F easily, then you’ll benefit the most from this specialty pizza pan with holes in the bottom. However, for ease of use and other factors, you may also want to check out the best pizza stones we’ve tested. Our favorite is a cast-iron pizza pan with handles, which has all the features that I’ve wished for in a pizza stone!

Get the Made In Pizza Steel for $49

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