Having lived in New York City in the past, I’m about to say something that would be considered blasphemous in NYC. I think Chicago-style pizza is better than New York-style pizza.
Yeah, I know it’s a controversial opinion but it’s true.
For me, my first taste of Chicago-style deep dish happened on a visit to the Windy City when I had dinner at Giordano’s. Man, do they make a good pizza!
Since I don’t live near Chicago, I had to find out how to make a good deep dish pizza at home. If you’re looking for the same, then let me help you out with this guide.
About Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
The way that this type of pizza is made is probably very different from what you’re used to. For starters, there is zero cheese on top.
For me, one of the really distinct features of a deep dish pizza that’s made Chicago-style is the crust. It’s very buttery and flaky, unlike most pizzas.
When this type of pizza is made, the dough is pressed into the bottom of the deep dish pan and then a layer of sliced (not shredded) mozzarella is layered on the bottom. Then, you add in your other toppings on top of the cheese. And finish it all off with a layer of crushed tomatoes.
No cheese is added on top, unless you want some parmesan on it, but really, I suggest you wait until it comes out of the oven for that.
Finding The Best Deep Dish Pizza Pan
For those of you making some Chicago-style pizza at home, you definitely need to get yourself the right pizza pan before you even attempt it.
Luckily, good deep dish pizza pan is all that you’ll need, but there are a lot of options for you to choose from right now.
So, let us help you out with some of our recommendations and tips.
What Should You Look For?
Probably the most important things to look for in the perfect deep dish pizza pan are that it is sturdy, heats fast, and heats evenly.
The truth is that some people have success with non-stick round cake pans. These types of pans work better if they are older and seasoned, with a darkened exterior.
The pans with the darkened exterior are great because the darkness helps the pan to absorb even more heat.
The best type of deep dish pan is made of aluminized steel – this will give you the best overall results when you make a Chicago-style deep dish pizza in your home oven.
Does it have to be a darkened pan?
No, but your crust will taste a lot better if it is.
Best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Pans (2019-2020)
Here’s a quick look at our favorite options when it comes to the best deep dish pizza pans for the money.
Updated: 2021-01-02 at 13:50 / Affiliate disclosure / Images by Amazon Product Advertising API
Our Top Deep Dish Pizza Pans Reviewed
Still not sure which of the pans above is a good option for your home pizza-making needs? Then let our editors review each pan to let you know why we like each of them.
1. Chicago Metallic Deep Dish Pizza Pan
best carbon steel deep dish pan
If you’re looking for something that is inexpensive and has an easy-to-clean non-stick coating, then this is a great option. Plus, it’s made of sturdy carbon steel for good crusts.
Use it to make perfect ‘Chicago-Style’ deep dish pizza, cookie pie or stuffed pizza at home in your own oven.
Dimensions: 14 inches (diameter) by 1.5 inches (height)
2. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (With 2 Loop Handles)
best cast iron deep dish pan
At the Giordano’s that I ate my pizza at in Chicago, they brought it out in a cast iron pan. For that reason, I strongly suggest that you consider using a cast iron deep dish pan for cooking your home pizza.
I love that this pan comes pre-seasoned, which means that your crusts are going to taste great and have a lot of flavor. And the handles make it easy to use, unlike a lot of similar options.
Dimensions: 17 inches (diameter) by 2 inches (height)
3. Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Deep Dish Pizza
best aluminum deep dish pan
If you prefer aluminum bakeware, then I suggest that you go with this pan right here. Aluminum is a great choice because of its superior heat conductivity and the reinforced encapsulated steel rim prevents warping.
Just be warned that this is a hand-wash only pan, so you’ll have to use some elbow grease to get it clean. Luckily, it’s easy to clean.
Dimensions: 14 inches (diameter) by 1.75 inches (height) exterior
4. Detroit Style Pizza Company Authentic Steel Pan
best square deep dish pizza pan
While square pans are used for Detroit-style deep dish pizza, and not Chicago-style, this one would work for you in a pinch. I know, I know, blasphemy to even suggest it.
I do like that the larger size of this pan means more pizza for my belly. I’m also a fan of this pan because it’s already seasoned for you.
And even better, this deep dish pan is made out of 26-gauge steel.
Dimensions: 10 inches by 14 inches by 2.5 inches
5. Chicago Metallic Mini Deep Dish Pizza (Set Of 4)
best deep dish pans for individual mini pizzas
Wanna make personal size mini deep dish pizzas for the family? This set of mini deep dish pans is the perfect way to do that.
You get a set of four deep dish mini-size pans that are made of carbon steel. These pans make a nice crispy crust, but since they’re smaller you do have to watch the pizza more closely to prevent burning.
Dimensions: 7 inches (diameter) by 1 inch (height)
Cooking Your Deep Dish Pizza At Home
For the best results that give you as close to Chicago restaurant quality as possible, there are few things for you to keep in mind.
Even though you’re cooking the pizza in a deep dish pan, you still need a pizza stone in the oven to help simulate a commercial pizza oven. Put it on the lower rack of your oven.
Cover the upper rack with aluminum foil (unless you can’t do that in your oven).
Do not try to bake one of these pizzas in a convection oven, because you won’t get the best results from it.
The Best Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Dough Recipe
Now that you’ve got everything you need for some yummy pizza, it’s time to get a recipe. The most authentic Chicago deep dish pizza dough recipe that we’ve seen is from the site Real Deep Dish.
Here’s a link to that recipe — click here.
Now you’re ready to enjoy some Chicago pizza from the comfort of your own kitchen.