One fine Sunday afternoon, I was all ready to pull my painstakingly made pizza from the oven. I put on my oven mitts, grabbed the pizza pan as usual, and…bam! My hands slipped and the pizza ended up on the floor instead of inside my mouth. That’s when I realized I needed to invest in a pizza pan gripper.
A pizza pan gripper is a nifty kitchen tool that makes the removal of baking pans, pizza pans, and racks easier and safer. There are different types of pizza pan grippers available in the market, and they all work in slightly different ways.
In this blog post, I’ll share with you why I think a pizza pan gripper is an essential tool for any home cook who enjoys making pizza. I’ll also give you some tips on how to choose the right one for your needs. So, let’s get started:
Is a Pizza Pan Gripper Necessary?
Umm, necessity is a heavy word. You can remove pizzas from your oven without pizza pan grippers. But I’d rather not, at least not anymore. It’s more of a matter of convenience than necessity.
I reckon of the biggest advantages of using a pizza pan gripper is its ability to shield you from oven-related mishaps. With a secure grip, I can confidently remove your baking tray without fear of burning yourself or dropping the pan, especially when dealing with those hefty deep-dish pans.
Other advantages include:
- Slim design. It can easily fit into the rim of the pan and provide a secure grip. You can lift the pan with one hand and slide it onto a cutting board or a serving plate.
- Pan grippers are highly heat-resistant. They can withstand temperatures up to 500°F without getting damaged or deformed.
- It’s super easy to clean and store. Just wipe it with a damp cloth or wash it with soap and water.
What’s Wrong With Using the Good Old-fashioned Oven Mitts?
Absolutely nothing. Oven mitts are great for handling baking dishes and trays, but they are not very suitable for pizza pans. Here are some reasons why:
Oven mitts are bulky and clumsy. They can make it hard to get a good grip on the pan, especially if it’s thin and flexible. You might end up dropping the pan or spilling the cheese and toppings all over the place. I know this for a fact because I have.
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Regular oven mitts aren’t designed to withstand the temperature of pizza ovens, period. They can potentially get burned or melted by the high temperatures of the oven, leaving you with third-degree burns.
Lastly, they are a pain in the you-know-where to take on and off constantly. If you work in a professional kitchen or simply bake a lot at home, you’re better off with a pan gripper, trust me.
Tips for Choosing the Right Pizza Pan Gripper
Below I have explained the factors to keep in mind while weighing your options.
The size of the pizza pan gripper is crucial for a snug and secure fit. Measure the diameter of your pizza pan, and ensure that the gripper you choose can accommodate it.
Note that some grippers are designed specifically for deep dish pans, while others work better with shallow ones. Opting for the right size will prevent any slipping or mishaps while handling your pizzas.
Pan grippers come in different materials, each with its pros and cons. Cast aluminum grippers are lightweight, which makes them easy to handle, and they are also durable.
Stainless steel grippers offer unquestionable durability. Plus, they are capable of withstanding higher temperatures, which is essential when dealing with hot pans.
However, stainless steel grippers tend to be on the heavier side.
There are various styles of pizza pan grippers to choose from, each catering to different preferences and needs. Spring-loaded grippers are designed to hold the pan securely, ensuring a firm grip without the risk of dropping it. They also release the pan easily when you’re ready to serve.
Tongs are another option, but they might not provide as secure a grip as spring-loaded grippers. Stainless steel pan gripper clip handles would be a safer choice if you have a large, heavy pizza pan that requires both hands to lift it safely.
Safety is a top priority when dealing with hot pans. Look for a pizza pan gripper that is designed to prevent burns and spills. Grippers with insulated handles or silicone grips will help protect your hands from the heat of the pan.
Spring-loaded grippers are especially beneficial as they securely grip the edges of the pan, reducing the chances of accidental spills.
Lastly, consider how versatile you want your pizza pan gripper to be. Some grippers are specifically designed for pizza pans, while others can be used for various types of cookware. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose tool that can handle different pans and dishes, opt for a gripper with broader compatibility.
Best Pizza Pan Grippers – My Top 3 Picks
1. Winco PPG-8A Premium Pizza Pan Gripper
First off, the construction is solid and feels sturdy in my hand. It fits perfectly around the edges of my pizza pan, providing a secure grip without any slippage. No more precarious balancing acts trying to get my pizza out of the oven!
The design is well-thought-out, and the spring-loaded mechanism effortlessly clamps onto the pan, making it a breeze to handle even with a piping-hot pizza fresh out of the oven.
What truly sets this gripper apart is the peace of mind it brings. The insulated handles are a lifesaver, protecting my hands from the scorching heat. Plus, cleaning up afterward is a cinch – a quick rinse and it’s good as new.
2. American Metalcraft N9494 Pan Grippers
I got these grippers specifically for my non-stick pizza pan. What caught my attention right away is that these grippers are specifically designed to work with non-stick pans, so no worries about scratching that precious Teflon coating.
The gentle grip ensures that I can easily lift and transport my pizzas without any damage to the non-stick surface. It is sturdy but not as much as the Winco grippers.
However, I must mention that these grippers do have a limitation. They work seamlessly with lighter pizza pans and baking sheets, but I struggled a bit when trying to lift my thicker and more massive deep-dish pans.
3. Chef Pomodoro Premium Pizza Pan Gripper
This one has a decent amount of heft to it, which makes it a good choice for lifting heavier pizza pans. If you are looking for a gripper, especially for removing deep dish pans, dutch ovens, or cast iron skillets out of the oven, this is it.
The gripper’s design impressed me from the start, especially the open-loop handle. Great for lifting lids safely. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the gripper can be a little stiff initially. However, with regular use, it gradually loosens up.
Taking Care of Your Pizza Pan Gripper – Cleaning and Storage Tips
Pizza pan grippers are just like any other kitchen tools. Proper cleaning, drying, and storage are all they need to survive the wrath of time and the elements. Follow the simple tips below to keep your gripper in good condition for years to come:
The cleaning method depends on the material of your gripper. If it’s made of cast aluminum or stainless steel like mine, use warm, soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth for cleaning. Avoid harsh cleaners or steel wool as they can scratch the surface. If your gripper is plastic, a mild detergent and a soft sponge will do the trick.
Keep the Rust at Bay
After cleaning, it’s essential to dry the gripper thoroughly with a clean towel. Moisture can lead to rust or corrosion, especially if it’s made of metal. If you spot any rust or corrosion, use a rust remover or a mixture of baking soda and water to get rid of it. Rinse the gripper thoroughly after with any cleaning solution.
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Store It in a Dry Place
Find a dry place to store the pan gripper. Damp or humid environments can cause rust or corrosion. If possible, keep it in a drawer or cabinet to shield it from dust and debris.
While it is totally possible to make pizza without a pizza pan gripper, having one can make the process safer and more efficient. With a pizza pan gripper, you can handle hot pans with ease and avoid burns or spills. On top of that, it can save you a lot of time, trouble, and pain. So, if you need an easier, safer way to grab a smoking hot pizza pan, get yourself a pizza pan gripper. And, thank me later.
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