This post is sponsored by VanEsch Cookware.
I am obsessed with getting people to make pizza from scratch in their home kitchens. So, when VanEsch Cookware reached out to me a few weeks ago and declared that their new product, the BakePlate, is the best baking surface for the home oven—better than both cordierite stones and ¼-inch steel plates—of course I was intrigued.
They shipped me a BakePlate the next week, and after a few trial pizza-making runs, it has officially unseated the steel plate as a fixture on the bottom shelf of my oven. Here’s what makes this new baking surface unique:
- It’s made of cast aluminum coated with seasoned carbon steel, which means that it can hold more heat than cordierite and twice as much heat as thin baking surfaces made only of carbon steel.
- The aluminum crossfins on the bottom of the BakePlate create a raised baking surface that is easier to handle than standard steel plates, and they also increase the heat capacity, allowing you to bake multiple pizzas back-to-back without reheating the surface in between. To reach full heat potential, VanEsch recommends preheating the BakePlate at 550°F for 75 to 90 minutes before baking or broiling your pizza.
For my first tests, I preheated the BakePlate at 550°F for about 1 hour, then switched my oven setting to Broil on high and let it heat up for another 15 minutes. Usually, when I preheat my ¼-inch-thick steel plate in this exact way, pizzas bake up perfectly in 6 to 8 minutes. On the BakePlate, it took 5 minutes flat to achieve a perfect, char-spotted pizza crust. (For best results, I recommend using either my Slow-Rise Dough or Neapolitan Dough.)
My verdict? Though its extra thickness may make it difficult to store (if you take it out of the oven between uses), the efficiency of quicker-cooking, restaurant-quality homemade pizzas definitely outweighs any inconvenience. Click here to learn more about this new pizza baking surface.
PS: I’ll be giving away one free BakePlate on Instagram this week! Check my feed @ThursdayNightPizza tomorrow morning for all the details.
Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with VanEsch Cookware. They have provided me with the BakePlate at no cost to me, but all of the opinions in this post are my own.