Chicago-style pizza has always been hailed as one of the most iconic styles in the world. With its unique deep-dish approach where it blurs the line between a fruit pie and a pizza, the Chicago-style has become so well-known and influential everywhere. Even in San Francisco, Seattle, Napa Valley, or Dyer, Indiana restaurants, the Chicago influence on pizzas can still be found on their menus.
But have you ever wondered why Chicago deep-dish pizzas are so popular? How is it different from pan pizzas and stuffed pizzas? Let’s dive deep into the origins of the Chicago style and what made it the iconic treat that it is today.
Deep-Dish vs. Pan vs. Stuffed Pizza
Outside Chicago, deep-dish pizza is the only kind of pizza people associate with the city. But even when people talk about it, they tend to lump three distinct types of pizza into one category. The truth is there is a difference between deep-dish, stuffed, and pan pizza. Let’s explore and compare each and every one of them.
- Classic Deep-Dish Pizza – There are three things that separate true deep-dish pizza from imitators: oil, dough, and cheese. The traditional way of cooking this is by greasing a deep pan with corn and vegetable oil, followed by smashing the dough into the pan until it covers the lip and bottom. The cheese comes next, preferably mozzarella, followed by the toppings and sauce.
- Stuffed Pizza – The simplest way to explain stuffed pizza is it’s actually a more extreme version of a deep-dish pizza. It’s a lot bigger with a dough that’s less moist and more buttery. Stuffed pizza dough is usually run through a sheeter before it is placed in a pan. Then you sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the dough, followed by a thinner dough on top of the cheese. Only then will you add the toppings, making it an actual multi-layered pizza.
- Pan Pizza – A pan pizza made similarly but is baked differently than stuffed and deep-dish pizzas. The dough is instead cooked halfway through then taken out so it can be frozen up again. Traditional pan pizza makers then add a special layer of cheese between the half-cooked crust and the pan. This is what gives pan pizzas that burnt look on their crust.
What Makes Chicago-Style Different from Other Pizzas?
The depth of the Chicago-style pizza has always been its most distinctive feature, while the toppings are just secondary but still quite different from other pizza styles. Rather than pepperoni as a primary ingredient, Chicago opts for sausages. Yes, Chicago-style sausages are a considerable delicacy in their own right. But when used as a pizza topping, it’s become an absolute masterpiece.
Due to the dish’s popularity, neighboring states have also made their own versions of the Chicago-style pizza, including New York. However, the depth of deep-dish pizzas from Chicago is near those of an apple pie rather than a flatbread. They are also cooked on a rimmed pan, which is similar to cake pans.
Deep-dish pizzas will always have a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Americans. With its iconic status as a gastronomic legend, Chicago-style pizzas will continue to be reinvented by other restaurants in almost every part of the country.
Whenever you’re looking for a place to fulfill your cravings for deep-dish pizzas, then Doreen’s Pizzeria is the perfect place for you. Our stuffed pizzas will remind you of the classic Chicago-style but with our own twist. Doreen’s Pizzeria offers pizza catering, carry-out, and delivery. Contact us today to order!