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Author Topic: Pizza Screen  (Read 376 times)

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Offline CheeseMcSauceface

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Pizza Screen
« on: March 01, 2021, 09:22:52 PM »
Hello Everyone,

Brand new to the forum and somewhat new to pizza making. I have a 1/2” thick pizza steel that I launch on to for all bakes. I hear a lot of good things about screens and I was wondering if using a screen with the steel is worth the effort/purchase? I am working on my NY style pies now and want a more crisp crust. Thanks for the help!

Offline Sapp

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Re: Pizza Screen
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2021, 11:01:47 AM »
INMO, YES! They are super cheap, help make it easier to form around pizza and if you season the screen and don’t rip your dough, are totally non stick.

I use an 18” screen and center it on the steel. Way easier than using a peel to get your pie on and off a steel or a stone but most importantly, the cook is better

Offline Peter B

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Re: Pizza Screen
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 01:26:35 PM »
The screen is not mandatory, and I think if you are happy with your steel setup you do not need a screen.  To me - the screen is used to solve problems, not to make a better pizza.  In my case, I got a 16" disc because I decided that I wanted to make bigger NY pies in my oven and both my stone/steel were too small for a 16" pie (and I am not ready to go purchase a larger stone/steel at this time).  Some other issues that a screen can help with:
- you have issues with launching your pie.  The use of the screen eliminates the need to launch.
- you want to be able to rest a mostly cooked pie on it, so the bottom does not burn while the top gets some more color.  In other words, you are lifting the pie off of the steel, so you lose that direct contact but the pie is still cooking.
- some folks use the screen as a cooling rack, post bake.  I highly recommend the cooling rack idea, but I have not used a screen/disc in this way, so I don't know if it works as well as the regular cooling rack I already had.

The use of the screen might require you to alter your cooking procedure to get the desired result.  This is not a bad thing, but rather just an added variable with which to experiment.  For me, I am dressing the pie on my disc and loading onto the 2nd to lowest rack.  I have my stone sitting on the next rack up, in an effort to get some top heat radiating down on the pie while the electric element is cooking the bottom.  I let it go for 5 minutes and then rotate 180 degrees.  Then it sits there for three minutes.  At the two minute mark, I kill the regular oven heat and start the broiler.  Then at that third minute, I move the pie (screen and all) up to sit on top of the stone so it gets some broiler heat.  It sits there for 2 minutes and then I pull it.  Total - 10 minute bake.  The results have been excellent, to the point that I am not sure if I will bother getting a bigger stone/steel.
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline sal951

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Re: Pizza Screen
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2021, 01:03:58 AM »
- some folks use the screen as a cooling rack, post bake.  I highly recommend the cooling rack idea, but I have not used a screen/disc in this way, so I don't know if it works as well as the regular cooling rack I already had.

I'd give this suggestion a +1. I have a screen, and while I don't find it necessary for use with my steel, it's my go to resting spot for a couple of minutes straight out of the oven. I find that it helps keep the center of the pizza crust firm and crispy while it cools. I have the same sort of metal serving trays anyone around here has, but if I put the super hot pizza directly on those trays, I find that the heat somehow draws moisture down the crust and makes the center of the pizza get just slightly soggy or mushy.

Still, I'd use a normal cooling rack if I had one that was big enough to handle a 16''. I suppose that overall there's certainly no harm to using a screen to bake, I just never saw a big difference between no screen on my steel.

Offline patdakat345

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Re: Pizza Screen
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2021, 11:11:20 AM »
I use screens about 90% of the time. I make 4 or five pizzas at a time in my commercial pizza oven. It allows me to make the pizzas, put it on the counter and let rise for a half an hour to an hour. When they are in the oven I have no problem with browning as there is 60% contact between the coorderite and the bottom of the crust. Sometimes I will remove the screen half way through baking and that allows full contact. Got to admire all you pizza makers who can use a peel and toss the dough in the air.
By the way, what happened to all those people that claimed that using a screen allowed cold air to come between the stone and the bottom of the crust.
My questions to them is; where does the cold air come from?
The screen is about 1/32' thick or less.
It has a rim that sets flush to the dough and the stone.
I'll tell you what! I will bet that there isn't 1/2 degree difference between the stone temperature and the bottom of the pizza dough. I'll bet a dollar to a dogs turd and hold the stakes in my mouth if I am wrong

pat

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Offline Fiorot

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Re: Pizza Screen
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2021, 11:15:30 AM »
Now not only is the sauce needs to be stirred.... :-D

Offline CheeseMcSauceface

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Re: Pizza Screen
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2021, 12:10:45 PM »
Glad I could stir up some controversy on my first post ;D. Thanks for all the help. I think I just may give the screen a shot and see how it goes. Can't hurt I guess.

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