How to Use a Pizza Screen: Experience-based Guide

A pizza screen is a must-have tool for professional pizza makers around the world. These metal plates with holes enhance hot air circulation, allowing moisture to escape better and produce perfectly baked pizzas. With a wide range of sizes available, you can find a pizza screen that fits your specific oven model.

After using screens for several years, I can say that they are a preferred choice among many pizza chefs for their ability to quickly bake pizzas during busy hours, ensuring consistent quality with a crispy crust and optimal moisture. Additionally, screens promote cleaner cooking and reduce stickiness. If you’re ready to elevate your pizza-making skills, read on for my guide on how to properly use a pizza screen.

What is a Pizza Screen?

Pizza screens are an essential tool used by professional pizza makers all around the world. Made from heat-resistant aluminum mesh, these round, flat surfaces allow for optimal hot air circulation, ensuring that the pizza is baked evenly from the bottom to the top.

The most commonly used screens have a thin aluminum mesh with rhombus-shaped holes, which helps to create a dry and crispy crust. However, if you prefer a softer crust and center, you can opt for screens with smaller round holes, or even use full metal plates or a pizza stone. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to be familiar with all the tools available to achieve the perfect pizza.

What Does a Pizza Screen Do?

Pizza screens are an ideal tool for baking pizza evenly, as they allow hot air to circulate freely from the bottom to the surface of the dough. This results in a crispier crust and a faster baking time compared to other cooking methods.

In contrast to metal plates, pizza screens have a thin aluminum mesh construction that minimizes direct contact between the dough and metal, thus reducing the chance of burning or over-browning the crust. Additionally, the screen’s design helps prevent the concentration of heat, leading to more consistent results.

The use of pizza screens for mass-producing pizza in large restaurant chains was the original reason for their development. The screens made it easier to bake pizza quickly, efficiently, and consistently on conveyor belts. Nowadays, home bakers can also benefit from using a pizza screen by achieving consistent results in crust crispiness every time.

Why Use a Pizza Screen?

When it comes to making pizza at home, using a pizza screen can have numerous benefits. One of the most notable benefits is the creation of a crispy crust. The screen’s holes promote even circulation of heat, resulting in a perfectly browned crust. Additionally, cooking time is reduced as the holes in the screen allow heat to reach the toppings directly, reducing the amount of time the pizza has to spend in the oven.

Furthermore, pizzas made on a pizza screen tend to have a visually appealing look. The evenly cooked crust and perfectly cooked toppings produce a stunning final product that is sure to impress your dinner guests. So, if you want to elevate your pizza-making game, consider using a pizza screen the next time you make pizza at home.

How to Use a Pizza Screen and Season it Right?

Seasoning pizza screens is an important step to make them perform their best. It is recommended to use older, blackened screens to prevent sticking. If you don’t have access to used screens, you can season new screens by washing them only with water. Avoid using detergents or hard brushes as they can create tiny serrations that can cause the dough to stick.

An alternative method is to burn the screens inside the oven to get rid of any stuck dough or filling. This may seem like a waste of resources, but it is an effective way to season the screens. Another option is to boil the screens in water to soften any chunks of dough, then remove them with a plastic scrub and dry the meshes with a kitchen towel.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to properly prepare your pizza screens before cooking. This will ensure that your pizza comes out perfectly every time.

Now, let’s learn how to use a pizza screen like a pro

Sure! Using a pizza screen is a great way to get crispy, evenly cooked pizzas. Here are some tips for using a pizza screen like a pro:

  1. Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to the desired temperature before putting the pizza on the screen. This will ensure that the pizza cooks evenly and thoroughly.
  2. Place the pizza on the screen: Put the pizza on the screen and place it in the oven. Be sure to position it so that it is centered on the screen.
  3. Avoid overcrowding: Don’t try to cook too many pizzas at once. Overcrowding the oven can cause the pizzas to cook unevenly and can also lead to soggy crusts.
  4. Rotate the pizza: Halfway through cooking, rotate the pizza on the screen to ensure even cooking. This will also help prevent the crust from getting too dark on one side.
  5. Use the right size screen: Choose a pizza screen that is the right size for your pizzas. If the screen is too small, the pizza may not fit properly and will cook unevenly. If it’s too large, the pizza may not get enough heat and will not cook properly.
  6. Clean the screen: After each use, clean the screen with warm soapy water. This will prevent any buildup of food particles that could affect the taste and texture of future pizzas.

With these tips, you’ll be able to use your pizza screen like a pro and cook delicious, crispy pizzas every time. Enjoy!

Pizza Screen vs Stone: Which is Better for You?

When it comes to making pizza, there are two popular methods for baking the pie – using a pizza screen or a baking stone. Both have their pros and cons, and the decision of which one is better for you ultimately depends on your preferences and the type of pizza you want to make. In this article, we’ll compare pizza screens and baking stones to help you make an informed decision.

Pizza Screen: A pizza screen is a metal disc with a mesh bottom that allows air to circulate around the pizza. The smooth surface of the screen makes it easy to transfer the pizza from the peel without the need for flour, making it a great option for both experienced and amateur pizza makers. Pizza screens are also lightweight and easy to handle, making them ideal for outdoor cooking or for those who have limited storage space.

One of the biggest advantages of using a pizza screen is the crisp crust it provides. The mesh bottom allows air to circulate around the pizza, which results in a crispy crust that is evenly cooked. Pizza screens are also great for saving money, as they allow for faster cooking times and therefore, less energy is required.

Another advantage of pizza screens is their versatility. Due to their lightweight design, pizza screens can be used to bake pies of various sizes, beyond the standard 14-inch peel. This makes them a great option for those who like to experiment with different pizza sizes and shapes.

The main disadvantage of pizza screens is that they are not ideal for baking focaccia. The mesh bottom does not prevent the focaccia center from burning, so you have to be very attentive to make sure it is baked evenly without overdrying the thin dough.

Baking Stone: A baking stone is a flat, circular or rectangular piece of stone that is placed in the oven to simulate the heat and texture of a brick oven. Baking stones have been used for centuries by Italian pizza makers and are a traditional method for making pizza.

One of the biggest advantages of using a baking stone is the even heat distribution it provides. The stone absorbs and retains heat, which allows for a evenly baked pizza with a crispy crust. Baking stones are also easy to clean and maintain, and can be used as a hot plate for serving pizza without cooling it down, making it a great option for outdoor parties or picnics.

Another advantage of baking stones is their durability. Unlike pizza screens, baking stones are made of stone or ceramics and are less likely to bend or break. They also have a long lifespan, making them a great investment for those who plan on making pizza regularly.

The main disadvantage of baking stones is that they require a bit of practice to use properly. When baking pizza on a stone, you must flour the peel to prevent the dough from sticking to the stone. Additionally, you must be careful when handling hot stones, as they can crack if exposed to water. Baking stones are also fragile and can be expensive to replace if they break.

In conclusion, whether you choose a pizza screen or a baking stone will depend on your personal preferences and the type of pizza you want to make. If you’re looking for a crisp crust and a lightweight, easy-to-use option, a pizza screen may be the better choice for you. However, if you prefer the traditional method of baking pizza and are looking for a durable option that provides even heat distribution, a baking stone may be the way to go. Ultimately, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and the decision of which one is better for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.


Now that you are equipped with the knowledge about pizza screens and how to use them correctly, you can achieve the best crispy crust for your pizza. If you prefer a dry and crispy crust, with a dry center, then aluminum screens are the perfect choice for you. They are also a great option for those who are just starting out with making pizza and may not have the necessary experience to work with a peel.

Pizza screens are an excellent choice for those who want to make multiple pizzas quickly and efficiently. They are perfect for hosting parties or picnics where a large number of pizzas need to be baked in a short amount of time. Additionally, they are suitable for use with any type of oven, whether it’s an indoor electric oven or a larger outdoor oven powered by wood or propane.

Not only are pizza screens convenient to use, but they are also easy to clean and maintain. With proper care, they can be used repeatedly for millions of pizzas, making them a cost-effective solution for any pizza lover. So whether you are a seasoned pizza maker or just starting out, pizza screens are a great tool to have in your kitchen to achieve the perfect crispy crust every time.

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