Pizza Screens--What's the Deal?

Last 2 years I volunteered at a non profit cafe. They used screens in a conveyor belt oven. Sometimes i would make more than 50 pizzas a day. The conveyor oven forces heat from top and bottom so the screen is a must. You can say i was initimately familiar with the oven by the time I left. Coming from a baking steel and outdoor wood fired oven background, i was prejudiced at first. However, eventually i came to appeciate that screen/oven combo for what it was.


A way to mass produce mediocre pizza?

when places insist on cooking a pizza in negative good minutes…
stuff happens.

given the constraints of their ignorance, if the screen can do the crust in the magic number of minutes . . . well, they can live or die with the consequences.

Thanks for your real world experience. So the oven operates as a convection oven, and the screen merely provides the hot air easy access to the bottom dough?

This may be different than using a screen in a solid-floor oven (or on a steel or stone) in order to slow the bottom cook so the toppings finish before the bottom scorches.

no one uses a screen to slow the bottom cook so the toppings finish before the bottom scorches. perhaps you’re using too much sugar in your dough, what’s your sugar percentage? you might also consider using unmalted flour. Or perhaps you’re adding ldmp to the dough?

Oh? I thought someone in this thread said screens slow the cook. I merely picked up on that. No one?

I think you suggested it might work, I don’t think anyone agreed.

I suggested that slowing the bottom cook might help with toppings/bottom balance, yes. But someone else stated screens slow the bottom.

It stands to reason that if your oven is heat-challenged from above, slowing the bottom a bit might help finish the toppings before the bottom scorches.

Really, no one uses screens for this purpose?

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Living the mottos KISS and buy nothing you don’t REALLY need, we use an incredibly simple dough recipe (12-13" pizza = 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons EVOO, 3/4 teaspoon yeast, 1/4 teaspoon salt), preheat (Viking range) oven to 550 for one hour. Lay out each pizza on separate cookie sheet dusted with rice flour. Leave on the sheet and bake directly on oven floor and one (2" higher) level above.
→ Excellent leoparding, crisp crust. No complaints.

We have a wood oven in the country but as I’ve written, it is very labor intensive and requires constant attention to create proper temp and prevent external fire. Life is short and the kitchen oven works well enough.

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I remember watching a youtuber named “Charles Anderson” where he was experimenting with a new pizza oven. (He has tried a couple of them on his channel.)

In one instance the bottom was getting too hot and burning the crust, so he placed a screen between the pizza and the stone to keep it from scorching before the top was done.

Some (not all) of his videos are interesting when it comes to pizza making.

That was my thought, but hey…

wait, your thought was that putting a piece of metal under the pizza so the crust is not contacting the steel would slow down the bake? huh, who knew that would work.

hard to know if you’re being deliberately obtuse or simply don’t understand what I’ve written, either way, I wish you luck with all your future pizza endeavors.

Turns out someone DOES use the technique I suggested–actually speculated about as a novice.

Where’s that leave you?

I’ve watched a few of this guy’s videos. Thanks.

While I find him mildly annoying, he strikes me as having a lot of knowledge, in a self-taught sort of way. I’ve had several clients like this who’ve been at the top of their fields.

You are correct. I can only take “metered doses” of his videos.

It appears he is trying, though.

*** Note *** in my previous post, I referred to this individual as “Charles Anderson” on youtube when in fact his channel is “Charlie Anderson” with an “ie” at the end of his first name. (mistake on my part)

He strikes me as a wonk with good knowledge. Does he get things wrong?

Yes and No… it seems he does a lot of “trial and error” type pizza making.

I know he was searching for a portable pizza oven (electric) that wasn’t too expensive that he could use for his Pizza “Pop-ups”.

Truthfully, I think he’ll have more success, saving up and trying to open a small “take out” style pizza shop vs. trying to make it on youtube.

Just my two cents.

Yeah, YouTubers have a long row to hoe.

My impression was that he wasn’t just spouting jargon, though.

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If only you’d come across that link 24 hours ago :smile: