Cooking on Screens

We cook pizzas in a blodgett 1060 stone deck oven. We are considering using screens to help get the pizzas more uniform in shape and stop cooks from getting pizzas stuck the the peels?

What is the best way to experiment with this? I’ve heard we should start it on the screen, and then pull it off and let it finish directly on the deck.

We just made a pizza and left it on the screen the whole time… the bottom didn’t darken at all and there was no crispyness to the crust. So what should we be doing?

Perhaps an adjustment of the oven temp is in order

While you MAY find a need to alter anything from cooking temp to dough recipe to get just what you want, I’d suggest you try what you suggested yourself! We prep pizzas right on the screen, and cook them there for about 2/3 of the total cook time. Then slide them off the screen to get the bottom done right.
This only works if your dough’s not sticking too much to the screen - and you need someone decent on the peel to get the separation.

OK, then my next question is how to stop the pizzas from sticking to the screens? We had a lot of problems with this today. We weren’t able to get the pizza off of the screen with out scraping it with a turner, and even then a lot of crust got left behind. Would seasoning the screens stop that from happening?

Yes, you MUST season the screens first.

Be careful about seasoning the screens. I needed 50 or so seasoned once and had some of the staff doing it. They decided to ignore my advice about lightly painting oil on them and running them through the oven 3 times. To save time dumped the screens into a large bucket of oil and ran them through the oven. After about 40 of them the oven started on fire. That was the first time I have ever seen flames shooting out of a conveyor, and the last time I let people season screens without better supervision.

Basically to season them well, I would get a can of pam, sparay them then cook them for 8 minutes. Repeat the process 2-3 times, or more if pizzas still stick. That should solve your problem.


Hi! I know I’m a month late with a reply for you but I have finally been able to sit down at my computer and check into PMQ for the first time in a very long time (been busy!)
We originally used a convection oven and have always used screens. Do you roll out your dough? We rarely have a problem with a pizza getting stuck unless the dough gets pushed into the screen (fixing a hole). We make the pizza on the screen. We have since switched to Blodgett stone deck ovens to get that brown bottom and thin layer of crispy crust the customers are asking for. We still leave the pizza on the screen the entire time and they come out great. If you do take it off the screen and place directly on the stone----don’t let it sit too long or you will have an overdone pizza. Our ovens are set at 500.
Hope you have good luck

Colleen, The Pizza Place, Brookings, OR

I use deck ovens and pizza screens. I had trouble at first with one of the ovens burning the crust and the top was not done at all. I would have a repair guy check the oven out for correct temps and evenness of temps. the only pizzas I have a problem with are the ones that have a lot of toppings. These we usually have to finish directly on the stone, the rest are usually okay on the screen. Make sure the screens are well seasoned so the pizza doesn’t stick. Make sure you have not only a good person on the pizza peel but a good pizza peel itself so it will get the pizza off of the screen easily. Learning this trick was my first accomplishment a couple of months ago when I started in this business and now I got it down pat.

That’s an excellent way to handle those heavily loaded pizzas that require a bit of extra baking time to get done right. Some operators elect to do all of their pizzas that way. I’m not in full agreement with that though. The problem is that when you get slammed really hard that’s a lot of extra work to put the pizza in the oven on a screen, then slide it off of the screen and deck it for a minute or so before finally taking it out of the oven. Besides being more labor intensive, it also takes more oven space too, thus reducing your capacity.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor