Screens vs Wooden Peel

Hi all,
I would like a little insight and thoughts as to my dilemna.

I currently use Lloyd Screens for my hand tossed crust. They are great and work wonderfully. I am considering using a wooden peel to make the pizzas on busy nights so we don’t have a conglomeration of screens everywhere. During the slow nights, it is no problem to keep up with them but busier nights seem to be a pain moving hot screens and grabbing a hot one to make another pizza.

I know that Tom L. has mentioned using a dusting agent on the wooden peel and was hoping to gather some insight if anyone is doing this method.

I currently offer 3 types of crust. The only crust I am trying to modify is the hand tossed. I don’t want to use the cornmeal because I feel it will change the mouth feel and flavor profile.
If this concept works out on busy nights, I wouldn’t be opposed to using it all the time.

Any thoughts or ideas is much appreciated.


If the issue is hot screens, why not just buy more screens rather than change your whole procedure?

Imo, it would be easier and far more cost effective over the long run because of the higher skilled labor required by not using screens. I try not to make things more complicated than I have to – especially given today’s labor market.

Hi Bubba:

I am a bit confused by your posting. Pizzas are baked on screens. Peels are used to place in and remove screens / pizzas from the oven. If you are not using a peel to place and remove your product now what are you using?

If what you are asking is " is it practical bake pizzas on the deck without screens", I can only state that most all pizza bakers gave up baking directly on the deck and switched to screens years ago.

George Mills

In my opinion, baking directly on the stone will give you a superior product as opposed to using screens, however you may want to do some experimintation as the bottom of your pizza may cook faster than you like.

If you don’t want to use cornmeal, you can use semolina or just plain flour. Just don’t let the pizza sit too long on the peel or it will want to stick. And as one of the other posters commented, it will take more skilled labor to be able to shake off the pizza onto the stone.

Lloyd pans do last forever and they take forever to cool down too. Have you considered just the plain old mesh screens?

A lot of it will depend on your concept as well, I think in a higher end concept the customers would appreciate the pizza being baked right on the stone.

I just took a quick gander through your other posts in other threads in the past to see what kind of oven you use. I saw a post from you that said you used a conveyor oven. Has this changed?

If you do use a conveyor oven, you will have to use some sort of screen or pan. a wooden peel will not work (no heat transfer), and baking directly on the conveyor wont work either (you’ll fight it trying to get it off the conveyor).

If you use a stone oven, baking directly on the stone is a possibility if your staff is capable.

Buy more screens.

Actually, I just recently did a demo with XLT and the rep told me that Shakey’s does one of their pies directly on the conveyor. I personally haven’t checked it out yet but that’s the word . . .

Thanks for the replies. Let me provide further clarification.

One of my crusts which I offer is a thin. I make the thin on a coroplast board and put cornmeal on it to slide it in my conveyor oven, we don’t cook the thin on the board, we just use it as a transfer means. When it comes out we use our metal peel to pull it off and place it on the cutting board. I am trying to emulate this procedure with my hand tossed style crust. I have plenty of screens, I just want to figure what kind of “flour” to use to help the hand tossed slide off and at the same time not affect the flavor or the mouth feel you get with cornmeal.

Thanks for the continued thoughts.


Maybe this paragraph was misleading then :smiley:

I’m curious as to your putting the skins directly on the belts. Did you have to experiment with the dough to make this work or does it work with any dough? What is the difference in your finished product when compared to using the screen?

We have not noticed or had negative comments on the thin crust being cooked without a screen. I have used the same procedure with the hand tossed style for our own lunch pizzas and there is no difference other than no “hole bumps” created from the screens.
When we looked at both versions of the cooked pizza, we did not notice any difference. The doneness seemed the same as well as bottom color.
I use a cold dough process.

If there is no difference in the finished product, why would you try to mess around not using screens when they make so many things easier? I must be missing something.

Yes, I’m confused again too.

I think he is trying to avoid buying extra screens…

At $20 per screen for the Lloyd discs I may be looking for alternatives as well. I spent nearly $2000 in discs but at times wish I had more. I’m considering adding a few $3 regular screens to help me make it through the busiest of rushes. But shaking pizzas off a wooden peel directly onto my conveyor belt will never be on option for me.

What’s wrong with $3 screens. I bought a heap from Lloyds and they work great for us on our conveyor oven.
I would rather invest in more screens / discs or what ever than try to save a few $$ and slide onto the conveyor.


Have you all really noticed a difference with the Lloyd screens? I have noticed a difference – and if I’m just missing it, it can’t be worth their cost. I do use a deck oven so maybe the difference comes with using a conveyor???