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How To Season, Use and Clean Pizza Screens
Pizza screens are large circular discs made of perforated metal. Screens require a seasoning step before use to make sure that the pizza will not stick. Once the screen is well seasoned it becomes a tool that the homemade pizza maker can't live without, in my opinion. For those nights that you do not want to preheat a pizza stone the screen can be put right in a 400-450 degree oven to bake a really nice pizza.
Seasoning a pizza screen
When you first get your pizza screen it will be shiny metal. This is a disaster for pizza making because the dough will stick. There is a little bit of a process to get the pizza screen ready to use. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly coat your screen with oil and put it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Pull the screen out and let cool and turn the oven up to about 400 degrees. Recoat the screen with oil and put it back in the oven. Be warned to turn off smoke detectors and alarm systems because this process can lead to some smoking of the oil. After 15-20 minutes take the screen out and take a good look at it. Does it have a coating of oil stuck to it? If not, give it a good coat and do it again at 400 degrees.
Using a pizza screen
Before using my pizza screen I hold it over the open dishwasher door and cover it with non-stick cooking spray, like "Pam." This really helps keep a non-stick coating on my screen. I then just toss the dough right on. It is important to not take too long in dressing the pizza or else you can get some sticking.
Cleaning a pizza screen
Never clean it! Do not use soap or water, just brush off any crumbs with your hands. You don't want to get off any of the seasoning that you worked so hard to accumulate.
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