Congratulations! You have now taken the first step toward taking care of your pizza supplies. This is a wise move. By properly cleaning and caring for your pizza accessories, you will both ensure their longevity and prevent them from organizing an uprising against you.
Wooden Pizza Peels
Wooden Pizza Peels are the workhorses of the pizza kitchen. Follow these easy steps to get the most life out of them.
Coat with mineral oil. This will act as a sealant for the wood and prevent it from splitting. Only use food-grade mineral oil as vegetable or olive oil will turn rancid.
Keep it dry. Pizza peels are like cats, and will appreciate being kept as dry as possible. Water can cause damage to wood products. Moisture can also cause the board to warp.
Flour when in use. When using the peel to insert or extract pizzas from the oven, lightly dust some flour on the surface. It will absorb any extra moisture and make the pizza easy to slide on and off the peel.
Brush it clean when not in use. By keeping it clean, you can retain the life of your peel. Crumbs, melted cheese and sauce can collect on the peel and will make the surface uneven.
Do not leave peel on hot surfaces.If a wooden peel is left on a hot surface, it will warp. Once your peel is warped, balancing a pizza on it can be quite a feat. If your wooden board is already warped, lay it out overnight with the warp (curved side) facing upward. In most cases this significantly reduces the problem. If the problem isn’t resolved, it is time to replace.
Pizza Screens and Pizza Pans
Wash in warm soapy water. These items should not go through the dishwasher but should be hand washed.
Avoid abrasive chemicals or scrub pads. Whether they have a natural finish or are hard coat anodized, these pans can scratch if scrubbed with abrasive pads. Once the coating is scratched the pan can rust.
Dry after washing. Use a towel to dry your pans and screens before storing. This can keep them from rusting.
Tin and Hard Anodized Pizza Pans
Tin and hard anodized pans require a little more care than just cleaning. They require seasoning. This simple process can not only increase the life of your pan, but reduce your clean up time and improve the taste of your pizzas.
Wash in warm soapy water, dry immediately after. Be sure your pan is clean before you start the seasoning process. This gives you a clean work surface to begin seasoning.
Brush inside and outside with oil. Any type of edible cooking oil works well here. To prevent oil taste contamination, use the oil you usually coat the pan with before baking.
Bake until golden brown. Put the pan in the oven at the same temperature at which you bake your pizzas. Leave the pan in for the amount of time it takes to cook a pizza in that pan. It should be golden or dark brown when complete.
Drip trays prevent excess oil from dripping in oven. By placing a drip tray under the pizza pans that are being seasoned, you reduce time spent on oven clean up.
Repeat the procedure two to three times if necessary. Some pans require more seasoning than others. Ultimately this is up to your discretion.
For Hard Anodized Pans:
Wash and dry the pan. It is important to start this process on a clean surface. Dry the pan to ensure that the oil will seep in and not repel from the surface.
Wipe inside and outside of pan with oil. Again, any type of edible oil will work here. Use the oil you usually cook your pizzas with to prevent taste contamination between oils.
Let oil soak for 30 minutes. This ensures that the oil seeps in and seals the pan.
Bake at regular times and temperatures. Place the pan in the oven at the same temperature you use to bake your pizza, and keep it in there the same amount of time you bake a pizza. Be sure to not over bake, and do not let the oil burn.
Place drip tray under pan to limit clean up. By placing a drip tray under the pan, you can keep clean up to a minimum. The oil will run off the pan when baking.
Wipe off excess oil, do not wash it off. Take a dry clean cloth and wipe off excess oil when the pans come out of the oven. Do not wash the oil off. The residue left from the oil is what makes it resistant to sticking.
Do not put in the dishwasher. These coatings can break down if exposed to high alkaline or acidic cleaners. Avoid putting pans in the dishwasher once they are seasoned. Also, do not use any caustic chemicals on pans. Stick to aluminum specific detergents.