“ Brand: Caraselle / Product Type: Pizza Set „
My oven heats very evenly, unlike may ovens that heat more from the bottom. The result of this is that foods often cook faster on the top - due to the fact that the bottom of the food is somewhat protected by the baking sheet - the result soggy pizzas and I do hate soggy pizzas. However if I were to cook them long enough to cook the crust right, they would be a bit overdone on top - and while this wouldn't be the end of the world for me - the children would not eat them. After a bit of research I decided on a pizza stone, but they were quite expensive, breakable and heavy - all issues for me as I struggle to lift anything heavy at all and drop things constantly. While looking for a pizza stone Amazon suggested this. At the time I paid around £2.50 which seemed a real bargain. It is now closer to £4 with shipping, but still worth every pence in my opinion.
The Pizza mesh doesn't look like much. In fact it looks like some sort of cheap plastic screening and I had serious doubts as to the ability of this thing to withstand the heat of the oven. I've had it about 6 months though, and it gets used a lot, but still looks as good as new. The pizza mesh is 12.5" across, so wide enough for most, but not all pizzas. Cleaning is a breeze - with frozen pizza you can usually just shake off any crumbs or give a quick wipe with a sponge. If cheese gets stuck between the squares bending it a few times usually pops the cheese out - assuming it is cool. I have washed this in the dishwasher a few times - but this isn't worth the effort. Any cheese or dough will just turn mushy in the dishwasher. I would only uise the dishwasher now when I use this for oven chips to remove oils.
Taste Test 1 - Pizza
This makes all the difference in the world for my oven. I had stopped eating frozen pizza as couldn't stand the soggy bottoms, a pyrex pan with holes made a huge improvement and I began eating pizza again, but this is even better and cheaper than the pyrex pan. The pizzas are so much nicer with this. I have used this for homemade and frozen pizza with near perfect results for both. In all honesty, it is not as good as pizzeria oven - and I don't think any pan is going to make the same quality pizza as a pizza oven. It might not even be as good as pizza stone - I never did buy one after getting this so I don't know, but it is ever so much better than any pizza pan I have ever owned - including my pyrex one. The boys thought the pizza was much nicer too - in fact saying it was the best pizza I'd ever made, and even my husband noticed the difference - but he kept insisting we were using a new recipe. We do cut the pizza directly on the mesh, using a pizza wheel, and have had no problems.
Taste Test 2 - Oven Chips
Yes I know this is only meant to be for pizza but I never use things as they are meant to be used. While this does make a nicer pizza - the difference with oven chips is even more noticeable. They come out nice and dry and crispy, as well as being evenly cooked. The same goes for onion rings.
Taste Test 3 - Frozen Fried Chicken
Again this makes a huge difference with the chicken being dry and crispy instead of greasy on one side. The batter doesn't stick often like it will to a pan either - but be warned - the grease has to go somewhere. Use an old drip pan or foil on the bottom of your oven.
Taste test 4 Cookies
The cookies came out very nice, with nice well cooked bottoms, but a few of the did break getting them off the pan. I often end up turning the mesh upside down and slowly rolling it up to remove cookies. Cookies will also require more clean up than other foods as the dough can get stuck in between the squares a bit. It isn't major, just bend the pan several times and wipe off. Cookies are the one food I have used this for, where I would rate this as with an ordinary baking sheet. It some advantages and some disadvantages but at lest it won't rust like so many baking trays do.
Of course this won't replace baking trays entirely. There are still several foods I would prefer a baking tray for. But it is such an inexpensive item, and it takes very little space - I really can't imagine not having one now. It is brilliant item for anyone who enjoys pizzas or frozen chips - and useful for quite a few other things as well.
For all that I love this mesh, it does have one major drawback. The fact that it is completely flexible means it is quite floppy when you go to pull it out from the oven. I grab the end and swiftly pull the mesh and whatever is on it onto a plate or baking tray. I would not allow the children to remove this from the oven. I think it would be too easy for them to drop a scorching hot pizza over themselves.