After a year of experimenting with pizza, I've hit a wall -- my oven. I recently moved into a condo with a cheap, stainless steel Whirlpool electric range. It's one of those crappy appliances that got slapped with a stainless steel face so that the builder could advertise a gourmet kitchen. Unfortunately, until I get a house and can build a brick Neapolitan pizza oven, I'm stuck with the Whirlpool. The controls max out at 500 degrees. However, since I don't trust the "temperature probes" in ovens, I tested it with a stand-alone oven thermometer. It turns out that my oven tops out at 450 degrees at the 500 degree setting, regardless of whether I'm using the bake or broil setting.
(The manual says that the temperature probe is accurate, and thermometers shouldn't be used because opening the oven door may cause the oven to cycle erratically. Yeah, right.)
So now I'm thinking about modifying my oven to get it hotter. I would be relatively satisfied to get to 650-700 degrees. My starter will be ready in another week, so I'm exploring alternatives. I don't see why an oven mod can't be done in relative safely, as the oven has a self-cleaning cycle that lasts 2.5 to 3.5 hrs. If the oven can withstand 900+ degrees for this amount of time, why not 700 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour?
The two approaches I have read about are (i) snipping off or sabotaging the latch that keeps the door closed during the cleaning cycle, and (ii) placing insulation on the temperature probe so that the oven doesn't cut off the heating elements. I have read a little bit about this on the forum, but not much involving long-term performance. So, for those of you that have done this, how has it worked out over time? Any problems with glass or oven lights? Anyone burn down their house?