Author Topic: Steel plate  (Read 63909 times)

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scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2011, 06:55:30 PM »
Mark, while it's preferable to upload the photos to the forum so that they'll never be deleted, if you're having problems re-sizing them, it's not the end of the world, for this last batch, to upload them to a photo sharing site and then post the links here. Flickr is popular.  I use photobucket, but there are lots of options. I can't speak for Flickr, but I do know that photobucket has a remedial photo editing area that will allow you to re-size the photos (and then upload them here), although it could involve a lot of labor.

Generally speaking, at typical 60-65% hydrations, 3.5 minute baked pies aren't crisp.  NY style, as a whole, is more of a puffy/chewy thing than a puffy/crispy thing.


Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2011, 09:27:43 PM »
This is a test to see if I can post pics



Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2011, 09:47:05 PM »
These are pics from my first run with the steel plate.  I had the stone in the oven for the first run, and oven set at 475.  I did not get a good bake at 475, and slid the pie to the stone after 5 minutes or so. I pulled the pie at 8 minutes.  Tasted great, good crisp crust, but poor spring.  In any event, I am getting the IR thermometer, and will post future pics with specific times and temps baking on steel.  Last night, I did not take pics, with no stone and steel at 550.  I will document future experiments.  Thanks again Scott and Don!  Mark


scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2011, 06:46:43 PM »
Mark, a belated thank you for posting the photos.

I'm a little surprised by how much the shelf is bowing. That is some serious looking strain. I don't necessarily see it being a problem, but it's still looks a lot more bowed than I was expecting.  I'd hate to see what 3/4" would look like.

I think you could go a long way in improving spring, shortening bake times, as well as encouraging crispiness by dialing back the thickness factor. Instead of an 11 oz. ball, I'd go with 10 oz. for that diameter.

Offline compatta

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2011, 05:58:45 AM »
anybody want to try iron barbells that are used in weight lifting?
Easily...100 lbs is possible.
The true and quintessential version of pie to me is [NEO-New Haven]:
Crust of a New Haven Pizza with the Signature California style that
makes Fresh and Organic Pizza Possible.

Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2011, 09:03:50 AM »
Scott, Yep, my 17 by 17 by 1/2 steel plate is 42 pounds.  I am careful in handling it.  If it slips, it could break my toes.   Three quarters inch thick is just not practical.  Wow! Reduce my thickness factor from 0.076 to 0.070.  A bit intimidating, but I can see how that would contribute to a lighter, faster bake with more crisp.  I will consider that.   Those Pyrex 7 cup proofing bowls you recommend are great!  I picked up three for $5 each, and I love them.  My IR thermometer has shipped.  I will post my experiment findings with data and pics soon.  Any particular settings you recommend for my next trial?   Mark

Offline carbon

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2011, 02:41:59 PM »
Wow, that's heavy.  I have a Lodge 14" cast iron pizza pan that I used to use in my oven.  That thing weighed about 10 pounds and worked great.

edit:  I just realized cast iron pans were already brought up in this thread.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 02:45:31 PM by carbon »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2011, 11:13:32 AM »
Has anyone tried the steel plates, a la modernist cuisine, to achieve neapolitan style?

Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2011, 08:49:52 PM »
Scott!  Exciting results with steel!  Tonight, I preheated my steel plate for 90 minutes ( overkill )  My electric range was set for 550, but I only hit 530 with 2 metal dial thermometers and verified by my new IR thermometer.  I hit the broiler for 45 seconds, and my steel plate jumped to 600 when I went to launch pie.  The broiler stayed on for another 40 seconds, then cut out.  I pulled my pie after 3 1/2 minutes.  Oven spring, near char on bottom and crispness! 


scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2011, 10:16:58 PM »
Very impressive, Mark- and picture perfect documentation.

I'm especially pleased that you were able to get the IR thermometer.  The timing couldn't be better, as I've been using the results here to debate the merits of a steel plate technique laid out in an upcoming book (that Hotsawce mentioned above)

You love Neopolitan-style pizza, but don't want to invest in a brick oven

Without the thermometer, I was a tiny bit hesitant to completely rule out any possibility of a Neapolitan 2 minute bake @550 with 1/4" steel, but now that I've seen your data, I am 100% certain that it can't be done.

Don't worry about the 90 minute pre-heat.  I still stand by what I said earlier.  The stone will be fully pre-heated in 45 minutes- max.

Based upon your results, I would say that 1/2" steel plate performs a little bit better than 1 1/4" soapstone, which is good, but not, as I've said before, as good as I would have liked.  It's great for 530ish oven owners like yourself, but it doesn't do much for the 500 and below folks. I guess it's back to the drawing board for a one size fits all solution. It is far easier to track down than soapstone, though, and cheaper, so that's a big plus.

Really great work.  Thanks for doing this.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 10:19:00 PM by scott123 »

buceriasdon

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2011, 08:08:27 AM »
Mark, Excellent! Now that is a great looking pizza. Kudos to you for being on the cutting edge of the steel plate concept and documenting your work. You have ever right to be proud of that pie. scott123, commendable effort and articulate assistance you have given Mark.
Don

Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2011, 11:06:15 AM »
Scott, Don Thanks for the positive feedback.  I appreciate your expertise and support in my efforts to get a puffy, light yet somewhat crispy tasty New York Pie.  As has been said earlier, once you see and taste that puffy crust, it is hard to go back  ( sort of like frozen orange juice compared to tropicanna fresh squeezed ) My wife and children love it!  I am glad to investigate the steel story in pizza, and will be glad to carry out future experiments with documentation.  I am following the thread on Neopolitan on steel.  For last night's bake, my steel was at 530.  I hit the broiler and after 45 seconds, my surface temp surged to 600, then I launched the pie.  This was a key difference between last night's bake and my previous bake at the same temperature but no prebake broiler burn of 45 seconds.  I had good spring but a wimpy crust.  I wonder if one has the broiler on for 2 minutes before launching pie ( if it will stay on that long, and thermostat will not kick it off ) the surface of the steel will hit 700, and good things may happen.  I will be watching the action this weekend.  Mark

Offline Tampa

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #62 on: February 18, 2011, 12:28:25 PM »
Mark,

I was following the "you love neo.." post and just saw the pictures of your results on this thread.  Great job.  I love it.  This is kind of what I guessed might happen.  It really looks like a good pie.

I find it especially amusing that the underside crust looks so good.  Scott (and hopefully no one else) might remember an experiment I ran some months back resulting in a chewy, somewhat yellowish, underside crust.  From what I can see, you got none of that.

I'll have to talk w/ StrayBullet about getting a couple of plates - one for him and another for me.  I'd rather cook inside in the winter.

Thanks for doing this.

Dave

Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2011, 01:56:20 PM »
Dave, Thanks for the good words.  This forum is so helpful, and guys like Scott123, Don, yourself and others really support pizza lovers honing their skills.  Good food is one of the finest pleasures in life, and in an essential element of our culture.  Mark

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2011, 07:35:31 PM »
Get pretty good results with cast iron. Not sure why, though.

Offline ponzu

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2011, 12:13:14 AM »
That is a phenomenal looking pie,  particularly for having been cooked at such a low temperature (relative to neapolitan and neo-neapolitan pies.)  the steel is clearly transfering heat incredibly efficiently.

I would love to see you launch a 62-65% hydration pie on the highest shelf on broil at a stone temp of 750-800.  I would predict a sub 1 minute bake with a well cooked cornicione.

Keep up the great work.

Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2011, 01:20:13 PM »
Thanks Alexi... your idea about Neopolitan on steel is interesting.  We will see what happens with thezaman experimenting in the Neopolitan thread.  Today I cranked up the broiler on my steel plate, and I maxed out at 610 before my thermostat kicked it off.  I then preheated on bake to my max temp of 530-540 and hit the broiler.  It was on for almost two minutes before it kicked off.  My maximun temp was 670 on the surface of the steel.  My concern for Neopolitan is that after I load the pie, the broiler may take a minute or more to kick in, but it may be worth a try. Mark


Offline ponzu

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2011, 05:44:18 PM »
Mark,

You might just do the entire pre heat on broil and let the broiler cycle on and of for a few cycles and see what the stone temp gets to right after it shuts off.  In my oven with a plain old williams sonoma pizza stone my stone hits 800-850.)

Interestingly I find that after loading a pie right after the broiler clicks off it will soon turn back on (30 secs later,)  as the thermostat is cooled by the pie.  In this manner the electric broiler never really shuts off)

one issue might be that the steel is more reflective, which shuts the broiler off quicker.  you could try positioning the steel away from the thermostat or putting a non reflective substance like a tile on top of the steel near the thermostat.

I have a feeling much higher steel temps are within your grasp with a few adjustments.

Good luck and I eagerly await your results.

buceriasdon

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #68 on: February 19, 2011, 06:14:16 PM »
I am going to run some tests tomarrow when I have a day off and confirm my position that a steel surface is not reflective enough to skew measurements with an IR gun or cause an oven to shut off. When I was experimenting with a steel plate in my electric toaster oven for a monthly challenge (something you have never done before) my readings with a oven thermometer and my IR gun were within 50 degrees. Repeated tests showed the same results as I repeated the readings for every bake. I even borrowed some other oven thermometers to use in my tests. I'll grant stainless and aluminum may be different. See here:
http://www.allqa.com/IR.htm
I understand the principles are different between an IR gun and and an oven thermostat but there should be some correlation if reflection is the issue.

Don
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 06:43:59 PM by buceriasdon »

buceriasdon

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #69 on: February 20, 2011, 09:01:15 AM »
After pondering the subject last night, I did some on line research this morning concerning how oven thermostats control temperature and all sites said the same thing, they measure air temperature so even if steel was polished to a mirror finish it would not affect how the thermostat works.
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5233887_oven-thermostat-work_.html
Don

scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2011, 09:57:45 AM »
Regarding the surface temp increase with the broiler- I think it may be a lost cause.  You're really not driving up the temp of the whole stone.  Changes in surface temps tend to be pretty trivial. Unless you block off/shield the thermostat in some fashion, you're only talking a few seconds blast, plus... it could rob time from the broiling phase of the pizza bake.  The last thing you want to do is launch the pizza and not have the broiler come on for a minute or two because you just had it on full blast for the pre-heat. Oven spring is dependent on high heat from below and above.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that 1/2" steel plate, in this present configuration, with or without broiling, can't produce Neapolitan bake times. To do Neapolitan, the entire plate needs to be pre-heated to at least 650 and most likely closer to 675.

Mark, I know you bought this plate to avoid oven tricks, which I think is a good idea, but there is one sort of light duty oven trick that's recently come to my attention by way of the steel plate scenario in Modernist Cuisine. It has to do with the idea of restricting air flow. You might be able to put your steel plate on the top shelf and cover the remainder of the shelf with heavy duty foil, with the shiny side facing down.  This should prevent some heat from getting to the thermostat and driving up the temp of the lower compartment.  I'm not certain how much of a disparity it's going to create and how long it will take for the heat to travel from the bottom of the steel plate to the top, but it's worth a try.

Another option that just occurred to me is, instead of a foil covered shelf with a cutout for the plate, maybe a mineral wool covered shelf with a cutout. Or... if the shelf could handle the weight, possibly some very thin quarry tiles cut to fill the entire space. Anything that will insulate the bottom of the oven should do the trick.




scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2011, 10:41:25 AM »
After pondering the subject last night, I did some on line research this morning concerning how oven thermostats control temperature and all sites said the same thing, they measure air temperature so even if steel was polished to a mirror finish it would not affect how the thermostat works.
http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5233887_oven-thermostat-work_.html
Don

Actually, if the steel is very shiny, when you put the broiler on, it will bounce the radiant back upward and at the thermostat, heating the thermostat and turning the broiler off rather quickly.  As steel is heated, though, it should naturally blue (a form of rust), so as the plate is used, it should lose some of it's shine.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 11:43:55 AM by scott123 »

buceriasdon

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2011, 12:14:03 PM »
Side by side of seasoned steel plate, somewhat more shiny than than cold or hot roll, and aluminum foil in the sun. Fabricated steel has little shine.
The bottom which has no seasoning is very poor in reflection.
Don

foil
Actually, if the steel is very shiny, when you put the broiler on, it will bounce the radiant back upward and at the thermostat, heating the thermostat and turning the broiler off rather quickly.  As steel is heated, though, it should naturally blue (a form of rust), so as the plate is used, it should lose some of it's shine.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 12:15:57 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline ponzu

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #73 on: March 24, 2011, 01:48:51 AM »
My stone recently cracked so I thought I'd give it a go with a steel plate.

I got a 1/2 by 14" by 14" plate of steel cut locally for 46 bucks.

I made a batch of dough today that was by far the worst and  most slack dough that I've made in a long time.  The culrits? One I mixed in 2 1 week old dough balls to a a 6 ball recipe after the the new dough was mixed and rested.  And 2 I waited too long to ball and proof due to the unusually sunny weather here in Portland which turned a 3.5 hour round of golf into a 5 hour slog.

Anyhow observations on the bake.

I started with my usual stone position with the steel on the top rack and a 45 minute long preheat on convection broil.  With this the steel quickly got to temps in the 830-860 range.

When I cooked at this temp on broil I got leoparding on the top and over char on the bottom and a soft, though not gummy crumb, after 50-60 seconds.  That took about 90 -120 seconds on my old stone (without the over char.)  I was actually pleasantly suprised with the crust structure considering how underdeveloped  the dough was.

Then I moved the rack down a slot and kept the surface temp at about 650-675.  With this I got a nice well charred crispy skinned soft  2 minute pie similar to my prior efforts at a stone temp of 700-750 with my old stone (cooked for 2.5-3 minutes.)

One other observation:  due to the slick surface of the steel, it is harder to rotate the pie.  It happily slides across the surface of the stell like a hockey puck!

So I think the steel is definately a more efficient way to transfer heat to the pie, but its going to take me some more bakese out the right set up for my oven.

AZ

Pictured is a 2 minute truffle pie with the second set up.


Offline communist

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #74 on: March 25, 2011, 12:59:43 PM »
Nice pizza Alexi,  I enjoy my steel, but 17 by 17  by 1/2 inch weighs around 41 pounds and my wife doesn't like finding it in the oven when she has to bake.  What make/model convection oven are you using?  Are they surface temps you are hitting on the steel, or oven temps? 
Thanks, Mark