Author Topic: Steel plate  (Read 59259 times)

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Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #225 on: September 10, 2013, 09:05:02 AM »
Scott,

The man I spoke with there yesterday told me that I should consider not getting the 1/2" because it would be over 50 pounds. I roughly measured the interior and came up with 14 1/2 x 23 1/2, but plan on cutting a cardboard template later today.  He suggested getting the 3/8" thick one.  I explained that I usually make no more than 4 pies in one night and he thought that would be sufficient.  Given those dimensions he said it would be $109.  I haven't finished reading all the way through this thread yet but hope to today.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann


scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #226 on: September 11, 2013, 12:06:24 PM »
Mary Ann, the man you spoke with yesterday (most likely Andris) is steering you wrong. Between gouging people on price, misrepresenting steel's abilities in ads and scaring people away from properly sized plates, I've gone to great lengths to encourage people to obtain their plate from someone other than Stoughton. If you don't mind spending about three times the price for steel, though, Stoughton isn't horrible, but, please, don't take their advice on sizing.

Please tell me that your oven is deeper than 14 1/2 inches.  That would be soul crushing if you spent that much on an oven and only got a shelf that's 14.5" deep.  You said this was your oven, right?

http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/PODC302J.html

In the specs it talks about a usable Oven Interior Depth of 17 1/4". As I said earlier, I'm hoping that you have a little leeway and can squeeze in an 18" deep plate- or even a tiny bit deeper.

You also don't need 23" in the width.  If your oven is 23" wide, then you'll want to shoot for around 20" on the width. An 18" x 20" x 1/2" plate, cut in half (two 9" x 20" x 1/2" pieces), will give you two 25 lb. pieces.  Each will be manageable and the total weight will be no problem for your oven shelves. If you want to trim the weight a bit, there's nothing wrong with 18 x 19 (two 9 x 19 x 1/2 pieces).

Btw, make sure he doesn't round all the edges, as you'll want square edges where the plates meet.

scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #227 on: September 11, 2013, 12:13:20 PM »
Have you used that borrowed steel plate yet, Scott?

Yes, my niece was going away to college and had yet to try my pizza, so I brought the plate down to my brother's house and baked on it.  No photos, but I was very pleased with the results.  As expected, it gave me a bit more conductivity than my regular soapstone hearth, which I needed at my brother's place because his oven runs a bit cool (525ish). Between the convection feature (my home oven lacks convection), the steel plate and a newly acquired wholesale cheese (calabro), it was my best pizza to date. I've also finally worked out the right sauce formula for the Sclafani tomatoes I've been using.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #228 on: September 11, 2013, 12:39:36 PM »
Scott,

Yes, it was Andris.  I never got around to templating the oven yesterday.  The problem with the depth is that there is a lip on the rack such that if I placed the steel plate on it, especially in two pieces, they would not be flush.  I guess I could see if the rack could be used on the reverse side so the pieces would sit flush on the rack.  Then I could order a deeper plate.  The other option is to order it wider and completely remove the rack and have the plates slide directly on the shelve slots.  But then the steel would be heavier.  I'm going to call my old client who deals with steel.  They're in Piscataway.  When I googled steel near this area, it seemed like the companies weren't exactly in the business of fabricating small pieces. I'm pretty sure my client dealt with hot rolled steel.  This is what you've suggested, right?

Here's a picture of the slots (I know, I need to run a major self-cleaning cycle  :-D). BTW, were you able to grab the Sclafanis at .99 cents?  I can't wait to try them on my NY pies on Friday.  Any suggestions on how to season them (if necessary)?

Thanks again,
Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline JD

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #229 on: September 11, 2013, 01:14:54 PM »
Yes, my niece was going away to college and had yet to try my pizza, so I brought the plate down to my brother's house and baked on it.  No photos, but I was very pleased with the results.  As expected, it gave me a bit more conductivity than my regular soapstone hearth, which I needed at my brother's place because his oven runs a bit cool (525ish). Between the convection feature (my home oven lacks convection), the steel plate and a newly acquired wholesale cheese (calabro), it was my best pizza to date. I've also finally worked out the right sauce formula for the Sclafani tomatoes I've been using.

Glad to hear, what was your bake time at 525?


mbrulato: Scott is the reason I got 1/2" steel from my local supplier. It cost me $45 I think? I've been very happy with it, so take his advice seriously unless you have a bunch of money lying around you don't need. If so, I'll send you my custom steel plate for a steal :)

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #230 on: September 11, 2013, 01:29:01 PM »
JD,

LOL!  I trust Scott's advice that's why I am going to order from a local supplier vs. Stoughton.  After I template, the next thing I need to buy is an IR thermometer :)

Since he gives such good advice, I'm going to ask if I should try Lehmann's NY style recipe versus the one I've been using from Peter Reinhart's book, American Pie?  I have had good results with that but I've had tearing issues which I know what to do to prevent it next time.  I have only used KASL and plan on it since I have a few bags to get through before my big purchase.  Any advice on a brand (unbleached and non-bromated) that I should try?  I like HG flours for both my NY and Sicilian pies...

Thanks,
Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #231 on: September 11, 2013, 02:56:40 PM »
JD,

Did you get yours in two pieces?

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline JD

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #232 on: September 11, 2013, 04:08:33 PM »
JD,

Did you get yours in two pieces?

Mary Ann

Sure did! Can't imagine tossing a full plate into the oven without pulling at least one muscle.



Since he gives such good advice, I'm going to ask if I should try Lehmann's NY style recipe versus the one I've been using from Peter Reinhart's book, American Pie?


Not to speak for Scott, but he recently linked to his own NY recipe so why not give that a shot?

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,27232.msg275901.html#msg275901
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 04:13:08 PM by JD »

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #233 on: September 11, 2013, 04:40:31 PM »
This guy seems like a well designed and constructed steel for pizzas.  http://bakingsteel.com/shop/baking-steel/

I bought one and will try it out in my gas oven.  I am thinking of putting a stone on the rack above it just under the broiler to radiate heat downward.  What do you think of this idea?


Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #234 on: September 11, 2013, 04:43:39 PM »
Sure did! Can't imagine tossing a full plate into the oven without pulling at least one muscle.


Not to speak for Scott, but he recently linked to his own NY recipe so why not give that a shot?

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,27232.msg275901.html#msg275901

LOL Josh!  I don't want to pull any muscles either.  This post came at the right time, I was just getting ready to make my dough for Friday.  Thanks a bunch!
Mary Ann

Offline JD

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #235 on: September 11, 2013, 05:19:00 PM »
This guy seems like a well designed and constructed steel for pizzas.  http://bakingsteel.com/shop/baking-steel/

I bought one and will try it out in my gas oven.  I am thinking of putting a stone on the rack above it just under the broiler to radiate heat downward.  What do you think of this idea?

Jinhua: Read the last page of this thread, there should be enough information on this one page to let you know the general consensus of baking steel.

Also, your broiler is a source of radiant heat, if you put a stone under it you'd just blocking a high radiant heat source with a lower one.

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #236 on: September 11, 2013, 07:23:18 PM »
JD, I saw nothing specific about the baking steel product on the last page of this thread.  Did I miss it?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #237 on: September 11, 2013, 08:12:00 PM »
JD, I saw nothing specific about the baking steel product on the last page of this thread.  Did I miss it?

There is nothing special about the Baking Steel. Anything you read about another piece of steel plate of the same thickness applies equally.
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline JD

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #238 on: September 11, 2013, 09:24:57 PM »
JD, I saw nothing specific about the baking steel product on the last page of this thread.  Did I miss it?

Sorry Jinhua, I thought it was a little more cut and dry but I guess it wasn't. This is what I was alluding to (Stoughton = Baking Steel I believe):

Mary Ann, the man you spoke with yesterday (most likely Andris) is steering you wrong. Between gouging people on price, misrepresenting steel's abilities in ads and scaring people away from properly sized plates, I've gone to great lengths to encourage people to obtain their plate from someone other than Stoughton. If you don't mind spending about three times the price for steel, though, Stoughton isn't horrible, but, please, don't take their advice on sizing.



Also, you mentioned in a previous post that you want to use the baking steel in a wood burning grill. Steel is a poor choice for a grill because the steel will get much hotter than the air above, and your bottom will be done well before your top. Cooking pizza on a grill is a bit of a challenge, but can be done if you get the balance correct & use the right materials. I'm no grill expert though so I cannot recommend anything.

If you're stuck with the steel your best bet is to use it in a home oven @ 550* 4"-6" under a broiler. Depending on your thickness, your bake times will vary. Scott is probably your best resource for that information.

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #239 on: September 11, 2013, 10:19:11 PM »
Thanks Josh and Craig.  I understand the issue of not using the steel on the grill as I originally thought.  But I do plan to use it in my oven and see how it performs before buying the Chadwick Oven.  I paid $79 for the Stoughton steel. which does not seem to be so much, considering the time and effort to chase around to find a source to cut a steel plate for me.   It is a beautifully finished product, and if it does what it is supposed to do, for me it is a good value.

As a marketing guy, I appreciate the excellent job they have done branding and promoting this product.  ;D

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #240 on: September 11, 2013, 10:33:04 PM »
Quote
Scott,

The man I spoke with there yesterday told me that I should consider not getting the 1/2" because it would be over 50 pounds. I roughly measured the interior and came up with 14 1/2 x 23 1/2, but plan on cutting a cardboard template later today.  He suggested getting the 3/8" thick one.  I explained that I usually make no more than 4 pies in one night and he thought that would be sufficient.  Given those dimensions he said it would be $109.  I haven't finished reading all the way through this thread yet but hope to today.

Mary Ann

Mary Ann,  I paid $79 with no fee for shipping for a 16" x 14" by 1/4" steel from Stoughton.  It seems large enough to meet my needs and @ 15 lbs, easy enough to put into our oven.  I am sure Scott writes from experience, and his advice is good.  While I am sure I could have found a piece of steel for less, the product is beautifully finished and not so much more expensive than a custom cut piece of steel according to posts I've read here.  I think putting down Stoughton for doing a good marketing job is unfair.  They delivered a good product, seems to have excellent customer service, have had excellent reviews from users.  That is costs more is just the way things work.  I am sure if the Mighty Pizza Oven found a market for $400 instead of $259, Jeff would not be unhappy.  I'll be very happy if it performs as advertised.

I am glad the folks here set me straight on how I should use steel and how I shouldn't.  Now I need to make some dough and eat some pizza! ;D

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #241 on: September 11, 2013, 10:42:21 PM »
I think the problem most of us have with the baking steel IS the marketing.

Baking on steel plate was developed, pioneered, and championed on this forum by some of it's members.  The ONLY reason to use steel is to emulate a higher temperature in a domestic oven to achieve faster bakes.  By using steel in conjunction with a broiler most ovens can produce a 4-5 minute New York style pie, which before this method was a rarity. 

When they launched baking steel they made claims it could not live up to.  Not only will it never bake a Neapolitan pizza in a standard oven as they originally claimed, their original 1/4" version does not have the mass needed to cook a 4-5 pie in most ovens.  IF it cannot do that whats the point? 

Couple that with the 10x markup on what is no doubt scrap material from their original business, and you may start to get the picture.
-Jeff


Offline Jinhua

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #242 on: September 11, 2013, 11:28:07 PM »
If they made claims that they can't deliver, that is not good. That they used recycled byproduct and created a business is admirable.  If the product does not perform, it will ultimately fail.  The Internet is too pervasive for bad products to last.  I'll let you know what my experience is.

Offline JD

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #243 on: September 11, 2013, 11:42:36 PM »
While I am sure I could have found a piece of steel for less, the product is beautifully finished and not so much more expensive than a custom cut piece of steel according to posts I've read here.


For the record my steel plate is 1/2" x 22" x 18" and i got it for around $45. Baking steel with the same dimensions would likely be 3-4 times the cost. Also, the difference between 1/4" and 1/2" is night and day.

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #244 on: September 12, 2013, 05:50:31 AM »
If the product does not perform, it will ultimately fail.

This is not always necessarily the case.  For at least 10 years, King Arthur Bread Flour was the worst flour you could possibly use for pizza.  During that time, I would use it and end up with gummy, unstretchable doughs, and, rather than figuring out the flour was the problem, I thought I was making the dough wrong.  People will go to Naples or domestic Neapolitan pizzerias, love the pizza and want to make it at home.  Because the Baking Steel promises Neapolitan style pizza, they'll buy it. When it fails to produce it, they'll blame it on something else, such as the dough.

We've already seen this happen countless times in this forum.  Almost daily, a new member joins looking for dough advice because they can't seem to able to produce Neapolitan in their home oven.  Stoughton is perpetuating that misinformation. In addition to misrepresenting Baking Steel's abilities in recreating Neapolitan style pizza, they're also doing a tremendous disservice for other styles by not being completely honest about steel's limitations.  It's not a cure all- and they sell it as such.  You've already found out that steel is absolute garbage in a grill. You're figuring out, with our help, other uses for it, but should it fall down to us to repurpose dishonestly marketed products?  How many people, outside this forum, bought Baking Steel with the intent to use it in a grill? How many people bought Baking Steel to use in a gas oven with a broiler drawer?  How many people are out $79 (or more) because Stoughton isn't forthright about their product?

People lead busy lives, and, for some, $150 bucks isn't a lot of money- and worth saving the effort of having to deal with steel distributors.  I'm not knocking anyone for paying top dollar for convenience.  But Stoughton has proven time and time again that they care more about their bottom line and less about truthful advertising. If you want convenience at any price, give them your business, but don't fall into the trap of thinking this is a good company.

scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #245 on: September 12, 2013, 07:10:55 AM »
The problem with the depth is that there is a lip on the rack such that if I placed the steel plate on it, especially in two pieces, they would not be flush.  I guess I could see if the rack could be used on the reverse side so the pieces would sit flush on the rack.  Then I could order a deeper plate.  The other option is to order it wider and completely remove the rack and have the plates slide directly on the shelve slots.

I've never seen a rack with a lip that could be successfully flipped. I think they make the racks this way on purpose to prevent people from putting the racks in wrong.

It's difficult to tell from the photo, but rack lips tend to be less than an inch.  Your published spec and your quick measurement involve a 3 inch difference, though.  If the rack is robbing 3 inches from your depth, then I would suggest removing it.  You can buy 4 lengths of steel bar, run the bars from shelf lip to shelf lip and sit the plates on those.

Air flow is critical on the sides, so you can't go wider/run the steel plate all the way across. You want at least an inch clearance between each side wall and the plate.

And, yes, hot rolled steel is what you want.

I'm going to ask if I should try Lehmann's NY style recipe versus the one I've been using from Peter Reinhart's book, American Pie?  I have had good results with that but I've had tearing issues which I know what to do to prevent it next time.  I have only used KASL and plan on it since I have a few bags to get through before my big purchase.  Any advice on a brand (unbleached and non-bromated) that I should try?  I like HG flours for both my NY and Sicilian pies...

Mary Ann, normally when people are happy with a recipe, I don't rain on their parade, but, since you're soliciting advice  >:D American Pie is a horrible book. Reinhart is great for bread, but not that knowledgeable when it comes to pizza. The Lehmann recipe is good, as is the recipe of mine that JD linked to (they're really not that different).

If you use my recipe, you need to go with an appropriate protein content for the flour. You can either work with KABF or you can dilute your KASL with some all purpose (Walmart or Heckers 50/50). Neither approach is ideal, though.  This will probably ruffle some feathers, but if I had KASL, unless I knew I would be making bagels soon, I'd probably throw it out. That's what I did with my leftover All Trumps when I bought my bag of Spring King.  Toss the KASL (or make bagels with it), buy Best Bakers and don't look back.

JD,

Did you get yours in two pieces?

JD pioneered the two piece process  :)

scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #246 on: September 12, 2013, 07:13:14 AM »
Glad to hear, what was your bake time at 525?

Of the 5 pizzas that made, they were all between 4.5 and 5 minutes.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #247 on: September 12, 2013, 08:14:28 AM »

Mary Ann, normally when people are happy with a recipe, I don't rain on their parade, but, since you're soliciting advice  >:D American Pie is a horrible book. Reinhart is great for bread, but not that knowledgeable when it comes to pizza. The Lehmann recipe is good, as is the recipe of mine that JD linked to (they're really not that different).

If you use my recipe, you need to go with an appropriate protein content for the flour. You can either work with KABF or you can dilute your KASL with some all purpose (Walmart or Heckers 50/50). Neither approach is ideal, though.  This will probably ruffle some feathers, but if I had KASL, unless I knew I would be making bagels soon, I'd probably throw it out. That's what I did with my leftover All Trumps when I bought my bag of Spring King.  Toss the KASL (or make bagels with it), buy Best Bakers and don't look back.

JD pioneered the two piece process  :)

Scott,

I've already made the dough with my KASL.  We'll see what happens  >:D. I am very intrigued by the cottage cheesy texture.  I can't wait to see what the dough looks like when I re-ball it later. 

If you don't mind me asking, why do you like best bakers flour?  Is it because it is a patent flour, or because of the protein content?  I understand the reasoning behind the bleached bromated for oven spring and texture, but I prefer not to use bleached and bromated flour.  I've looked on the Pillsbury website for more information but I couldn't find anything.  Maybe it's too early and my brain isn't registering what my eyes are reading  :-\

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

scott123

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #248 on: September 12, 2013, 08:38:10 AM »
If you don't mind me asking, why do you like best bakers flour?  Is it because it is a patent flour, or because of the protein content?

I like it for two reasons: bromate and protein content.  For NY style pizza, nothing can touch bromated flour. For at least 25 years, every NY/NJ pizzeria has been using bromated flour, because it produces the best results- by far. It's also proven to be perfectly harmless (I've put in probably 100s of hours researching it's safety).  The protein helps as well- 12.7-13.2% seems to be that magic area where you get good oven spring without toughness, but protein is a drop in the buck compared to the wonders of bromate.

Steel plate will take your NY style pizza to the next level, but bromate will knock it out of the park.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Steel plate
« Reply #249 on: September 12, 2013, 09:07:55 AM »
My other BIL, used to own/operate an Italian restaurant/pizzeria awhile back and he swore by Potentate, which has a much higher protein content at 14.3% versus 12.9% Best Bakers.  Have you ever made Sicilian using Best Bakers?  Just curious...
Mary Ann


 

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