Author Topic: trick your oven to higher temps  (Read 13482 times)

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Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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trick your oven to higher temps
« on: May 31, 2005, 09:25:32 PM »
i know this topic has been touched on in the past, but i was wondering if there's any electrical engineers among us who might give some insight into tweaking our standard ovens into producing higher temps.

i use the clean cycle, but being that it doesn't produce a steady temperature, it would be much better to do one of two things:

1) trick the temperature gauge into thinking it's colder than it actually is
2) monkey with the electronics into allowing temps higher than normal

any ideas?

come on all you engineering hobbyists out there. you know you want to rip the lid off that range and have at it!



Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2005, 09:43:40 AM »
55+ views and not a single response.

i'd say we've got some interest here. i've done some internet research and found a few things about engineering these small electronic devices. but then i lost the article. i'll keep looking and report back for anyone interested.

later.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2005, 09:57:05 AM »
PSF,

If you haven't already seen this thread you may want to take a look at it: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,517.0.html.

I didn't use Steve's technique because I didn't want to take up cigar smoking :(.

Peter
« Last Edit: June 03, 2005, 09:59:49 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2005, 10:16:30 AM »
thanks pete-zza. i did see that. but it's not exactly what i'm trying to do. i want to actually change the electronics of the oven to go to higher temps.

actively messing with boiling-over water just doesn't sound like bunches of fun.

Offline Randy

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2005, 11:23:20 AM »
From an engineering point of view, this is a bad, bad idea. 

Randy

Offline Randy

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2005, 01:34:39 PM »
Anytime you alter a machine that was safety tested in a given configuration you are asking for an accident that the manufacture has not tested for. This is like driving your car without seat belts, you maybe able to get away with it for a number of years but then you may not. Two people on the list have already broken the oven door glass. You could buy a pizza oven for less than the price of glass.
Look in the equipment section for pizza ovens or use a pizza screen for crisp pizzas.

Like the 15 year-old boy that fell into a pizza joint's mixer. He was dead before they got it shutoff. You would think that kind of thing wouldn't happen but it does.


Randy

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2005, 01:39:45 PM »
randy. i was one of those 2 people!!!

i see your point, but i raise you that i'm really only looking to raise the temp by about 100 degrees F. from 550 to 650. my oven is a self-cleaning oven which is made to withstand at least 3 hours of higher than 1000 degree F temperatures. i dont think raising it 100 degrees is really going to shorten the life of the oven.

that being said, you're right, you never know.

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2005, 02:37:36 PM »
thanks cheesy. i agree. life's too short to always play it safe.

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2005, 01:02:46 PM »
i had an idea.

i was thinking of a way to insulate the thermostat inside the oven in order to trick it into thinking it's cooler than it is. preferably by about 100 degrees (650F).

i tried wrapping it with aluminum foil, but it still registered as the correct temp.

anybody have any other ideas for materials to use for insulation?

thanks.


Offline Steve

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2005, 01:28:31 PM »
This topic has been discussed extensively (do a search). I was able to trick the thermostat probe by filling a metal cigar tube with water, then putting the probe in the water. As long as there was water in the tube the oven stayed on. When all of the water boiled out, the thermostat registered the correct temperature and shut down the oven. It was nice in that it was sort of a safety feature. But, in practice it was difficult to put a hot probe in a hot oven in a tube without burning yourself. And once in the tube the water only lasted 10-15 minutes before it boiled off.
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Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2005, 01:30:51 PM »
yeah. i've done a search. i haven't seen a good solution.

i'm not into the cigar tube idea. it's an interesting one, but i want to use my oven for other things and dont want to have to dismantle my oven every time i want to cook a pizza.

have you seen any other forums describe an insulator? i haven't.

thanks for your help.

Offline Les

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2005, 06:12:37 PM »
I have a Bakers Pride 16" countertop pizza oven which will reach about 650.  When I bought it I'd hoped it would at least come close to doing what the higher temp ovens do, but it doesn't (though it's better than a regular oven).

In desperation this weekend I'm going to try to make a covering for the oven's exposed thermostat probe out of "rope insulation" (unless the manufacturer specs prohibit it) sold at most local hardware stores. I respect Randy's warnings and so am feeling torn between wanting better crust and ruining my oven.   :-\

I did a Google search on "high temperature insulation" and got quite a few hits, including some material that insulated up to 1200 and was flexible so that one might make some sort of sleeve for the thermostat probe. 

I'll let you know how my experiment turns out.  I'll have an extinguisher at the ready.

Offline scott r

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2005, 08:45:23 PM »
guys, I just want to make sure you saw my posts about the bottom of the line self cleaning maytag.  It is only $325-350, and you can trick it without modifying it at all.  I just open the hood and put a spare house key in the switch that tells it if the door is open or not.  When you are done you just pull out the key, and you are back to stock.   The other cool feature I have found is that it only gets up to 900 and never gets any higher in the self cleaning cycle.  I think some of the fancier ones go up above 1000, and that is way too hot for pizza.  This could be a problem if you are making a bunch of  pies.  Also, it switches between the top and bottom burners in the self cleaning mode, so you get more top heat than other ovens in self clean.  I know I was just lucky here, but I did get a splash of sauce on the window once and it did not break.

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2005, 10:38:24 PM »
les,

that's a good tip. i'll do a search on google for high temp insulators. i've done much research on thermostats as well as on microcontrollers. microcontrollers are the little computers in your electronic oven (if you have one) that control the keypad and the turn the oven on or off based on the oven temperature. my first idea was to try and get into the brain of the microcontroller so that i can actually set the temperature i want on the key pad. but it's pretty much gonna take a very informative website out there or an electrical engineering degree to figure it all out.

thanks again.

please come back and let me know how your rope insulation works out. be careful!
« Last Edit: June 13, 2005, 10:57:23 PM by PizzaSuperFreak »

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2005, 10:43:53 PM »
scott r,

i have already tried the cleaning cycle thing. it did pretty well, which is why i'm trying to get my oven to higher temps. the results of making pizza at a high temp, say around 700-800 degrees is night and day compared to 550.

well, my self-clean goes well above 1000 degrees also, which quickly chars the bottom due to the stone being way too hot. and foil won't insulate the stone that well.

anyway, the self-clean thing doesn't work all that well due to the fact that the radiant temp is hard to control as is the temp of the pizza stone. i've been back and forth with varasano (another member) on this. he uses foil to cover his stone and removes it at the last minute. it works pretty well, but lately i've not been able to regulate it properly. (the first couple times i got lucky).

what i really want is the constant heat (well, almost constant) that a thermostat brings to an oven. the regulation of the temperature. i want to be able to set the thing for like 800 degrees and walk away for 15 minutes, come back, and voila, 800 degrees radient temp and stone temp.

this is why i'm trying to figure out how to either trick the thermostat or the electronics into thinking the temp is cooler than it is.


thanks for your comments.

btw, i did break my oven glass with a drop of water off my hands. ALWAYS COVER YOUR GLASS WITH FOIL - LOOSELY.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2005, 10:47:49 PM by PizzaSuperFreak »

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2005, 11:02:39 PM »
hey les,

i just read a bit about rope insulation. it seems it may contain aesbestos. well, the older insulation does. make sure you get a hold of the ceramic rope insulation.

good luck!

Offline scott r

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2005, 01:42:32 AM »
pizza super freak, because the maytag alternates the top broiler element and the bottom bake element your radiant heat problem would be solved.  I don't really have to do any messing with foil or heat sinks unless it has been on self clean for a really long time.  I have found that if I put the pizza in just as the top element is turning on (this happens for about two minutes out of every eight) the pies turn out perfect with no messing around.  When I do leave the oven on clean cycle for a really long time the hottest it gets is 900, then just putting an aluminum pan (not non stick) on the stone for a minute gets the stone back to 800.  The ambient temp in the oven never goes above 900, so there are no smoked pies unless you leave the pie in for too long (like I did today).  Seriously the very first pie I made in this oven turned out perfect without any messing around. It's almost as if it was designed to cook pizza easily.

Offline PizzaSuperFreak

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2005, 09:26:32 AM »
scott,

what's the model number of this thing, or could you get me a link to it?

the only problem is, we just re-modeled our kitchen and my wife wants a nice top-tier stainless steel jobby, so i dont think the bottom-end maytag is gonna do it for us.

but i am interested in having a look-see.

thanks.

Offline scott r

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2005, 11:26:32 AM »
pizzasuperfreak, they make it in stainless for an additional cost.  Actualy the white, black, and cream ones all went up, now they are $380.  They must have found our little website.

Here is a picture and some info on the oven

http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/MER5551AAS.html?brand_store=1
« Last Edit: June 16, 2005, 07:41:53 PM by scott r »

Offline Les

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Re: trick your oven to higher temps
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2005, 07:25:45 PM »
PizzaSuperFreak . . . just an update on my little experiment.  Today I managed to get my Bakers Pride pizza oven to reach 850 (200 over normal) by insulating the thermostat probe with "rope" insulation.  It required 3 layers to achieve it, and so far the oven is holding up fine.  The stuff I used was made by Rutland, which is fiberglass impregnated by graphite, and the cement is fiberglass too.  I used a flat variety but there is also round shape that comes in several thicknesses.

I'm still experimenting with using the oven.  Tonight I'm trying Peter's one day Lehmann's dough using preferment (with slight variations, like refrigerating the dough for half the day [since last time I over-fermented the dough], trying autolyse, using Stone-Burr flour, and adding a little ADY).  Trying out buffalo milk mozzerella for the first time tonight too.  Should be interesting.


 

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