Author Topic: Question on using the broiler  (Read 2741 times)

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Offline slybarman

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Question on using the broiler
« on: September 06, 2012, 07:36:46 PM »
I was playing with my new IR gun and the broiler to see what kind of heat I would get. A couple questions on using the broiler with the cordierite stone:

1) Are y'all pre-heating your stones with just the broiler or running the oven on bake first for a normal pre-heat? I ran the broiler on high for 15 minutes and got the surface of the stone up to 500, but I wasn't sure if the stone could handle coming up to temp that fast or if the top-heat fully penetrated the stone.

2) When you run the broiler, are you keeping the door cracked so the element stays on?

3) When you switch the broiler back on after launching the pie - are you running it on high or low?

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 07:43:08 PM »
The 2 times that I have used the broiler, #1 I pre heated for an hour with the oven at 550 then turned the broiler on high for 15 min. The stone gained about 100 degrees. #2, Preheated the stone with only the broiler, it took about 45 min to get to 650, so I saved 1/2 hr of gas, if the broiler and the oven burner use the same amounts of gas at max? The pizza turned out the same each time, so I think that the stone retains the heat the same no matter what the heat source. My broiler comes on even after an hour of oven preheat. I guess I am lucky in that. No door open needed.
Others may have different experiences.
Mark
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Offline slybarman

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 07:50:53 PM »
Thanks Mark. I wonder if gas and electric ovens behave more-or-less the same in that regard?

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 09:23:23 PM »
Thanks Mark. I wonder if gas and electric ovens behave more-or-less the same in that regard?

From what I have read on theses forums, it depends on the oven and how the manufacturer set it up, hence the "tricks" to fool the oven to allow the broiler to function when already at max temp. I would consult your oven manual, ha, if you have it, or just do a test with no food inside.

Mark
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Offline slybarman

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 09:27:28 PM »
OK - I'll give it 40 mins or so tomorrow and see what kind of temps I get.

scott123

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 10:40:02 AM »
The 2 times that I have used the broiler, #1 I pre heated for an hour with the oven at 550 then turned the broiler on high for 15 min. The stone gained about 100 degrees. #2, Preheated the stone with only the broiler, it took about 45 min to get to 650, so I saved 1/2 hr of gas, if the broiler and the oven burner use the same amounts of gas at max? The pizza turned out the same each time, so I think that the stone retains the heat the same no matter what the heat source. My broiler comes on even after an hour of oven preheat. I guess I am lucky in that. No door open needed.
Others may have different experiences.
Mark

Mark, I have had different experiences  ;D  I generally try to dissuade people from broiler pre-heats, because the radiant heat tends to be much less efficient than convective heat rising from the bake element below, so pre-heat times tend to extend.  I've also found it to be a bit superficial- the heat doesn't seem to penetrate the stone all that way, which, for pizza, you really need. For instance, when people have used the broilers in the past for pre-heating, the top of the stone has gotten hot, but the bottom has stayed relatively cool, revealing that the stone hasn't absorbed all that much heat.

Now, it sounds like you have a broiler that stays on perpetually.  This might be why you're seeing such an advantage.

Could you tell us about your stone?  Are you hitting 650 on the stone both with a bake pre-heat and a broiler pre-heat? What bake times are you seeing?

I'm also really surprised to see that you have such a powerful gas broiler. Is this a really old gas oven or is it a very expensive new one?

scott123

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 10:48:16 AM »
Steve, I use the bake setting for the pre-heat and then use the broiler for part of the bake- for about 2 minutes out of a 4 minute bake.

My oven runs a bit hot.  When preheated for 70 minutes with the dial at 525, my thick, conductive stone will read around 560.  This 560 will get me good undercrust color in 4-4.5 minutes.  Because my dial is only at 525, I can turn it to 550 so the broiler will go on during the bake. If I pre-heat to 550, I can get good color/some char in as little as 2.5 minutes, but I have a really hard keeping the broiler on.

I'm not a huge fan of keeping the door open during the bake so the broiler stays on, because I think it contributes to too uneven of a bake.  I was, for quite some time, working with a cookie sheet as my metal peel, so I wasn't turning.  Perhaps, now that I'm doing a 180 deg. turn mid bake, I might try leaving the door open.

Offline slybarman

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 10:53:34 AM »
Thank you Scott Good info. You confirmed a few of my suspicions with respect to an electric oven.

When my oven pre-heats only the bottom element comes on - not the broiler. Sucky design if you ask me.

Maybe a normal bake pre-heat with a blast of broiler before launch and some broiler after launch will give the right combination.

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2012, 12:32:37 PM »
Mark, I have had different experiences  ......

Now, it sounds like you have a broiler that stays on perpetually.  This might be why you're seeing such an advantage.

Could you tell us about your stone?  Are you hitting 650 on the stone both with a bake pre-heat and a broiler preheat? What bake times are you seeing?

I'm also really surprised to see that you have such a powerful gas broiler. Is this a really old gas oven or is it a very expensive new one?

Scott, I am using a RedSky pizza stone.
http://redskygrilling.com/
I have a Tappan Millennia gas range, bought new in 2000. Have been searching the owners manual for btu ratings but can't find any.
I will check the bottom of the stone, next cook for temp.
When I used the lower oven heat source for 1hr at 550 my stone got to 550-560. Stone was 8" below broiler. After turning broiler on high for about 15 min, stone went to about 650.
I have been baking pizza on stone at that height for 1min with broiler off and oven at 550, then turn oven off and broiler back to high for remainder of cook. Total just shy of 5 min.
I will confirm this weekend as I am planning a 4 day cold ferment bake on Sun and an emergency dough on Sat.
Thank you Scott.

Mark

« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 12:34:36 PM by mkevenson »
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scott123

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2012, 12:59:20 PM »
Mark, I think I might have a potential reason why the broiler pre-heat is working out so well for you.  What's the thickness on that stone? 3/8"? 1/2"?  I get the feeling, since you're working with less thermal mass than most, the heat from the broiler doesn't have to penetrate the stone that far. At least, that's my theory.

You're getting good undercrust color, at 5 minutes, with a 560 deg. stone?  What's your sugar percentage? 2% or more?

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 01:48:48 PM »
Mark, I think I might have a potential reason why the broiler pre-heat is working out so well for you.  What's the thickness on that stone? 3/8"? 1/2"?  I get the feeling, since you're working with less thermal mass than most, the heat from the broiler doesn't have to penetrate the stone that far. At least, that's my theory.

You're getting good undercrust color, at 5 minutes, with a 560 deg. stone?  What's your sugar percentage? 2% or more?

The stone is reported to be 0.6 inches: I measure it at 15mm
Product Dimensions: 16 x 20.5 x 0.6 inches ; 14 pounds

I have been using 2% sugar,

This is the recent formula, I have used P'nut oil to achieve a crunchier crust: as reported in Di Pizza e Pizzerie pg 48, by Dante and Daniela Barbieri.2001. Seems to work.

Flour (100%):
Water (57%):
ADY (2.3%):
Salt (1.5%):
Canola Oil (6%):
Sugar (2%):
Total (168.8%):
205.9 g  |  7.26 oz | 0.45 lbs
117.37 g  |  4.14 oz | 0.26 lbs
4.74 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.25 tsp | 0.42 tbsp
3.09 g | 0.11 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.91 tsp | 0.3 tbsp
12.35 g | 0.44 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.72 tsp | 0.91 tbsp
4.12 g | 0.15 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.03 tsp | 0.34 tbsp
347.57 g | 12.26 oz | 0.77 lbs | TF = 0.092365

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Offline slybarman

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 03:36:48 PM »
That is a lot of yeast compared to what I have been using. Oil is pretty high and hydration lower in comparison as well.


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2012, 03:43:16 PM »
I have used P'nut oil to achieve a crunchier crust: as reported in Di Pizza e Pizzerie pg 48, by Dante and Daniela Barbieri.2001. Seems to work.


Hmmmm....very interesting. Are you using this exclusively now Mark?
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Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2012, 08:02:14 PM »
Hmmmm....very interesting. Are you using this exclusively now Mark?

No, my current dough, in the fridge, is a copy of the dough posted in the thread 2vs5 day ferment. The one above I like the best so far but being a relative novice in the piza baking game, I am willing to try new ideas.

Mark
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Offline slybarman

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2012, 08:06:31 PM »
Let us know if you like other one better!

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2012, 08:10:24 PM »
That is a lot of yeast compared to what I have been using. Oil is pretty high and hydration lower in comparison as well.

It had been suggested by a member here that I try different hydration % to see what a difference it makes. I am doing that. The ADY may be higher than yours? But the dough does not seem overly airy or overly risen. I will recheck my previous doughs , some did not have any oil at all. I read a lot here and elsewhere and there are many different formulas. I enjoy cooking and trying new things. One day I may Hit on the Perfect dough, for me of course and my taste, only to find a new and better one later.
Thanks for your comment.

Mark
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 08:12:33 PM by mkevenson »
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Offline slybarman

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2012, 08:25:53 PM »
I am with you and still trying different combinations. I haven't found a "best" yet.

I got decent results with 58% hydration, but I have been trending upward lately. I have also gone up on the oil at Scott's suggestion, but have not gone as high as you yet. At 4% I started to feel like I could see and feel the oil in the cooked crust. I am hesitant to go higher, but I will likely try 5% at Scott's urging.

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2012, 09:12:22 PM »
I am with you and still trying different combinations. I haven't found a "best" yet.

I got decent results with 58% hydration, but I have been trending upward lately. I have also gone up on the oil at Scott's suggestion, but have not gone as high as you yet. At 4% I started to feel like I could see and feel the oil in the cooked crust. I am hesitant to go higher, but I will likely try 5% at Scott's urging.

Sly, I reviewed my notes from the past couple months, I find oil % from 3-9% and one at 24%. Part of my problem when looking at recipes is that I don't know what "style" I am looking for? Untill I found this site I didn't even know that there were so many styles out there. I guess it really doesn't matter as long as I can make a pie that my wife and I both like. Unfortunately, as our cook here, I am looking for the best. Every week my wife says " this is my new BEST meal!"

Mark
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scott123

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2012, 07:16:42 AM »
Mark, we're entering into a bit of controversial area here.

I just recently had a conversation with Kenji (from Slice) regarding similarly abnormally low bake times, and, after the fact, I came to the conclusion that his use of 2% sugar and 5% oil was responsible for his bake times being well below the bake times you typically see on this forum.

Now, Kenji believes this is New York style, and he takes this information from Reinhart, who I've also spoken to lately  ;D  Out of every aspect of NY style, I think I've focused the least on sugar. The highest I've ever gone with sugar is 1%. I've never tested above that, so I really can say with complete certainty that 2% is outside of the NY style spec, but I am reasonably confident that it exceeds NY style parameters. I've spent a lot of time looking at oil, though, and 5% is pretty egregious, and, while I have recommended 5% oil to Steve, it was a workaround for a weaker oven setup- a necessary evil.

This forum has a lot of fans of high-ish oil and sugar (American Style) pizzas, so I'm not knocking your approach.  In fact, for those people without the necessary oven setup for fast bake times, a more American approach is their only option for good oven spring. You also are focusing on pizza you like and not any particular style, which I'm also fully supporting.  As we begin to analyze baking techniques, though, it's difficult to put our results into perspective with such a dramatically different recipe. I'm not saying that your broiler experiments aren't useful, but with your always on broiler and oil/sugar content, I think you're doing something a bit different than Steve and I.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 07:24:44 AM by scott123 »

Offline eiram21

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2012, 09:46:17 AM »
The information on broiler is very useful. I will shoot with a warm up with conventional heating and bake the first 2 minutes that way with the broiler on for the last 2 minutes.

I didn't see anywhere whether the broiler should be on low or high? Should I simply try both?

Also, Scott - what do you mean when you say a lot of folks have ovens that require the use of higher oil and sugar concentrations? Are their stones simply not coming to temperature? Or maybe the oven heat setting does not go past 500? I have a pretty cheap oven and I'm not having any problems, so I'm curious.

Marie

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2012, 10:50:38 AM »
Scott, thank you for your comments. Many years of pizza baking have gone into your's and others on the forums, dough formulas. I try always to preface my posts with the understanding that I am a rookie. My current methods and recipes are in a state of flux, albeit sometimes successful. I will keep reading and hopefully learning and some day will grasp the nuances of the art.

Mark
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scott123

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Re: Question on using the broiler
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2012, 11:13:47 AM »
I didn't see anywhere whether the broiler should be on low or high? Should I simply try both?

Also, Scott - what do you mean when you say a lot of folks have ovens that require the use of higher oil and sugar concentrations? Are their stones simply not coming to temperature? Or maybe the oven heat setting does not go past 500? I have a pretty cheap oven and I'm not having any problems, so I'm curious.

Marie, my broiler doesn't have a low setting.  It might be worth trying to see if you can get more even browning with low.

It'll be nice to have some IR thermometer readings to confirm this, but I believe that your oven runs a little hotter than most, which is allowing you to hit 6 minute pies with your stone, and possibly even 5 minutes.  Many people have ovens that have a 500 max dial temp, but, at the same time, many 500 deg. dial temp ovens will actually go much higher- as high as 575.  Most of the 550 dial folks go to about 575 as well.  You have a small percentage that will exceed 600, but I think the bulk is 575.  At 575, only certain hearth materials, such as 1/2" steel plate, give you 4 and 5 minute bakes. The stone you're working with now, at 575, won't break 7 minutes- which is why I'm practically positive that you're exceeding 600.

For your average person working with 7+ minute bakes, you're not going to see much oven spring without an extra dose of oil.