Author Topic: Convection baking - good or bad?  (Read 17216 times)

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Offline pythonic

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Convection baking - good or bad?
« on: February 21, 2012, 02:07:04 PM »
Can someone please explain the pros and cons and should it be used at all?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 07:36:12 PM by pythonic »
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Offline randyjohnsonhve

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 02:38:02 PM »
I am wondering the effect too...Thanks for starting this topic...RJelli :chef:
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 02:45:24 PM »
Neither good nor bad, per se. If you bake on a stone, the transfer of heat from the stone is far greater than that from the air that surrounds the pizza. Moving air from the fans of the convection oven transfer heat to the pizza better than stationery air. If the bottom of your pizza is done before the top, one solution is to switch your oven to convection mode if it has one.  

buceriasdon

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 05:00:49 PM »
One this subject I feel very strongly that it depends ::) All kidding aside I have a counter top anemic oven and it wasn't until I tried baking on a screen on a rack in convection mode I obtained a even bake although to me it seems to take longer to bake. My best advice is to try convection mode in your oven and see if you prefer it. I should mention that I make a thin and crispy style in the counter top so I'm not concerned about the edge getting dry.

Don
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 05:07:49 PM by buceriasdon »

scott123

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 05:06:14 PM »
In the past, I've usually dissuaded others from using the convection mode for NY style pizza because it clashed with commercial deck ovens that lacked this feature- convection tended to produce an extremely evenly browned rim, that, imo, lacked character. If pizzerias weren't using convection, then neither should we- was my sentiment.

And then I had the opportunity to use a gas convection oven.  Using my soapstone slab, I was able, in 5 minutes,  at 550 on the dial (but only about a 515 stone), to bake up some of the best pizzas I've ever made.  They were very evenly brown, but... the oven spring was better than what I get without convection and I achieved more microblisters than I've ever achieved.  Now that could be from the wetter environment of a gas oven or it could be from the convection feature.  I won't know until I've had a chance to use a drier electric convection oven.

For me, personally, puffy, soft and relatively pale/with a few darker spots is classic NY style pizza, while GBD (golden brown delicious) with a little crispiness is more of a modern phenomenon.  Thanks to the impact from chains, though, I think a lot of people tend to gravitate towards GBD. I'm working, right now, to have both sub-styles in my 'arsenal,' although, as I said, without gas convection, it's seems almost impossible to do the perfect GBD pie.  In a home oven, of course.  Chau does some magnificent GBD pies in his WFO.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 05:26:56 PM by scott123 »

Offline Pizzamaster

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 05:08:31 PM »
If you've had just about any commercial pizza then you've had a convection baked product. Not really any pros or cons to it. Question is do you like your pizza charred or evenly baked. When I had one it was set to convection all the time.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 05:12:39 PM »
Its hard to fully melt fresh mozzarella also when using convection in my experiences.  I baked up a pie today and the bottom was burnt at 550 after just 4:30 mins.  Next time i will preheat stone at 500 to see if that helps.


As you can see the cheese melted good on the right side but I had to pull it out before the left side could start bubbling on top.  

I used JerryMacs one day recipe:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5851.0.html

And I used a container vs a bag to ferment.  I was very happy with the spring results but it was a little bit dry though due to overbaking it a little.




« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 05:54:33 PM by pythonic »
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline Don K

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 05:31:23 PM »
I have tried my home oven with and without convection and I prefer it without. The convection seemed to dry out the top and overcook the cheese before the rest of the pie was done (this is on a stone). Maybe if I were to play with it for a while and find just the right temperature it might have worked better but I decided to stick with what has worked for me in the past without convection.

One thing that I have done with convection that worked fairly well was make a bunch of pizzas at once. I had a very large gathering that I made 7 14-inch pizzas for. I only have two stones and I didn't want to spend all day making pizzas 2 at a time. I have a double convection oven and I put 4 in one and 3 in the other on screens with no stones and baked them all at once. It was a pain to get them all out at once and find somewhere to put them to cool, but they came out well and evenly baked. Without the convection they wouldn't have baked nearly as evenly.



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scott123

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 05:34:03 PM »
Pythonic, are you grating the fresh mozzarella, and, if so, how much are using on a typical pie? I, personally, don't think fresh mozzarella belongs on a NY style pizza, but if you feel compelled to use it, make sure you grate it and don't use too much of it if you want to make sure it melts.  Also keep in mind that most fresh mozz will curdle if you bubble it aggressively, so, most of the time, undermelted fresh mozz is just something that you have to accept- which is why I don't think it belongs on NY style pizza.

Also, a while back you referenced a pampered chef stone. Are you still using this stone? If so, it's definitely time to get an infrared thermometer because your oven is running way hotter than the dial- a pampered chef stone could never burn the bottom of a pizza in 4:30 @ 550.

Btw, one thing I have always recommended is to, regardless of whether or not you use convection for bake, always use it for the pre-heat, as it will help the heat penetrate the stone a lot faster.

Offline pythonic

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Re: Convection baking - good or bad?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 05:40:22 PM »
Scott,

I've been doing exactly what you've said about the preheat.  I figured it would heat it faster too.  I usually set it to non convection once the stone is heated but this time I forgot.  The cook time was definitely between 4.30-5:00 mins for sure.  It is a brand new kitchen aid oven so it definitely could be running hotter.

As for the cheese I was at trader joe's over the weekend and was trying to use up the last of the fresh mozzarella I got.  Trying it for the first time too.  I usually just slice it real thin then just salt it and put in between paper towels.  Then I bread them up into little pieces when applying to the pizza but I did not this time.  It is a drier kmozz too so I will try shredding it next time.  I've just messin around with flavors lately to see what I like best.  I used about 3 ounces of mozz and dusted this one with pecorino too.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 05:55:28 PM by pythonic »
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.


 

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