Author Topic: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?  (Read 2176 times)

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Offline raduray

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Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« on: May 05, 2012, 11:58:00 AM »
I have a GE gas oven with the broiler on top.  Temp dial goes to 500 and then Broil.  I have an inexpensive 13" pizza stone and also a 15" terra cota planter dish that can be placed on rack above the pizza.  The oven will accommodate a 16" deep stone.  I like NY and Neapolitan style pizza.  I'm willing to invest in better stones, but not a new oven.   What is the best configuration and cooking process for what I have?


Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2012, 12:52:15 PM »
I'd say Neo pizza is out of the question. I would start with just a stone and your oven and see where it gets you. You need a good way to read your temps. My oven temps are way off from the dial so I bought a cheap little high temp thermometer that hangs in my oven and an IR gun for my stone. Also if you don't have a scale get one because that is probably the most helpful tool in baking and being able to use this website effectively.

So once again, I'd just turn the oven up all the way up, let it preheat and then cook a pie. Post the pics and we can see where to go from there.

Offline scott123

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2012, 05:30:58 PM »
Having a broiler on top is definitely good, but 500 degrees is a pretty big obstacle.  As Jeff pointed out, I think Neapolitan is out of the question.

If you don't have one, get a $20 IR thermometer and confirm the oven's peak temp.  You never know.  If it doesn't hit much higher than 500, then it's time for an oven mod, such as a probe condom.

Offline raduray

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2012, 08:02:29 PM »
Here's an update:   I have both an inside the oven ambient air thermometer and also an IR thermometer.  The oven temperature dial shows 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, Broil, Clean.   There's a separate mode dial to select Bake, Broil, Clean.  With the mode set to Bake and the temperature dial set to 500, the ambient air temperature when the target is reached and the light goes out is 500.  When I set the temperature dial to Broil, the temperature goes up to 550 and when I set it to the furthest point past Broil, to just before the light goes out if I go any further, the air temperature goes up to 575.  That is the setting I use for making pizza.

As to the stones, my pizza stone is an inexpensive 13" diameter model I picked up from the local BBB.  It is 1/4" thick.  When setting it on the bottom rack, it's temperature as measured by the IR thermometer is 675 after the oven's been on for approximately an hour and before I place the pizza on it. The temperature of the 15" terra cotta plate on the next rack up is 625.

I have a very simple dough recipe I extrapolated from a recent NY Times article which first got me interested.
   -1.5 cups all purpose flour
   -1/2 tsp salt
   -1/2 tsp instant yeast
   -1 tbsp olive oil
   -1/2 cup room temperature filtered tap water

I place dry ingredients in a food processor and give it a quick mix.  Add water and olive oil and process for 30 seconds.  Remove and form ball and store overnight in airtight oiled container.  Remove from fridge two hours before use.  I stretch it out to 12" diameter and then coat the top surface with olive oil. 

For tomato sauce I use Palmieri Pizza Sauce because it tastes good and it has low salt content.  I do add a bit of red wine vinegar to the sauce to increase the zest.  For cheese I use quartered slices of aged whole milk mozzarella and shredded parmesan, but not too much as I need to maintain a heart healthy diet.  I found fresh mozzarella too bland.

Cooking time is about six minutes and I top the resulting pizza with chopped up basil.  Result is good.  I'm ready to start experimenting with other recipes, but I want to ensure I have the best oven set-up.  One of my concerns its that the resulting pizza stone does not have much thermal capacity and loses a lot of heat when the cold pizza is first placed on. My goal is crispy crust on bottom and the edges crispy on the outside and chewy inside.

Here's a picture of my current oven setup:

Offline petef

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 01:54:44 AM »
I have about the same GE gas oven as you. Here's my setup..
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18392.msg178701.html#msg178701

I had to raise the stone off the floor a bit using those 4 smaller tiles because the stone would get too hot and burn the bottom before the top had chance to brown.

I preheat at 425 deg F, load the pie and raise the temp to 475 to 500 depending upon the style pie I'm baking. Thicker crust & heavier toppings require lower temp bake for longer duration. Typical bake time is 8 to 12 minutes.

To make a second pie, tower temp back to 425 and wait 5 minutes before repeating same process described above.

You might improve upon my setup by adding a second stone on the lowest rack which should help to raise the temp for top side baking.

I'd be interested to know how you make out.

---pete---




Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 03:49:31 PM »
I put my stone on the very top and preheat the oven at max temp for 1-1.5 hours and then turn on the broiler for about 25 minutes. When I am ready to launch the pizza I turn off the broiler (because mine cycles) and then launch. At about 1:45 in the oven I turn the broiler on and it kicks in right away because it has been off. The pizza will be ready in about 3:50 total bake time.

However, because you have a clean cycle on your oven, you open yourself up to a lot more baking options. That is a decision you can think about and decide if you want to try baking that way. I have also cooked multiple times on a clean cycle, but it was my friends oven I rigged up and he moved. Now I just go more NY and do 4 min bakes.

Offline raduray

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 05:51:40 PM »
Funny that you should write that as, per some postings on this forum, I decided to try the broiler option today.  This resulted in the best results yet.
I moved my cheap pizza stone, mounted on top of the terra cotta plate for maximum thermal mass,π to the top shelf of the oven.  Pre-heating for an hour resulted in 615 ambient temperature and 625 pizza stone temperature. After placing the pizza on the stone, I cooked it for 3.5 minutes on bake and 1.5 minutes on broil yielding excellent results.

Here's the pizza ready to go in the oven:


Here's the pizze in the oven:


Here's the cooked pizza.  Should have used regular onions instead of Vadalia and cut them thinner


Here's the bottom of the crust:


And here's a cross section of the crust:


I'm thinking about getting a new pizza stone as I think the current stone is losing a lot of heat when I place the room temperature raw pizze on it.  Considering cordierite or soapstone.  I've found reasonably priced versions of each in 16" dia and 3/4" thick.  Which is better?

Offline raduray

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 05:53:54 PM »
Hmm, I thought you could post up to eight pictures per post.
Here's the oven setup.

Offline raduray

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 05:54:28 PM »
Here's the cooked pizza

Offline raduray

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 05:54:57 PM »
And here's the bottom of the crust:


Offline petef

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 08:46:29 PM »
I never tried the top shelf, but I'll have to try it for comparison. America's Test Kitchen cooking show did a pizza this weekend and they used the top shelf saying that it would best replicate an authentic pizza oven. ---pete---

Offline scott123

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Re: Best setup for home gas oven with broiler on top?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 07:24:12 AM »
I'm thinking about getting a new pizza stone as I think the current stone is losing a lot of heat when I place the room temperature raw pizze on it.  Considering cordierite or soapstone.  I've found reasonably priced versions of each in 16" dia and 3/4" thick.  Which is better?

First of all, you don't want soapstone.  It's too expensive and can have flaws that make it weak and/or not bake pizza well. Cordierite can vary.  It can be dense (good) or it can be porous (bad).  Even the worst cordierite will be better than the stone you have now, but, it might not be too much better, and you'll want a little more leeway than you have now.  There's a chance you'll get cordierite (if you do, get 1", not 3/4") and it won't allow you to break the 4 minute mark. Now, 4 minute NY style pies are fantastic, but, if you like Neapolitan, the right stone will give you undercrust char in 2.5 minutes that will be in the ballpark of Neapolitan undercrust char and very enjoyable.  Cordierite can't guarantee that, even at 625.  It might, but it's going to be close. 1/2" steel is about the same price and is more than conductive enough to guarantee 2.5 minute undercrust char at 625 (and most likely even lower than that- 550).