Author Topic: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?  (Read 12130 times)

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Offline Born2Bake

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What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« on: May 07, 2012, 07:47:01 PM »
Hello all,
I am going to take the dive into 1/2" steel plate. My question is what type of steel plate is safest? I know 316L is the safest stainless steel plate, but I cannot afford that much for just a plate. I am still saving for my brick oven. So FOR NOW, I want to get a steel plate. So which grade is safest and also which one cooks the best? I found 1045, A36 and 50 are what I have seen so far. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for your time and patience. Take care.


buceriasdon

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 08:28:20 PM »
A36 is fine for pizza baking. Cast iron has been cooked on for quite awhile and I've never read of ill effects from it's use.
Don

Offline Born2Bake

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 09:44:00 PM »
Don,
Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it. I am off to look for local suppliers. Thanks again.

Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2012, 11:16:16 PM »
A36 is fine for pizza baking. Cast iron has been cooked on for quite awhile and I've never read of ill effects from it's use.
Don
Would the A36 need to be prepped in any way before used to bake? Im going to go out and grab a steel plate tomarrow, and am now trying to figure out what to buy from the fabricator. and would anyone be able to explain how to season it, what the process is?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 11:55:51 PM »
Make sure all the edges are smooth before you leave.  Take a cotton ball and wipe the edges, if the ball sticks or leaves strings, ask for it to be redone.  Especially if they sheared it, water jet is better but not perfect

Wipe the plate with any alcohol that you have  (denatured, rubbing, vodka, whatever...)  This will remove the 'mill scale'

Spray/rub the plate with any oil that you have (Pam, olive, vegetable, Crisco) and wipe it off.  Fire the oven to 400 or so, recoat the plate with oil and bake it for an hour, turn the oven off and let it cool down on its own.  Put a cookie sheet under it in the oven in case it drips.  Repeat the oil/ heat cycle until it is clean or your just tired of doing it.

Never wash the plate with water, and never scratch it.  Use a plastic scrubby to clean it.  The oil can be sticky on the plate after it is fired so use a plastic bag or wax paper to store it in.  The oil will protect the steel from rusting.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 12:10:59 AM by Jet_deck »
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Offline dineomite

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 09:15:49 AM »
If I don't feel like firing up the oven and I want to play around with some flavor combinations I use the pizza plate that Lodge makes. It'll run you $40 at your local Walmart and it has handles on it. If you're hellbent on the whole steel plate thing I'd get the pizza steel. Here's a link to a very well written and researched article. I've had friends that have had mixed results with buying a steel plates from fabricators. Had I not already purchased the previously mentioned Lodge plate, I most likely would have purchased this one.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/09/the-pizza-lab-the-baking-steel-delivers.html

scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 09:58:03 AM »
If I don't feel like firing up the oven and I want to play around with some flavor combinations I use the pizza plate that Lodge makes. It'll run you $40 at your local Walmart and it has handles on it.

For quite a few people, $40 will get them 1/2" steel. 1/2" steel will make better/faster pizza than 1/8" iron. Why settle for 1/8" iron quality pizza when $40 will get you 1/2" steel quality pies?

I've had friends that have had mixed results with buying a steel plates from fabricators.

Every member on this forum who has purchased steel from fabricators has had stellar results, with the exception of one member with back issues who had an issue with the weight.

Had I not already purchased the previously mentioned Lodge plate, I most likely would have purchased this one.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/09/the-pizza-lab-the-baking-steel-delivers.html

The baking steel is not a reputable company.  They jack up the price on steel 2-3 times and make specious claims on their site.

scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 10:09:09 AM »
Would the A36 need to be prepped in any way before used to bake? Im going to go out and grab a steel plate tomarrow, and am now trying to figure out what to buy from the fabricator. and would anyone be able to explain how to season it, what the process is?

Unless you live in a salty environment, steel should never be seasoned.  At 550ish oven temps, most seasoning won't last long anyway. Just like baked pizza doesn't stick to unseasoned stone decks, it doesn't stick to steel either.

Prepping depends on how weathered the steel is.  If it's not that weathered, you should be able to wash it with soap and water.  If it's greasy, I'd generously cover it in vegetable oil for a bit, so the oil will break down any oil based components, then wash the oil off with soap and water.  The dark coating/mill scale is iron oxide/perfectly safe for eating off of, but if the mill scale is heavy, you might want to soak the plate overnight in vinegar and then give it a good scrub and/or sanding. If you have a piece that's been outside for a while and is heavily weathered/rusted/pitted, I'd invest in a $3 container of Naval Jelly rust remover, making sure to use it outdoors and to follow all the necessary safety precautions. Naval Jelly will take any steel down to the bare metal.

Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 10:44:25 AM »
If I don't feel like firing up the oven and I want to play around with some flavor combinations I use the pizza plate that Lodge makes. It'll run you $40 at your local Walmart and it has handles on it. If you're hellbent on the whole steel plate thing I'd get the pizza steel. Here's a link to a very well written and researched article. I've had friends that have had mixed results with buying a steel plates from fabricators. Had I not already purchased the previously mentioned Lodge plate, I most likely would have purchased this one.

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/09/the-pizza-lab-the-baking-steel-delivers.html

thanks. do you have a link for the lodge plate so i know what im looking for? And as far as the link you posted, I could never talk myself into spending 70+ dollars on a piece of steel. I'm too much of a DIY cheapo, crafty, sort of guy.

Also, if i did get steel plate, i would probably get it from a fabricator.  Thickness doesnt matter, as long as it produces good results. I'm not picky
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 11:00:15 AM by mistachy »


scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 11:11:01 AM »
Thickness doesnt matter, as long as it produces good results.

Thickness relates directly to bake time, which, for quite a few members here, is the secret to great NY style pizza.  Thickness and results are intertwined.  Thicker stones, to a point, make better NY style pizza.

1/8" iron (Lodge)- good
1/4" steel - better
1/2" steel - best

Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 11:12:44 AM »
Would anyone have a link to the lodge pan?

Online TXCraig1

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2012, 11:23:42 AM »
Would anyone have a link to the lodge pan?

This is the pan you are referring to: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lodge-Pro-Logic-Cast-Iron-Pizza-Pan-With-Recipe-Card/12554410

You can probaby find one locally without much trouble.

What sort of pizza do you want to bake? This pan might not be the best solution.
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Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 11:32:15 AM »
This is the pan you are referring to: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lodge-Pro-Logic-Cast-Iron-Pizza-Pan-With-Recipe-Card/12554410

You can probaby find one locally without much trouble.

What sort of pizza do you want to bake? This pan might not be the best solution.

I grew up  in Houston. The willowbrook area. I live near Phoenix now. Do you think I can find a 16inch locally? New York style is my favorite, but I dont like my crust too crispy. I like my pizza to droop just a little, and i dont like super dark or black spot on my crust, i like a smooth golden brown, but still a little firm.

A guy on here was disappointed with his NY attempt, but the color of the crust is perfect for me. Here is a pic.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=13700.0;attach=35562;image
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 11:37:29 AM by mistachy »

Offline dineomite

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2012, 12:03:18 PM »
Quote
For quite a few people, $40 will get them 1/2" steel. 1/2" steel will make better/faster pizza than 1/8" iron. Why settle for 1/8" iron quality pizza when $40 will get you 1/2" steel quality pies?

Scott, can you post some pictures of the results you've had with what you have? A friend of mine let me used his 1/2" plate and the only difference I noticed was the shorter rebound in heat saturation. If I'm cooking 5 pies, then great, 1/2" it is; but it's a waste of gas or electricity to heat one of those things for a couple of pies. The results I've had between the two on just a couple of pies is negligible.

If you could post some pictures showing your results that'd be awesome! I'll start by showing my results with the POS Lodge plate (dough from Mozza cookbook). It's good for about 3 pies and then loses it's oomph.


Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2012, 12:07:12 PM »
would anyone have an opinion on this cast iron? i really could use 16 inches though.

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-Cast-Pizza-Black/dp/B0000E2V3X/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2012, 12:15:06 PM »
...  If you have a piece that's been outside for a while and is heavily weathered/rusted/pitted,...

That is exactly why it should be oiled when finished, to protect it.  YMMV, MDN.
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scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2012, 12:29:17 PM »
Scott, can you post some pictures of the results you've had with what you have? A friend of mine let me used his 1/2" plate and the only difference I noticed was the shorter rebound in heat saturation. If I'm cooking 5 pies, then great, 1/2" it is; but it's a waste of gas or electricity to heat one of those things for a couple of pies. The results I've had between the two on just a couple of pies is negligible.

Cal, it's physically impossible to match the bake time of 1/2" steel with 1/8" iron in a typical 550ish oven with a broiler.  If you prefer longer bakes, that's good for you, but if someone is shopping for a new hearth for NY style, they should be looking for a material that gives them the largest spectrum of bake times. Maybe, after trying a 4 minute bake and a 7, they might end up preferring 7, but everyone should have the opportunity to taste a home made 4 minute pie at least once in their lives- and the lodge pan cannot achieve this in a typical oven without mods.

The lodge pan is perfectly fine for people interested in focusing primarily on longer baked pizzas, such as American style and American NY hybrids (and is quite possibly the best choice for this purpose), but to have the most flexibility when it comes to NY, nothing beats 1/2" steel.

Here are just a handful of this forum's experiences with steel:

1/2" steel 530 3.5 minutes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12887.msg127366.html#msg127366

1/2" steel 590 3-4 minutes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17147.0.html

1/2" steel 565 4 minutes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16519.msg164032.html#msg164032

1/2" steel 565 4.5 minutes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16519.msg167610.html#msg167610

1/2" steel 530 6 minutes (3rd picture down)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=16144.0

1/2" steel 605 3 minutes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16428.0.html

1/2" steel 600 3 minutes 4.5 minutes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16428.msg160484.html#msg160484

1/2" steel 605 3.5 minutes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16428.msg166027.html#msg166027


scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2012, 12:35:09 PM »
That is exactly why it should be oiled when finished, to protect it.  YMMV, MDN.

Gene, respectfully, if you look at the smoke points for oils:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

nothing goes above 520. At 550, any oil that's on the steel will start smoking and smelling up your house. It's not necessary.  If you were going to store the steel for a long time, years, then I'd oil it (and wash off the oil prior to baking), but seasoning is an exercise in futility.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2012, 12:40:41 PM »
would anyone have an opinion on this cast iron? i really could use 16 inches though.

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-Cast-Pizza-Black/dp/B0000E2V3X/?tag=pizzamaking-20

14" is the only size they make. For 16", I guess you could bake on the back of a 17" skillet, but buying a steel plate would probably be less expensive.
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Offline dineomite

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2012, 12:41:50 PM »
Scott, thanks for posting the experiences of everyone else; I didn't ask for that though. I've got Modernist Cuisine;Nathan goes into pretty good detail on the subject. What I asked for from you was photos of the results you've have. Clearly you've had personal experience with all three versions, even if you haven't just show me a picture of what you've done with the one you use. I look forward to seeing your photo(s)! [Please don't post photos of other people's stuff, I can look that up on my own.]

Mistachy, if you've got your heart set on 16" then the Lodge thing isn't for you. I'd spend the money on what you truly want. Whether the plate you end up getting is 1/8", 1/4" 1/2", keep in mind what you intend to use it for. If doing a bunch of pies then 1/2" is probably the route you want to go. If you're only doing a couple then I wouldn't want to heat up the 1/2" for just that.

scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2012, 01:35:51 PM »
Scott, thanks for posting the experiences of everyone else; I didn't ask for that though.

You asked to see what 1/2" steel can do. I showed you. Just because it's other people's results doesn't make it any less important.  Other's people's 'stuff' matters. These other members have put in a LOT of hours working with steel so that we can benefit from their experiences. Do NOT belittle their labors.

Offline dineomite

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2012, 06:15:02 PM »
Quote
You asked to see what 1/2" steel can do.

Scott, I didn't ask what other people did on a 1/2" steel did. I asked what YOU did on a 1/2" steel. I'm always interested in seeing pictures of other people's setup and what their resulting product is. Pictures of your own personal experience lends credence to what it is you're saying. If you haven't done it, that's cool, just say so. If you have, then show me what I'm missing out on. I know that when I tried my friend's 1/2" plate I ended up with a higher gas bill and not much difference in the final product. Hundreds of other people have put themselves out there by posting pictures, I mean hell, someone even has a review on Chuck E Cheese pizza, on here. I'm not belittling anyone on here, that's for darn sure.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2012, 06:44:48 PM »
This thread is crossing over the line. Please dial back on the personal stuff. Thank you.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2012, 07:14:26 PM »
What bake time are you achieving with the lodge and what did you achieve with the 1/2" steel plate?

For most of us here that's what it's all about.  The only reason to go to steel is to try and bake faster baked styles with a standard home oven.  I personally never used the lodge pizza pan, but have cooked on the backside of lodge pans and found they did not have the thermal mass needed to produce a faster baked pie then a stone at oven temps.  Even the 1/4" pizza steel seems lacking.  One very positive very high profile review never cracks 6 minutes using one.  That might impress a lot of people in a lot of places, but around here it isn't good enough to get such rave reviews.  1/2" Steel plate has broken 4 minutes in 3 very different ovens I have tried it in, and that is basically the upper limit of the faster baked styles most going to steel are after. 


Scott, I didn't ask what other people did on a 1/2" steel did. I asked what YOU did on a 1/2" steel. I'm always interested in seeing pictures of other people's setup and what their resulting product is. Pictures of your own personal experience lends credence to what it is you're saying. If you haven't done it, that's cool, just say so. If you have, then show me what I'm missing out on. I know that when I tried my friend's 1/2" plate I ended up with a higher gas bill and not much difference in the final product. Hundreds of other people have put themselves out there by posting pictures, I mean hell, someone even has a review on Chuck E Cheese pizza, on here. I'm not belittling anyone on here, that's for darn sure.
-Jeff

Offline communist

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2012, 08:54:51 PM »
I know that when I tried my friend's 1/2" plate I ended up with a higher gas bill and not much difference in the final product.
     Cal,   I was surprised to hear of a higher gas bill because of an evening of pizza baking in a home oven. 
Natural gas prices have been falling for some time and is very affordable right now.  I have used gas ovens in the past and never noted any difference in my fuel bill based on when I baked.         Mark