Author Topic: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?  (Read 5974 times)

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Online 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


Offline dineomite

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2012, 09:28:34 PM »
shuboyje, somewhere along the line this became about shorter cook times. If that's what the original post was about then it was lost on me. Nowhere did I imply the Lodge or even the 1/4" steel lead to sub-six minute cooks.

I'm pretty certain the title of the post is not "What type of Steel Plate is Fastest?"

I don't have a dog in the fight. I don't own stock in Lodge, Walmart or even own a piece of the action for Baking Steel.

Communist, you'll be happy to know that I didn't have to file for bankruptcy due to the higher gas bill. I look forward to your demonstration on how to use less gas, heating twice as much metal.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2012, 09:53:53 PM »
Dineomite,  I'll be the one to ask.  Whats up with the attitude?  It does not fit around here,  seriously.  

There is a lot to learn here,  starting with such things as,  if someone mentions steel plate around here,  they are interested in achieving the fastest bake possible with the equipment they have.

You should consider changing your tone.  -Marc


Offline shuboyje

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2012, 10:03:55 PM »
With steel it's always about shorter cook times, that is the purpose and reason for steel.  If the concern was food safety WITHOUT the benefits of steel this thread wouldn't exist, you can buy a pizza pan in every store with an NSF sticker on it.  

You entered the conversation and began suggesting alternatives that simply cannot produce the same results as 1/2" steel.  In my opinion that does not make them suitable alternatives.  When this was brought up you seem to have gotten defensive.  That turned it into a conversation about bake time to try and explain why they were not suitable.  

I entered the conversation with the questions I did trying to broach the subject in a civil manor while still getting the proper information on the matter out.  That being the items you suggest are not suitable alternatives to 1/2" steel.  Unfortunately you might not have a dog in this fight,  but you do seem to have some sort of issue with the use of 1/2" steel and any claim that it is superior to alternatives.  This site is all about information, and like most topics there is a ton of bad information on the web about pizza.  Some of us are very serious about making sure the correct information is out there so nobody makes a purchase that leaves them frustrated and disappointed.  Sometimes you ruffle some feather doing that.  


shuboyje, somewhere along the line this became about shorter cook times. If that's what the original post was about then it was lost on me. Nowhere did I imply the Lodge or even the 1/4" steel lead to sub-six minute cooks.

I'm pretty certain the title of the post is not "What type of Steel Plate is Fastest?"

I don't have a dog in the fight. I don't own stock in Lodge, Walmart or even own a piece of the action for Baking Steel.

Communist, you'll be happy to know that I didn't have to file for bankruptcy due to the higher gas bill. I look forward to your demonstration on how to use less gas, heating twice as much metal.

-Jeff

Online scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2012, 08:51:39 AM »
Cal, I have a detractor who likes to stir up the pot by bringing my credentials into question due to the fact that I don't post photos. He joined the forum under multiple aliases in an effort to make it seem like criticism directed towards me was coming from more than one member, but it was only him. Recently, one of his aliases was banned for multiple accounts and, since you joined right after, and seemed to be edging towards pushing the 'photos or shut up' button, I thought you might have been him and acted accordingly.  I just went and took a look at your blog, and, since you are obviously an adult with a rich life and not a teenager with no life whatsoever, you are not this person.  I apologize for reacting to your request for photos in the manner that I did and moving this thread towards a less friendlier tone.

For the casual hobbyist, bake time tends not be very important, but for the obsessive, bake time is a critical ingredient in pizza. The bake time dictates the transfer of heat and the transfer of heat defines the oven spring.  Faster bake times product better oven spring.  For Neapolitan style pizza, it's almost all about bake time.  Up to 90 seconds, it's Neapolitan pizza, with all of the characteristics faster heat transfer provides (massive oven spring, intense char/leoparding).  Beyond 2 minutes, it ceases to have these characteristics and no longer falls within the style. For NY, the bake time spectrum is much larger and has a far greater subjective component, but, again, for most obsessives, faster is generally better.

If you're dealing with obsessives, and there are a lot of us here, it's impossible to have a discussion about baking materials without discussing bake times.  It's also part of the equation that the zealots are going to nudge non obsessives towards obsessive quality materials, especially when those materials are comparable in price ($40ish for 1/2" steel vs. $30ish for 1/8" cast iron).

Nobody here is saying that anyone has to only strive towards making 4 minute NY style pizzas, but we are encouraging people shopping for new stones to not limit themselves by purchasing products that can't deliver these kinds of times.

I read through a good portion of your blog (which I enjoyed quite a lot), and, I gotta tell you, you seem to be getting pretty obsessive about pizza :)  I would think that with your favorite pizzerias and your newly built WFO, you should be starting to understand what faster bake times bring to the table.  9 years ago, when Reinhart wrote American Pie, he was pretty bake time oblivious.  I chatted with him earlier this year, pointing out that all of his favorite places were fast bakes, and I think he's finally starting to get it.  He recently purchased baking steel in an effort to break the 7 minute barrier, and, while I don't think he'll do it with 1/4", for him to even be thinking about getting faster bakes in his home oven is a huge sign of how far he's traveled since American Pie.

If you can, try to borrow the 1/2" steel plate one more time.  Crank the heat to 550, put the plate close to the broiler and use the broiler during the bake.  You also might want to rework your recipe, since lower temp recipes usually need a little tweaking to work well with faster bakes. You may not achieve the perfect 4 minute pie immediately, but, I promise you, the potential will be there in that plate and you may be pleasantly surprised when you reach the 4 minute NY mark.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 08:54:58 AM by scott123 »

Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2013, 12:12:08 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.

My edges are sharp. The company i went too wouldnt smooth them. Their price was good for the steel compared to else ive been so i went ahead and bought it. should i use a grinder to smooth them? or do i have to have it done professionally?


Online scott123

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2013, 12:17:39 PM »
Sandpaper will take down the sharp edges. They don't need to be rounded, just dulled a bit so they aren't a danger.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2013, 12:23:40 PM »
If you have a grinder and know how to use it for a nice smooth result that would be great.  Sand paper will work, just a bit more time consuming.  The ideal solution would probably me a mix of the two.  Grind it into rough shape, then finish it smooth with sand paper.
-Jeff

Offline mttfrog13

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2013, 05:07:20 PM »
I just picked up an a36 steel plate from a local steel supplier. They cut it to my preferences which was 3/8" x 16" x 15". I figured that 3/8" would be a good balance between 1/4" which some people on the forum are saying isn't much better than a stone, and 1/2" which seems extremely heavy and would take forever to heat. They also rounded the 4 corners for me and ground down the edges. All this for just $25.

The only thing I'm not liking is that it's covered in mill. Enough that it will probably darken the crust and make it look unappetizing. So is the recommendation to soak the plate in vinegar overnight to remove the mill? In the meantime I'll probably use parchment.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2013, 05:13:06 PM »
I just picked up an a36 steel plate from a local steel supplier. They cut it to my preferences which was 3/8" x 16" x 15". I figured that 3/8" would be a good balance between 1/4" which some people on the forum are saying isn't much better than a stone, and 1/2" which seems extremely heavy and would take forever to heat. They also rounded the 4 corners for me and ground down the edges. All this for just $25.

The only thing I'm not liking is that it's covered in mill. Enough that it will probably darken the crust and make it look unappetizing. So is the recommendation to soak the plate in vinegar overnight to remove the mill? In the meantime I'll probably use parchment.
I suggest a Scotch Bright pad scuff with some vinegar, rinse, rub a 'lil oil on there with a paper towel an then put that dude to work.  :chef:
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Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2013, 09:20:13 PM »
I just picked up an a36 steel plate from a local steel supplier. They cut it to my preferences which was 3/8" x 16" x 15". I figured that 3/8" would be a good balance between 1/4" which some people on the forum are saying isn't much better than a stone, and 1/2" which seems extremely heavy and would take forever to heat. They also rounded the 4 corners for me and ground down the edges. All this for just $25.

The only thing I'm not liking is that it's covered in mill. Enough that it will probably darken the crust and make it look unappetizing. So is the recommendation to soak the plate in vinegar overnight to remove the mill? In the meantime I'll probably use parchment.

buy a couple galons of vinegar and soak it for 24 to 48 hrs, all of that shtuff will come off

Offline mttfrog13

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2013, 11:21:49 PM »
buy a couple galons of vinegar and soak it for 24 to 48 hrs, all of that shtuff will come off
I took a look at your thread about your steel plate. The type of mill scale on your plate looks just like mine. It isn't really "scaly" and as I scrub it, it comes off as a dust. It's as if there were small metal particles/dust infused into the steel rather than there being some type of melted metal layer on top of the steel. The mill scale is coming off as a metal dust, rather than metal flakes. Anyway, I'll be soaking it in vinegar tomorrow night and hopefully I can have all of this mill scale off.

I used parchment to make pizza on tonight and it worked perfectly. The steel plate helped my pizza better than I expected. The cornicione grew very large and fluffy with large holes, and the bottom crust was pale and spotted with dark brown/char spots. I finished the pizza in 4.5 minutes which was really an incredible thing to witness. It was a bit hectic, as it was my first time using a pizza peel, parchment, and any type of pizza steel/stone. On top of that I made 3 pizzas for myself and my three hungry housemates.

Offline mistachy

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2013, 11:26:20 PM »
I took a look at your thread about your steel plate. The type of mill scale on your plate looks just like mine. It isn't really "scaly" and as I scrub it, it comes off as a dust. It's as if there were small metal particles/dust infused into the steel rather than there being some type of melted metal layer on top of the steel. The mill scale is coming off as a metal dust, rather than metal flakes. Anyway, I'll be soaking it in vinegar tomorrow night and hopefully I can have all of this mill scale off.

I used parchment to make pizza on tonight and it worked perfectly. The steel plate helped my pizza better than I expected. The cornicione grew very large and fluffy with large holes, and the bottom crust was pale and spotted with dark brown/char spots. I finished the pizza in 4.5 minutes which was really an incredible thing to witness. It was a bit hectic, as it was my first time using a pizza peel, parchment, and any type of pizza steel/stone. On top of that I made 3 pizzas for myself and my three hungry housemates.
Make sure its completely submerged, and dont take it out early or you will be doing a lot of unnecessary sanding. I dont ever take mines out of the oven. I even reheat day old papajohns and pizza hut pizzas on it.

Offline dough-re-mi

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2013, 03:05:39 PM »
Does anybody know if 2 quarter-inch plates laid on top of each other would have noticeably different baking performance than a single 1/2 inch plate?

It seem like there shouldn't be much thermodynamic difference, but the two lighter plates would be easier to move when necessary than one heavy one. thanks

ps - my camera's battery was dead today, or I would have finally posted pictures; my first try at a Chicago 9 inch Malnati's-style deep dish turned out flawless about an hour ago, no difficulties whatsoever, because of the incredible help here. I don't know any other place on the internet remotely like this place.

I have been lurking on and off for years, soaking up knowledge, and I really want to thank everybody.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2013, 05:53:51 PM »
Get a 1/2in. plate cut in half.  :)
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Offline caymus

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Re: What type of Steel Plate is Safest?
« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2013, 07:12:11 PM »
Does anybody know if 2 quarter-inch plates laid on top of each other would have noticeably different baking performance than a single 1/2 inch plate?

Any air between the plates will act as an insulator. I am not sure if the thinner plates can warp.  I keep my 1/2 plate in the oven most of the time(but I don't have a wife nagging me)