Jon, I recently bought the "Modernist Cuisine" steel plate, 16"x14"x3/4" and it weights 22 lb.
Thanks for the response, but I'm Curious what kind of "steel" that is. A36 alloy steel in those dimensions would come in at 47.5lbs
Jon, you would have a lot of home oven owners screaming murder if 30#ish Thanksgiving Turkeys caused their oven shelves to fail.
A good number of forum members have purchased very heavy steel plates, and, so far, the only sign of shelf impact has been a bow- and, when it's occurred, the bow hasn't been permanent.
If you are worried about the shelf, as you fully know, there's always steel bar/square steel tubing. You're one of the only forum members who's gone this route. There's no way that steel of up to 60 lb. would bend square tubing. If this isn't for your own oven, bring a long piece of tubing and cut it at your friend's house with a hacksaw after you've taking the measurement.
Are you still working with the same gas oven? Steel is not recommended unless you have a broiler in the main compartment.
Hi Scott. Great point regarding turkeys, thanksgiving hadn't even crossed my mind, but that is so true. America would be up in arms.
Additionally, good memory and great point regarding the broiler. My home oven is still an old gas unit which has a separate broiler compartment/drawer at the bottom of the oven. I've found out that it is pretty much useless for baking cakes as it just tends to heat up and keep heating up until it maxes out around 700. Great for high temps but a bit of a pain in the butt if you are trying to regulate or tweak your temps.
I ended up going to the scrap yard on Saturday morning and had them cut a 18" x 16" x 1/2" steel plate for me. Although they had to make two cuts, they only charged me for 1 and I neglected to complain.
I also couldn't pass up a perfectly sized piece of scrap that was 20" x 16" x 1/4". All said and done I think I paid $49 for both. The 1/2" one needs a little more work cleaning it but I was able to clean up the 1/4" in time for the pizza party I threw at my friends house (500F electric with broiler in main compartment)
I prepared some DKM cracker crust as well as some NY Style dough. I unfortunately only got a picture of one of the pizza's which I think was the first NY one and as you can see it's alright, but it could have used a tad more char. I had positioned the 1/4" steel on the second rack slot down from the top (roughly 7") and was trying to switch on the broiler prior to launching the pie. I think I was only able to get about 80% of the potential from the setup, but with a bit more practice and possibly moving it up to the top I might get some better results.
Unrelated to steel plates, but of the 15 dough balls I had I only made 9 pies I think. The next day though I tossed my stone in the oven and decided to see if I could make some bread from the left over NY dough balls. This was inspired by Chau's "Lazy Man's Bread
" and all I did was flour the dough ball, roughly shape it into a bowl, threw it on the stone at 500F, covered with a metal mixing bowl for 20min, remove mixing bowl for 20min at 450f and wow! NY pizza bead! I got fancy and stuffed cheese in one and chocolate in another and they were a big hit.
P.S. Scott, I'll be on the East coast the week after the 4th and will likely hit up Pizza Town USA on the 10th