Author Topic: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?  (Read 1679 times)

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Offline Tatoosh

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Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« on: May 11, 2012, 07:22:10 AM »
I am looking at the cutter pans from Pizza Tools and figuring on getting the PSTK version.  But what about the solid versus perforated bottom?  I will most likely use in a 450F oven, but I may try them on my Weber/Pizza Kettle setup that runs 600F to 700F or more as well.  From most of the photos in the cracker section, it looks like solid bottoms are most popular.  Is there any particular application that calls for perforated bottoms?


Note (added later) I have been reading the following threads on pans:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6001.msg51460/topicseen.html#msg51460 - Pizzasf: Perfectly Crispy Pizza

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7909.msg68015.html#msg68015 - Peter-zza: Pizza Stone vs Cutter Pan
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 07:49:07 AM by Tatoosh »
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buceriasdon

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 08:04:21 AM »
Tatoosh, Will you be using a stone on the grill as a buffer? My concern would be direct heat causing warping first, second concern would be what temp the coating could break down at. I would find out what temp is recommended for this coating and not go over it. I didn't find that info on their site so maybe the coating can withstand continued high temps. Perhaps the coating they use is different than Teflon which should never be used over 500F or toxins can be released.
Don
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 08:10:52 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 08:16:12 AM »
On the matter of breakdown of the PSTK coating, see the post by a Pizzatools (Lloyd) rep at Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7152.msg62042.html#msg62042.

Peter

buceriasdon

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 08:34:58 AM »
Thank you Peter for the clarification.
Don

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 09:11:15 AM »
Well, that is reassuring about the coating.  No problem there.  Any suggestions or insight on using the perforated pan on the hotter surface or sticking with the regular bottom pan and standard oven?  I hope to get an Atlas pasta machine to make laminated cracker dough that I can paste together into a standard dough shape.  Then the it's the pan and oven variables. 

Thanks Pete-zza.  I'll have to keep my eye open for their other cooking pans as well for general use.   
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2012, 09:45:06 AM »
Tatoosh,

I have both a perforated and non-perforated cutter pan. I thought that somewhere I must have compared them so I did a search. I found what I wrote on the two types of cutter pans at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6001.msg51460/topicseen.html#msg51460.

Peter

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2012, 12:31:00 PM »
Pete-zza, I appreciate you taking the time to find that post.  I did read it when I was hunting information on the cutter pans and which were considered the best.  The solid bottom is the most versatile based on your experience and other postings here as well.  I am not certain what the advantages, if any, the perforated pans use.  I read about both home and commercial cooks using screens, apparently to promote the browning of the bottom of the crust, though I swear I've read threads where it was claimed that screens and perforated pans actually help prevent burning of the crust.  I admit to getting a bit confused.  However, I thought if I cook on the Weber/Pizza Kettle's stone at a higher temperature, that perforations might be a useful feature, given that the dark coating is not hazardous at that temperature.  I am sure the solid bottom is one I should try.  The benefits of the perforated bottom remains a bit obscure to me. 

Since I have to ship these half way around the world, I do a lot of second guessing, I suppose.  I'm waiting for the Pizza Kettle and pizza stones to arrive later this month.  Provided they get here in one piece, I'll work on learning how to do New York/Neapolitan on that and the Chicago style deep dish in my oven.  And I'm in the early stages of identifying the requisite gear for cracker style. 
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2012, 01:31:11 PM »
Tatoosh,

My recollection is that the perforated cutter pans are intended mostly for thick crust pizzas. That makes sense inasmuch as the holes permit more direct transfer of heat to the crust. Otherwise, the pizza might end up underbaked with doughy parts or with a gumline.

Pizza screens can do double duty, which is why you may be confused. For example, when pizzas are baked on screens, the open nature of the screens allows faster transfer of heat to the bottom of the pizzas once the screens get up to temperature. That should accelerate cooking of the pizzas. Screens can also be used to prevent pizzas from getting burned on the bottom. One way to do this, especially on a stone baking surface, is to slip a screen under the pizza toward the end of the bake so that the bottom crust is not overbaked or burned. Pizzas can also be started on screens and the screens can be pulled out later in the bake to allow the pizzas to be in direct contact with the stone baking surface and brown up the bottoms of the crusts. Perforated disks can be used in lieu of screens for the above purposes but they are considerably more expensive than screens.

I think that it is also important to keep in mind that many of Pizzatool's products are designed and intended to be used in conveyor ovens, not for home use. In fact, many pizza operators have been switching from screens to perforated disks. They are more durable and last longer than screens, and they tend to get the blessing of health departments that police pizza operations. To cite you an example of a switch from screens to disks, you might take a look at Reply 242 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg123186.html#msg123186, where you can see the new disk that Papa John's is migrating to in its stores. Costco also uses perforated disks (seasoned aluminum disks) in its food courts in its stores, also with conveyor ovens. I vividly recall one of the drawbacks of using perforated disks in a home oven. Once, while attemptinig to make a Costco clone pizza in my home oven with a perforated disk. I oiled the disk, as Costco does, but forgot that the oil could seep through the holes onto the bottom electric element in my standard home oven. That is exactly what happened, resulting in my smoke alarm going off. With a conveyor oven, that would not happen.

Peter

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 09:13:31 PM »
Thank you for an enlightening post.  I can see where my confusion stems from.  So, it looks like a cutter pan and possibly a screen.  I went back and reviewed my order with the Pizza Kettle folks where, to my surprise, the package I chose has some sort of perforated pan included.  Probably not a cutter pan, but I can use it for testing the perforation question out.  I thought I was just getting a stone and peel with it.   

I'm surprised a rolling conveyor oven doesn't smoke the oil, but it must stay below the smoke point.  The pizza spends quite a bit of time going through and being brought to a pretty hot temp.  I suppose there is a bell curve in terms of the temp and the machine is designed to move the pizza through before smoke problems arise.  Not a problem in the Philippines where smoke alarms are few and far between.     
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2012, 12:50:58 PM »
I'm surprised a rolling conveyor oven doesn't smoke the oil, but it must stay below the smoke point.  The pizza spends quite a bit of time going through and being brought to a pretty hot temp.  I suppose there is a bell curve in terms of the temp and the machine is designed to move the pizza through before smoke problems arise.  Not a problem in the Philippines where smoke alarms are few and far between.     

Tatoosh,

Conveyor ovens actually have a pretty wide range of operating temperatures. Among other benefits, this allows the user to bake or cook items other than just pizza. However, a typical bake temperature for a basic flat pizza (e.g., like a typical U.S. chain pizza) might be around 475-525 degrees F and a typical bake time might be around 6-7 minutes. Also, to bake a pizza, it moves through a curtain of heat that bakes both the top and bottom of the pizza at the same time. Unless you have a home oven with a convection feature, it will hard to approach the bake profile of a conveyor oven and one might have to resort to moving the pizza higher in the oven at some point in the bake to get the desired degree of top and bottom bake. I do not believe that there is any active heat element an a conveyor oven onto which oil from a perforated disk or pan might fall and be vaporized, given that such a heat element would be at a very high temperature--far in excess of the smoke point of just about any food-grade cooking oil.

As you can see, under typical conveyor bake temperatures, a perforated disk or cutter pan that is anodized and with a PSTK coating will be below that temperature, and considerably below those temperatures when the pizzas on those carriers are being baked. Of course, a pizza screen will also be safe. You perhaps don't want to expose a screen or disk or pan to too high an oven temperature without anything on them, including in a standard home oven, because that can increase the risk of warpage. I discovered this once when, as an experiment, I decided to preheat a perforated disk at high temperature before depositing a pizza onto it.

Peter


Offline norma427

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2012, 01:38:22 PM »
Just to add to this thread that I do have Quik-Disks from Pizza Tools that are PSTK, http://www.pizzatools.com/Original_Quik-Disk_40/31089/subgrouping.htm and only use them to re-warm some items, but they all have warped.

Norma
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Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2012, 11:00:23 AM »
Norma427, how bad is the warping? Enough you don't use the screens anymore?  Or is it more of a visual annoyance?  I'm thinking I will order a couple of pans, and maybe a screen.  If they are packaged together, the shipping will be very similar.  And maybe the screen for smaller pizza, in the 10 inch range, while the pans will likely be 14 or 15 inches.  

Pete-zza, I check the smoke point of various food oils and the working temperatures of ovens and wonder why we don't see a lot more smoke.  Canola's smoke point is 400F and I often use it to deep fry burgers at 400F with no smoke apparent.  And my thermometer is fairly accurate.  So the oil is getting hot, right at its smoke point.  

With the pizza, I suppose the oil being close to a heat sink, the pizza does not get to its smoke temperature.  I didn't think the oil had to actually touch a heat source, just simply reach the requisite temperature whether from radiant or conductive heat.  But having hung out in pizza shops with the conveyor style oven waiting for my pizza to take its turn, no smoke was apparent. Of course, I don't remember them oiling there pans, but I wasn't watching for that either.  I do appreciate your insight and it makes me think a bit more deeply about what is happening as the pizza travels along.  
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 11:02:06 AM by Tatoosh »
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buceriasdon

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 11:31:23 AM »
Norma and Tatoosh, I have warping all the time with screens, just the nature of the beast. I take a piece of wood and push out the warp. I looked at those discs Norma and because they don't have a stiffened edge they warp, same as screens. If you look at a sheet baking pan made from aluminum you can see the edges have a steel reinforcement rolled into the edge, hence no warping. Also aluminum because of the heat gets soft from being annealed, uneven heat is what warps them.
Don

Offline norma427

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2012, 01:58:29 PM »
Tatoosh,

I still do use the screens to reheat items. 

Norma

Don,

Thanks for explaining why the screens warped.  I also have thin aluminum mesh screens and noticed they never warped.

Norma 
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 09:10:32 AM »
Pete-zza, I check the smoke point of various food oils and the working temperatures of ovens and wonder why we don't see a lot more smoke.  Canola's smoke point is 400F and I often use it to deep fry burgers at 400F with no smoke apparent.  And my thermometer is fairly accurate.  So the oil is getting hot, right at its smoke point.  

With the pizza, I suppose the oil being close to a heat sink, the pizza does not get to its smoke temperature.  I didn't think the oil had to actually touch a heat source, just simply reach the requisite temperature whether from radiant or conductive heat.  But having hung out in pizza shops with the conveyor style oven waiting for my pizza to take its turn, no smoke was apparent. Of course, I don't remember them oiling there pans, but I wasn't watching for that either.  I do appreciate your insight and it makes me think a bit more deeply about what is happening as the pizza travels along.  

Tatoosh,

Actually, the temperature of the pizza during baking doesn't get as high as you might think. Remember, when the carrier (e.g., pan or disk or screen) with the dressed pizza on it goes into the oven, whether a home oven or a conveyor oven, the carrier is cold. It has to get up to temperature before it can start baking the pizza. When the internal temperature of the pizza gets to around 140 degrees F, that is the thermal death temperature of the yeast and it dies. When the internal temperature gets to around 175-180 degrees F, the starches in the dough gelatinize. That firms up the pizza so that it can't rise anymore. The rest of the time is spent trying to brown the crust (and cook the toppings) and, for the top crust, you need a temperature of around 400 degrees F. Once you get the desired degree of crust browning, you remove the pizza from the oven. If you use an IR thermometer and check the temperature of the top of the pizza as it bakes, you will see that it is below the oven temperature. If it gets too high, the pizza would start to burn. Professionals with conveyor ovens configure them, along with the belt/chain speed, to get a pizza out of the oven in a timely fashion with all of the desired finished pizza characteristics.

In the case of oil being used on the carrier, the oil will be shielded from direct heat by the pizza on the carrier. Once the temperature of the oil gets high enough, there will be a transfer of energy from the carrier to the crust where it dissipates as it "fries" the bottom crust. It is only when the oil is exposed directly to heat at high temperatures that you might get smoke.

Peter

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Cutter Pan - Recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 09:28:01 AM »
That all makes sense.  Well, I've pretty much decided to get two pans, one standard and one perforated.  Then one or two smaller screens to play with.  I ordered an IR temp gun which should be here in a couple of weeks.  I initially thought I'd only use it to check the stone's temperature, but after your comments, Peter, I think keeping an eye on the temp of my toppings is worthwhile too.  I will have a better idea what is or is not happening. 

I really do appreciate all the time and expertise shared here.  Salamat Po! (Thank you all respectfully)
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