Author Topic: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan  (Read 5959 times)

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Offline jsaras

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Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« on: May 18, 2012, 08:18:36 PM »
Most of the recipes on this site seems to be geared toward cooking on a pizza stone. Given the difference of the heat transfer characteristics of cast iron (which heats up much quicker than a stone), what should be adjusted in the cooking technique?  Lower temperature with a longer bake time? 

BTW, I prefer to just preheat the oven itself and not the pan.

Thanks,
Jonas
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Offline slybarman

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 09:12:21 PM »
Most of the recipes on this site seems to be geared toward cooking on a pizza stone. Given the difference of the heat transfer characteristics of cast iron (which heats up much quicker than a stone), what should be adjusted in the cooking technique?  Lower temperature with a longer bake time? 

BTW, I prefer to just preheat the oven itself and not the pan.

Thanks,
Jonas

From what I have found so far, pre-heating the pan is essential and then, in my oven anyway, cooking one rack up from the bottom works best. A one hour pre-heat time for pan and oven seems to be the minimum for my electric oven.

Offline jsaras

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 10:39:10 PM »
An hour? When I put in my room temp pan into my 550 preheated gas oven (about 15 minutes to get to that temp) I can cook a thin crust in 8-12 minutes.
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 12:19:14 PM »
Not preheating the cast iron pizza pan defeats the whole purpose of using it. You want the pan to be ripping hot, that's how you get the quick oven spring and quick cooking of your dough.

Offline jsaras

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 11:28:42 AM »
I will try preheating the pan on my next bake, though I'll have to make the pie smaller as my peel sliding technique isn't that well developed.

I'm also contemplating trying a hybrid technique of using a Hearth Disk parbake for the initial rise, add toppings and then moving it to the preheated pan.  Sound plausible?

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Offline slybarman

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 04:23:18 PM »
From my limited experience with the cast iron (and pizza making in general), the cast iron gets plenty hot enough to cook the bottom of the pizza. From there it seems just a matter of finding the right spot in the oven so the top and bottom finish at the same time. Par baking shouldn't be necessary.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 04:56:03 PM »
Does your oven have a top broiler?  A method I tried a few times with pretty good results was preheating the cast iron pan on the stove top.  Much quicker then in the oven.  Then stretch you dough and put it in the pan hot on the stove top, quickly top it while still on the stove and then use a couple good pot holder to grab it and slide it under the already hot broiler in your oven.
-Jeff

Offline jsaras

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 05:11:51 PM »
I just discovered that my gas oven indeed has a top broiler as well as a low shelf broiler.

One thing I noticed on the instructions for the pan was that they suggested preheating the pan in the stove at 400 degrees for 5 minutes before stove top use because "intense or uneven heating may cause damage to the pan".  Perhaps I could preheat it with the broiler? 
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Offline slybarman

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 08:04:23 PM »
I am sure there are multiple ways to 'skin the cat', but I don't like trying to hand stretch dough onto a hot surface. For me, it is a recipe for burned fingers. I would much rather launch the pie off a peel.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 06:02:43 PM »
Yeah, an already topped pie on a peel would be the way to go with the pizza pan, I was using a skillet, so one of my many peels was not an option, lol
-Jeff


Offline jsaras

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 06:56:08 PM »
I'll try the peel onto a preheat pan technique a go in the next couple of days. Depending on how that works out I may move on to a 1/2-inch stainless steel shelf.
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buceriasdon

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 08:35:20 AM »
In all actuality stainless is a poor choice, hot rolled carbon steel is superior in conductivity:     http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-metals-d_858.html                                        Certainly not worth the extra cost.
Don
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 08:37:59 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline jsaras

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 03:23:16 PM »
This is a 12-inch pizza I made today using the Reinhart Easy NY dough recipe.  The dough was laid down for 24-hours.  The oven was preheated to 550, with the pan on the bottom shelf.  I then used a peel and put the  pan on the top shelf and turned on the broiler for about 3:30.

The top seems to have cooked quicker than the bottom did.  I did get a little rise, but the overall consistency was towards the "tough bread" end of the scale.  Maybe I need to move the top shelf down a notch? What's the next adjustment to improve this more?

Thanks,
Jonas
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Offline slybarman

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 07:27:14 PM »
I would say skip the broiler and put the pan more toward the middle of your oven. How long did you let the oven pre-heat? Mine needs at least 300 minutes AFTER the oven hits 500 for the pan to get up to full temp. A total pre-heat time of about an hour and a half is best for my oven.

Offline jsaras

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Re: Adjustments for cooking on Lodge cast iron pizza pan
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2012, 12:58:15 AM »
300 minutes!!?!! I could fly to NY in that amount of time! In any event, my gas oven is more efficient than your electric.
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