I bought the Blackstone last November and have been working on making consistently awesome pizzas. I've been lurking on this forum for a while reading up on what everyone has learned. This weekend I finally had enough time to document some of my work and wanted to share with folks.
First off, as others have pointed out the Blackstone is a great device for folks who can't afford or don't have the space for a WFO. I'm renting so a WFO is on hold until I buy a place. In terms of managing the oven, here's some of what I've learned:
- As someone suggested in another Blackstone thread, I bought two of these spatulas. Pop the heads of the spatula, bend them, and use them as a chauflector.
- I start the oven on full power and get the center floor of the stone to about 825. Then I turn it down to 1/2 power to maintain the temp
- Once I launch the pizza I turn the oven back to full power. The chauflector directs the flame right to the crust so it helps with the leoparding.
- I originally used this bearing mod but have since removed it. It lifted the stone too high and caused my cheese and other toppings to burn before the pizza was done.
For the dough, I owe almost all my knowledge to this forum. I started by using the Dough Calculator
to get the measurements right. I've been using IDY though I haven't looked much into ischia starters. Right now, I'm focusing more on coming up with better storage for my dough. The fridge is too cold, so right now using a cooler.
For the sauce, my local grocer started carrying the Cento San Marzanos. I use an OXO food mill with the largest grating plate and just pour the whole can into the mill. The only thing I add is a dash of salt.
For toppings, I've been having some fun experiments. The classic margherita is with fresh basil and mozzarella. I'm using Belgioioso which I'm not too happy with. It's too dry and can become rubbery sometimes. But I've also been trying out some new things. This weekend I tried using some fake pepperoni since I'm vegetarian, and I even tried a Paneer Tikka Masala pizza using the curry as the sauce.
So far everything has been pretty amazing. I've included some pictures below of the creations from this weekend. I tried a lower hydration dough (61%) than I usually do to see what happened. What I saw was that the crust didn't as much rise to it and the pizza definitely had more of a hold to it. It was still soft but definitely felt dryer.
Once I have a chance, I'll post my full toolset.