Author Topic: UPDATED: Buying a steel plate tomarrow. **GOT THE PLATE**  (Read 6601 times)

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Offline mistachy

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UPDATED: Buying a steel plate tomarrow. **GOT THE PLATE**
« on: December 30, 2012, 10:23:27 PM »
I've decided I want to go with 1/8 inch steel plate 20x18 for my gas oven. Can someone give me a ballpark of what i want to spend so I dont pay too much? I live in Phoenix, if someone has a decent fabricator to recommend, otherwise I'll just goog a place.

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« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 12:05:28 PM by mistachy »


scott123

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 04:59:45 AM »
DJ, is there any particular reason you're going with 1/8 inch?  That's not a great deal of thermal mass. Even if you're not that worried about short bake times or fast recovery between bakes, a big part of the cost of steel is the cut, so even though 1/8 is very little metal, it won't be that inexpensive. If your heart is truly set on 1/8", then I'd get the 1/8" lodge cast iron pizza pan discussed earlier.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 08:05:23 AM »
You might as well buy two regular baking sheets from wally world.  1/8" will not help your pizza game.  As Scotty said, there is no mass in 1/8. 1/4" would be bare minimum.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline mistachy

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 08:36:26 AM »
You might as well buy two regular baking sheets from wally world.  1/8" will not h :angel:elp your pizza game.  As Scotty said, there is no mass in 1/8. 1/4" would be bare minimum.
For some of you, this is rocket science. For me, this is a learning experience, a learning curve, a first hand experience by trial and error. If you must know some of the reasons why I'm choosing 1/8th of an inch steel... Foremost, I dont need super super crunch crispy dark spots crust or a record speed cooking time. I hate char, and I hate crunchy. A firm, golden brown, somewhat droopy crust will suit me just fine and I want to see if I can achieve those results with 1/8th of an inch steel because at a lighter weight, technically it should be cheaper and easier to handle. Plus, I can order my own rectangular custom measurements. In addition and equally convincing to me is that there are so many good reviews between many sites where people are in love with their 1/8th inch cast iron 14 inch pan, but that pan is too small for me at 14 inches circular with a lip on the end. I want to experiment with steel at 1/8th inch and see what it does for me first. If it doesn't bode well, then its an inexpensive trial and error, and I will make an adjustment where needed.

I'm not trying to offend anyone by traveling down an unsuggested route. I'm just trying to find out for myself through my own first hand experience what will work well for my taste in pizza. I've read many threads between this helpful site and others, and now I want to take this knowledge and tweak it and see if I can accomplish something that works for me. I hope that's not offensive others. It's just what I'm choosing to do for many reasons personable to me.

Back to my original question. If someone could advise on what I'm looking at spending so I have a number in mind when I'm shopping between fabricators, that would be helpful for me. Even recommending someone here locally would be great too.


« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 09:13:16 AM by mistachy »

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2012, 09:19:03 AM »
In all honesty a 20x18 piece of 1/8" steel is scrap.  If you locate an industrial sheet metal shop and show up around break time with a box of doughnuts I bet you leave with exactly what you are looking for. 
-Jeff

Offline mistachy

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 09:23:32 AM »
In all honesty a 20x18 piece of 1/8" steel is scrap.  If you locate an industrial sheet metal shop and show up around break time with a box of doughnuts I bet you leave with exactly what you are looking for.  
I'll try and go see the thickness in person, 1/8th vs 1/4th... and I'll probably make my determination then. But if with cast iron at 1/8th, at least that's what it looks like, and so many good reviews... I dont see any harm in trying it just to see personally. If it doesn't work, nobody's gonna be hurt. I'll be out of pocket a few bucks. I'm hoping this will be less than 20. With the scrap, it will make a nice griddle for my gas grill to boot.

Are we sure that cast iron pan is not actually 1/4 inches thick? Its hard to believe its 1/8th by looking at it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 09:29:46 AM by mistachy »

scott123

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 10:13:50 AM »
DJ, the thickness on the Lodge pan is deceiving because the lip is larger.  I have yet to know anyone that has taken a caliper to one. It might be 3/16, but I definitely don't think that it's 1/4."

I fully understand your concerns regarding size and applaud your inclination to go larger than the 14" lodge pan.

Jeff's doughnut/break idea is worth trying, but that kind of approach can be hit or miss. If you can befriend a metal guy- the guy actually working with the metal, then, yeah, you might definitely be able to walk away with a piece for practically nothing.  The moment you start dealing with the front office, though, you'll most likely be shelling out 20 just for the cut.

Jeff has expressed some safety concerns regarding junkyard steel, but if I were shopping for steel and wanted the best possible price, that's probably where I'd go.  I'd treat it like hazardous waste until I got it home, but after a good layer of naval jelly, I would totally eat off of it.

Since you're not really all that concerned about bake times, I would look into unglazed tiles.  They tend to be incredibly difficult to track down, but it wouldn't hurt making a few calls just to make sure no one local carries them.  If you get lucky and someone does carry them, you could have a $10 solution that should be comparable to 1/8" steel, and, depending on the density of the tile, might even match up with 1/4."

I googled tiles Phoenix and came up with Home Depot and Tiles for Less. I'm almost positive that Tiles for Less will carry them, but the question will be whether or not they sell them individually, as an entire case could get pricey.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 10:23:01 AM »
Yeah, steer clear of the front office, go right to the shop foremen.  When you locate the front office begin looking for the run down building in back that looks like something out of a post apocalyptic zombie movie.  That is where the sheet metal workers will be, ROFL.  But if you try make sure it is an industrial shop.  Most commercial shops won't stock metal over 12 gauge. 
-Jeff

Offline Ev

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 11:36:34 AM »
I tried the foreman approach but he made me go through the office. Even then it only cost me $24 for a custom cut 18"x17"x.5" A36 steel plate.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 11:51:58 AM »
I'm not trying to offend anyone by traveling down an unsuggested route. I'm just trying to find out for myself through my own first hand experience what will work well for my taste in pizza. I've read many threads between this helpful site and others, and now I want to take this knowledge and tweak it and see if I can accomplish something that works for me. I hope that's not offensive others. It's just what I'm choosing to do for many reasons personable to me.

You are not going to offend anyone. People are just trying to be helpful and steer you in the direction they think best given their experiences, but in the end everyone knows that ultimately we all have to learn through trial and error.

But if with cast iron at 1/8th, at least that's what it looks like, and so many good reviews... I dont see any harm in trying it just to see personally. If it doesn't work, nobody's gonna be hurt. I'll be out of pocket a few bucks. I'm hoping this will be less than 20. With the scrap, it will make a nice griddle for my gas grill to boot.

I’m curious where you’ve seen “so many good reviews” for 1/8” (I’m guessing you mean a cast iron pan?) Certainly many have tried it, but I don’t remember many folks raving about the results.

Also, FWIW, a flat piece 1/8” of steel might “work” as a griddle for your gas grill, but I don’t think you will like it without a lip, nor do I think it is thick enough to give you even heat. I think you’ll end up with fires, scorched food, and a big mess. I’d bet money that you will try it once and never use it as a griddle again.

Quote
Are we sure that cast iron pan is not actually 1/4 inches thick? Its hard to believe its 1/8th by looking at it.

I just measured the bottom thickness of my 12” lodge cast iron skillet, and it was ~0.19” or ~3/16” – right between 1/8” and 1/4".

Pizza is not bread.


Offline mistachy

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 04:03:19 PM »
I went up there, and they tried to sell me a 1/8th inch cut for 55 dollars. Pst! I don't think so. Whats worse is thy wanted 75 bucks for 1/4 inch cut. No kidding. 1/8th seems fine so I'm going to continue shopping around for a better price. If I can find a 1/4 inch really cheap else where, I'll grab it, but 1/8th seemed decent for my initial standards. I just gotta find someone thats not trying to rob me now.

Offline mistachy

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 04:09:10 PM »
You are not going to offend anyone. People are just trying to be helpful and steer you in the direction they think best given their experiences, but in the end everyone knows that ultimately we all have to learn through trial and error.

Well said.

I’m curious where you’ve seen “so many good reviews” for 1/8” (I’m guessing you mean a cast iron pan?) Certainly many have tried it, but I don’t remember many folks raving about the results.

Right here: http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-Cast-Pizza-Black/product-reviews/B0000E2V3X/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Plus other sites have people reviewing the pan, most have praised it.


I just measured the bottom thickness of my 12” lodge cast iron skillet, and it was ~0.19” or ~3/16” – right between 1/8” and 1/4".

If I can find 1/4 inch at the right price, I'll take it, but otherwise I'll give the 1/8 or 3/16 a try first. I'm looking for that 25 dollar steal. Literally.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 05:43:55 PM »
I admit I had not thought about looking at Amazon reviews to evaluate a pizza product. They make for an interesting read. Some of them are pretty darn funny.

I don't know what your ultimate pizza ambitions are, though I suspect they are higher than most given that you have come here. With respect to the Amazon reviews, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that quite a few of the people who posted them have their sights set a lot lower (whether they know it or not) than the typical member here. When it comes to pizza, most people don’t know enough to know what they don’t know – let alone know how or what it takes to make great pizza.

This is not an insult; most people have never had the opportunity to taste truly great pizza, and even with the misguided instructions you find all over the internet, they can make a better pizza than what they can buy locally. In some ways that’s good – it’s fun and satisfying to make good pizza, but in other ways it’s not good – people are lulled into believing good is great and thus they never try great.

Most people don’t know that with some relatively simple changes, they could take their pies to the next level. One of the key steps is decreasing bake time. This is what Scott and others have been trying to communicate to you here and in the “What type of Steel Plate is Safest?” thread, and this is something that likely nobody writing those reviews on Amazon knows.

As I noted above, I’m a believer in learning by experimenting; notwithstanding, listening to people who know more than you can help you pick an appropriate place to start. The people posting reviews on Amazon are not the ones from whom you should seek counsel when it comes to pizza, IMHO.

Just my $0.02

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline mistachy

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 06:26:50 PM »
I admit I had not thought about looking at Amazon reviews to evaluate a pizza product. They make for an interesting read. Some of them are pretty darn funny.

I don't know what your ultimate pizza ambitions are, though I suspect they are higher than most given that you have come here. With respect to the Amazon reviews, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that quite a few of the people who posted them have their sights set a lot lower (whether they know it or not) than the typical member here. When it comes to pizza, most people don’t know enough to know what they don’t know – let alone know how or what it takes to make great pizza.

This is not an insult; most people have never had the opportunity to taste truly great pizza, and even with the misguided instructions you find all over the internet, they can make a better pizza than what they can buy locally. In some ways that’s good – it’s fun and satisfying to make good pizza, but in other ways it’s not good – people are lulled into believing good is great and thus they never try great.

Most people don’t know that with some relatively simple changes, they could take their pies to the next level. One of the key steps is decreasing bake time. This is what Scott and others have been trying to communicate to you here and in the “What type of Steel Plate is Safest?” thread, and this is something that likely nobody writing those reviews on Amazon knows.

As I noted above, I’m a believer in learning by experimenting; notwithstanding, listening to people who know more than you can help you pick an appropriate place to start. The people posting reviews on Amazon are not the ones from whom you should seek counsel when it comes to pizza, IMHO.

Just my $0.02

CL


That all sounded well and good... but I'm just after a steel plate.  My ambitions? I just want a slightly firm crust that still droops, golden brown in color. right now my crusts are not so brown, as i only have a aluminum pan i'm using and it doesnt really give me the crisp im looking for.


https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=8CE975D81ADA7799!235&authkey=!AAATqPItIpvsuKk

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=8CE975D81ADA7799!237&authkey=!AIvOaVlOsf4ecEU

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=8CE975D81ADA7799!236&authkey=!APvP3-ewKYt15T0
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 06:56:33 PM by mistachy »

scott123

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 06:58:16 PM »
Craig, thanks for taking that measurement.

DJ, based on Craig's measurement, along with the results I've seen from people using cast iron on this forum and on Slice, I think it's safe to say that the Lodge pizza pan is most likely 3/16". I was re-reading the description of your target pizza, and, while char is a component of fast bakes, crunch is a component of long ones. The longer the bake, the more moisture is driven off, the less flop you're going to get.  For golden brown, some flop, and no char, I think you're going to want to be in the 5-8 minute realm.  1/8" might jeopardize that goal by pushing past the 8 minute mark and giving you something rigid.

I was previously recommending 1/8" because that's what I thought the Lodge pan thickness would be. Now that we have a clearer sense, I would definitely focus on 3/16" or 1/4", if possible- it would really suck to spend $25 on 1/8" and end up with a material that won't give you the droop your looking for.  1/4" will guarantee some droop/golden brown.


Offline mistachy

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Re: Buying a steel plate tomarrow.
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2012, 07:02:10 PM »
That all sounded well and good... but I'm just after a steel plate.  My ambitions? I just want a slightly firm crust that still droops, golden brown in color. right now my crusts are not so brown, as i only have a aluminum pan i'm using and it doesnt really give me the crisp im looking for.


https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=8CE975D81ADA7799!235&authkey=!AAATqPItIpvsuKk

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=8CE975D81ADA7799!237&authkey=!AIvOaVlOsf4ecEU

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=8CE975D81ADA7799!236&authkey=!APvP3-ewKYt15T0

Craig, thanks for taking that measurement.

DJ, based on Craig's measurement, along with the results I've seen from people using cast iron on this forum and on Slice, I think it's safe to say that the Lodge pizza pan is most likely 3/16". I was re-reading the description of your target pizza, and, while char is a component of fast bakes, crunch is a component of long ones. The longer the bake, the more moisture is driven off, the less flop you're going to get.  For golden brown, some flop, and no char, I think you're going to want to be in the 5-8 minute realm.  1/8" might jeopardize that goal by pushing past the 8 minute mark and giving you something rigid.

I was previously recommending 1/8" because that's what I thought the Lodge pan thickness would be. Now that we have a clearer sense, I would definitely focus on 3/16" or 1/4", if possible- it would really suck to spend $25 on 1/8" and end up with a material that won't give you the droop your looking for.  1/4" will guarantee some droop/golden brown.




i posted pics of my first ny style pizza in my previous reply. it was very droopy. 18 inches. I think i will increase bake time. i cooked it at 500, im thinking that was too high. My pizza also came out flat, could it be that I didnt let it rize long enough?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 07:09:01 PM by mistachy »

Offline mistachy

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Re: UPDATED: Buying a steel plate tomarrow. **GOT THE PLATE**
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2013, 12:06:23 PM »
I got the steel plate. Its 3/16 measuring 18.5 by 20. I paid 30 even. Should I sand my plate or just scrub and wash it?

scott123

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Re: UPDATED: Buying a steel plate tomarrow. **GOT THE PLATE**
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 12:15:02 PM »
DJ, what kind of shape is it in? Any rust?  Is it dark black or metallic?

Offline mistachy

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Re: UPDATED: Buying a steel plate tomarrow. **GOT THE PLATE**
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2013, 12:27:48 PM »
DJ, what kind of shape is it in? Any rust?  Is it dark black or metallic?

Ill post pic. It does have a smidgen of rust but nothing bad. I was thinking of following these tips. Am i on the right track? I got  the Dremel 4000. Would i be able to buy a grinding attachement that should smooth the edges? Or maybe a grinding attachment for my Dewalt electric drill? I have an electric sander if it needs to be sanded. I also have this: http://www.skiltools.com/Tools/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?model=9295-01

Quote from: Jet Deck
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.

pics: http://sdrv.ms/VxN2I7
pics: http://sdrv.ms/VxNfer

« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 12:47:52 PM by mistachy »

Offline mistachy

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Re: UPDATED: Buying a steel plate tomarrow. **GOT THE PLATE**
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2013, 06:01:12 PM »
there is this black film that keeps rubbing off no matter how many times i wash it. i tried sanding with 220 and it just blacked up the sand paper. how do i get this stuff off for good?