Author Topic: Which oven should I be using?  (Read 1136 times)

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Offline Hypersprint

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Which oven should I be using?
« on: March 20, 2013, 10:35:03 PM »
Hey Folks,

As you can see from the pic below I have 2 ovens in my kitchen, one is the stove in the island, the temp can be set up to 550 and it has a bottom bake element and a top broil element but I just noticed the other day that the wall mount oven under the microwave only has one element in the top of the oven but it can also be set to 550 degrees.  Right now I am focused on making NY style pizzas and I always use the wall mount oven just out of habit I guess, but now that I see it does not have a bottom element should I use the other oven and put the heat source under the pizza stone?

What would you do?  :D

Thanks
Rob


Offline Smokepit

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 12:29:17 AM »
I would make enough dough for 2 pizzas and make one in each oven and see what one you like best. That's the only way you will know which is better.

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 10:11:05 AM »
Smack self on forehead while saying I could have had a V-8  :-D

Offline scott123

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 02:01:56 PM »
Rob, I'm 99% certain that your wall oven has a hidden bake element. It has a bake setting, correct?

The only reason I can see to use one oven over the other would be the inner dimension. Stone size/pizza size is a major consideration for New York style. Which oven is deeper? (back wall to front door)

What bake times are you currently seeing?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 02:05:06 PM by scott123 »

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 02:40:21 PM »
The wall oven does have a bake option and I just tried it and the top element of the oven and the floor of the oven were getting hot and it is deeper than the stove in the island since that one has convection available and there is a fan taking up a couple of inches in the back of the oven.  If the wall oven has an element under the bottom of the stove should I put my pizza stone right on the floor of the oven or on a rack at the lowest position to allow some air flow under the stone?  Once I get a bigger stone and a peel I should be able to do a 16" pizza in the wall mount.

Last NY pizza I did a couple days ago in the wall oven was @9:30 on bake time

« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 02:46:35 PM by Hypersprint »

Offline scott123

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 03:00:43 PM »
Hmm… While not traditional, convection can be nice/can provide more even rim color, but between convection and additional real estate, I'd go with the deeper oven every time.

You're going to want to place the stone in fairly close proximity (within 6 inches) to the broiler, as you will want to broil a bit during the bake.

9.5 min. is definitely on the long side for New York. A thicker, more conductive stone, combined with some broiling, will go a long way in trimming that time. I highly recommend half-inch steel. Whatever material you go with, go with the largest stone that your oven can fit– touching the back wall and almost touching the door, with an inch on each side for air flow. Don't size the stone to the shelf– you'll rob yourself of it least a half-inch.

Edit: Great looking pies, but it's time for round proofing containers.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 03:05:24 PM by scott123 »

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 04:21:31 PM »
I really appreciate the help Scott.  I have just picked up a couple of these http://www.sterilite.com/productfiles/images/PD1_03938604.jpg in the 2.5 quart size for proofing but I think what you are seeing in that pizza is poor peel management, it was about the roundest pizza I had ever shaped (while on the peel) but I think it dragged on the peel when I launched it creating the stretch, notice how the pepperonis line up like there was an earthquake in the gap  :-[  I have heard a little about finishing off with the broiler but I have never seen any details on doing it.  For some reason I have been using the lowest rack setting or one above that, I will be making another pizza tonight using Normas formula for the first time and I have been using KABF for most of my pizzas since it is easy to get locally but tonight I will be baking with KASL for the first time.  I have seen the steel pizza stones mentioned a lot, is everyone just using plain old 1/2" sheet steel, nothing special about it?  My Emile Henry is just a 14" round but I want to start making 16" pizzas to increase the center to crust ratio  ;D

Thanks
Rob

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 04:28:39 PM »
Just did a quick measurement of the wall oven and 17.5" will leave about an 1/8" gap front to rear and I get about 20" wide so a piece of steel 17.5" x 17.5" x 0.5" should be a good size?

Rob
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 04:32:19 PM by Hypersprint »

Offline Chaze215

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 07:47:06 PM »
Just did a quick measurement of the wall oven and 17.5" will leave about an 1/8" gap front to rear and I get about 20" wide so a piece of steel 17.5" x 17.5" x 0.5" should be a good size?

Rob

Rob, I have a 17 X 17 X 1/2" and have been very satisfied with the results. Keep in mind that piece of steel I that size is going to weigh around 45#. Good luck and let the experimenting begins!
Chaz

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 08:27:52 PM »
Good to hear Chaz, I'll begin my search for a local steel supplier tomorrow. 

Thanks
Rob


Offline scott123

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 01:32:32 AM »
Rob, if you're 100% certain about the 1/8th of an inch gap, then that 17.5 inch front to back dimension is right on the money. Double check it, though. I find it helpful to make a cardboard dummy to check the sizing.

On the side to side dimension, all you need is an inch on each side, and a little extra lateral plate real estate doesn't hurt, so for that, do 18 inches.

Lastly, for ease of installation and removal, members have been cutting their plates in half.

Summing up, assuming the double check gives you 17.5 inches with a 1/8th inch gap, my recommendation is to purchase two 8.75" x 18" x 0.5" plates.

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 09:00:10 AM »
To get the depth of the oven I just slid out the rack at the level that the plate would sit on far enough that it hit the door while closing, once the door was closed the front of the rack should be sitting at the depth the door reaches when closed then just measure from the back oven wall to the front of the rack.  when I did this I came up with 17 5/8 inches so I had rounded down to 17 1/2 inch for a little extra insurance.

With 2 inches of lateral movement I'm not sure where I would have an issue installing and removing other than the overall weight of the plate.  The rack does have a 1/2 inch lip on the back that the plate will be sitting on to reach the back wall, do you block up the front of the plate to make it level or just let it sit on the rack

Thanks for all the help
Rob

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 02:18:30 PM »
I found a place in town to get a 17 1/2" x 18" x 1/2" steel for $61, I mentioned that seemed a bit high and he said it was because they do not have a shear big enough for 1/2" so they would have to cut it on there plasma cutter. 

My main question is how do you clean and/or prep the steel for use?

Thanks
Rob

Offline scott123

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2013, 03:08:29 PM »
With 2 inches of lateral movement I'm not sure where I would have an issue installing and removing other than the overall weight of the plate.


It's the overall weight of the plate that makes installation such a major hassle. A plate of this size, as Chaz mentioned, is around 45 pounds. With this kind of weight, you'll scratch the shelf if you place it on the shelf and slide it across the shelf and into place, and you'll do even more damage if you try to slide the shelf with the plate on top of it. The plate basically has to go into place without sliding, and because you're placing it inside an oven, the leverage is incredibly awkward, and can be brutal on your back. Two 22.5 pound plates are far easier to deal with.

I have yet to find a viable method for propping up the front of the plate in a manner that doesn't adversely affect the distribution of heat on the preheated plate. In order to achieve a stable configuration, you have to add thermal mass, and this thermal mass tends to insulate the areas of the plate where it contacts.

Size is such a vital component of great New York style pizza. A 17 inch pizza is better than a 16 inch pie. Launching a 17 inch pizza on a 17 inch plate is incredibly difficult. It kills me to have to recommend subtracting that half-inch for the lip, but I don't see a lot of options. You could remove the shelf from the equation and rest the plate(s) on steel bars:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12692.msg126602.html#msg126602

but with two plates, you'd be talking four bars, and possibly a less stable cooking surface. I don't know, if you're feeling especially strong, and want to work with a 45 pound plate sitting on two bars, that half inch of extra real estate would be incredibly valuable.

Steel plate usually comes with a layer of iron oxide, a.k.a. mill scale. While perfectly harmless, mill scale can be removed by soaking overnight in vinegar, then scouring with steel wool. While not necessary, steel can be seasoned like an iron frying pan. If you do season it, I would go with a very thin layer of oil, in the event that oven temperatures cause the oil to start smoking.

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2013, 10:10:54 AM »
OK, with all of this info I think I need to test both ovens before I order the steel.  Until last night I had not actually measured the oven in the island, it turns out to be the same depth as the wall mount but 2 inches wider (17.5 x 22) than the wall oven (17.5 x 20) BUT, if I remove the convection element from the back of the island oven I can get an extra 1/2 inch in depth and snugly fit an 18 inch pie in there   ;D     Do you believe it is better to beg for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission   >:D

Scott had mentioned convection can provide a nice rim color, since I end up having the same depth (w/o modifying) with each oven would using the convection be a better choice for me to cook with?

Should I just get the steel (1 or 2 pieces tbd) 17.5 x 18 so it will fit tight front to back in either oven and leave a 1 inch gap on each side in the wall oven but leaves a 2 inch gap on each side in the island oven.

Thanks
Rob


Offline scott123

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2013, 03:02:36 PM »
Rob, just for your mere willingness to toy with the notion of taking your wife's oven apart, telling her after the fact and risking castration– all for another half-inch of pizza real estate– if I were mayor of New York, I'd give you keys to the city.

Seriously, though, does the island oven have the same lip on the back of the shelf, taking the dimension from 17.5 to 17? If it allows you 17.5 with the rack in place, then the decision is a no-brainer– the island oven takes it.

As far as the lateral real estate goes, if you've got 22 inches to play with, there's nothing wrong with giving yourself a little more wiggle room. I wouldn't go too wide, though. I've been developing a foil wall technique that takes the radiation from the broiler and bounces it towards the edge of the pizza. I came up with it as a way of attempting to mirror some of the intense side heat of a New Haven coal oven,

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,23763.msg244619.html#msg244619

but it may play a role in New York as well. The reason I bring this up is that I have found that it works best to attach the foil to the edge of the plate. If the plate is too wide, you're increasing the distance from the foil to the edge of the pizza and lessening the radiative impact. The foil wall approach is still relatively untested, but I still think it's worth planning for when sizing the plate. Long story short, I'm thinking 18.5 inches on the lateral dimension.

On a separate note, that's a pretty powerful looking broiler. Should you ever have aspirations towards Neapolitan in a home oven, you might be able to achieve it with that broiler.

Offline Hypersprint

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Re: Which oven should I be using?
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2013, 10:24:06 PM »
I would love to accept the key to the city BUT I like to order a drink that is more than 16 ounces, I believe in salt and I think that any politician that does not support the constitution needs to be hung for treason!

I'm not worried about the "lip" on the back of the racks.  The first pic shows the island stove which has a slight "rise" to the rack that I think a large hammer can straighten out and the second pic is the wall oven that I can cut the lip off from it without loosing the integrity of the rack to support the steel.  I will have 17.5" deep steel with either oven so once I get the steel I will be doing at least 16" pies to start  :D

If I do 18.5 inches wide I will be a little tight with 1.5" of play on the wall unit but 3.5" of play in the island, if that is OK I will get a piece of steel ordered this week.

Talk to me about a "Neapolitan in a home oven" I am up for just about anything  ;D

Thanks
Rob