Author Topic: A baking steel question  (Read 2998 times)

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Offline redox

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A baking steel question
« on: March 22, 2013, 08:25:13 PM »
I've got a non-convection electric oven with an exposed bottom element and an upper broiler element. I can dial up 550 ° and maybe even a bit more so...how would that setup work for NY style pizza? I've gotta admit, using a baking steel for pizza is intriguing. I've got no chance of trying NY style w/o something like this. Is anyone still using their baking steel or was it just a fad?


Online Chicago Bob

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 08:51:25 PM »
Oh I don't think it was a fad Jay...don't worry 'bout that!  :chef:

In fact, I just was asking Steve if he was now using a steel plate over there on his "tonight's pizza" thread.
  If Scott see's this post of yours I am confident that he will tell you that your oven is a perfect candidate for some NY bliss.  8)

Bob
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Offline derricktung

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 07:20:29 AM »
Let me tell you... The baking steel has made a HUGE difference in the ability to turn out great crusts.  HUGE.

If your oven an crank 550 but is non-convection, I'd suggest placing the steel either on the lowest or second lowest (middle) rack.  I found that convection and lowest rack ended up burning my pizza bottoms before the top cooked up correctly, but without convection, it may be different.


Offline redox

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 03:48:27 PM »
Let me tell you... The baking steel has made a HUGE difference in the ability to turn out great crusts.  HUGE.

If your oven an crank 550 but is non-convection, I'd suggest placing the steel either on the lowest or second lowest (middle) rack.  I found that convection and lowest rack ended up burning my pizza bottoms before the top cooked up correctly, but without convection, it may be different.
Thanks for the input. I’m trying to decide if this is really useful, the last thing I need is another piece of kitchen gear that doesn't live up to the hype. I spent 6 months eating great NY style pizza and I'd love to take a shot at making it at home.
<—— Look! There's some pizza

Offline redox

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 04:16:21 PM »
Oh I don't think it was a fad Jay...don't worry 'bout that!  :chef:

In fact, I just was asking Steve if he was now using a steel plate over there on his "tonight's pizza" thread.
  If Scott see's this post of yours I am confident that he will tell you that your oven is a perfect candidate for some NY bliss.  8)

Bob

Yeah, Bob I was hoping some people still using it could tell me how well it works, or doesn't work for them. The last thing I need is a 15 pound hunk of steel laying around if it doesn't work. I've got better uses for $79 if it's not too good.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 04:29:25 PM »
Yeah, Bob I was hoping some people still using it could tell me how well it works, or doesn't work for them. The last thing I need is a 15 pound hunk of steel laying around if it doesn't work. I've got better uses for $79 if it's not too good.
I don't have one Jay, so really can't help. All I know is I've seen some beauties come off of steel plate. Just search function it here in NY section.

Bob
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Online scott123

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 04:36:43 PM »
I've got better uses for $79 if it's not too good.

I think just about everyone has better uses for $79– which is why the vast majority of members on this forum who use steel purchased it locally and sliced at least half off the price.

Steel is not a fad.  Since it's introduction about three years ago, it has only been growing in popularity. I have never met anyone interested in making New York style pizza that regretted their steel plate purchase, and, so far, we are in the hundreds. To get the most out of steel, though, one must:

1. Have an oven that goes to 550
2. Have a broiler in the main oven compartment
3. Work with a half-inch plate (quarter-inch lacks the thermal mass for superior results)
4. Purchase a large enough plate to accommodate the largest possible pizza, along with cutting the plate into two pieces for easier handling.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 04:39:00 PM by scott123 »

Offline deb415611

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 04:46:09 PM »
I love my baking steel  (it's the 1/2 one),  it's not a fad for me

Here's my thread,  it starts from my first pizza ,  various combinations of bake/convection bake/broil.   The top broiler is definitely needed   

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22826.0.html

Offline redox

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013, 04:49:07 PM »
Oh, cutting the steel in half is a great idea! I was thinking about my back when deciding on the 1/4 inch steel. Is there a certain type or grade of steel that I need? Hmm, I guess I've got some searching to do on this forum. Thanks for answering.

Offline redox

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2013, 05:05:04 PM »
I love my baking steel  (it's the 1/2 one),  it's not a fad for me

Here's my thread,  it starts from my first pizza ,  various combinations of bake/convection bake/broil.   The top broiler is definitely needed   

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22826.0.html


Deb,
Thanks so much for the link. This is just the sort of info I was looking for. And I did not realize that Baking Steel will cut the 1/2 inch plate in half. I'm not sure if I can get a plate locally and it's good to know that I can at least get one sent to my home. I’m assuming you had it cut into two 8x14 pieces, right? One section would be useful for bread, I would think.


Online scott123

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 05:18:41 PM »
Jay, smaller pizzas adversely increase the rim to sauce/cheese ratio. If you feel like there's any chance that you might ever become a New York style obsessive (and half-inch steel is a big step in that direction), you'll want the largest plate that your oven can accommodate– touching the back wall and almost touching the door, with 1 inch on each side for air flow.

Offline deb415611

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2013, 05:28:22 PM »
Deb,
Thanks so much for the link. This is just the sort of info I was looking for. And I did not realize that Baking Steel will cut the 1/2 inch plate in half. I'm not sure if I can get a plate locally and it's good to know that I can at least get one sent to my home. I’m assuming you had it cut into two 8x14 pieces, right? One section would be useful for bread, I would think.

mine is one piece,  I have no problem moving it around.  If it were any bigger though I'd have it cut in 1/2.   I have not heard of anyone cutting a Baking Steel in 1/2 (it's possible that people have, just I haven't seen it), just the steel plates from other places but send Andris at Baking Steel an email about it, he's quite responsive.  It's quite possible he would,  I debated and had gotten a quote on a 16x16 but the flat part of my rack isn't that deep. 

Online scott123

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2013, 05:33:27 PM »
I'm not sure if I can get a plate locally and it's good to know that I can at least get one sent to my home.


For a half-inch plate, a larger size and additional cut, the price gougers at Stoughton Steel will charge you upwards of $140. Yesterday, this member priced a huge plate locally for $61:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,24049.msg244400.html#msg244400

Before spending an additional $80+, I recommend doing a bit more research on your local options.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 05:40:23 PM by scott123 »

Offline redox

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2013, 06:30:08 PM »
Before spending an additional $80+, I recommend doing a bit more research on your local options.
I'll make some calls Monday and see what I can find. What kind or grade of steel should I be looking for?

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2013, 06:47:06 PM »
A36 hot rolled steel

Offline derricktung

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 11:09:15 AM »
That's interesting... all the local steel companies I called in the Chicago area quoted me $200+ for what I was looking for.  I thought Stoughton Steel to be a great price...

I called 5 places, and for the custom work, it was pretty expensive unfortunately. 

Regardless where you decide to get it from, get some steel... it's great for breads and other baked goodies as well!

Online JD

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2013, 12:04:10 PM »
I purchased a steel plate a few months ago based on Scotts recommendations and I am still very happy with my results.


I just want to expand on his item #1 of his post: 550* is only required for 3-4 minute bakes. I've personally been doing 7-8 minute bakes at 450* with 3 minutes under a broiler. This combination is perfect for my tastes with more uniform bottom browning. The best part is that since steel is so conductive, I'm still getting great spring at only 450*. It's not as explosive as a 4 minute pie, but still great to me.





1. Have an oven that goes to 550
Josh

Offline corkd

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2013, 05:53:12 PM »
i'm very happy with my 1/2" steel. in my gas oven it takes about an hour to come up to temp, but it's a great alternative when the outdoor setup isn't accessible.
-clay

Offline redox

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2013, 06:05:44 PM »
Thanks to all of you for responding to my question. I intend to get a 1/2" steel. Maybe not now with warm weather coming but definitely in time for the fall. At least I have plenty of time to look for a decent price for a slab.

Offline Chi_Guy

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Re: A baking steel question
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2013, 06:19:20 PM »
I'm considering getting a baking steel too but at 30 lbs, the 1/2" one would be way too cumbersome to constantly move in and out of my oven.  I currently use a rectangular 3/8" stone to bake pizza on and was wondering if I could stack it with a 1/4" steel and still get good results.  Has anyone ever tried stacking steel and stone together before?


 

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