Author Topic: Local Steel Suppliers  (Read 2520 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline wangjt

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • I Love Pizza!
Local Steel Suppliers
« on: July 17, 2013, 12:57:13 PM »
Hi All,

I'm new here so forgive me if this has been answered in an earlier thread (I did try to search).

I am looking to purchase a 1/2 inch plate of steel (flexible on size but something close to 16x14x0.5).  I know I can order one online from baking steel for $119 but that's a little higher than I'd like to spend if I can avoid it.  (I want to mention, I do love their product.  It's beautifully cut, pre-seasoned, ready to go and the convenience of it shipped directly to your home may be worth the extra price to some).

I've called around local suppliers (I'm in San Jose, CA) and have been given quotes of $70~$85.  I've been reading and I noticed some of you have purchased them for about $45ish and am wondering if I am getting ripped off or is it just because I live in an expensive area?

Has anyone purchased steel plates around the South Bay area?  If so, are these prices in line with what you've found?  If not, are there suppliers you've had good experience with can recommend to others?

Also, maybe this thread can be used to list suppliers that members have used.  Just list out supplier name, location, what was purchased, price, and maybe a short comment about your personal experience with them (if they are good or bad, would you recommend... etc).


Offline jeffereynelson

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1278
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 05:40:00 PM »
I purchased mine in southern CA for $25. However, when I was living in Idaho I called about 5 people and my best quote was $90. I think it just depends on the area.

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2013, 11:07:18 AM »
I scrounged mine from a friend with a fabrication shop.  He called a laser cutter that was running a job in 1/4" cold rolled steel.  It was delivered within hours.  ;D   Now I just have to see what favors I have to do for him  :'(

I'm not sure you'll gain anything by going to 1/2" thickness.  The stored heat energy in the 1/4" plate is enormous.

(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c125/roaniecowpony/BBQ/DSC_0569_zps6b53b0b1.jpg)



Offline pzamakinvrgin

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 06:40:26 PM »
Jefferey,
Do you mind me asking where you found your steel? Are you happy with it? I'm a fellow Los Angeles-dweller, and am looking for my first pizza steel. Thanks for any suggestions.

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 06:48:32 PM »
PMV, steel has very specific applications when it comes to pizza.  It's geared towards oven owners seeking a very puffy, somewhat chewy NY style pizza, who own ovens that can reach at least 550 and that have broilers in the main compartment. In your intro post, you mentioned a desire for crunch.  Steel is generally a move away from the crunchy direction.

You should be able to do a crunchy pizza without steel, on a stone, for a longer bake, with perhaps a bit lower amount of water in your recipe.


Offline pzamakinvrgin

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 11:56:50 AM »
Scott123,
I'll go for the chew. I've been using a stone, and am not happy with the results. I'd love to find a Los Angeles-based steel dealer. Thanks for your reply.

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 01:53:37 PM »
Cold rolled steel is around $1.00 / lb.  Add in the cutting charge and your time running around, gas, etc. And $90 isn't too bad.

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2013, 06:17:15 PM »
Scott123,
I'll go for the chew. I've been using a stone, and am not happy with the results. I'd love to find a Los Angeles-based steel dealer. Thanks for your reply.

In Gardena, there's M&K Metals.  They can cut you a piece.  You'll get about $1.00 lb but the cutting will push it up and then you have a piece of bare cold rolled with a rough edge to deal with.  If you buy hot rolled plate, you have to deal with the scale on the surface.  Are you sure you don't want to spend the $90 for the perfectly prepped one online?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 06:22:57 PM by bbqchuck »

Offline pzamakinvrgin

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 12:11:33 PM »
Bbqchuck,
Are you talking about the Bakingsteel version? That was my first thought, but after hearing about more afforadable versions, I thought I'd look elsewhere. Jeffereynelson mentioned an L.A. version for $25.

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 05:52:07 PM »
I think at $25, you're likely buying surplus steel (commonly referred to as "rems" or remnants) .  Nothing wrong with that.  But it's a "take what you can find" kind of deal usually.


Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 05:56:15 PM »
If you want more crunch, try one of the screens for a few dollars.  If it's still too soft, drop the temp and increase the cooking time. 

Offline pzamakinvrgin

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 07:04:07 PM »
Bbqchuck, would you recommend the Bakingsteel brand for a new pizza maker?

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 08:17:05 AM »
Bbqchuck, would you recommend the Bakingsteel brand for a new pizza maker?

I went and looked at theit website.   They look like the surface is sandblasted.  I think that's fine.  I see that they have three thicknesses.   I would go with at least the 3/8".  Some of the guys here recommend 1/2".  The idea being that the plate has to have enough stored heat energy to not drop below the desired cooking temperature when a cool pie is placed on it.  If you are into multiple cooks back to back,  you might want the thickest. I have a 1/4" round plate I had made by a friend.  It's 16" dia and I never make a pie bigger than around 13", usually more like 11-12".   I think 1/4" is marginal but has enough stored heat to do thin pizza somewhat smaller than the plate. 

I haven't done any testing of temperature drop of my 1/4" plate, so my comments are just swags and result based.  Maybe some of the other guys have done testing of temperature drop. 

Aluminum is another way to go.  Much higher transfer rate than steel.  I don't know if its been tried.  You'd want an even thicker aluminum plate.  Aluminum will cost a lot more.

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 08:26:16 AM »
As some of the others have mentioned,  steel will get a better "oven spring" but the inner area of the pie will tend to be softer.  For crispy, a $3 screen works better.

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1372
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 08:28:04 AM »
For what it's worth, I've done up to 6 back to back pizza's on my 1/2" steel (not baking steel), and I noticed a temp drop after the 2nd or 3rd pie. It didn't affect my pizza in the end, but I may have had to keep it in for an extra minute to get the bottom cooked right.

There are a lot of threads here on steel plates vs. baking steel, it really comes down to how fat your wallet is.

You can spend $120 on a 3/8" baking steel, sure. But if you do a little homework you can probably get 1/2" steel for under $60.



Josh

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2013, 03:58:02 PM »
Thanks for that data JD.   I'm a single pie guy most of the time.  Never back to back bakes.  So, I'm not feeling the need to seek a thicker plate.   I figure my 1/4" plate will need some reheat time after each bake.

On finding a better deal on a plate than Baking Steel, I agree you can.  It's a bit of a matter of how savy you are and how much time, gas, etc., you want to spend.   Most folks may not be too savy about metal yards and dealing with a rough sawn or flame cut piece of steel that may be covered in oil, scale or rust and have sharp edges.  I owned a machine shop at one time and had worked in that industry for many years, so I've known metal yards around the Gardena area.  But someone that doesn't own any equipment to deal with grinding scale or rust off, or know what to ask for or where to look, may find it worth the extra money to just have a ready to go plate delivered to their doorstep.  Over the years, I've found there were many times I spent a lot of time trying to save a few bucks only to end up at nearly the same cost and having spent a lot of time and effort to get there.

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1372
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2013, 04:15:25 PM »
Thanks for that data JD.   I'm a single pie guy most of the time.  Never back to back bakes.  So, I'm not feeling the need to seek a thicker plate.   I figure my 1/4" plate will need some reheat time after each bake.

On finding a better deal on a plate than Baking Steel, I agree you can.  It's a bit of a matter of how savy you are and how much time, gas, etc., you want to spend.   Most folks may not be too savy about metal yards and dealing with a rough sawn or flame cut piece of steel that may be covered in oil, scale or rust and have sharp edges.  I owned a machine shop at one time and had worked in that industry for many years, so I've known metal yards around the Gardena area.  But someone that doesn't own any equipment to deal with grinding scale or rust off, or know what to ask for or where to look, may find it worth the extra money to just have a ready to go plate delivered to their doorstep.  Over the years, I've found there were many times I spent a lot of time trying to save a few bucks only to end up at nearly the same cost and having spent a lot of time and effort to get there.

You're a single-pie guy until people invite themselves over for a pizza party  :D I generally do one or two max, but I like knowing I have the option to do more if necessary.

You are absolutely right about being savy. I'm cheap and I have tools, but even still it didn't take much effort to find my plate (thanks in part to Scott who apparently is better at Google than I). I did spend a little time grinding the surface clean but just because I wanted to, not necessarily because it was required. It's just good to give people options, because a lot of people come from other websites/forums where baking steel is the only one.

I also agree with you on your time & money comment. I've spent time & money on things I should have never done in the first place.... but it's always in hindsight unfortunately.
Josh

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2013, 05:24:27 PM »
JD,
I have a friend with a midsized fabrication shop.  I end up scrounging things from him.  My 1/4" plate was a scrounge deal.  His laser cutting source was cutting 1/4" that day.  I ended up with a 16" round plate gratus.  I would have preferred 3/8", but beggers ...

If I had to go to a metal yard for plate, I'd probably opt for hot rolled plate.  But you have thick black scale on hot rolled.  Fortunately, my friend's shop has a machine called a "time saver", which is a sort of conveyer fed belt sander not unlike wood surfacing sander.  One or two passes and it'd have a "ground" finish. 


Offline pzamakinvrgin

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 7
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Local Steel Suppliers
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2013, 02:01:06 AM »
This is fantastic! I appreciate everyone's tenacity and ingenuity. One day I'm reading an article about a newer way to make a pizza, then I've signed up with a pizza enthusiasts  group online, and now I'm reading posts about pizza lovers who are making their own cooking surfaces. What an age we live in!!! Don't hate me, but I took the plunge and purchased the Bakingsteel last night online. It will arrive next week. I can't wait. I've gone back to making my own dough, and am eager to try my new surface. Now if only I could get some input on "the best" dough recipe. I'm a photographer by trade, so I hope there is a way to attach photographs once I make a pie I am proud of. Pizza masters...I salute you all.