Author Topic: Anyone use this product?  (Read 1145 times)

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Offline pdog

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Anyone use this product?
« on: August 27, 2013, 06:05:20 PM »
Has anyone tried this steel plate?

http://modernistcuisine.com/baking-steel/


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 06:42:12 PM »
yes

Offline pdog

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 07:43:59 PM »
haha..... And did you like it?

Offline scott123

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 03:43:23 AM »
He didn't ;D

Steel plate is only effective for particular oven owners with particular goals.  Since the metal transfers heat faster than ceramic, it speeds up the bottom bake. In order to brown the top/melt the cheese before the bottom of the pizza burns, a broiler has to be used. In other words, in order to see what steel is capable of, you've got to have a broiler in the main compartment and be willing to use it (Dmc isn't).

Beyond requiring a broiler in the main compartment, in order to hit the bake times that most people purchase steel to achieve, you need an oven that goes to at least 525.  Many ovens that have 500 as the peak temp on the dial run a bit hot, so, for these owners, there's hope, but you'll want to measure how hot your oven actually gets before investing in steel.

Steel is for people looking for a specific style of pizza- chewy, puffy, lightly charred NY style pizza that's baked for about 4 minutes.  The fast bake provides better oven spring for a puffier crust, but, you generally don't get a lot of crispiness.  If you prefer a crispier NY slice, then steel is no better than a typical cordierite baking stone.

If you are going to invest in steel, unless you have an oven that exceeds 575, you generally want at least 1/2" thick steel. Not only does 1/2" steel guarantee the magical 4 minute bake at 525, but you can make more pizzas in one sitting without depleting it's heat.

Another factor to consider when purchasing steel is length and depth.  On NY style pizza, in order to prevent boilovers, the rim generally has to stay the same width, regardless of diameter, so when you get into smaller pies, they tend to be all rim with very little sauce and cheese.  When launching, it's far easier to have a target that's bigger than your pizza.  In order to comfortably launch pies on a 14" plate, you'll want to make pizzas in the 13" realm- and 13", for NY is WAY too small.

Great pizza is about balance.  The sauce and cheese area should complement the rim.  If you're buying a plate that limits you to 13" pizza, you'll be serving your guests mostly bread. When sizing steel plate, you want a square as large as your oven will accommodate- touching the back wall (or the back of the shelf, if there's a bar) and almost touching the door, with about 1" gaps on the sides for air flow.

You also, when purchasing steel, will want to purchase it locally.  Out of the couple hundred members who have purchased steel locally, no one's spent more than about $60, with many spending considerably less.

Summing up. Steel is the best hearth material you can buy (for people with particular goals and particular ovens).  This particular product, though, is an overpriced, poorly sized, complete waste of money.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 06:00:46 AM »
I couldn't have said it better myself! ;D
I let @dhorst (Diana) borrow my steel, maybe she'll like it better than I did, but first report didn't sound like it.

Offline pdog

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 08:42:29 PM »
Haha..... I am okay with broiler.  I lined my entire oven with Fire Bricks, tricked the sensor, and got it to 850ish....... And then the wires all melted, and I had to buy the wife a new oven...... Which some how turned into a entire new kitchen.  My price per pie sky rocketed after that adventure.

Anyways, I am no longer allowed (at least if she is home) to experiment with cleaning cycles or fire block!

I need a new alternative.  My current oven will only go to 525ish (570ish with broiler cycle). 

Currently I am using a 3/4 inch ceramic stone.  Worked great at 850ish..... not so great  in the 500s. 

I may just buy a BS grill to end the summer, but....... not ready to give up on the home oven at this time.

Thanks Gents. 

Offline pdog

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 08:49:26 PM »
Forgot to mention ..... new oven is 18.5x 23.5 rough opening.

do you think a 18x23 plate would work?  Should I give more room for hot air tranfer.... Say a 17.5x22 plate for example.

Thanks

Offline scott123

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 07:02:39 AM »
Pdog, first off, you want to measure the living daylights out of that space. You can't be too careful at this stage.  Make a cardboard dummy, put in place and see if the door closes. Be acutely aware of lips on the back of the shelf, along with protrusions on the door. Put a piece of paper on the cardboard, extending out the oven a bit and, when you close the door, see how far it pushes back.

If back to front is, indeed, 18.5, you'll want an 18 and 7/16" plate. You might think I'm exaggerating here, but I'm not- you want to squeeze the biggest plate you possible can into that space. You want just enough space for the door to close and not a fraction of an inch more- or a fraction of an inch less.

Side to side dimensions have a little more leeway.  The side is where the hot air flows from bottom to top, so you need at least an inch clearance on each side. While there's nothing wrong with matching your front to back dimension and having a square plate, a little extra on the side helps when aiming the peel.  If your opening is 23.5" then I think 20" wide sounds about right- a little bit larger of a lateral target while still allowing plenty for air flow.

Once you have your final plate dimension, then you want to add one more cut for easier installation/removal (see photo below- courtesy of JD). JD and others have been splitting the plate right down the middle, but I've been thinking about this, and I think an offset allows a bit better flexibility further down the line. For instance, if you think you might be bringing the plate to someone else's home, 3 partial plates of different sizes could give you depths of 16, 17 and 18, whereas if the main plates are cut down the middle, an additional plate would only give you two sizes. Having 3 different sized plates might also be useful if you plan on using the plate as a griddle. It takes some number crunching to hit the right depths, but once you have the total dimension, let me know and I'll give you my suggestion of where to make the cut.

Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 03:47:37 AM »
What is up with "The Big" vs the "Modernist Cuisine"  vs the original one? Is it a smart thing to pick wisely here? I'm hearing The Big is incredibly heavy on your oven and 3/8 of an inch is only slightly bigger than 1/4 of an inch for the Modernist Cuisine. The pics seem to show a slightly more amazing crust, but man I'm already 80 bucks in!

Offline deb415611

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2013, 07:24:46 AM »
the thicker you get the better the steel is going to hold the temps and make your recovery time shorter

I have the big and my oven racks have no problem with it


Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: Anyone use this product?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2013, 01:30:58 PM »
Ok cool. Does the steel have any problem with releasing humidity? I've read that stones retain moisture from the crust making the crust not soggy.