I finally bought my baking steel--3/8" thick, 17" square. Now I'm trying to bake pizza on it, and I'm having some problems that maybe folks here can help with.
My oven goes to 500 degrees, but with its calibration setting, I can get it up to 530 degrees. So two times now, I've baked pizza, and I'm not getting the blackened effect I was kind of hoping for:
I placed the steel on the very top rack (about 2-3 inches from the broiler element). Preheated at 530 for 45 minutes, then turned the broiler on and placed the dressed pizza in the oven. Cheese was pretty done in about 5 minutes, so removed it. The underside of the crust was mostly light-coloured, with some light brown areas. The top crust was light-coloured.
Steel on rack level lower (about 5-6 inches from the broiler element). Preheated at 530 for 40 minutes, then switched to broiler for another 10 minutes, then placed the dressed pizza in the oven. Cheese was done again in about 5 minutes. Same result--underside of crust light coloured, some light brown areas, light-coloured top crust. No leoparding, no spotting, not even any real darkening.
So I guess I'm not doing this right, and I'm open for suggestions
I know that since my oven only gets to 530, I won't get true leoparding, but I was hoping for at least some darkening. My pizzas looked nothing like what Kenji was getting here...I know his oven goes to 550, but I didn't think the extra 20 degrees would explain the total difference in appearance:http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/09/the-pizza-lab-the-baking-steel-delivers.html
Sorry I don't have any pics to share. Anyway, hopefully someone can give me some suggestions as to how to improve the final pizza product and get some darkening happening on the crust.