Author Topic: The Steel Plate Buying Guide  (Read 31727 times)

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Offline mbrulato

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2015, 03:53:57 PM »
Yes Josh.  Even though I use convection, I still find that I need to rotate the pie after two minutes..
Mary Ann

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Offline JD

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #51 on: January 06, 2015, 04:27:49 PM »
Yes Josh.  Even though I use convection, I still find that I need to rotate the pie after two minutes..

I don't get why we would see such a big difference in bake times if our IR temps are the same :-\

Offline mbrulato

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2015, 05:03:48 PM »
Maybe my IR is off???
Mary Ann

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Offline JD

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #53 on: January 06, 2015, 05:33:04 PM »
Maybe my IR is off???

Or mine? I'm going to test mine tonight against another one.

Offline Neopolitan

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #54 on: January 06, 2015, 05:35:06 PM »
Yes Josh.  Even though I use convection, I still find that I need to rotate the pie after two minutes..

That is Because the front of the oven is usualy much Cooler Then the back of the oven, The backside is beter isolated beeing sealed having no gaps and no window like the door!
But be aware that even WFO owners have the same, If not worse situation. That is why they have to spin their pizza like crazy ;D

(I 'own'a WFO One month a Year)



Offline dsissitka

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #55 on: January 06, 2015, 05:42:17 PM »
How do your doughs compare?

The other day I was looking into it and I found an old comment from Scott:

Are you using an IR thermometer?  525 is the highest I'd go with 1/2" steel and even that might be pushing it.

Now, there is a formula related aspect as well. Lower hydrations and higher protein flours burn faster and both sugar and fat accelerate browning, but I don't think your varying results are formula related.

I was curious so I did a simple test. Dough 1:

100%   Giusto's High Protein Flour
63%    Water
2%     Salt
0.42%  ADY


Dough 2:

100%   KAAP
63%    Water
2%     Salt
0.42%  ADY


Giusto's is roughly 13.25% protein. KAAP is roughly 12%. Dough 2 was stickier so I believe KAAP has a lower absorption rate.

In a 500F oven on a 3/8" steel dough 1 burned in 3 minutes. Dough 2 was done, not burned, in 5. Dough 2 probably could've gone another minute but I pulled it because the top was done.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 05:45:34 PM by dsissitka »

Offline JD

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #56 on: January 06, 2015, 10:50:12 PM »
In a 500F oven on a 3/8" steel dough 1 burned in 3 minutes. Dough 2 was done, not burned, in 5. Dough 2 probably could've gone another minute but I pulled it because the top was done.

Interesting. Did you take IR Temps too? 3 minutes on 3/8 steel seems fast.  I do use All-trumps (14%), oil & sugar so you have a point. Maybe I'll throw together an oil/sugarless dough and use KAAP and see what happens. Thanks for the input.



In other news, I tested my IR gun tonight and it read 20-25* higher than a brand new gun I borrowed. That's opposite what I thought might happen.





Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2015, 10:56:32 PM »
Interesting. Did you take IR Temps too? 3 minutes on 3/8 steel seems fast.  I do use All-trumps (14%), oil & sugar so you have a point. Maybe I'll throw together an oil/sugarless dough and use KAAP and see what happens. Thanks for the input.



In other news, I tested my IR gun tonight and it read 20-25* higher than a brand new gun I borrowed. That's opposite what I thought might happen.
Maybe new gun is bad?

http://www.tempcon.co.uk/Calibrating-an-infrared-thermometer#.VKyvTsnwpkg
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 11:00:07 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline Neopolitan

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2015, 11:27:48 AM »
Steel beeing a reflective material. Is hard to read for A IR gun.

my Fluke IR laser has a program function that enables different settings for various materials

Offline dsissitka

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2015, 05:38:16 PM »
Interesting. Did you take IR Temps too? 3 minutes on 3/8 steel seems fast.  I do use All-trumps (14%), oil & sugar so you have a point. Maybe I'll throw together an oil/sugarless dough and use KAAP and see what happens. Thanks for the input.

I didn't, but I will tonight.

Another possibility. I'm using a 84 cubic inches of steel (16" x 14" x 3/8") and I preheat for 75 minutes. mbrulato is using 161.5 cubic inches of steel (19" x 17" x  1/2") and it looks like she also preheats for 75 minutes. Maybe her steel isn't fully saturated with heat?

Offline canadave

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #60 on: April 20, 2015, 10:58:45 AM »
Just a note for Canadians reading this thread--scott123's guide mentions using "A36" steel.  That is purely an American designation; there's no such animal in Canada.  The Canadian equivalent of A36 steel is referred to as "44W" steel.  As a pricing guide, I live in Nova Scotia, and was just quoted $46.73 plus tax for a 17" x 18" x 1/4" 44W steel.

Offline Jan Sisu

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2015, 04:24:46 PM »
Scott 123,
Your posting yesterday was so helpful to me. I had my computer open to your post when I called a local steel shop so that I could read your questions just like you said!  I almost felt like I knew what I was talking about!  The person mentioned that he has a big scrap pile and I am welcome to come and pour over the scraps since I want such a small piece.
Thank you for your detailed instructions.
Jan


Offline tonymark

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #62 on: August 30, 2015, 07:29:30 PM »
I am considering acquiring a piece of 1/2" steel for pizzas.  I only have a broiler drawer.  I currently bake on and Old Stone Oven stone.  I preheat stone to 500 F and crank on broiler (really just the oven burner), but since the oven has no electronics, the broiler never cuts off.  I added lots of extra insulation to my oven and I can reach 650 F with the broiler on continuously.  Will a "pizza steel" improve my pizzas without a broiler at these temperatures.  I know it is not NY style, but I am after a crispier crust sometimes, but I would like to make close to NeoP, and NY styles also.

Do I really need to preheat 1/2" steel for 75 minutes?  I guess a 3/8" would preheat quicker, but recovery would be longer.

My current stone
http://www.amazon.com/Old-Stone-Oven-4467-14-Inch/dp/B0000E1FDA/?tag=pmak-20
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Offline Jan Sisu

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2015, 10:04:23 PM »
Scott,
I wanted to thank you for your post regarding how to go about measuring for a pizza steel and then finding a place to cut it.  Your directions were just perfect. I have been uing my new steel for a couple months now. What an invention!  It is really improving the pizzas.

There is one question I have and wondered if you have a suggestion. When I make the first pizza there is a certain amount of flour and cornmeal that falls onto the steel. Once the first pizza bakes and I remove it from the oven that leftover flour and cornmeal is totally burned. Do you have a suggestion for how to remove this wwithout losing too much heat or getting top of hands burned?

Thanks again,
Jan



Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2015, 08:54:15 AM »
Jan, I think you could use an old dishrag (dry) held in a pair of tongs to quickly sweep it off. If you want something more heat resistant, perhaps use a copper sponge instead of a dishrag. You can also probably find a heat-resistant brush in the grill section of your local hardware store.
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Offline Neopolitan

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #65 on: September 21, 2015, 02:49:10 PM »
I do use a big copper brush with a scraper intended for grill or bbq.

But I must say that my doughknife/paintersknife workshop much better at removing char from the steel.
Afterward. I use the brush with round strokes to remove the fine ash

Offline paulraphael

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #66 on: April 07, 2016, 11:51:23 AM »
Just some thoughts on using a steel for anyone with a sub-optimal oven (or an apparently sub-optimal one).

You can use steel to very good effect even if you don't have a top broiler. The key is to use the kind of oven management that any serious baker uses, which entails understanding that much of the energy in an oven gets transferred by radiant energy from the top, sides, and bottom of the oven. This energy dissipates at a factor of the distance from the surface, so, basically, the closer you are to the radiant surface, the more intense the radiant energy.

In an oven with a black metal interior that's been preheated to 500-550F, there's a lot of radiant energy coming off the surfaces. If you can get your steel very close to the top of the oven, then even without a top broiler you're going to get broiler-like radiant energy from it. This maximally high position also somewhat reduces the energy getting to the steel from below, so you may get close to a perfect balance of bottom char to top char.

My old apartment had a fairly nice range with a top broiler; I'm getting slightly better results in my current very crappy oven (the kind that has a bottom-drawer broiler, with one gas element serving both broiler and oven). These craptastic ovens work pretty well, because the broiler has no thermostatic controls. Turning the broiler on turns the fire on, and it stays on. It's not a high BTU/hr element, so you don't get the temperatures you'd fantasize about, but it will go to a steady 550F–575F.

The floor of the oven gets to around 740, but I don't know how to take advantage of this (if you baked down there the top of the pie would barely cook).

A key to managing an oven is understanding the difference between heat and temperature—and getting at least some grasp of the radiant property of materials. One reason to fully season a pizza steel is simply to turn it black. A darker color is not just easier to measure; it will get hotter, heat faster, and transmit radiant heat faster. Remember that the steel is taking on its thermal energy not just by convection but by radiant heat (just like the pizza itself). And that some of the energy it transmits to the crust is radiant.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 11:53:29 AM by paulraphael »

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #67 on: May 07, 2016, 01:58:15 PM »
I have a 16*18*3/8" steel that's really transformed my pizza making. The other day when I was loading the steel into my oven, I accidentally bumped the oven door gasket. Unbeknownst to me, this gentle bump was enough to compromise the gasket. The steel weighs over 30 lbs, so I guess it's no surprise the bump wasn't all that gentle. Anyway after preheating the steel for a couple hours, were noticed a "burnt hair" smell that turned out to be the oven adjacent cabinets slowly charring..

Gasket now replaced. Lesson learned.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #68 on: May 07, 2016, 01:59:56 PM »
I would not have guessed that would happen.

CL
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Offline Minolta Rokkor

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2016, 08:12:50 AM »
Just some thoughts on using a steel for anyone with a sub-optimal oven (or an apparently sub-optimal one).

You can use steel to very good effect even if you don't have a top broiler. The key is to use the kind of oven management that any serious baker uses, which entails understanding that much of the energy in an oven gets transferred by radiant energy from the top, sides, and bottom of the oven. This energy dissipates at a factor of the distance from the surface, so, basically, the closer you are to the radiant surface, the more intense the radiant energy.

In an oven with a black metal interior that's been preheated to 500-550F, there's a lot of radiant energy coming off the surfaces. If you can get your steel very close to the top of the oven, then even without a top broiler you're going to get broiler-like radiant energy from it. This maximally high position also somewhat reduces the energy getting to the steel from below, so you may get close to a perfect balance of bottom char to top char.

My old apartment had a fairly nice range with a top broiler; I'm getting slightly better results in my current very crappy oven (the kind that has a bottom-drawer broiler, with one gas element serving both broiler and oven). These craptastic ovens work pretty well, because the broiler has no thermostatic controls. Turning the broiler on turns the fire on, and it stays on. It's not a high BTU/hr element, so you don't get the temperatures you'd fantasize about, but it will go to a steady 550F–575F.

The floor of the oven gets to around 740, but I don't know how to take advantage of this (if you baked down there the top of the pie would barely cook).

A key to managing an oven is understanding the difference between heat and temperature—and getting at least some grasp of the radiant property of materials. One reason to fully season a pizza steel is simply to turn it black. A darker color is not just easier to measure; it will get hotter, heat faster, and transmit radiant heat faster. Remember that the steel is taking on its thermal energy not just by convection but by radiant heat (just like the pizza itself). And that some of the energy it transmits to the crust is radiant.
Floor gets to 700? How about two steel plates, one on top, the other on the bottom.

Two steel method?

Offline pizzahorse

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2016, 12:19:16 AM »
What would you think of lining up 3 pieces of .5*6 steel bar? Say each is 14 inches, would give you 24*18.

Offline pizzahorse

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Re: The Steel Plate Buying Guide
« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2016, 10:13:38 PM »
What would you think of lining up 3 pieces of .5*6 steel bar? Say each is 14 inches, would give you 24*18.

Was quoted 3 bars for 34 dollars.