I recently picked up a Blackstone Oven and am EXTREMELY impressed with it so far. I have a few questions regarding the pre-heat and temperature ranges that I hope you guys can help clear up.
Firstly, how long and at what knob setting does everyone pre-heat their oven? I generally go for 40-45 minutes on a knotch above the lowest setting, it gets to about 500 degrees and then I blast it on high when I'm cooking. I am getting 2 minute cook times and pretty happy with the results so far, but feel as though perhaps I'm preheating too long and at too low?
Secondly, I am kind of launching blindly at the moment with no infrared thermometer. When I do attain one, what are the ideal temperatures I should be looking for for Neapolitan pizza?
Attached is a photo of my latest Margherita. Still working on getting that perfect round shape lol!
Nice pie Joe! Regarding pre-heat, I try to use whatever process that makes a pie that looks like the one in your picture
More to the point, there is no standard process. Some owners have 5psi regulators, others have 10. Some use a chauflector, others use a cheese grater (yes, that's a poke), others go stock. Wind and weather make a difference.
Repeatable should be the goal, IMO. Look at the result of the last bake, identify the improvements and change the bake to get what you want.
A few tips that have been discussed elsewhere. If you warm up with full flame, check the stone temp with an IR gun with flame on and off - notice the difference. It may benefit your bake to know that the IR gun measures an elliptical surface spot where the size of the ellipse grows with the distance from the surface being measured. (Check out spot ratio) Surface temperatures may/may not represent the stones effective baking temperature (and probably won't on a quick warmup).