### Author Topic: Steel Plate Attempt  (Read 15055 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

#### breadman_nz

• Registered User
• Posts: 45
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2012, 11:56:26 PM »
We'll assume you're not making pizza on the moon, or Jupiter, or some other environment where the water's mass is not the same weight as in earth's gravity. Either that, or your scales are bung (probably more likely).

Don't forget, scales have a maximum weight they will record up to - and your bowl + flour + other ingredients may have gone over the scale's maximum weight (although most will simply 'error').

Yes, weight is everything.... weigh, weigh and weigh again!

#### hockman4357

• Registered User
• Posts: 64
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2012, 05:53:38 PM »
Thanks for all the responses!  I got it all worked out and the dough turned out nicely.  I am still exploring the best way to cook the pizzas in my oven.  The broiler tends to go off and on fairly quickly, but I'll work through it.  I'll post some pictures soon of my initial attempts.  I am really enjoying the learning process!!!

#### FJPhil

• Registered User
• Posts: 32
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2012, 04:05:17 PM »
I don't mean to thread hijack, but since this is the current ongoing thread on steel plates, I figured Id throw my questions in here:

1. My oven will fit a 17" x 17" steel plate, but Im worried about the weight.  I would rather not put it up on a shelf and then have it come crashing down through the oven.  Is it acceptable to just place the plate on the oven floor? When I used my pizza stone, I placed it on the floor as well.  The trick I learned was to simply bake it on the oven floor for a few mins (checking the underside), and then move the pizza up to a shelf below the broiler to finish the bake.

2. If I put the steel plate on the floor, can I just leave it there constantly? I never took my pizza stone out of the oven and had no issues.

3. Does steel smell or smoke excessively?  Just based on previous experiences with seasoning cast iron and carbon steel, I'm kinda worried about smoking myself out of the house.

Thanks for the advice!

#### buceriasdon

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2012, 06:52:21 PM »
FGPhil, No, the steel plate surface will season itself through use. There should not be a problem with the bottom sticking as you would with an unseasoned cast iron skillet and cooking an egg in it. Your baking not frying. I live next to the ocean and I have to season my steel plates or I would have serious rust problems. I would scrape off any spills avoiding using water unless I dried it well and then heated it up to drive off any moisture that may become a problem.
Don

#### parallei

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2012, 10:58:36 PM »
FJPhil,

A 17" x 17" x 1/2" steel plate will weigh about 41 lbs.  5 gallons of water will weigh about 41.7 lbs.  You could test first.....

#### scott123

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2012, 08:04:18 AM »
Water is a pretty good idea for testing the weight bearing capacity of the shelf- as long as you use a wide/deep container that spreads the weight out to something close to that 17" x 17" dimension. A tall container will focus more weight on a smaller portion of the shelf and further stress it.

40 lbs., spread out over a wide area, is not that much weight for a typical oven shelf.  Think 28ish lb. Thanksgiving turkey + pan + veggies and you're in that ball park. It would be kind of ridiculous for an oven manufacturer to produce a shelf that can't support a big Thanksgiving turkey.

Phil, it's pretty rare that I say this, but there's a chance you might not need 1/2" steel plate.  From reading your older posts, it looks like your goal is primarily to reproduce Dewey's pizza at home.  Dewey's, being a NY/American hybrid, doesn't need the fast bake times of 1/2" steel. 1/2" steel is only if you have an inclination to make an authentic NY pizza.

What kind of stone are you working with now?  I've seen screens in some of your older posts- before you take the steel plate plunge, I'd do two things:

1. Remove the screen from the equation and learn how to master a peel

2. Go to Dewey's, and, if possible, time a bake.

Once I know their bake time, I'll have a much better idea of what stone to recommend.  There's a chance you could get away with 3/8" steel plate or possibly even 1/4".  There's also a chance you might be able to get away with something as inexpensive as quarry tiles.  Maybe.  Generally speaking, you want to be able to hit the bottom of the pizza with heat (from the pre-heated plate) WHILE the top is being broiled, not before or after. This means that you want the stone towards the top of the oven, not the bottom. Moving the pizza around mid bake really doesn't work. The biggest downside to 1/2" steel is that it can be difficult to take in and out of the oven so you can bake other things.  If there is a chance you can get away with 3/8" or 1/4" steel or even a ceramic option, it will save your back when it's time to use the oven for other stuff.

#### FJPhil

• Registered User
• Posts: 32
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2012, 11:18:13 AM »
Water is a pretty good idea for testing the weight bearing capacity of the shelf- as long as you use a wide/deep container that spreads the weight out to something close to that 17" x 17" dimension. A tall container will focus more weight on a smaller portion of the shelf and further stress it.

40 lbs., spread out over a wide area, is not that much weight for a typical oven shelf.  Think 28ish lb. Thanksgiving turkey + pan + veggies and you're in that ball park. It would be kind of ridiculous for an oven manufacturer to produce a shelf that can't support a big Thanksgiving turkey.

Phil, it's pretty rare that I say this, but there's a chance you might not need 1/2" steel plate.  From reading your older posts, it looks like your goal is primarily to reproduce Dewey's pizza at home.  Dewey's, being a NY/American hybrid, doesn't need the fast bake times of 1/2" steel. 1/2" steel is only if you have an inclination to make an authentic NY pizza.

What kind of stone are you working with now?  I've seen screens in some of your older posts- before you take the steel plate plunge, I'd do two things:

1. Remove the screen from the equation and learn how to master a peel

2. Go to Dewey's, and, if possible, time a bake.

Etc.......

Thanks for the reply Scott, right now I'm kinda focused on replicating Dewey's because thats my current project/obsession.  I like to make pan pizzas as well..and sometime in the near future was looking to get into some more NY style pizzas. I really don't have any problems launching pizzas off a peel, and would do it somewhat frequently when I had a working pizza stone.  I would classify Dewey's itself as a sorta American/NY style hybrid.  I know their bake times are relatively short (although I have never timed one), and that they are baked directly on steel deck ovens (I think there are videos on youtube).

I currently don't have any sort of hearth material (I just broke my stone a few weeks ago), which is why I am looking into the steel.  I was also interested in the Corderite kiln shelves, but from everything I have read, steel seems to be superior. I don't really mind the weight issue (aside from it breaking my oven), I'm a fairly strong guy and I cook with cast iron all the time.

Here's the other thing to note...I dont forsee myself cooking more than maybe 2 pizzas in succession.  So if I can get the proper amount of heat retention out of 3/8 or 1/4" for that, I would be fine..especially since the thinner plate should speed up my preheat times.

#### scott123

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2012, 04:59:39 PM »
Phil, if you think you might, at some point, venture into my NYish style pizzas, then I think you're going to have to go with 1/2" plate.  It really depends on the oven, but 3/8" usually can't break the 6 minute bake barrier- Dewey's might be in that 6 minute realm, but, for NY, you're going to want to go down as low as 4.

Like I said before, I think your shelf should be fine with 17 x 17 x 1/2 steel plate.  If you're really feeling uneasy about it, though, don't forget that you can make your own support out of rebar or flat steel bar and run that from shelf lip to shelf lip, removing the shelf from the equation.

Here's a member using steel bars to support his stone:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12692.msg126602.html#msg126602

#### FJPhil

• Registered User
• Posts: 32
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #58 on: February 16, 2012, 05:05:38 PM »
Thanks for the advice Scott....I'm currently trying to track down a steel plate. Living in Cleveland, it should be easy..I have 3 emails out to Fab shops now....we'll see if I get any nibbles.

Im hoping my oven will be ok...if not, I will make it work!

#### FJPhil

• Registered User
• Posts: 32
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2012, 12:19:06 PM »
Update : Found a place nearby that Im getting my 17" by 17" 1/2" thick steel plate for \$20 this afternoon.

Now I just need to track down a good 24 hour dough recipe I can use to try this plate out tomorrow night!

#### Jet_deck

• Registered User
• Posts: 3062
• Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2012, 12:48:52 PM »
Update : Found a place nearby that Im getting my 17" by 17" 1/2" thick steel plate for \$20 this afternoon.

Check the edges (4) before you leave.  If they are sharp make them fix it before you leave.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

#### breadman_nz

• Registered User
• Posts: 45
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2012, 01:53:47 PM »
Check the edges (4) before you leave.  If they are sharp make them fix it before you leave.

Agreed.  I go a nasty cut from one edge of my cut steel plate. Took a file and grinder to it, and about half an hour later it was smooooth.

#### FJPhil

• Registered User
• Posts: 32
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #62 on: February 20, 2012, 03:10:27 PM »
Update from this weekend...the Steel plate was a huge success! Made some of the best pizza I ever made with a simple 4 hour room temp rise dough. The only thing that was a struggle was the heating up of the plate.  With my oven at 550, the plate took a little over an hour to get to 540.  I'm wondering if next time I should use the oven's "Clean" setting to warm up the plate faster??  If anyone knows any tricks to getting the plate to warm up faster, I'd love to hear them.

Here are some pics of the pizza.....even with 0 sugar added, this crust had really good flavor, and the bottom was browned/blackened perfectly.  I have to commend myself on my first 2 pizzas ever using a steel plate coming out as well as they did.  Another note: I got about 4:40 bake times on both of my pizzas.  2 mins without broiler, and 2:30-2:40 with the broiler on High.

#### scott123

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #63 on: February 20, 2012, 03:27:39 PM »
I have to commend you as well, Phil.  For your first two pies on steel, those are phenomenal.

Regarding the pre-heat... 540 isn't horrible.  If you go with a 2 day cold fermented dough, you'll end up with more residual sugar, the crust will brown a bit faster and you'll be closer to the 4 minute bake time, which, for me, is just about right.

And, this gets into pretty subjective territory, but, if you're making this pizza for company, you might want to dial back the bottom coloring just a bit- which will also help with your slightly lower stone temp.

What flour are you using?

#### FJPhil

• Registered User
• Posts: 32
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2012, 03:31:53 PM »
Scott, thanks for the Kudos.  The 540 temp seemed to work fine, but I was just hoping that the plate would have warmed up faster.  Do you know of any way to get it up to temp faster?

As far as the flour i used, I used King Arthur Bread flour.  However, tonight I will be putting together a 50/50 flour with 50% KABF and 50% Red Mill Whole Wheat flour.  I'm gonna put a little sugar in it..and set it up for a 2 day cold fermentation with the intent of baking it on the plate Wednesday night.....I'll be curious to see how that turns out.

#### scott123

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2012, 03:46:53 PM »
Come on, Phil- you're making such beautiful pizzas, why do have to go and ruin them by going with whole wheat?

I was talking with John (Johnnydoubleu) over the weekend and he said that with enough soaking, the bran in wheat can soften, but I still think it's pretty advanced pizzamaking.

The only advice I can give you for the preheat is to not open the door, and, if your oven has a convection feature, use it.

#### FJPhil

• Registered User
• Posts: 32
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2012, 03:50:45 PM »
Come on, Phil- you're making such beautiful pizzas, why do have to go and ruin them by going with whole wheat?

Trust me, I'm not really thrilled about the whole wheat avenue either...unfortunately, I have been finding myself eating pizza like 2-3 times per week and I'm trying to find a way to make it just a little bit healthier.  I'm hoping that the 50/50 blend should still be relatively easy to work with, ...I guess I'll find out on Wednesday......

#### parallei

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2012, 04:42:27 PM »
Nice job FJPhil.  I take it shelf didn't collapse.

#### hockman4357

• Registered User
• Posts: 64
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2012, 11:56:18 PM »
My best attempt at New York style pizza cooked for 5 minutes at 525 degrees on my 1/2" steel plate.  I'm really enjoying the adventure!

#### Jeeprz!

• Registered User
• Posts: 2
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #69 on: September 25, 2012, 08:52:54 PM »
FJPhil could you tell me the name and contact info to the place you got your steel plate at? I live in NE Ohio also and called a metal supplyer today in Willoughby Oh and they quoted me \$37.50 for a 1/4in (yes 1/4 not 1/2) x 16in x 22in plate if i pick it up. I assume if I bumped up the thickness to 1/2in that the cost would be alot more if not double the price.
I'm still learning and have been lurking and researching the threads - Thanks in advance!

#### scott123

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #70 on: September 25, 2012, 09:07:25 PM »
Jeeprz, if this is a piece of steel that they have hanging around, \$37 is too much, and, if it's something you're having cut, you don't want a 16 x 22 plate. 16 is too short and 22 is too long. If you are having it cut, your goal should be the largest square plate that your oven can fit- touching the back wall and almost touching the door- just small enough so that the door will close- and no smaller.

#### Chicago Bob

• Lifetime Member
• Posts: 12629
• Location: Durham,NC
• Easy peazzy
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #71 on: September 25, 2012, 09:21:43 PM »
I'm wondering if next time I should use the oven's "Clean" setting to warm up the plate faster??  If anyone knows any tricks to getting the plate to warm up faster, I'd love to hear them.

Scott?  What do you think....
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

#### scott123

• Guest
##### Re: Steel Plate Attempt
« Reply #72 on: September 25, 2012, 09:30:13 PM »
I'm not sure about the cleaning cycle, Bob. The oven could lock, and, even if it doesn't lock, it would be very easy to overshoot the mark and have to wait for the steel to cool.

I think one way to speed up the pre-heat time is to not open the oven door/not check the temp until at least 50 minutes.

wordpress