Author Topic: Can someone make a stab at cooking time <--> oven temp for Neopolitan pies?  (Read 1271 times)

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Offline scottfsmith

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I have a new grill I am fine-tuning now to cook pizza.  At first it was too cold but it has a big vent in the top and I plugged most of that and now its in the 850-1000F range.  This is what I am measuring with a thermoprobe into the back of the grill.  The thermoprobe is very accurate, but I can't measure right at the pie surface so it is still only an estimate.  My first pies were 3-5 minutes and now they are taking about a minute.  This is to the "classic" Neopolitan level of doneness (or at least that is the goal), the slight char on top bubbles and very mild spots of charring on bottom.  What I would find helpful is a chart estimating time <--> temp for an average neopolitan pie.  Here is a first stab:

Cooking Time     Temp
4 minutes          550F
1 minute            850F

Can anyone fill this out a bit?  Or are there enough other variables that this is not a worthwhile chart to have?


Offline Bill/SFNM

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One way to look at "classic" Neapolitan pies is to consider the different sources of heat: 1) from below by the surface the pie is sitting on, 2) from the side by radiation from the fire/coals (if you are using a cooking chamber with fire), 3) radiated down onto the pie from the dome or upper surface and 4) the air temp in the chamber. The proper balance of all four are critical for the crust, edge, and toppings to be done to perfection and at the same time. Each of these sources are measured in different ways. The temp of the surface on which the pie cooks is best measured with an IR temp gun. Although there may be a way to plot out temp vs. cooking times, there can be a big difference in the texture of the crust in a pie cooked for 4 minutes at 550F vs. one cooked for minute at 850F. The better approach, IMO, would be to cook as many pies as you can on your grill, changing the cooking environment and dough formulations to learn what works best for your grill and your tastes.



Sometimes I use big words that I donít fully understand in an effort to make myself sound more photosynthesis. - @itjenlawrence

Offline scottfsmith

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Interesting .. somehow I had thought a thermometer would measure all the heat including radiating heat since that would be heating the air too.  But I now see how the "direction" of the radiation also obviously matters!  For the bottom (a pizza stone in my case) that is definitely a different temperature but that can be calibrated by getting the top correct and then insulating (or de-insulating) the bottom to get it right, so I am not as concerned about that.  My setup now is one dinner plate on the grill with the stone on top of that, and no aluminum foil.  I may need to add one more dinner plate below to get it just right.  I also have a pizza-sized brick on the warming rack to radiate heat down (it is a walkway stone from my walkway, thicker than a brick).

Comparing to a real brick oven, they have a lot of radiating heat from the side and all angles up to the top since the bricks are curved.  My grill doesn't get side radiation but it gets side heat since it is on the stone edge and the heat is coming up there.  It gets top radiation from my big brick, but no angled radiation.