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Author Topic: Is the Outdoor Gourmet 16" cast iron pan from Academy my best bet for 550F oven?  (Read 386 times)

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Offline mikeshole

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I have one already, but I'm shopping around for a second pizza steel. I'm looking at mostly bang for buck. Right now this thing is $38 after tax. I see an identical looking Lodge doubled handed 17" cast iron pan for twice the price as this and it's actually lighter by a whole pound. Coming in at 13.53lbs vs my 16" OG weighing 14.52lbs. Also, lodge's outer bottom (the surface I'll be cooking on) is 13.625". The Outdoor Gourmet is 15". So the edges are far more tapered on the Lodge. I see lodge has a 15" pizza pan for $40, but it's roughly 9.63lbs. 5lbs lighter. Even though all that extra weight on the 16" is on the edges am I still much better off with it than without? Or is the lodge pizza pan the smarter choice? Pizza is the main use of this pan, so versatility isn't a concern.

 I'm also looking at steel on ebay and amazon. 3/8", 1/4" and 1/2" but they're all more expensive. Right now it takes me about 7 minutes max, sometimes 6, for a really nice pizza in a 550 oven preheated for an hour. I can actually bang out 2 - 3 pizzas after each other no problem. Haven't tried making more than that. I'm ok with 7 minutes, and don't really want anything too heavy for fear of breaking one of my racks. So is this my best option? Or is there something I'm not seeing?

Offline nickyr

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Iím a bit confused, how are you planning to use this? Are you turning it upside down and launching on it like you would with a pizza stone? Or are you assembling the pizza in the pan and cooking it like a pan pizza? Or something else?

Offline RHawthorne

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I have one already, but I'm shopping around for a second pizza steel. I'm looking at mostly bang for buck. Right now this thing is $38 after tax. I see an identical looking Lodge doubled handed 17" cast iron pan for twice the price as this and it's actually lighter by a whole pound. Coming in at 13.53lbs vs my 16" OG weighing 14.52lbs. Also, lodge's outer bottom (the surface I'll be cooking on) is 13.625". The Outdoor Gourmet is 15". So the edges are far more tapered on the Lodge. I see lodge has a 15" pizza pan for $40, but it's roughly 9.63lbs. 5lbs lighter. Even though all that extra weight on the 16" is on the edges am I still much better off with it than without? Or is the lodge pizza pan the smarter choice? Pizza is the main use of this pan, so versatility isn't a concern.

 I'm also looking at steel on ebay and amazon. 3/8", 1/4" and 1/2" but they're all more expensive. Right now it takes me about 7 minutes max, sometimes 6, for a really nice pizza in a 550 oven preheated for an hour. I can actually bang out 2 - 3 pizzas after each other no problem. Haven't tried making more than that. I'm ok with 7 minutes, and don't really want anything too heavy for fear of breaking one of my racks. So is this my best option? Or is there something I'm not seeing?
What exactly are you hoping to improve on? It sounds like you're already quite satisfied with the pan you've been using (if it is a pan; I'm not sure if you're saying you're using a steel or a pan), so what is the objective?
 If you're considering buying a cast iron pan for pizza, my first thought is that those are really more well suited for a thicker crust pizza style, or even deep dish. You didn't say exactly what kind of pizza you like to make, but judging by the bake times you specified, I'm assuming you're making more a thin crust/NY style. If that's the case, I'm not sure that a cast iron pan would do any better than a steel, and I don't think that a pan with high sides would really work, unless you want to make your pizzas smaller than the diameter of the pan and try to maneuver them into the pan. Also, I'd say that unless you use oil in the pan, and plenty of it, your dough is going to stick, so I wouldn't even consider the idea of making NY style pizzas in it, because that would make them completely different.
 Having said that, there's absolutely nothing wrong with "winging it" and just tailoring your pizzas to your pan and not worrying about hitting any certain kind of stylistic guideline. I'd say you could probably try to make some kind of bar pie in a cast iron pan, if that's your thing. Do whatever you like. Just consider all the dynamics that a pan will present you with.
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Offline mikeshole

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Iím a bit confused, how are you planning to use this? Are you turning it upside down and launching on it like you would with a pizza stone? Or are you assembling the pizza in the pan and cooking it like a pan pizza? Or something else?

Ah, sorry I wasn't more clear. Yes. I'm flipping the pan upside down and making NY style. I wanted a second pan that I could leave at other places so I don't have to lug this one back and forth.

Offline mikeshole

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What exactly are you hoping to improve on? It sounds like you're already quite satisfied with the pan you've been using (if it is a pan; I'm not sure if you're saying you're using a steel or a pan), so what is the objective?
 If you're considering buying a cast iron pan for pizza, my first thought is that those are really more well suited for a thicker crust pizza style, or even deep dish. You didn't say exactly what kind of pizza you like to make, but judging by the bake times you specified, I'm assuming you're making more a thin crust/NY style. If that's the case, I'm not sure that a cast iron pan would do any better than a steel, and I don't think that a pan with high sides would really work, unless you want to make your pizzas smaller than the diameter of the pan and try to maneuver them into the pan. Also, I'd say that unless you use oil in the pan, and plenty of it, your dough is going to stick, so I wouldn't even consider the idea of making NY style pizzas in it, because that would make them completely different.
 Having said that, there's absolutely nothing wrong with "winging it" and just tailoring your pizzas to your pan and not worrying about hitting any certain kind of stylistic guideline. I'd say you could probably try to make some kind of bar pie in a cast iron pan, if that's your thing. Do whatever you like. Just consider all the dynamics that a pan will present you with.

Just need a second pan. I'm using this one as a pizza steel by flipping it upside down. Just wondering if for this price ($35) there was anything better/larger/thicker out there. I ended up buying a 15" cast iron dosa pan that has no sides, only one handle and 1lb heavier so I assume it's thicker than the pan I'm using now as no material is wasted on walls or an extra handle. https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/08f22aa2-d4a4-4b6e-af21-139d3565e6a5.6d5d4eb39ddef78b2760be0a50501064.jpeg found a used one for $40 shipped. About 2+ lbs heavier than the Lodge pizza pan.

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Offline nickyr

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Ah, sorry I wasn't more clear. Yes. I'm flipping the pan upside down and making NY style. I wanted a second pan that I could leave at other places so I don't have to lug this one back and forth.
Gotcha. I donít know anything cheaper than what youíve found. Do think about whether this is really going to be a workable long term solution for you thoughóif itís not, youíll end up buying something else later that you could just buy now. For example, a rectangular steel or stone is much more versatile. It can handle large rectangular pan pizzas, a variety of bread shapes, and itís much easier to launch a large pie onto a larger surface. If youíre only ever going to make small, round pizzas, this could be ok, but you are limiting yourself.

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