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Offline ak47e6

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Oven Management help
« on: May 22, 2020, 09:07:01 PM »
So really fighting with my oven and any help is much appreciated. Oven can’t be set above 500, sometimes the broiler turns on sometimes it doesn’t. I try to start it under the broiler to get some color going early then move it lower after a few minutes. Temperature is all over in the oven. All I have is a 13” stone and can’t get the color on the bottom going.

Single dough ball at 275g And 12 inch pie
KABF 60% KAAP40% 166g
Water @73dg 65% 108g
Yeast IDY .018% .03g
Salt. 2.9% 4.8g

Bulk 12 hours, ball 11 hours at a target of 73dg. Had a slightly under fermented taste as I think the temp In my house got to about 69 overnight  I think it needed another hour or so but couldn’t wait.

Cheese is Kroger brand. Had fairly bland taste but all I could get on short notice.

Any thoughts on how to manage this a little better?  Get a baking steel? Use 2 stones to get a more even top heat rather then blasting it under the broiler which may or may not turn on? Anyone have success using a cast iron skillet on the stove to get some bottom char then into the oven?

Thanks all

Offline texmex

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 09:12:21 PM »
show us the oven ...where is the broiler element? At 1 time I used a cast iron lid and a 12 inch stone on the top shelf plus a piece of foil at the back to block heat flow. with a 2nd stone to bake on directly on the shelf under that.  my broiler is in the bottom drawer...
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14714.msg414166#msg414166
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 09:23:30 PM by texmex »
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Offline apizza

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 09:19:29 PM »
Are you sure your oven is operating properly? I would think even a lower end oven could maintain a temperature.
Marty

Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 09:26:55 PM »
show us the oven ...where is the broiler element? At 1 time I used a cast iron lid and a 12 inch stone on the top shelf plus a piece of foil at the back to block heat flow. with a 2nd stone to bake on directly on the shelf under that.  my broiler is in the bottom drawer...
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14714.msg414166#msg414166

Here it is. It’s on the top. Electric.

Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 09:27:49 PM »
Are you sure your oven is operating properly? I would think even a lower end oven could maintain a temperature.

Honestly I’m not sure. That is a good point and may need to get it calibrated and or fixed

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Offline texmex

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 09:39:36 PM »
You'll need to figure out where you get the longest consistent heat (top or bottom) and then try to contain the heat in a smaller area using another stone, etc. There are many threads about home oven mods, but my oven is gas, very different from yours and required a lot of time to find a good heat for the pizza I like.
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Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 09:46:58 PM »
You'll need to figure out where you get the longest consistent heat (top or bottom) and then try to contain the heat in a smaller area using another stone, etc. There are many threads about home oven mods, but my oven is gas, very different from yours and required a lot of time to find a good heat for the pizza I like.

Can you explain the cast iron lid and stone set up a little. Saw it in your post but hard to see exactly what it was as the cast iron kind of blended into the photo. Looks like you set up a stone on the cast iron on one shelf with another stone on top of that

Offline texmex

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2020, 08:07:52 AM »
Can you explain the cast iron lid and stone set up a little. Saw it in your post but hard to see exactly what it was as the cast iron kind of blended into the photo. Looks like you set up a stone on the cast iron on one shelf with another stone on top of that
Hi, sorry...long day. Didn't mean to leave you hanging.
This was many years ago, so my memory is spotty. Many different placements were tried, so I can see from other pictures in the thread that I had my round baking stone on  top of the inverted cast iron lid with another stone on the shelf above that. I also placed a strip of foil behind that top stone to fully block off that top portion of the oven and keep more concentrated onto my baking stone below...all my heat comes from my flame in the bottom broiler drawer, but yours may be more consistent coming from the top element?  It will take some experimenting to see if you can even manage to maintain a full heat in that oven.  Temp gun is crucial when moving your stones around to see just what's going on in there. It sucks that your oven cycles on and off so much, but leaving the door cracked open very slightly can sometimes force it to not turn  off which is what you need to get those pizzas baked.
You're just trying to get more heat conducted by making the area where the pizza bakes a bit more concentrated. I also see pics where I had the stones lower in my oven but then the bottom of my pies were cooking faster than the top.  My oven is not very wide, so making it into a heat machine by cooking in the upper portion and blocking off the top directly above my pizza worked well for me.  Try doing a search for electric home oven mods. I recall some folks were covering the temperature rod with foil to trick it into not noticing how hot it is in there.


https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=37996.msg380222#msg380222
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 11:51:05 AM by texmex »
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Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 01:46:29 PM »
Hi, sorry...long day. Didn't mean to leave you hanging.
This was many years ago, so my memory is spotty. Many different placements were tried, so I can see from other pictures in the thread that I had my round baking stone on  top of the inverted cast iron lid with another stone on the shelf above that. I also placed a strip of foil behind that top stone to fully block off that top portion of the oven and keep more concentrated onto my baking stone below...all my heat comes from my flame in the bottom broiler drawer, but yours may be more consistent coming from the top element?  It will take some experimenting to see if you can even manage to maintain a full heat in that oven.  Temp gun is crucial when moving your stones around to see just what's going on in there. It sucks that your oven cycles on and off so much, but leaving the door cracked open very slightly can sometimes force it to not turn  off which is what you need to get those pizzas baked.
You're just trying to get more heat conducted by making the area where the pizza bakes a bit more concentrated. I also see pics where I had the stones lower in my oven but then the bottom of my pies were cooking faster than the top.  My oven is not very wide, so making it into a heat machine by cooking in the upper portion and blocking off the top directly above my pizza worked well for me.  Try doing a search for electric home oven mods. I recall some folks were covering the temperature rod with foil to trick it into not noticing how hot it is in there.


https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=37996.msg380222#msg380222

Great info. Thanks so much. Will give it a try

Offline scott r

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 02:08:03 PM »
I see what you mean about the bottom, but that is a really beautiful pizza! 

What I cant figure out is how you are getting so much top heat with what looks like almost no bottom heat at all.  To me it almost looks like your stone wasn't preheated in the oven for long enough before you launched your pizza onto it.  Im wondering how long you preheat your stone for?   I have to preheat for an hour AFTER the oven comes fully up to temp.  Its a long brutal wait, but it gives me excellent bottom heat and lots of color.   A steel is great, though, and im sure a cast iron pan would be great as well.   I just want to make sure you are doing a really long preheat with the stone you already own before I say you need to buy one!   

Also, it is normal for the broiler to turn on and off and not always turn on when you switch the oven to broil on many ovens, so your oven may not be broken.   The reason this happens is that the oven is at its maximum temperature.   If the thermocouple is already reading 500 your broiler won't turn on until it senses the oven going below that temp.  For these types of ovens it is recommended to leave the oven door open just a bit when broiling meat.  Unfortunately this isn't great for pizza making when you really want the broiler on and to be able to keep the door shut.

good luck, and keep us posted with your results! 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 02:12:46 PM by scott r »

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Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 02:26:01 PM »
I see what you mean about the bottom, but that is a really beautiful pizza! 

What I cant figure out is how you are getting so much top heat with what looks like almost no bottom heat at all.  To me it almost looks like your stone wasn't preheated in the oven for long enough before you launched your pizza onto it.  Im wondering how long you preheat your stone for?   I have to preheat for an hour AFTER the oven comes fully up to temp.  Its a long brutal wait, but it gives me excellent bottom heat and lots of color.   A steel is great, though, and im sure a cast iron pan would be great as well.   I just want to make sure you are doing a really long preheat with the stone you already own before I say you need to buy one!   

Also, it is normal for the broiler to turn on and off and not always turn on when you switch the oven to broil on many ovens, so your oven may not be broken.   The reason this happens is that the oven is at its maximum temperature.   If the thermocouple is already reading 500 your broiler won't turn on until it senses the oven going below that temp.  For these types of ovens it is recommended to leave the oven door open just a bit when broiling meat.  Unfortunately this isn't great for pizza making when you really want the broiler on and to be able to keep the door shut.

good luck, and keep us posted with your results!

Scott thanks so much for the reply. Yes in this case was a little more then an hour. Top heat I think is because I have the stone about 2 inches (maybe less didn’t measure) from the broiler element. If I get lucky and the broiler turns on right as I launch then I can get some color quicker And I can move the pizza to a lower level so it doesn’t get blown out by the broiler. I use the bake mode as in my oven both top and bottom elements come on instead of broil mode which just turns the broiler on. I think steel may be the way to go to get Some better under crust and then use some sort of stone/steel as a top heating element to see if I can get some even high heat all at once Rather then just applying it to just the top or the bottom. Any thoughts on using this cheap generic grocery store cheese contributes to all the brown spots?  I do t mind some but seems excessive. 

Thanks all

Offline scott r

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 02:45:50 PM »
Its a combination of the cheese and the broiler that causes this.   I wouldnt worry about it... its normal.

Now that I know you did the nice long preheat I have 2 suggestions.   

1) get a steel, you won't regret it.   

2) if you want to try squeezing the most out of your current stone try this.    Preheat the oven like you did for at least an hour with the stone as low as it can possibly go in bake mode.. leave it in bake mode for most of the bake.  This should shift the balance and make your bottom cook faster than your top.  When the pizza starts looking done on the bottom but the top isn't quite there... like maybe 3/4 of the way there.... pull the pizza off of the stone and put it on a higher rack bare, with no stone under it and turn your broiler on.  A pizza screen works well too for the move to a higher rack if you have one. Since you have just opened your oven, chances are that your broiler will kick right on.   If the broiler is really slow to react you might want to switch it to broil about 1/2 way through the bake, and before you do your move of the pizza to a higher rack position.

Another thing I have done with ovens like yours is to take some brick "splits" and put them on the floor of the oven so the pizza stone sits on bricks.  The idea is to be able to get the stone where it is almost touching the bottom heating element.  I have a few different thickness of bricks at my disposal and you may need to experiment with what you can find at your local brick yard to find the right height, or even better, measure the height of your broiler elements before you go.  The splits will be VERY cheap.  At my brickyard they are less than a dollar, but at someplace like Lowes it should be less than 4 dollars a brick.  You can probably get away with buying 3 bricks.  If I do this in my friends oven I can get some really nice bottom heat even though normally on the bottom shelf I cant get much.  Again, you may want to move the pizza to the top rack and the broiler to balance it off and get some extra top heat right at the end of the bake.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 03:12:08 PM by scott r »

Offline scott r

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 02:57:49 PM »
One more thing I forgot... I really like the pizza I can achieve in lower power ovens like yours if I add a bit of diastatic malt, brown sugar, honey, or even a combo. That will give you more browning on the bottom crust and if you dont like a hint of sweetness in your crust go for the diastatic malt over the other suggestions.  I also prefer oil in the dough formulation for ovens like yours.  If you end up getting a steel, this stuff will not be as important, but will still be fun to try.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 03:02:02 PM by scott r »

Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 03:35:12 PM »
One more thing I forgot... I really like the pizza I can achieve in lower power ovens like yours if I add a bit of diastatic malt, brown sugar, honey, or even a combo. That will give you more browning on the bottom crust and if you dont like a hint of sweetness in your crust go for the diastatic malt over the other suggestions.  I also prefer oil in the dough formulation for ovens like yours.  If you end up getting a steel, this stuff will not be as important, but will still be fun to try.

Scott all great information, thanks for all that. Have some dough going now for lunch tomorrow will give it a try and let you know. Thanks again

Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 12:58:57 PM »
Ok. We are getting somewhere. So tried both texmex and Scott R’s methods and both yielded much better results. The dough formula is the same with 12 hour bulk ferment and 11 hours in ball all at about 73 dg. The last 4 hours In ball, dough looked like it was moving a little quicker so I moved it into the basement which was at 67dg and it held nicely.  First 3 pictures I used texmex’s technique with a stone placed on a cast iron skillet and then right above that another stone which was just under the broiler. The next 3 pictures I used Scott R’s method in which I put the stone on the lowest shelf for 3/4 of the time then moved it to under the broiler for the last 1/4. To keep things equal both pizzas were cooked at the same temp for ~8 mins each. Way better under crust color on both, perhaps just a bit more on Scott’s method but way better results overall. Thanks all.

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Offline texmex

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 01:27:24 PM »
It's a great thing to find progress!  Nice looking pizzas.  :pizza: :pizza:
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Offline Minolta Rokkor

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2020, 06:45:22 AM »
Honestly it looks dialed in

IMO it was your formula and workflow not the oven.
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Offline scott r

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2020, 09:07:10 AM »
this is great news!   Somehow I had missed that Reese had given you another method as well and both look very even.

8 minutes for a well done pizza means your oven is right in the range of an authentic NY style bake.   Others looking for a lighter or more traditional NY bake would have pulled that pie at 6 min.   Have you played with oil in your dough recipe yet? 

Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2020, 09:46:09 AM »
I have not tried oil as of yet. My goal is really to blend a traditional Neapolitan with a NY pizza. I love the simplicity of a Neapolitan    dough with the simple tomato sauce and  the charred larger cornicione, with the chew and crunch of a NY pizza and that taste and texture of a NY style cheese. Do you see a benefit of adding oil?  What effect on fermentation would it have when doing a 24 hour RT rise using .01 to .02% yeast? Has not been a variable I have played with yet so your thoughts are much appreciated.

Offline ak47e6

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Re: Oven Management help
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2020, 09:54:33 AM »
It's a great thing to find progress!  Nice looking pizzas.  :pizza: :pizza:

Thanks texmex much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to go through your methods.

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