Author Topic: Bad smoking problem...the pizza that is.  (Read 1322 times)

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Offline 1694kyle

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Bad smoking problem...the pizza that is.
« on: August 14, 2010, 07:43:54 PM »
For some reason, unbeknown to me, whenever I cook my pizza I become enveloped in plumes of smoke.  Only recently though.  The only thing that I have changed is instead of heating my oven to 500, I moved it to "broil", because I noticed I actually moved past 500 (though I'm not sure if it actually changes the temperature, but i figured it being a mechanical device, it must!).  Before I was totally fine when making the pizza (following Peter Reinhart's Napoletana Pizza Dough Recipe).  Maybe I'm not doing the cornmeal thing right.  I've done it without cornmeal and it turned out fine, but the majority of the time i use it.  Perhaps my turning the dial past 500 does increase the temperature, but would that difference really start to flash burn my cornmeal?  Maybe I can get a few tips on use of cornmeal. I've tried just adding it to the peel and I've tried just adding it to the stone.  Suggestions? 

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Bad smoking problem...the pizza that is.
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 07:45:47 AM »
Virtually every cook I do is over 500*.  I can say that anytime that I use cornmeal (to help the dough slide off the peel) it gets burnt.  From past experience I know that If I used anything more than a miniscule amount of cornmeal it would burn and then smoke.  I discontinued using cornmeal.  If you prefer some cornmeal on the bottom of your pizza, maybe you cut put the cooked pizza on a thin layer of cornmeal to cool.  If enough doesn't stick, maybe a light shot of Pam to the bottom of the crust.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline sconosciuto

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Re: Bad smoking problem...the pizza that is.
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 10:58:37 AM »

In your original post you don't mention what type of oven setup you're using.  I'd have to guess you are using some sort of pizza stone, if so what type of material (soapstone, cordierite, etc) and what thickness?  Also, what is the distance from the broiler element to your stone?  Is your oven gas or electric?

My best guess is that you're now super-heating your pizza stone by running the broiler element.  Even though the ambient temperature in your oven is around +500F you may be getting the stone much hotter than that.  By running the broiler element you are dumping tons of extra heat directly into your stone and really the only way to find out exactly how hot is to use an infrared thermometer.

If it's only the cornmeal that's burning and not the pizza itself, then the solution may be to stop using cornmeal.  If you're needing something to keep the dough from sticking to your peel you can try semolina.  Semolina doesn't burn as easily and I think it actually complements the pizza.  If  you're not getting an even cook on the bottom vs. the top crust then you might want to lay off the broiler or at least minimize its use.