Hey, pizza super freak.
I can see there has already been lot's of good advice (And Warnings!), but I'll still let you know what I did.
DISCLAIMER This is only what I did. If you kill yourself, or burn down your kitchen, it's all the fault of the voices in your head.
Ok, so before I even found this forum, I was trying various methods until I settled for a while on this:
PROBE CONDOM: I made a sort of "condom" to go over my oven probe, a little like the cigar tube idea. I don't like the cigar tube idea though because of the water next right above a 240 volt heating element. I am a remodeling carpenter, so I talked with the guys who do our heating and air conditioning installations. I asked if they sold high temperature insulation, like the kind I see surrounding my oven. They gave me a small piece free! I used it with some tinfoil to make 2 condoms. I put the condoms in the freezer and turned my oven on to max(programmed for the extra 35 degrees mentioned above.)
As soon as I saw the heating element turn off(not when the oven said it was preheated)
, I put the first condom on. I didn't have a laser temperature reader at the time, so I'm not sure exactly how hot it got, but guessing by the dial on my (now broken!)
in-oven thermometer, I think up to 750. Because it's just insulation, the heat does eventually get to the probe, thus the second condom. If I wanted to make several pizzas, I would keep switching condoms (CAREFULLY!!!) from oven to freezer.
Then, I read this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8730.0.html
"TURBO" SWITCH: I have affectionately named this switch the turbo switch. The link above describes it much more accurately than I could, but I'll take a stab anyways. Basically, your oven probe registers a resistance number, in ohms that increases as the oven gets hotter. This is how the oven knows when to shut off the heating element. So, I bypassed the wire going to the heating element, and ran it to a switch. I taped the switch to the back of my oven, just out of site. If you flip the switch one way, it goes to the heating element and works like it always did. If you flip it to the "turbo" position, it goes instead to a resistor. How did I pick the resistor? I pulled the oven probe out of the oven and measured it's resistance with a multi-meter at room temperature, then went out and bought a resister matching that resistance from my local radio shack. So, when I flip the switch into turbo, the oven keeps trying to heat no matter how hot the element gets. The element has been bypassed. I love this setup, because I can also turn on my broiler (It is so close to the element, it would heat up the condom too quick)
and get more even heat on top of the pizza.
The TURBO SWITCH (tm) idea may seem really complicated, but I promise, it's really not(but don't do it if you don't know what you're doing!!!!)
. It took me a grand total of two hours. In addition to my pizzas, this has really improved my bread baking. It's really handy to be able to get your oven a little hotter for high hydration doughs. I took pictures, which I plan to post as soon as I stop being lazy.