Disaster, once again reared it's ugly head last thursday
14 inch pies on my hearth (which cannot be made larger) if not launched perfectly create an incinerated mess that render the oven useless. That was what happened with my first pie, so thereís no relevant info. This is the third time a pizza trial is wasted, so Iím switching back to 12 inch pizzas until I get a bigger hearth to work with.
The fresh plum tomato sauce I made with wal-mart bought produce tasted better than any pizza sauce Iíve ever made before. I guess thereís no way to beat freshness with a canned product, even if the tomatoes arenít grown in volcanic Italian soil.
With a 2 hour 30 minute preheat the the highest I got the temperature on the hearth was 626F, and I donít think itīs getting any higher. The thermostat got up to 488.
The fiberglass pipe insulation exists but not without the binders, and the loose fill blown-in I couldnít find. Some people told me it doesnít exist in Mexico since nobody here insulates buildings (everythingís cement). I can look for something else or try to get it shipped down here but first I have a few questions:
Even after the 2 and a half hour preheat, my thermostat was still not hitting 500F and therefore not cycling off the burner. The last few trials (1:45, 2:00) the oven has stayed on for about an hour after the preheat, and again, hasnít cycled the burners down one bit. I know this oven very, very well since itís where I started my baked good business a few years ago, so I can be sure that at NO point is the burner getting shut off or not running on full juice during these tests.
My question is: if the bottom chamber even after all that time preheating is not getting past 626F and my burner is at no point slowing down, how would insulating the probe help? If I understood correctly, the point of insulating the probe is to trick it into thinking the oven is much cooler than it actually is so it wonít shut off the burners. But if my burners are not shutting off with the current setup, and the lower chamber has reached itís peak temperature, what would be the point of insulating the probe?
I had a couple of ideas I wanted to run by you. First, is there anyway I could retain heat even better in the lower chamber by making the tile ceiling thicker (maybe 3-4 layers instead of 2) or possibly making the Ĺ inch gap a ľ inch gap, so as to let even less hot air pass through?
My other idea is a little crazier. How about if I buy a larger home oven and replace the existing dinky burners with a more powerful BTU? I have a theory that whatís really complicating hitting that 650F temp (and then losing so much after each pie) is the fact that my burner just isnít powerful enough. I could leave this oven outside with a metal roof or something and play with it without having to worry about my kitchen going up in flames. Besides the UQT, black tile and deflector mods we could get rid of the thermostat altogether and put in a juicier burner. An added bonus is I could make larger pies without the risk of smoking up the entire block.
The larger home oven even with all the mods is an investment, but not a 6-7 thousand dollar experiment. I have a friend who gets a huge discount at an already discount home appliance store, so I could get the whole thing up and running for a few hundred dollars (maybe). What do you think?
I really wanted to do two trials this week to make up for lost time, but my schedule doesnít allow it. Even though the one massacred ďpizzaĒ that came out last week was overbaked and well, ridiculous, the crust still tasted very good. Tons of flavor. Sorry if Iím being stubborn here but Iím really curious about seeing how that dough formulation turns out without any incidents or overbaking. Next week Iíll get back to modifying with a higher hydration and oil, if you believe itís necessary.