Author Topic: Stone under a broiler?  (Read 2843 times)

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Offline jtwg

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Stone under a broiler?
« on: April 22, 2012, 12:20:42 AM »
I read an earlier thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=15812.0) about Fibrament stones.

I have a residential gas oven with a bottom mounted heat element only, broiler underneath.

I've had some decent success with a HearthKit in the middle of the oven, with a couple of ordinary ceramic baking stones placed on the HearthKit's rack. The problem is it takes a really long time to get hot enough for pizza, more than an hour I'd say.

Tonight I tried making the pizza under the broiler instead. I took out the broiler rack and put my two Oneida ceramic stones in the bottom of the broiler, stacked atop each other. After 30 minutes of heating, the top stone was registering 640 on my IR thermometer.

When I baked the pies, the tops came out perfect, with a 3-minute bake time, but the bottoms were very pale and undercooked.

I'm thinking of trying two things, one is to put the HearthKit at the bottom of the oven and pre-bake in the top of the oven, moving to the broiler to finish. But another idea I had was to put something with better heat conduction than ceramic under the broiler.

Do you think that a cordierite stone under the broiler would conduct heat well enough that I'd get even cooking?

Offline Tatoosh

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Re: Stone under a broiler?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 03:56:20 AM »
I have heard of this before, but with a dressed steel or aluminum plate that is brought to the maximum oven temp.  Pizza is added and the broiler turned on.  Heat from the broiler cooks the top and heat from the steel does the bottom.  I have a professional chef friend doing this in Colorado that reports good results.  There is another individual's blog that shows this too here

This has been recommended by some "modernist" chefs such as Nathan Myhrvold.  I think I heard even Jim Lehey recommended it in his new book as a good approach for superior pizza performance from a home oven, though I haven't had a chance to see a copy yet. 
Banana Ketchup Is Not Pizza Sauce - Weber 22.5 OTG, Smokenator 1000, Kettle Pizza Insert, White Mountain 6qt Elec, Cuisinart ICE-20 1.5qt, FMS 1500D sous vide - Mabuhay Pizza!

Offline jtwg

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Re: Stone under a broiler?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 12:02:37 AM »
Had great success tonight, at last.

So my oven has only the one heating element, under the oven compartment, with a metal box below that is the broiler.

I put my HearthKit on the oven floor, with its walls, and on the HearthKit rack I put a cordierite baking stone.

In the broiler I stacked two ceramic baking stones on top of the broiler pan.

I preheated on broil for 1 hr, then baked each pie for 2 minutes on the HearthKit, before moving to the broiler underneath for an additional minute.

Got very nice charring, blistering, leoparding, and overall great texture. I'm going to see if I can reproduce this tomorrow night, but right now I'm very happy. My previous setup involved just using the HeathKit with a baking stone above, and I was getting 6 minute bakes after having the oven on broil for 2 hours.