What's the best settings for the oven? Bottom and top heating? Fan forced oven on or off?


Hey Tony,

In your book you recommend "Preheat the oven to 500 ° F for at least 1 hour." That's sounds clear to me.

What's the best settings for the oven? Bottom and top heating? Fan forced oven on or off? Fan + grill?

Thanks for your help.

Best regards,
Olek

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Aleksander J.
posted about 2 years ago

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Hi Aleksander,

I'm not Tony but I get good results with the the oven set to it's highest possible temperature and using the bottom heating element.

Both stones get really nice and hot, with the bottom one being hotter. I'll start baking on the hotter stones first, to achieve some decent oven spring, then move the pie up to finish it off and get some nice browning.

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Mike K.
posted about 2 years ago


Hey Mike:-)

It hasn't to be Tony. Any advice is welcomed:-) Thanks for your reply and help.

So you use two stones and bottom heating. The lower one is usually hotter and you start with that stone. Then you use upper one and move pizza there. Did I understand that correctly?

What's the temperature you achieve? Why don't you use bottom and top?

Best regards,
Olek

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Aleksander J.
posted about 2 years ago


Olek,

That's correct. Bottom stone first then upper stone.

I have a generic GE electric oven. It goes up to 550 F and I calibrated it up by an additional 35 F, so total is 585 F when pre-heating. If I pre-heat for an hour I get temps in the upper 600 F range, on a good day close to 700 F. That oven runs really hot but i have to watch it to get the right temp I'm looking for. An IR thermometer helps with this.

I don't need to use the bottom & top elements. The bottom does its job perfectly.

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Mike K.
posted about 2 years ago


Olek, each oven is going to be different. But, for the vast majority of ovens the biggest problem is getting enough heat. Stones act like batteries in this case. When you put the dough on the stone, they will discharge heat/energy. Using two allows you to get a better bake.

Anyways, enough theory.. Your best bet is to try a few different configurations and see which turns out best. Wait some time in between trials if you're doing them on the same day so the stones can get back to temperature.

Also, if you haven't purchased your stones yet, you might consider steels. They work quite well and heat up a little quicker. And they're more durable.

Let us know how it works!

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted about 2 years ago

Hey Raj!

Thanks for your reply. Do you have any particular steels in mind?

- Aleksander   about 2 years ago


Hey Mike,

Thanks for your help. I will test your suggestion.

I have been using fan + grill for several years. But I've read it makes pizze drier. That is why I wanted to try a new way.

Best regards,
Olek

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Aleksander J.
posted about 2 years ago


I just came upon this thread, Aleksander. I use two steels (bakingsteel.com, 3/8"), and where one upped my game the second upped my game even more. Even at 525 degrees (Wolf gas range), by moving the pizza from one steel to the other, there is a great reservoir of heat and my crusts are very satisfyingly crisp. There are three models: 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". Weight may be a consideration (I think our 3/8" weighs 22 lbs ). The reason I chose the 3/8" over the 1/4 inch is that the company recommends a 4-5 minute recovery time for the 1/4" steel. Now that I have two, there is a built-in recovery time (about 4-5 minutes on each stone during the bake) as one is recovering while the other is in use and two 1/4" steels may not need a recovery time, if you follow.... Consider your oven an instrument and use all of the strings/pedals to get the response that appeals to you: placement of the racks, which element (electric) to use, broiler, convection (if you have it). As Raj so correctly says, each oven is different, and in a few bakes, you will hone in on what combination works best for you. Cheers!

Ken K.
posted about 2 years ago


Hey Ken,

Honestly speaking, I have never heard before about baking steels. Could you tell me why it is better than traditional pizza stone?

I do follow what you mean about switching stones to get the crust crispier. I will definitely try that.

Thanks for your help.

Olek

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Aleksander J.
posted about 2 years ago


I keep the convection fan off. I find that I burn pizzas more easily with it on. Every oven is different though so it's a matter of experimentation. I also use two steels. They seem to do a better job browning and crisping the crust plus they heat back up quicker than a stone so you can cook multiple pizzas better.

Chuck W.
posted about 2 years ago

I have this feeling fan oven reaches a bit higher temperature than bottom-top heating. Or maybe it's just a feeling:)

- Aleksander   about 2 years ago


The baking steel has much better thermal conductivity than the stone--the heat transfers to the surface the steel is in contact with much faster than the heat transfers from the stone. And it's not even close. With the steel, you can get results that replicate a much hotter oven than you have. Here's a link to an overview from Modernist Cuisine: http://modernistcuisine.com/shop/baking-steel/

Adam Sachs
posted about 2 years ago

Thanks for your help!

- Aleksander   about 2 years ago


The steels are also much more durable. If you drop them you'll break your foot instead of the stone and maybe your foot. I have one of each (but that was because I had a stone first, and then got the steel. If starting from scratch I'd get a steel.)

I do remember seeing some people comparing the thick and thin steels once. They found the thick one did a bit better, but the general consensus from the people doing the testing was that it was a minor difference, and many preferred the thinner one because it was so much easier to move in and out of the oven. I don't think there was the middle option at that time.

Mark S.
posted about 2 years ago

Hey Mark,

thanks! I'll try it some day.

- Aleksander   about 2 years ago


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