I got a new pizza steel yesterday and tried it for the first time last night. I preheated the steel in the oven for well over an hour at 550 F.
After the hour of pre-heating, I checked the surface temp of the steel, and the dead-center temp came in about 637 F.
The steel was positioned on the shelf second down from the top.
About 20 minutes prior to putting the pizza in the oven, I switched from 'bake' to 'broil', and I left the oven door open a bit to keep the broiler elements going without a power cycle. I also left the door open a little bit while cooking the pizza.
I put my pizza in the oven and set the timer for about 1 minute.
After the first minute, I checked the pizza and it still didn't seem like it cooked very much. There was absolute NO browning of the crust
(top or bottom). So, I gave it another minute, and then checked it again. Still, no browning. The oven was going. The broiler coils were going, but the pizza just wasn't seeming to cook.
All in all, it took about 5 minutes before the crust showed any signs of browning.
I find this very strange because I've been using a stone for several years and have gotten much better (and faster) cooking results using the stone than I did with this steel.
When using the stone, I usually keep it positioned on the top shelf, which is about 3" away from the broiler elements, but I can't imagine that the steel being one more inch away from the broiler would make such a difference.
The pizza dough was made using KAF Bread flour @ 65% hydration, and fermented for about two hours.
As I mentioned, this is how I usually do this and have seen much better results using a stone.
So, maybe some of you can offer some insight as to why the pizza would take longer to bake with a steel than with a stone.