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Herbie J - Alabama

Pizza Steel Experiment

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I tried Dennis’s recommendation of using a pizza steel. It made a great pizza. The crust was excellent. I used a 3/8” thick 16” diameter pizza steel. I was at 475 degrees for about 1 hour on the 32BB before adding the pizza. I also used parchment paper to help slide the pizza on and off easily.

With the setup, I also used the 32BB pizza stone and inverted the KK pan with the pizza steel on top of the pan.  So the pizza was cooked between the elevated pizza steel and the bottom of the pizza stone.  See photos of setup.  

I used a temp gun and checked a few areas prior to the cook.  The pizza steel was trending around 625, the bottom of the pizza stone 575, and the top of the pizza stone 525 with the 32BB at 475 degrees. 

It took 6 minutes to cook the pizza. I also cooked a pizza on top of the pizza stone as a comparison, it took 9 minutes to cook and was good but lacked the char and extra crisp on the bottom of the pizza. 

The pizza dough is Neapolitan style homemade recipe from  “Glen an Friends Cooking”. 

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Anytime there is browning involved I suggest using the upper grate.. this puts your food closer to the heat coming off the walls/ceiling.  I'd also suggest trying putting the baking steel directly onto the grate without anything between it and your fire.

If adjusting the heat does not get the top bottom balance you need, then you can shield the bottom with something to reduce the baking steels's heat while increasing the top heat.  Of course what you want is to find a temp that the crust gets the leoparding you want and the top browned just right.  If you find the steel too hot at the temp that cooks the top how you like.. even adding some foil underneath the baking steel on the main grate will reduce the steel's temp.. you don't necessarily need to block all the direct hot air,  covering up half the area will drop the temp less than the whole steel of course so you can fine tune.... 
Have fun post photos! 

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This has been my setup along the line Dennis suggests. Baking Steel on upper grate preheated at 550 on the dome thermometer with Grill Grates beneath as a heat deflector. Now that I look at it again, seems I got pretty even top heat on this. Think I'm gonna go make me a pizza...

 

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Definitely an interesting setup. Never thought of using my Grill Grates as a heat deflector but it totally makes sense. Going to try that idea soon. 

 

Other than low-n-slow or grilling, most everything I cook on the KK - side dishes etc... Are always cooked on the upper rack. It just does a better more consistent cook. (not totally related but thought I would mention it) 

 

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I’m not sure it’s even of all that much benefit in an oven. I like Tiny Gemignani and The Pizza Bible (far more so than Forkish’s Elephants of Pizza), but have never seen a need for the second steel. One in a KK or oven makes an awesome crust. Can’t imagine the baking steel shuffle really improves on it. 

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Interesting. I’ve been using the stone on the highest rack. I’ve lately been experimenting with a heat soaked stone around 650 and using 00 flour. I was shocked to have my last pizza bottom burn after two minutes. Anyone here have an idea why my 00 flour crust would burn so quickly?


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My first try on the pizza was with all purpose Italian flour. Then I found 00  at my locally. It made a superior crust compared to the all purpose. I like the efficiency achieving these results in 6 minutes at 475 degrees.  Notice the water content in “Glen and Friends” recipe is 60% and was rested four days in the refrigerator.

  • 500g (100%) high protein flour (’00’ Pizza Flour, Bread Flour, Strong Flour)
  • 15g (3%) course salt (sea salt, etc)
  • 55 (1%) traditional active dry yeast
  • 300g / 300 mL (60%) water at room temp

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8 hours ago, sfdrew28 said:

Interesting. I’ve been using the stone on the highest rack. I’ve lately been experimenting with a heat soaked stone around 650 and using 00 flour. I was shocked to have my last pizza bottom burn after two minutes. Anyone here have an idea why my 00 flour crust would burn so quickly?


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What is your dough recipe? When shooting for higher temps (higher heat transfer rates), add-ins that promote browning need to be removed from your dough: oil, sugar, malt. Note that most flours produced in the US have added malt. A basic dough needs only flour, water, salt, yeast. A superior dough replaces commercial yeast with sourdough (IMO).

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What is your dough recipe? When shooting for higher temps (higher heat transfer rates), add-ins that promote browning need to be removed from your dough: oil, sugar, malt. Note that most flours produced in the US have added malt. A basic dough needs only flour, water, salt, yeast. A superior dough replaces commercial yeast with sourdough (IMO).


I follow Ken Forkish recipes from his book. It was 00 imported from Italy, instant dried yeast, water, and salt.

Not sure why it happens as it occurred twice out of last four cooks. Yesterday I cleaned my stone with baking soda to get any leftover char off. I’ll see what happens next time.


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