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My first pizza - just so-so

Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
edited 1:15AM in EggHead Forum
Did our first pizzas on the egg Monday night and, while they were good, they did not turn out quite like I expected. I brought my large egg up to 650+, then added the plate setter and pizza stone and let them come up to temp for about 15 minutes. Then I put on the first pizza, a DiGiornos supreme, and started counting the minutes: 5 min, 10 min, 15 min - finally after 20 minutes I took it off and cut it. It was ok - good in fact, but the center could still have used more cooking - the pepperoni had not crisped up around the edges like I like. However, the edge was pretty brown - a little too done for my taste. The second pizza, a DiGiornos 4 cheese dr-ed up by my wife, went on right after the first. It took only about 15 minutes and was a bit better than the first - more uniformally done and less browned on the edge. Way too much pizza for the two of us, but I was experimenting. These cooking times seem awfully long at that temp, especially the first pizza. Is it because they were frozen? Should I have thawed them out first? Does it take the plate setter/pizza stone longer than 15 min to come up to temp? And how do you get the center good and done without burning the edges? Thanks for any tips from all you Eggsperts. Next time I want to make our pizzas, but I would like to get it right first.

Comments

  • Gator1Gator1 Posts: 37
    Steve-O,
    You did better than I did!
    Jim

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Steve-O,
    Spin and I experimented a little with DiGiorno. Maybe Spin will repeat his recommendation about a grid, but what I did was use the pie frozen, and use the times and temperatures on the box. I let the pizza stone and plate setter heat up for 30 minutes, because I want them to be at a steady temperature and not still getting hotter as the cook proceeds. I think Spin also recommends using the time and temp on the box, but also using a grid between the pizza stone and the pie.[p]That said, most people say to go 650 if you make home made dough like Spin's recipe. I have found that 500-550 works best on the unbaked pies that I get from my local pizza joint. I have also found that 450 seems to work best on DiGiorno. So, you will need to experiment.[p]Another thing you will find is that, assuming you have heated the stone to a stable temperature, the first pie will brown more than subsequent pies. Obviously, the stone cools somewhat from having the pie on it. If you keep doing pizzas without letting the stone heat back up, you will get less browning on all your subsequent pizzas. Someone here reported a pizza joint technique of taking a damp rag and rubbing the stone to cool it off a litte before the first pie. Then, as long as you keep baking pies, you don't need the rag, but if you let the stone get hot again, use the rag again before doing another pie. [p]I hope some of this helps!
    TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,936
    Steve-O,
    I had the same experience on my first DiGiornos Supreme (our favorite) at the lower temperature. The next time I took the advice offered by some friendly eggsperts and bumped the temperature up to 600 and let the stone temperature rise with the dome temperature. I also think it helps if the stone is conditioned a bit. Mine looks like crap now but works much better than when new. The second thing is that I take the pizza out of the freezer and let it sit for a few minutes rather than put it on directly out of the freezer. I think that made the biggest difference. Plus, I rotate the pizza half way around after about 8 to 10 minutes to keep the crust from being burned on one side. I also noticed that if I try to leave the Daisy Wheel off for any period of time the bottom will be cooked hard while the ingredients are still trying to reach the proper color. I figured all the heat was hugging the sides of the dome right out the top, thereby creating a dead zone and leaving the area on top of the pizza at a much lower temperature. By keeping the Daisy Wheel on the heat is trapped and gives an even cook. [p]My advice is to keep trying and when you get it just right you will be happy with the results because it really does make better pizza than a stove.[p]Good pizzaing[p]Spring Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

  • Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
    Spring Chicken,
    I began to think the very same thing about the heat just zipping up the sides and out the top, so near the end of the cook I put the cap on and let it set for awhile. Are you still able to maintain 600-650 with the daisy wheel on, and how wide open do you keep it?

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    Steve-O,
    I believe that Spin has recommended in the past that you leave the bottom vent wide open and regulate the temp with the daisy wheel. I think you can easily get a large hot fire up to 650 with the daisy wheel/slider in place.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 9,936
    Steve-O,
    What The Naked Whiz said is true. I leave the bottom vent wide open. But before I broke down and got the Daisy Wheel I used my ceramic snuffer cap with equal success. I just kicked it back on the top vent and let it go. Then toward the end I would completely cover the top vent. By closing the top vent you are affectively retaining all that heat inside and doing a "dwell" just like you would on a good steak. Makes sense when you think about it. [p]The good thing about using an Egg is that when you finally figure out what works, it will work every time (unless you partake of too much spirits in the meantime and forget what you are doing like someone I know - me).[p]Pizza is not on my diet list at the moment but in about 20 more pounds it will be again. Maybe I can remember all this when that time comes.[p]Have fun.[p]Spring Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

  • Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
    The Naked Whiz,
    I will try it that way next time. On Monday I did just the reverse - had the top wide open and regulated from the slide vent. It was really interesting to watch how just a slight movement of the slide vent affected the temperature - the egg seemed very responsive to small adjustments at those high temps.

  • JodyMoJodyMo Posts: 46
    Steve-O,
    My first pie didn't impress me either.
    But you really need to make your own.
    I am not sure you will ever pull a frozen pizza off that will impress you. I am averaging about 6-8 minutes cooking times now at 650. The last few have been knockouts. Keep the faith - and take the plunge! Make yer own!
    JodyMo

    [ul][li]Jodys Pizza Page[/ul]
  • Tanker TimTanker Tim Posts: 68
    Steve-O,[p]I may be wrong here, but aren't DiGiorno's pizza's supposed to be put in a cold oven with out the pre-heat?[p]If you are making regular pizza on the egg with a plate setter and pizza stone, I know from personal experience that the last four or five pizzas are usually the best.[p]When we do pizza, we make three batches of dough and get three to four pizzas per batch depending on how big they're made.[p]I put the plate setter/stone on as soon as the fire is started, and once the egg get's up to 500 I let everything heat up for 15 or 20 minutes. The first couple of pies are O.K. but from the fourth one on they are AWESOME! If you are going to make pizzas make a bunch, the longer the stone has to absorb heat the better the pies turn out. [p]
    Doing pizza is alot of work, but it's worth it. [p]Good luck,[p]TT[p]

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