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The Baking Steel - Use on level ground - Pizza Fail

rtt121rtt121 Posts: 438
edited May 2013 in EggHead Forum
So I got my 20" steel in the mail today.

Have 2 big doughs ready after a 3 day ferment.  Going to make neopolitan.

I set her up on the XL raised about 1 inch above the felt direct.  (This is how I have been cooking all my pizzas.. stone raised direct)

The first one I threw on when the dome read 750.  This was also my first attempt with parchment paper which at first I really liked as I could be outside with the pizza ready to just throw on when egg was up to temp.  Cut to - It looked great from the dome... pulled it off in about 3 minutes probably around 675 dome temp during cook.  Pizza looked and tasted great.. the few pieces we could eat.  The parchment was incinerated into about 60% of the bottom.

The second one I went sans parchment.  This time dome temp was almost pinned around.. guessing 950.  Tossed the 14 inch pie on the middle of the 20 inch steel and closed her up quick.  A split second later I peer down the top to see how quick she bubbles up.  This is where it got wierd!

The pie literally looked like a puck on an air hockey table.  It was moving quickly and swiftly like on ice.  Slid right off the steel and smashed up onto the grid below.  Blew my mind at first but then I realized the whole egg was on bout 2-3* grade with the driveway. 

Sooo I wasted a ton of lump.. burnt my gasket (first pizza cook on the XL).. and I have no dinner :-(

Look close and you can see right where it slid off.

image
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Comments

  • FlyingTivoFlyingTivo Posts: 326
    You dont have to go nuclear, just 550-600º!

    Felipe
    Men, easier fed than understood!!
  • chris123stockchris123stock Posts: 664
    wow that sucks, I have never had parchment paper do that I cook all my pizza's with it? as for sliding off the steel parchment paper makes it slide but not on its own, of course I have only used a stone. I wonder if its the steel?
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 438
    edited May 2013
    It was the steel.  I had some garlic knots i threw on and they slid right off as well.

    @FlyingTivo - My dough is made to be cooked at these temps.  It is VERY wet.  550 wouldn't get it cooked.  Which makes it even crazier that it instantly slid like a puck.
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,991
    Your dough will still cook at 500-550. Just not in 30 seconds.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • CigarSmokinEggerCigarSmokinEgger Posts: 213
    edited May 2013
    Your dough will still cook at 500-550. Just not in 30 seconds.

    If he's out to make a Neo pie, then 500-550 won't cut it; temp and dough depends on the type of pie being made, there are differences :)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,041
    i dont think your going to have success with that style pie unless you put something inderect under the steel, the key to that pie is getting the dome hotter than the floor/steel. and oviuosly you have to level that thing
    :))
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,260
    Parchment is only good to about 650F. I try to use doughs that will cook OK at lower temps, as I'm lame with a peel and corn meal.

    If I'm recalling my MC readings, the hot steel transfers heat better than a stone, so the temps do not need to be as high. The original rec. for steel was for use in a home oven, so a large amount of heat could be transferred quickly in an environment cooler than a true pizza oven.

    My guess about the sliding is that the dough was hovering on a layer of steam.

    I'm still waiting for my steels. I haven't been very happy w. my pizzas, and am hoping they will improve at least a little.
  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    What are your plans next time?
    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • Fred19FlintstoneFred19Flintstone Posts: 4,430
    About the burned gasket: Maybe it would be better to raise your cook a bit? That's a ton of heat hitting the steel and spilling around it looking to escape. With your steel a mere inch above the gasket, it gets blasted with that heat. Just a thought.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • i dont think your going to have success with that style pie unless you put something inderect under the steel, the key to that pie is getting the dome hotter than the floor/steel. and oviuosly you have to level that thing
    :))
    I actually don't see how you can do Neapolitan style pizza using steel. Getting the cooking surface hot enough isn't the problem on the BGE. The difficulty is getting the cooking surface to be one temperature (about 750*) while getting the dome temperature to be much hotter (perhaps 850* or hotter.  Otherwise, the bottom and top of the pizza won't finish at the same time.

    It seems to me like steel actually makes it more difficult to achieve the proper temperature conditions for Neapolitan. Steel shines in home ovens where you generally can't get a pizza stone hot enough to get a good crust in a short time.
  • WokOnMediumWokOnMedium Posts: 1,376
    i dont think your going to have success with that style pie unless you put something inderect under the steel, the key to that pie is getting the dome hotter than the floor/steel. and oviuosly you have to level that thing
    :))
    I actually don't see how you can do Neapolitan style pizza using steel. Getting the cooking surface hot enough isn't the problem on the BGE. The difficulty is getting the cooking surface to be one temperature (about 750*) while getting the dome temperature to be much hotter (perhaps 850* or hotter.  Otherwise, the bottom and top of the pizza won't finish at the same time.

    It seems to me like steel actually makes it more difficult to achieve the proper temperature conditions for Neapolitan. Steel shines in home ovens where you generally can't get a pizza stone hot enough to get a good crust in a short time.
    Is your view on the use of a Steel in the Egg based on your experiences?  Have you had bad results, I'm still learning.  I don't know that I'll ever be shooting for temps that could result in a Neo (I like my eyebrows), but I've seen some folks getting close to the results of a Neo.  If your experiences are different it might be helpful to others quest.
  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    edited May 2013

    Have yet to see a true Neo done properly on an egg.  Thin crusts at high temps, yes.

    I like to call my pies Nearlypolitan, beyond a NYer, but not a Neo d/t the 4 min cook times.  Neo dough helps keep the burning down.  My subjective preference is a few charred bubbles, with browning, see below.  Also do not have to worry about the bands loosening.  Too many burnt spots gives it an acrid, bitter flavor IMO.

    True Neos are pulled off in 90 seconds, often times even less.

    Steel would get you closer to Neo than stone.  If you're balancing topping doneness and floor temps with a nuclear egg, the steel will decrease cook time by the more efficient energy transfer, catching up to the decreased time it will take to brown toppings.

    008.JPG
    3648 x 2736 - 2M
    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 438
    @cortguitarman what @cigarsmokingegger said.  It would cook.  But it would not be the pizza I am looking for.

    @fishlessman I am thinking you may be right.  Though my best results with a BGE stone in my Medium egg were stone direct around 900 degrees.  The steel I can tell already is a very different thing.  Experimentation needed.

    @gdenby good to know about 650.  I will use parchment for my oven pies.

    @focker Not exactly sure. I am thinking your wok and sand indirect setup.  Only problem is my wok is 16 inches and my steel is 20.

    @fred19flintstone Probably would have helped.  I was fully prepared to blow her out on this cook.  But I was expecting pizza out of it :-(

    @federalist226 We will see!



  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,242
    I use parchment at high temps. Just grab it with some tongs and yank it out after a minute

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 438
    @Focker

    If the the only difference between my pie and a true neo is a minute or two.  I am fine with that.

    Beautiful Nearlyneo
  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    I agree.  Keep after it my friend, you will get things dialed in.  Get in touch with RRP for a new Rutland on the XL. ;)
    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • brycosbrycos Posts: 137
    edited May 2013
    Hey Focker,

    how did thisimage set up work for you?


    edit: it didn't post the way I wanted. Hope this made sense.

    I'm thinking of trying something similar to get more radiant heat on top of the pie




  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,041
    brycos said:
    Hey Focker,

    how did thisimage set up work for you?


    edit: it didn't post the way I wanted. Hope this made sense.

    I'm thinking of trying something similar to get more radiant heat on top of the pie




    when i use the wok filled with sand, fill it to the top and put the steel right into the sand, no gap, it will work well for this
  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512

    @brycos,

    Had to raise the ceramic slightly from the pic posted because of oven spring.

    It is still a work in progress balancing dome, stone and steel temps for a longer preheat. 

    So far, results have been better without the stone. 

    I am optimistic, and will eventually figure it out.

    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,242
    You are way too frugal to buy a wok just for that. You used a boiler cover B-)

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    brycos said:
    Hey Focker,

    how did thisimage set up work for you?


    edit: it didn't post the way I wanted. Hope this made sense.

    I'm thinking of trying something similar to get more radiant heat on top of the pie




    when i use the wok filled with sand, fill it to the top and put the steel right into the sand, no gap, it will work well for this
    I've tried that several times.  What I have found, is the floor temp does not get high enough with the extra sand.  Less sand, around 10lbs, is a good balance of protection yet allowing the steel to reach proper ranges.
    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,041
    but your not shooting to break my record, 1200 dome and a 53 second pizza
    :)) it will get hot enough at those temps
    :))
  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    edited May 2013

    :))

    Yes, it would.

    :))

    Been up to around 1200 a few times, nowhere close to 53 seconds though.

    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • yumdingeryumdinger Posts: 173

    In another thread I reported my first experience with the Steel.  I Egged 6 pizzas Friday night for a party.  My set up was Placesetter legs UP, standard grate on top of PC then my DIY Extended grip 7cm (about 3") above the felt.  I used corn meal only no parchment.

    I preheated to 600, it cooled off to 550 after I put the pizza on the steel.  I checked the first pizza a few minutes into the cook and it was burnt in the area my egg has a hot spot.  I rotated it but it was too late.  the only thing salvageable on that pie was the center (crustless pizza!!! a new idea!) total cooking time was about 6-7 minutes. 

    I dialed the egg so it stabilized at 500 for my second.  I believe the steel also cooled to nearer 500 as well.  I kept a closer eye on the second pie.  I turned it so the hot spot did not wreak havoc again.  I think turned the pie every 90 seconds or so.  This pie took about 8 minutes, maybe 9 but it turned out perfectly.  SORRY NO PICS, big regrets here.  I was just too busy preparing pies and ingredients and manning the Egg.  My crust had very little if no charring.  It did have a golden brown color and bubbling on the bottom.  When cut, it was light and airy with a lot of small bubbles in the edge crust.  the bottom had a light snap to it like a very very thin cracker yet the rest of the crust was light and soft, cooked perfectly.  The crisp was just supportive enough to hold the weight of the pizza slice when picked up off the plate.

    The cheese had some browning on the edges but not too much in the middle.  I repeated this process for the next 3 pizzas. 
    I am a big fan of slightly browned cheese.  The last pizza was a buffalo chicken made with Chicken breast I cooked on the egg earlier in the day.  i wanted to try and brown the cheese a bit more.  I lowered the dome to 500 and let the pie stay in a bit longer.  The result was the same crust and a uniform browning of the cheese across the entire pizza.

    Biggest lesson Learned for a larger Pizza cook like this?  I need at least 2 peels.

     

  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 463
    i dont think your going to have success with that style pie unless you put something inderect under the steel, the key to that pie is getting the dome hotter than the floor/steel. and oviuosly you have to level that thing
    :))
    I actually don't see how you can do Neapolitan style pizza using steel. Getting the cooking surface hot enough isn't the problem on the BGE. The difficulty is getting the cooking surface to be one temperature (about 750*) while getting the dome temperature to be much hotter (perhaps 850* or hotter.  Otherwise, the bottom and top of the pizza won't finish at the same time.

    It seems to me like steel actually makes it more difficult to achieve the proper temperature conditions for Neapolitan. Steel shines in home ovens where you generally can't get a pizza stone hot enough to get a good crust in a short time.
    Careful.  I brought up the same points in the baking steel group buy thread, and it seemed no one was interested in hearing that the steel was a solution to a problem the egg did not have.

    I think if you could rig a setup where you had a stone on the bottom and the steel about 4 inches higher than the stone you might have a good Neapolitan oven.  The steel would radiate a bunch of heat to brown the top, and the bottom would cook fine on the stone.  But again, the challenge would be getting the stone and the steel at the right temps at the same time.
  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,512
    Even when I have went past 1000, it just isn't enough time to brown the toppings with neo dough.  When I launch the pie at peak burn for the lump(dome of at least 800 and climbing fast), the extra time evens things out. 
    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • CaptpabloCaptpablo Posts: 50
    I do a lot of pies as well. Like Focker mine are nearlypolian.  Always Indirect with placesetter and stone on. Stone needs  30 mins > before the first pie.  Target dome is around 600-  650 plus. I like 700 but they cooks too quick. there is a balance.  also I never use parchment paper. A little cornmeal goes a long way. My dough is typically all purpose King Arthur with water, yeast, salt and high quality olive oil. I know this is not DOP standards, but I find the crust tastier and more pliable for toppings. The end result is a crispy bottom with a slight chew. Typical cook time is < 6 minutes. I don't feel I am going to get better pizza at 1000 degrees. I would need to make a change in the dough.
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