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Lessons Learned

JodyMoJodyMo Posts: 46
edited 11:02AM in EggHead Forum
Egged my first pizza last night and it was an experience. Quite a bit different from cooking meat.
It went OK, but certainly not great. Some of the things I learned were:
Stabilize the temp with the pizza stone for a while before putting the pizza on (found myself working to keep the temp in a range)
After seeing the burns on the bottom of the crust, I can almost guarantee they were caused by using firebricks- they prevent the stone from heating evenly (will follow several others' advice and seek out a plate setter)
It doesn't take much corn meal to do the trick.
Don't make the crust too thin.
Start early![p]Those are the main lessons I learned last night.
It was fun, and I am pumped up about trying again...

Comments

  • BobbyGBobbyG Posts: 67
    JodyMo,
    Thanks for sharing. My wife just bought a premade pizza crust for us to Dr. up with our favorite fixings. I have a pizza stone and was planning on setting that directly on the cooking grate. Do you think that would work Ok ? Also, what temperature would you reccomend I cook at?
    thanks,
    BobbyG

  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    JodyMo,[p]I agree with almost every you noted, except perhaps, crust thickness. I cook a pretty thin crusted pizza on the Egg. The key I've found, is cooking them at 650, and doing so pretty quickly (4-6 minutes). Great pizza, and fast to boot.[p]Whatever you decide, enjoy your pizza. When done well, they can be quite the crowd pleaser.[p]--sdb
  • JodyMoJodyMo Posts: 46
    BobbyG,
    I cooked at 550, but sdbelt recommends a higher temp in the next post. You know, setting the stone on the grate will probably give you an even heating, but I am afraid the height of the stone will be lower than the lower lip of the egg. That would make it hard to get it in and off for sure. The pre-made crust will probably give you a chance to get used to the other aspects. I made my own crust and it made for a busy night!
    Good luck...

  • JodyMoJodyMo Posts: 46
    sdbelt,
    I will definitely try a higher temp next time. I wonder if I let my yeast fully rise. That may have had something to do with it. Do you use 'Rapid Rise' yeast or plain old 'Active Yeast'? I just went with the plain stuff, and that may have had an effect.

  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    JodyMo,[p]I've always used rapid rise, but then I still try to give the dough a half day to rise in the fridge. On a pizza cook day, I'll make the dough in the morning, and then cook it for dinner. I'm really not much of a dough/bread expert, but I have found this to work well for me.[p]Good luck,[p]--sdb
  • TomTom Posts: 189
    JodyMo,
    the platesetter pizza stone combo works great. Ive dont 4 pizzas that away now and other than my first pizza I have had great results.[p]Tom

  • JodyMoJodyMo Posts: 46
    Tom,
    Sounds like a must.
    Hey, I noticed you used that Papa Johns sauce recipe.
    What did you think?
    Worth trying?
    Nice site.

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    bbac2.jpg
    <p />JodyMo,[p]I have to disagree with some of your comments. If your crust is burnt -- why do you then think you need more preheating? My guess is you need less preheat or more ceramic under it. Remember, the stone heat cooks the crust and the dome heat cooks the toppings. You need to balance the two and there are many wasy to do it.[p]I have done only 1-2 dozen pies on a set of firebricks w/pizza stone and maybe 3-4 dozen on a plate setter w/stone (which I still use). I could see NO difference in the results, the setter is just easier and faster to setup. [p]Some here have gone to lower temps for pies, but I still use 550° with 2 sets of ceramic barriers (bricks or setter or 2 stones). [p]Pictured is my 1st firebrick setup back in late 1998 (thanks C~W) for the idea. Just set the pizza stone on the firebricks as shown. I doubled one side to add some stability to the stone on top, you don't need it. [p]
    Tim


    [/b]
  • JodyMoJodyMo Posts: 46
    Tim M,
    That is a good point.
    When I set my bricks up (3), there was a good amount of space between them. What you have looks to be more solid, giving a more even heat. I don't know that I need more preheating as much as I think I need to stablize the temp better. Your idea that I over-pre-heated is very possible, too. This being the first one, and not turning out that great, left me trying to figure out what I could do to make it better.
    How many minutes would you say you preheat your stone?
    I will give your method a try. Thanks

  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    JodyMo,
    The thing I prefer with the plate setter/pizza stone combo is it raises the level of the pie going on the stone, making it easier to take off.
    I've always used the higher temps...600+ range. Let the stones heat up for at least 20 minutes. The thin crust will cook quicker than the thick but it all depends on your tastes.
    Just means you have to cook again! By the way, how'd you make your dough?

  • Mike OelrichMike Oelrich Posts: 544
    JodyMo,[p] You could also just use two pizza stones, one on top of the other on top of the fire bricks. I think the consensus here is that you need something a bit thicker than just a single pizza stone between the fire and your pie.[p]MikeO
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    JodyMo,
    I have found that different types of dough require different heats. Spin, as I recall, does his at 600-650? I do the unbaked pies from my local pizzeria at 500-550. I do freezer pizza like DiGiorno at 400-450. But that's what's fun, getting to try it over and over! Got any dogs? They'll love you for trying so hard![p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    JodyMo,[p]Good luck with it, you need to try different times/temps and preheats. Like Whiz said, doughs are all different and require different times. I have been lucky that my stone and setter or brick combo has never burnt a crust for me. I have made a few that are rock hard but not burnt. I preheat about 10 min but I let the setter stay in all the way to when I add the stone. [p]To stablize easier, try this. Open the bottom vent and place on the slide daisy top and open it wide up. There, that is your setting for perfect pizza at 550-600° It will go up to 650° but it takes awhile and you can get 2 pies done in 12-14 min each (big pies 10-12"). [p]Tim
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