The Homemade Pizza Thread

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peebee

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A pizza steel
I was disappointed to find a "pizza steel" isn't supposed to be effective until above 270°C (a bit higher than a standard UK oven)? But as my oven operated with a US "broiler" style element and got up to 320°C it was working a treat anyway.

But running a domestic oven at that sort of temperature is a bit dodgy. The surrounding discolouration suggests "burn yer house down" so I upgraded to a small built-for-purpose oven. It has a stone ... 40mm thick! Taking a bit of getting used to (heats to 500°C!) but at least the house is safe from unplanned conflagration.
 

roboto

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The steels are good at domestic temps as they give up their heat to the dough more readily, so the pizza cooks quicker and therefore more closely in style to a 'proper' pizza oven. This is most important for Neopolitan style pizza where you don't want it to dry out too much, but is less important for Roman or Chicago style pizza.

Probably best to avoid steel at super high temps though (a la Ooni or BBQ) as it'll just burn the bottom as it's too hot - as I found out from experience.


I've got an old oven with a leaky seal and 45 mins of preheating at 250 will cook a pizza happily. Takes 5-7 mins depending on how thin I get the base and crust, and how many toppings go on. I flip on the grill/broiler for 2 mins at the end too crisp up the top and brown the crust if it needs it. If I'm cooking more than one pizza I just leave the oven empty with the grill on for a few mins until I've prepped the next one so that the steel warms up a bit.


TLDR; In my experience a baking/pizza steel is the best way to cook a pizza in the style that I like in a regular oven.
 

peebee

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I was disappointed to find a "pizza steel" isn't supposed to be effective until above 270°C ...
Damned if I can find that article now. Supposedly from the guys that championed "steels" (note steel, not cast iron). No reference, no credibility! There's plenty of folk saying steel gives satisfactory performance at 250°C, so go with that! My pizzas did cook in 2-3 minutes at 320°C which suggests a glimmer of credibility, but I never loaded my pizzas too much. The new oven at 450°C cooks the same pizzas in 90-100 seconds!

Still the new oven (Effeuno) needs 35-40 minutes pre-heating which was somewhat disappointing (it's still a hefty bite out of my "green" credentials).

The faster they cook, the more authentic the results. The slower they cook, the more like biscuit you end up with (though some folk will prefer "biscuit", so don't knock it). What is "authentic" anyway? I had plenty of soggy pizza in Sicily that I wouldn't give tuppence to have again.
 
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How do you find the Ooni?
I can cook great pizzas on it. I got the smallest one that only burns wood pellets. The option of gs might have been better. With the wood pellets you have to keep feeding them to get the temperature right.
Using it is an occasion with everyone choosing their toppings for their individual pizza and then helping to cook it.
 

Thebiggestal

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My wife bought me the basic fresh grills pizza oven. I made a few mistakes but had some good results. Much cheaper than an ooni but defo worth picking up.
 

Hanglow

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If you want char on the base of your pizza you need to match the cooking surface to the temperature (and all those other variables - dough recipe, using a grill or not etc)

So the higher the temperature, the less thermal conductivity you want the material to have

Aluminium>Steel>Cordierite>Biscotto saputo etc (made from a type of clay)

Plus there are a bunch of other materials like soapstone, lavarock, firebricks have variable conductivity depending on their composition etc

Steel or cordierite would be best for most home ovens I think. If you want to do a lot of bread baking as well I think a reasonably thick cordierite kiln shelf is a good option.

Or you can make some pretty good pan pizzas without any stone imo


I did a reheat the other day of a WFO pizza I froze. Added a **** ton of extra toppings, it was pretty filthy :laugh8: That was just reheated/cooked on a cheap pizza pan for 12 minutes @200c, it already had char from the wood oven
pizza.jpeg
 

DavidDetroit

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With a stone, in a regular oven, the pizza gets cooked on the bottom. Without the stone, the bottom lags far behind which was my problem for years and that inspired me to get the stone.
From reading here, a pizza steel is likely better but I've had fine results with the stone.
Regardless, I'll revisit with/without stone and experiment with rack location.
 

peebee

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So...these steels or more so the "round metal pizza trays with holes" that I use...should I be pre heating them?
This is what I've been using:

61NdTH-zhJL._AC_SS450_.jpg

You wouldn't want to drop one! Don't even think of moving them when hot! I got mine from Amazon, but these ones have been priced at something astronomic now. 32 cm x 8 mm (Pizzastahl); that's a big chunk of steel! I understand that "steel" is a lot different to using cast iron (for some reason :confused.:). Don't know how well they work with gas? If you have a gas oven (your piccie has a gas hob), I can imagine gas is very tricky for pizza (it creates a lot of water)?
 

Clint

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Fine, fine looking pizza.
How's the bottom browning in relation to the speed that the top browns?
Top done, bottom raw was a problem for me back in the day.
Well...I learned a lesson. Assembling and cooking the pizza with no cheese,just tomato base,made the dough go really crisp. I added cheese to mine later then put it back in the oven to melt. I will do this from now on. I also used some semolina on the work top for shaping the dough.
As for the pizza...absolutely the best I've ever had including takeaway stuff. Curried chicken is epic!
 

Northern_Brewer

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Curried chicken is epic!
Don't forget haggis pizza for Burns Night in two days time!
(haggis pizza is a thing that you certainly used to be able to get from supermarkets in Scotland, don't know if you still can. Classic fusion food....)

And to go with it - haggis beer!
 

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