The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking steel using broiler only

MattBaker's picture
MattBaker

Baking steel using broiler only

Correct me if I'm wrong but a broiler in the US is the same as a grill in the UK right? typically a electric heating element or flame at the top of the oven that gets very hot.  

 

My oven has a separate grill compartment about 16" at the top and I had an idea of using it to cook pizza's using a baking steel.  

 

 

 

 

 Has anyone ever tried this? I don't see why it wouldn't work.

 

 

The surface will obviously get nice and hot, and I imagine it would also heat the entire piece of steel.  My only concern is being electric grill, it's not like you can just switch it on and off like a flame it stays hot for a long time.  At highest temp I think it will be too much for the top of the pizza. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

manderz's picture
manderz

It's a very common technique home cooks are using! check out the bakingsteel website for recipes or any of kenji lopez-alt's pizza recipes!

Vince920's picture
Vince920

But I'm not quite confident about it.

One scenario might be the top would burn already while the bottom is still cooking.

Try baking a small loaf of bread shaped like a pizza to test it. See if it browns too much on the top before the bottom is even remotely cooked.

Also, if the oven lets you, broil it with the convection fan activated. It might work more identical to a turbo broiler (which I currently use for baking everything).

As for the terms, I doubt that "broil" is "grill" in the U.K. Our electric oven had both grill and broil options. The broil option activates the top heating element while the grill option activates a separate grill element.

MattBaker's picture
MattBaker

I've never seen broil on a UK oven only grill which is a top heating element.  These are usually either in the main oven,  or like mine you can have  the grill in separate compartment.   

 

My my main oven doesn't have a grill, however I still get good enough browning  on top from my American style Papa Johns clone without it. 

 

If for whatever reason the top doesn't cook enough, I can simply throw it under grill for a few secs to brown the top.  

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I don't think 'broil' exists in the UK, actually. Check out this link (scroll down to "cooking methods").

If you get it really hot and then turn it off there should be enough heat in the steel to cook a pizza. After all, pizza is done in a wood fired oven often after the fire has gone out or been removed, but the baking surface is at around 900 degrees. It's not like pizza takes a long time to bake!

MattBaker's picture
MattBaker

I found out Heston Blumenthal has a recipe where he uses a cast iron pan that he puts upside down and puts it under the grill  (broil) and adds pizza to to that.

Even found a video for it here

 

In Search of Perfection S1E5 Pizza