The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to avoid heat loss with multiple pizzas

Hanzosbm's picture
Hanzosbm

How to avoid heat loss with multiple pizzas

My wife and I like to make Neapolitan style pizzas at home on occasion.  We've gotten pretty good at it from the dough and toppings and I've got a pizza steel which I love.  I just recently read about the broiler technique, which I intend to try, but what we've always struggled with is the second pizza.  It has turned into a bit of a war over who gets the first pizza as it's always better.  And, maybe with the broiler technique, the steel will get back up to temperature faster, but as it is, it's frustrating.  I'm curious how the rest of the members here handle this issue.

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

a few things I do...

1. keep an eye on the broiler element if you have an electric oven...it can cycle off once it gets up to a certain temp, and you may need to put a spoon in to keep the door open a crack to keep it going full blast.

2. put a stone under the steel and make sure the oven (and stone and steel) is very very well pre-heated at its highest temp prior to turning on the broiler.

3. space out the timing...we treat the pizzas like dinner courses...make, bake, eat...make, bake, eat...

Hanzosbm's picture
Hanzosbm

Regarding the spacing out of the timing, that would definitely make the most sense, however...the wife and I disagree on how we make our pizzas and neither of us are willing to give in.  ;-)

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

and a few additional notes:

I've tripped a fuse (or safety shut-off) in my electric oven with the above method...I had to go to our fuse box and turn the appropriate one off and on again...right back in business.

I've had too much of a good thing (heat) with the above, with some pretty severe charring from a super hot steel.  I now have the rack the steel sits on one or two slots below the top one in the oven...

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

Are you talking about turning on the broiler and placing the pre-heated steel on the top-most rack so as to give the pizza a blast of heat from both sides?

Hanzosbm's picture
Hanzosbm

Yes, more of less, although I wouldn't move the steel but rather just preheat it on the top rack, then turn on the broiler when it was time to toss it in.

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

Yeah, I wrote that in a confusing way, but that's what I had in mind. So, do you have an objection to allowing the steel to re-heat a little between pizzas? I think that's really the only way to ensure the steel is screeching hot. I don't think you'd need very long.

I suppose the other thing you could do is add more mass to your oven in the form of additional pizza stones/steel or cast iron cookware. That would act like a thermal capacitor. But the way you're cooking it, with such a narrow oven space, I'm not sure how much of an effect that will have.