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Old 01-03-2009, 11:22 PM   #1
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Top of Pizza Burning

I have a 36" Wolf Std./Convection Oven with a pampered chef pizza stone. I made two different pizzas and both seem to cook the top of the pizza too fast.

Condtions were as follows. Oven set to Bake Stone 425 deg. The oven preheated for about 1 hour with the stone in it. The first pizza was cooked on the stone on the bottom rack, while the second was cooked on the rack second from the bottom (also on the stone). In both cases the cheese melted so fast and the crust never got crispy on the bottom.

Everything I could find on the web sounded like the higher you place the rack, the closer to the heat source your food will be. Wolf states the bake stone setting means 60% off the heat will radiate from the bottom of the oven, while 40% radiates from the top.

Any ideas on what to try next time?

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
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I am assuming you are making your own dough and stretching it quite thin - meaning the thickness of the crust is not the problem. When I make pizza, I usually preheat the oven for an hour at 550 which is my highest oven setting. In real brick ovens, temperatures are often higher than 1000 degrees. You could try preheating the oven with the stone, and at the moment the pizza goes in, close the door and shut the oven off? It seems your oven is extremely hot so it may retain the heat very well for the 8-10 mins that it takes to cook the pizza, plus your problem seems to be the pizza stone is not hot enough... perhaps your pizza stone is very thin and does not retain heat well. Never tried shutting the oven off, but it may work for you. Or since the oven states the majority of the heat is emanating from the bottom, then keep raising the racks until it cooks better. Again, the problem seems to be that the pizza stone is the problem, not the oven... thats my guess.

Another thing, do not put too many watery toppings on the pizza. Put a very thin light coating of sauce on your pizza as well.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:38 AM   #3
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Try putting the stone near the top of the oven while it warms up, then move it to the center and slide your pizza onto that. Also. what exactly is your crust like? Are you trying to do a thicker crust or a thin crust?
I know for mine I like to slide the crust onto the stone and cook for 10 minutes, then I add the toppings and finish cooking the pizza. I do it this was as that is what my pizza stone's directions indicated you should do to get a crispy crust.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:55 AM   #4
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Can you turn your oven's fan off? Could be that the stone just requires more heat than the cheese. I use a stone in my conventional oven. In my convection oven, I start the pizza on a pan with corn meal then switch to the wire rack.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:27 AM   #5
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You always want to cook with the stone in the lower third of your oven, especially if a gas oven. Always preheat your oven (sans the stone). You aren't saving any time or energy by trying to preheat them at the same time, and can technically void your warranty by doing so. (NEVER PREHEAT STONE IF COOKING A FROZEN PIZZA!).

When I'm making fresh pizza, I jack my oven as high as it'll go ... once it's hot, I slide my stone onto the bottom rack while I'm assembling the pizza on a peel (sprinkled with cornmeal). We used to have a huge Blodget oven in my parents restaurant, and we always made the pizzas right on peels and then slid them onto the oven floor. Toss a sprinkling of cornmeal onto the stone before you slide your pizza off the peel onto the stone. Both the peel and the stone will have a bit of cornmeal on them so you can slide one to the other without the dough sticking or losing shape.

I never bother with convection when I'm using my stones ... the idea of convection is to regulate temperature (and speed cooking), but once the stone absorbs the heat, there's no rushing the process. It'll radiate the air temperature, no matter if it's circulating or not. I've tested both ways and there's no appreciable difference, so why waste the energy? I find my oven has to work harder to maintain temp with the convection on.

How seasoned is your stone? Sounds crazy, but the worse it looks the better it cooks ... the more seasoning you can get on that stone, the nicer that crust will be.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:30 AM   #6
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Never knew about the convection part as I don't have one... just out of curiosity what kind of stone do you guys have? Mine was a gift so I don't know exactly who made it and had to borrow directions from the Internet, they are not very detailed to say the least as they have to be general...
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:37 AM   #7
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Mine are Pampered Chef (because I have sold them for 12 years, LOL). PM me sometime and I'll be happy to help with instructions. Biggest thing is no soap necessary (it'll just bond itself to the seasoning on your stone, giving you a stummy ache). Clean with hot water and/or baking soda, a stiff brush or pan scraper. Try not to use food spray (other than say Baker's Joy for muffins or brownies, etc.), stick with natural food fats from whatever you're cooking and allow to season through regular use. Preheat oven, bring ice cold items to room temp if you can before cooking, ideally having stone and food in it coming to oven temp at similar pace.

Frozen pizza is a whole 'nother monster ... I suggest letting it thaw a bit while oven heats. If it's not rock hard frozen, you can almost always get away with baking on a preheated stone without thermal shock (which can snap, crackle and pop your stone). Hence the 3-year warranty!
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMSeccia View Post
You always want to cook with the stone in the lower third of your oven, especially if a gas oven. Always preheat your oven (sans the stone). You aren't saving any time or energy by trying to preheat them at the same time, and can technically void your warranty by doing so. (NEVER PREHEAT STONE IF COOKING A FROZEN PIZZA!).

When I'm making fresh pizza, I jack my oven as high as it'll go ... once it's hot, I slide my stone onto the bottom rack while I'm assembling the pizza on a peel (sprinkled with cornmeal). We used to have a huge Blodget oven in my parents restaurant, and we always made the pizzas right on peels and then slid them onto the oven floor. Toss a sprinkling of cornmeal onto the stone before you slide your pizza off the peel onto the stone. Both the peel and the stone will have a bit of cornmeal on them so you can slide one to the other without the dough sticking or losing shape.

I never bother with convection when I'm using my stones ... the idea of convection is to regulate temperature (and speed cooking), but once the stone absorbs the heat, there's no rushing the process. It'll radiate the air temperature, no matter if it's circulating or not. I've tested both ways and there's no appreciable difference, so why waste the energy? I find my oven has to work harder to maintain temp with the convection on.

How seasoned is your stone? Sounds crazy, but the worse it looks the better it cooks ... the more seasoning you can get on that stone, the nicer that crust will be.
How do you recommend getting the stone seasoned. I have had mine for two years and it is still beige rather than that nice black-brown color. Should I smear it with lard or crisco, and then bake it solo?
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:25 PM   #9
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Yes I am making my own dough and its pretty thin. The dough does not seem to be raw, just a very white looking color. The pizza stone is a Pampered Chef stone and must be around 10 years old, it is quite thin. I have placed an order for a new one from King Arthurs and will post back updates with the results.

The pizzas are only topped with a thin layer of sauce and just enough cheese to cover the sauce.

When the oven is turned off, it actually stays on blowing its fans for awhile (maybe an hour).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven S View Post
I am assuming you are making your own dough and stretching it quite thin - meaning the thickness of the crust is not the problem. When I make pizza, I usually preheat the oven for an hour at 550 which is my highest oven setting. In real brick ovens, temperatures are often higher than 1000 degrees. You could try preheating the oven with the stone, and at the moment the pizza goes in, close the door and shut the oven off? It seems your oven is extremely hot so it may retain the heat very well for the 8-10 mins that it takes to cook the pizza, plus your problem seems to be the pizza stone is not hot enough... perhaps your pizza stone is very thin and does not retain heat well. Never tried shutting the oven off, but it may work for you. Or since the oven states the majority of the heat is emanating from the bottom, then keep raising the racks until it cooks better. Again, the problem seems to be that the pizza stone is the problem, not the oven... thats my guess.

Another thing, do not put too many watery toppings on the pizza. Put a very thin light coating of sauce on your pizza as well.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:30 PM   #10
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The oven is electric. The dial is set to bake vs. convection, however I do notice the fans are cycling in the back and top when in this mode, so it may be some type of hybrid mode.

The stone is pretty dark and nasty looking. :) It has never been washed with soap, just scraped clean. Although I did like the tip about using baking soda to clean it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMSeccia View Post
You always want to cook with the stone in the lower third of your oven, especially if a gas oven. Always preheat your oven (sans the stone). You aren't saving any time or energy by trying to preheat them at the same time, and can technically void your warranty by doing so. (NEVER PREHEAT STONE IF COOKING A FROZEN PIZZA!).

When I'm making fresh pizza, I jack my oven as high as it'll go ... once it's hot, I slide my stone onto the bottom rack while I'm assembling the pizza on a peel (sprinkled with cornmeal). We used to have a huge Blodget oven in my parents restaurant, and we always made the pizzas right on peels and then slid them onto the oven floor. Toss a sprinkling of cornmeal onto the stone before you slide your pizza off the peel onto the stone. Both the peel and the stone will have a bit of cornmeal on them so you can slide one to the other without the dough sticking or losing shape.

I never bother with convection when I'm using my stones ... the idea of convection is to regulate temperature (and speed cooking), but once the stone absorbs the heat, there's no rushing the process. It'll radiate the air temperature, no matter if it's circulating or not. I've tested both ways and there's no appreciable difference, so why waste the energy? I find my oven has to work harder to maintain temp with the convection on.

How seasoned is your stone? Sounds crazy, but the worse it looks the better it cooks ... the more seasoning you can get on that stone, the nicer that crust will be.
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