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Old 03-02-2009, 02:06 PM
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Default Another question

This should be an easy softball for someone to hit the 50k over the fence. My fist pizza's I had the hearth a little over damn hot. The bottoms tended to get burnt pretty easy. Yesterday I had the hearth down to 700 deg. The bottoms were fine but I was well over a 90 second pizza. So the question is; what is the optimal hearth temp for cooking pizza?

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Old 03-02-2009, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Another question

I couldn't tell you.
You shooting the temps with a gun?

I usually cook about 3-4 minute pies! I do know my hearth cools quickly when I cook.
Are you spreading your fire and coals around, and letting the whole oven moderate after firing... then adding more wood to get some good flames while cooking>?

Plus I felt like padding this 50k thing and finding out who has won!
I'm hoping it's a noob.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Another question

Les, my pies bake in 90 sec. or so- I spread my coals over the floor for a little while and then push them to the side. I do move the pie around a bit- as I need to turn it I move it a little. I haven't had the bottom burn. If it's getting to the point where the bottom looks good but the top doesn't, I usually pick it up on the peel and hold it up near the dome to broil it a bit...

I don't know what the hearth temp is, though. I haven't made pizza since I got my IR thermometer. I'm guessing 800+, though. I let it get REALLY hot.

How thick are your pies?
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Another question

Elizabeth,

I spread the coals out after I go white. Last night I let it sit like that for about 10-15 minutes before the first pizza went in. I was a little hot. About 20 minute later I cooked the last one then shot the temp (Dave, it is with a gun) - 705 was the reading. The dough is about an 1/8 inch thick in the center. Next time you cook one, check the temp - I'd be curious what it is.

Thanks,

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Old 03-02-2009, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Another question

My oven floor reads about 750 degrees and the dome at that point is usually 850 to 900. The first pizza comes out superfast and usually one part of the side of the crust is black cause I'm not fast enough to manage it.

That's usually a 90 second pie.... or less. After that I don't push the fire around much and the longer we cook the longer it takes to cook - which seems to mesh well with the intake of wine or beer.....

Not sure why, exactly, but the pizzas seem to get better as the night goes on. It might also depend on how we layer the ingredients - I tend to put the onions or pine nuts on last as I want them to get as much heat as possible. cheese seems to be a good insulator (until hot stuff drips on your hand)

We've had to crank up the fire for a second wave once and had ok results - we started cooking again when the fire was perhaps a little to big We rushed it for sure.

I'd have a better answer if your wine bottles were not getting done on the bottom.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Another question

Wine bottles??? I don't recall seeing that anywhere in the recipes... sounds a bit.... crunchy.

I saw this really cool cheese board recently, made from a wine bottle someone had made flat. How hot do you reckon the oven would have to get to do that??? And how do you keep it from sticking to the floor???
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Another question

Elisabeth,

A quick google says it's around 2700 deg F. As far as sticking - I think that's way above corn meal

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Old 03-02-2009, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Another question

Didn't christo slump a wine bottle in his oven?
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Another question

I like 850 degrees for pizza. Much hotter than that, I start having trouble with the tops and edges burning in the last few seconds before I pull the pizza out. I've had way more "failures" at 725 - 750 degrees compared to pizzas made above 800.

I've quit spreading the coals across the floor once the dome clears. I build my fires in the middle and make an effort to build the fire wider as I add wood. After about 45 minutes of heating, probably 80 percent of the floor is covered by fire.

Once I push it to the side, the floor is generally around 925ish degrees. I throw a couple of smaller logs/sticks on the fire and walk away for about 10 minutes. Usually, the floor is right at 850 by then. Rarely am I really ready to throw a pie in at the right time, but one or two are almost prepped.

If my floor gets down to 750 or below, I start adding wood to the fire and get the flames licking completely across the dome. About 3 -4 minutes later, the floor is back to 850 and I'm up and running again.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Another question

Well I guess the Fire/Floor Temperature advice has been beaten to death.
Of course we all have different ovens. You'll find the optimum temperature for you when you find it. No sooner.

Ingredients are a HUGE factor when sticking food next to fire. If you want a 90 second pizza, it has to be just water, flour, salt and yeast or preferment. It has to be thin and sparsely dressed. If you add oil to the dough, that will accelerate the cooking and certainly cause it to burn. Too many topping or too much sauce will cause it to be mooshy and undercooked.
A lower temperature 700 to 800 will give you more time to play around with the pizza. This is my experience with my oven. The dynamics in smaller ovens may dramatically different.
Before long, your oven will be cranked up and you'll be sticking your hand in your oven for no more than TWO MISSISSIPPI. Then confidently toss in a pie and pull out a beauty.
Good Luck!
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