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My oven has been broken about a month, and I am getting a new one delivered Saturday. But in the wake of a failed pilot on the bottom, I was curious about whether the broiler could replicate the baking conditions of standard use. I set up my pizza stone as a heat shield/sink, and ran the broiler for about thirty minutes. By the end of that time it had reached a pretty stable 350'F.

For the purposes of generic casseroles, or roasting vegetables, would the heat produced by the broiler via the pizza stone work the same as the lower heating element? Would I need to include some water to evaporate or anything else to make adjustments?

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Did you try moving the thermometer to see how much the temperature varied from top to bottom? –  Jefromi Mar 1 '12 at 18:15
    
@Jefromi good question, I did not. I am hoping to try this again tonight and will do so. I can see the heat shield creating a radiating effect, is it possible that it would have a cyclical effect? –  mfg Mar 1 '12 at 19:19
    
Is the broiler on continuously? If yes, then you'll approach steady state as the stone heats. If it cycles, then you'll have temperature cycles of the same frequency with their amplitude damped by the stone. And you would of course expect temperature to depend on height - I'm just not sure how much. –  Jefromi Mar 2 '12 at 20:50
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This is a solid idea. I would recommend another heat sink below your cooking area as well, perhaps on the bottom of the oven. That should hopefully provide a suitable oven-like environment. You also may want to consider foiling the top of your top heat sink, if you are still getting uneven temperatures at the top.

Neat idea. I hope it works out for you.

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