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I put a sheet of tinfoil at the bottom of my oven to catch crumbs because I cook pizzas on the rack all the time. This is ruining my pizzas though, because when the top is done the dough is still gooey. Should I raise the pizza higher? Use a different material? I donno if a pizza stone is an option... I often get papa murphies pizzas which say to cook in the tray and are usually quite large (16"), but am willing to try breaking the rules if someone has some good experience with other methods.

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you can cook frozen pizzas and such on a pizza stone rather than however the package says. They are better that way. –  justkt Nov 17 '10 at 14:39

4 Answers 4

I would probably go ahead and get a pizza stone. Even if you don't want to bake your pizza on it, you can just keep on the floor of your oven (unless you have exposed coils/burners there, in that case, go with the lowest rack).

The pizza stone is easier to clean, and as an added bonus, it'll improve your oven by keeping a more even temperature in there.

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I am a big fan of "on the stone pizza", but it has also it drawbacks. If @Dan is used to cook his pizza on the rack, he will find that the "heat capacity" (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_capacity) of the stone take its price in preheating time and energy consumption. –  belisarius Nov 17 '10 at 11:41
    
@belisarius - you don't have to store the pizza stone in the oven, and while it does take longer to heat up in there, the resulting pizza is significantly better. –  justkt Nov 17 '10 at 14:38
    
@juskt Of course! The best pizza. Here in Argentina we use to cook pizza in a barbecue over the embers. That's great too. –  belisarius Nov 17 '10 at 14:46
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Sure, you don't have to store the stone in the oven, but it will give you better overall oven performance, even if you're not using it to cook directly on it. –  Magnus Nordlander Nov 17 '10 at 17:11

Tinfoil is reflective so it bounces the radiation part (probably not the convection) of the heat transfer back to its source. That's why tinfoil is used to protect meats from browning in the oven and also the reason why the thermos flask inside walls are mirrored (or plated? ... my English is awful)

You may experiment with a thin sheet of another (probably ferrous and non-reflective) material, taking care of heating it in the oven very well before putting your pizza in.

This is an example of the correct use of tinfoil,
clearly opposed to your objectives. alt text

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Never thought about this, but a good solution would be the grill insertion covered with baking paper. –  RBloeth Nov 17 '10 at 8:35
    
@Augenfeind I don't claim generality, but in MY oven the grill insert is shaped in such a way that almost impede convection. –  belisarius Nov 17 '10 at 11:43
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That is... highly disturbing. I think I would be reluctant to eat that. –  Aaronut Nov 17 '10 at 18:14

In my house we use a pizza stone all the time. Pizza, biscuits, bread. It's the only way to get our oven to cook the top before the bottom side is blackened. It cleans very easily too. Much like cast iron, it becomes seasoned and is as good as non-stick by now.

It will take longer to cook. Where the time on pizzas before was roughly 13 minutes and the bottom would be the most cooked, now it takes 16 minutes and everything is cooked evenly.

Coincidentally, I just saw this question after putting a pizza in the oven. 9am is a good time for pizza.

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it takes longer? What temperature do you do your pizza at? –  justkt Nov 17 '10 at 14:44
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Are you pre-heating long enough? If the stone is all the way up to temperature it should actually cook the bottom of the pizza faster because it's directly transferring heat (conduction) rather than the convection of hot air. A convection oven might behave as you say, but I don't know for sure. –  bikeboy389 Nov 17 '10 at 19:40
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The stone should be preheated with the oven. –  Sobachatina Nov 18 '10 at 17:00

Use parchment paper, instead of tin foil.

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at the bottom of the oven? That does not seem safe. –  justkt Nov 18 '10 at 2:34
    
It handles quite high temperatures. –  bmargulies Nov 18 '10 at 12:39
    
Parchment paper is used in baking as a replacement for pans, so yes, it can handle the heat. Now, what happens if it curls up and touches the heating element, is up for experimentation... –  Cyclops Nov 29 '10 at 20:39
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Parchment paper says (says) it's only good until 450 in the oven. I personally use it up to 550, but I wouldn't use it directly on the oven. –  justkt Nov 22 '11 at 17:39

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