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How are the results in pizza baking different between one baking steel using a broiler, versus baking the pizza on a lower steel with a second steel on a higher rack? Is one easier to control (less likely to burn the cheese or crust)? Does a second steel above the pizza do a good job at cooking the top? Does anyone have experience with that?

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    I think this may be dependant on what settings your oven has - whether for instance it has a 'fan-grill [broil] /rotisserie' setting, so you could pre-heat the steel in regular fan-oven mode, then flick to fan-grill to add top heat whilst also keeping the fan going.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 12, 2020 at 18:12
  • I have no idea what this question is asking, due to language barriers, is a steel a shelf? nope a rack must be a shelf so what is a steel (is it a baking tray)? what is a broiler? so many questions, so much time to go google
    – WendyG
    Mar 16, 2020 at 15:19
  • ahh a broiler is the grill, can't work out what a steel is.
    – WendyG
    Mar 16, 2020 at 15:20
  • @WendyG, in America, usually "broiler" refers to the upper heating element inside the oven. You bake with the lower element and heat with the upper element. To learn about the baking steel, you can read here: bakingsteel.com
    – aswine
    Mar 16, 2020 at 17:41
  • @aswine, the uk equiv to the baking steel is a baking stone, but that is a lump of pottery
    – WendyG
    Mar 17, 2020 at 11:55

2 Answers 2

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I would say that in most cases neither is that helpful. I have great success with one steel, placed at the highest possible elevation in the oven. Preheat for at least an hour, and allow the steel to recover for a few minutes after removing the completed pizza, and before adding the next one. I have found minimal to no improvement with a steel or stone above the pizza. Also, in my oven, turning the broiler on, means the heating from the bottom goes off. I also need to keep the oven door slightly ajar when the broiler is on, so I lose a lot of heat this way. I find I don't need the broiler with my set-up. It is less convenient for marginal gains.

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  • Just to clarify, are you saying you've tried 1) stone above, 2), steel above, and 3) broiler, and you don't use any of them?
    – aswine
    Mar 12, 2020 at 16:36
  • Tried stone above steel, steel above stone, and broiler (only have one steel and one stone). I prefer the set up I describe above for convenience and consistent results.
    – moscafj
    Mar 12, 2020 at 16:45
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I cannot check to make sure this is the correct video (at work), But one of Adam Raguseas many videos on pizza goes over this in detail. It depends on what your end goal pizza is (Chicago/New York/Detroit/Saint Louis) and also what your preference is. All the methods you describe work, but do not drastically change the what your pizza is like.

video in question

EDIT: i was misinformed about the video had, but will leave it because it is a helpful resource.

from my comment below:

I think he must have gone over steel vs stone vs cast iron and not touched on that. apologies! In my experience, cooking under the broiler will burn food faster that just the steel. In theory the steel should only radiate the temperature your oven is set too, while the broiler will get much hotter. I think you need to consider how thick you pizza is to get a proper answer. More heat for thinner pizzas (broil) and then for thicker pizzas, the two pizza steels method you described should perform better.

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  • I am fairly certain I posted the correct video, please feel free to edit my answer with the correct one if you find it.
    – sntrenter
    Mar 12, 2020 at 16:26
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    He doesn't mention using two steels in that video. He says that he sets his oven to 550°F on the "convection roast" setting on the second highest rack position. I'll see if he mentions it in another video. Thanks.
    – aswine
    Mar 12, 2020 at 16:34
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    I looked at this other videos and didn't see a mention of using two steels.
    – aswine
    Mar 12, 2020 at 16:43
  • ah, I think he must have gone over steel vs stone vs cast iron and not touched on that. apologies! In my experience, cooking under the broiler will burn food faster that just the steel. In theory the steel should only radiate the temperature your oven is set too, while the broiler will get much hotter. I think you need to consider how thick you pizza is to get a proper answer. More heat for thinner pizzas (broil) and then for thicker pizzas, the two pizza steels method you described should perform better.
    – sntrenter
    Mar 12, 2020 at 16:48

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