20 questions and answers about pizza steel

What is a pizza steel?

The pizza steel is like a pizza stone, only much better: more and faster heat, indestructible, easy to clean. Pizza stone was yesterday.

How does a pizza steel work?

The pizza steel can store large amounts of heat and release it very quickly when needed. As a result, it can bring heat to where it is often missing in a normal kitchen oven: under the bread or the pizza. It delivers the heat 18 times faster than a fireclay brick or pizza stone. So far this has been the alternative of choice.

A pizza steel in the oven changes everything. Its thermal mass improves the oven with each use as it stabilizes the oven temperature.

What can I use a pizza steel for?

The possible uses of a pizza steel are diverse. In the oven, it is particularly suitable for pizza, bread, rolls, and the like. In addition, the pizza steel in the oven dramatically increases the thermal mass, which reduces oven temperature fluctuations with each use and leads to better results.

The pizza steel can now be used to grill things on the grill that used to have to be in the aluminum tray, such as vegetables, scampi, asparagus, and much more. However, our favorite BBQ dish on the pizza steel is smash burgers, juicy, flattened patties with a lot of flavor.

Who needs a pizza steel?

The pizza steel is like an upgrade for the household oven. Every hobby cook, gourmet, bread baker will be amazed by the pizza steel effect. The feedback from our customers, from Feinschmecker Magazin, Quarks and Co. , cooking shows on WDR5 and ORF2 is clearly and consistently positive.

Does everyone really need a pizza steel? A baking sheet is probably enough for the frozen pizza from the supermarket. But otherwise, you benefit from your pizza steel every time you use the oven.

Why should I bake on a pizza steel?

The baking of bread or pizza traditionally takes place in large ovens, with pizza often at higher temperatures than our normal small kitchen ovens can reach. The floors of these ovens store a lot of heat in fireclay bricks or metal floors. They are superior to our kitchen ovens in many respects.

For pizza, pizza steel can compensate for some of this disadvantage by putting the heat where it doesn’t go in the kitchen oven: under the dough. As a result, there is more oven spring and the bottom becomes crispier.

With bread there is another important effect. The pizza steel increases the thermal mass of the oven. The greater the thermal mass, the less the oven temperature drops after the bread has been loaded. The constantly high oven temperature is important for the oven spring, which gives the bread its volume and shape.

For cost reasons, modern ovens are often built with a low amount of metal and are lightweight. Therefore, their thermal mass is low. This means that every time the oven is opened, the temperature of the oven drops, and a new heating cycle is started. The thermal mass of the pizza steel helps keep the temperature of the oven high and constant.

What is the difference between pizza steel and pizza stone?

The main differences between pizza steel and pizza stone are the thermal conductivity and heat storage capacity. Steel can absorb a far greater amount of heat for the same size, and it’s also able to release it much more quickly. The energy transfer is about 18 times greater with mild steel than with a pizza stone. Baked goods get much more heat from below than on a stone or a baking tray.

It is often heard that a pizza stone can absorb moisture from the dough due to its porous character, making it crispy when baking. This is a wrong assumption. At the high temperatures of the pizza stone, moisture evaporates immediately.

The pizza stone also has two other disadvantages. It is harder to clean if cheese or fat has landed on it. And the pizza stone likes to break. Above all, this happens with rapid temperature changes. The resulting tension causes the stone to crack. Let’s not even talk about dropping the stone. The pizza steel, on the other hand, is indestructible and a purchase for life.

How do I bake on a pizza steel?

A pizza steel is like a superpowered baking tray. It is important that it has already been heated up with the oven. The baked goods can be placed directly on the steel or placed on baking paper.

For pizza, the pizza steel should be in the top third of the oven. A position four to six inches below the grill’s heating coils works well. If the pizza burns too quickly from above, you can also do it a little deeper. Tip: you can place a regular baking sheet deeper in the oven to catch loose cheese or other ingredients that might fall off the pizza steel.

For bread or rolls we recommend a position in the lower third of the oven. Then there is enough space above for the bread. Tip: a baking tray on the floor of the oven can also help with steaming by pouring water on it.

Do the baking times change with a pizza steel?

In general, the baking times remain the same as specified in the recipe. The difference lies in the heat distribution for the baking goods. The heat doesn’t change from above.

How do I care for the pizza steel?

Since the pizza steel consists of largely unalloyed steel, i.e. iron, it is in principle susceptible to rust. It should be treated like a cast iron skillet. Gradually a dark patina layer forms. This very thin patina protects the iron from water and oxygen and thus from rust.

The pizza steel is delivered pre-treated. It is very lightly rubbed with linseed oil. When used for the first time in the oven, this is burned-in and forms the first layer of the patina. With each additional treatment with oil and use, this patina becomes more intense and thicker until the steel appears black.

The patina does not like water and soap. Baking residues are best removed with a ceramic hob scraper. That works reliably. If it does become necessary to clean the pizza steel with water, you should immediately dry it intensively and rub it lightly with oil again.

We recommend linseed oil for care. Linseed oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids and is the only “drying” oil. This means that it polymerizes with atmospheric oxygen and forms a dry layer.

Rubbing with oil works best with paper towels. In the first step, the oil is applied very thinly so that there are no more gaps. Then wipe off the oil with fresh kitchen paper. This leaves only a very thin layer of linseed oil. This is enough to protect the pizza steel.

What do I have to consider before using the Pizzastahl for the first time?

The Pizzastahl is delivered pre-treated with linseed oil. It is therefore immediately ready for use.

If the patina formation is to be accelerated, the steel can be rubbed very thinly with linseed oil or another oil and preheated in the oven for at least 45 minutes at maximum temperature. This also burns it in.

How long do I have to preheat my pizza steel?

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The preheating of the pizza steel depends on the use. In our experience, it is best if the pizza steel is preheated together with the oven. As soon as the oven has reached the target temperature, it is still worth waiting until the steel is also completely heated. Some modern ovens reach their target temperature after just 10 minutes. An additional 15 minutes for the pizza steel is a good recommendation.

If several pizzas are to be baked in a row, we recommend waiting 30 minutes after the oven has reached the target temperature. TIP: an infrared thermometer helps to measure the temperature of the pizza steel in the oven.

Is it worth buying a Pizzastahl?

Buying a pizza steel is a game changer for anyone who loves to cook and bake. The pizza steel dramatically improves baking in your own oven. Rolls and bread get a brown, crispy bottom. The pizza crust is finally crispy. Due to the increased heat transport, the oven spring increases. The weight of the pizza steel increases the thermal mass of your oven, ensuring a more consistent temperature with every use.

The versatility of the pizza steel also opens up new possibilities when grilling, such as plancha, teppanyaki, and smash burgers or frying bacon and pancakes on the induction field.

The pizza steel is indispensable for every enthusiastic hobby cook.

How much does a pizza steel cost?

The cost of steels for baking varies greatly depending on quality, size and thickness between 30€ and 200€. You can get inexpensive sheet metal from the steel dealer for your own further processing for 30 to 60 €.

High-quality products, such as our pizza steel, involve a lot of manual work, for example sanding and grinding. This processing is very important to us so that the product is safe and clean and also feels good to handle. Our development work and research ensures that our customers are very satisfied with the performance of the pizza steel.

Why is the pizza steel sanded?

Our pizza steel is made of pure steel with a thin layer of linseed oil to protect against corrosion. Only sanding offers the possibility of a smooth surface and the complete removal of impurities such as mill scale.

A smooth surface expands the possible uses, such as plancha, teppanyaki, and grilling. Other methods such as sandblasting create a rough surface with irregular indentations.

What is mill scale?

When the hot steel is rolled into slabs in the steel works, a firmly adhering, brittle, blue-black layer forms on the steel, the mill scale. It consists mostly of iron oxide, but also other dirt from the steel mill that is rolled into it. Ideally, this layer on the steel looks nice and smooth, but whether you want to cook and bake on it is up to you.

Many cheap suppliers of baking steel offer simply cut steel plate as it comes from the steel mill.

The iron oxide of the mill scale conducts heat significantly less than pure mild steel, which is why our pizza steels are sanded to achieve optimal performance after the mill scale has been removed and to guarantee the necessary food safety.

What should I look out for when buying a pizza steel?

Three things play a role in the purchase. Quality, processing and safety

In terms of quality, you should make sure that the steel is 8mm thick. The surface should be sanded or blasted and free of mill scale. It is essential for safety that the edges are smooth and ground down to avoid cutting yourself.

What material should a pizza steel be made of?

Most baking sheet steel is blue steel or mild steel. These are unalloyed steels that are mostly used for steel structures. We recommend a bare unalloyed steel without mill scale. We tested and searched for a long time until we found our steel.

How thick should my pizza steel be?

The thicker the steel, the more heat it can store and release later. Thickness also has a direct impact on weight, price, and preheating time.

We tested many variants when developing the pizza steel. A thickness of 8mm is ideal for most customers. The thickness of 8mm means that our square pizza steel weighs around 7kg. That’s a weight that’s already heavy, but still manageable.

With each baking process, the baked goods withdraw a lot of heat from the steel, which has to be absorbed again. Our tests showed that 6mm is not sufficient if a thick pizza or several thin pizzas are to be baked in a row. The bottom of the second pizza wasn’t as brown and crisp as the first pizza. For people who only want to bake one pizza at a time, 6mm may be sufficient.

However, 8mm thickness delivered significantly better results and offers the best weight-performance-price ratio for almost all applications.

Where can I get a pizza steel?

Of course you can get the original Pizzastahl from us. In the meantime, however, there are also other suppliers or steel dealers. If quality and safety is important, make sure the steel has been sanded or blasted to remove mill scale. Only then is the surface pure steel without any residue. Many cheap suppliers do not do this and only sell cut steel plates as they come from the steel mill.

Pay attention to cleanly deburred edges, which are best sanded down again or have a phase. Sharp edges make working with the pizza steel dangerous and unsafe.

Where can you have a pizza steel cut to size?

There are many suppliers from whom you can order steel sheets made to measure. You usually have to deburr these steel sheets yourself. This means that the sharp cutting edges still have to be ground down. And if you want to be sure what you’re baking on, you should sand off the mill scale on the steel.