Hubby said he'd get my old, beloved pizza stone cut down for me to fit in the Gagg oven, so along with the pizza steel in one, I could utilize both cavities for last week's big pizza feed. Unfortunately, he thought he could do that just minutes before the crowd arrived, forgetting or not thinking that it would have to heat for an hour or more to be of any use. That meant I enlisted the help of the special, Gaggenau baking stone and element again, giving them another chance to prove their worth.
Kitchen forum friend JC thought there might be something amiss with my Gagg stone, because of the white crusts I got on previous pizza baking outings. So this time, I had Prince CuddleBunny fetch the infrared thermometer Hubby got in a goody bag at a conference. After preheating for well over an hour at 500, the surface read about 500 degrees. So I'd say the element is doing its job.
Speaking of temperature, that is part of what makes the competition between the Gagg stone and the baking steel a little bit of an unfair fight. The steel bakes pizzas well at higher heats than the stone does. I need to keep the stone at about 475 when I'm baking pizzas, but the steel can stay at 500.
As you can see from photos I took well into the pizza feed, I wasn't getting equal results from the different surfaces.
The first "pop"...Just 2 or 3 minutes in, shortly after the pizza hits the hot, hot surface:
|On the Gaggenau stone and element set|
|The great rise on the baking steel|
And the baking steel pizza is beautifully done in about 8 or 9 minutes,
while, at that same point, the Gaggenau pizza stone pizza needs an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
That means the steel put out at least 3 pizzas to the stone set's 2. My guess would be that I baked 8 pizzas on the stone, and 13 better ones on the steel.
I'm done. The Gaggenau baking stone set loses again. It's not worth my time (and the muscles to heft it around) for that result, and even though I got a deal at the time I bought the oven, it still far more than the price of a baking steel or other stone options, and wasn't worth the expense. I still hope Hubby gets to cutting down my formerly favorite stone, and then I can compare it to the steel. I've missed using the double oven to its full capacity to make pizza!