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Pizza in a convection oven?

sacle's picture

Hi all -- I'm new here.  I have just moved into a new house with all sorts of kitchen bells and whistles.  One thing we got is a GE combination convection wall oven with a microwave/convection oven above.


I've been having trouble cooking frozen pizza in the main (convection) oven.  I've tried various temperatures, various rack placements, and all, but still the pizza is cool -- sometimes almost raw! -- in the center.  Any suggestions?  Do I need a pizza stone or something?  


HELP!   We have pizza almost every Sunday night, and if I don't figure this out I might have to slave away in the afternoons!  :))


Susan

MadMom's picture

(post #34038, reply #1 of 14)

Hi, Susan, and welcome to CT.  First, I never try to cook pizza from the frozen state, but if you're buying premade pizzas, that might be the way it's done.  You need to try the pizza dough from FC #49.  I freeze little flat patties of dough, batches of roasted tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings.  By the time the oven is preheated, it's all thawed out.  But...I digress, and didn't answer your question.  I would definitely say you need some sort of pizza stone.  People here use Hearthkits, flat stones, or even untreated tiles from Home Depot.  Also, be sure you're giving your oven long enough to warm up.  Set the temperature and let it come to heat and hold it for maybe half an hour before you try to cook the pizza.  You might want to try an oven thermometer to make sure it's coming to the right temperature.  I'm not familiar with your particular oven, but can you just use a normal bake rather than a convection?  That might resolve your problem.



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Aberwacky's picture

(post #34038, reply #2 of 14)

Make sure the oven has had a chance to preheat for awhile (20-30 minutes) so that it's really gotten hot enough. 


I have cooked frozen pizzas on convection in my GE convection oven with no problem.


Have you tried cooking anything else in the oven? 


Leigh


Cooking is messy.  Deal with it or stay out of the kitchen.

"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
-Leo Tolstoy
wishiwasachef's picture

(post #34038, reply #3 of 14)


Sacle – I have a combination convection/standard wall oven. I find that the convection is fantastic for roasting poultry and roasts, baking batters but not good for reconstituting anything. I would try using the conventional setting for frozen pizza with no special stone. If you go with fresh pizza dough, I would go right back to convection.


Convection cooking is a challenge… When you get it right it is great, when you blow it… well, it can be disastrous. I have never looked to deep into it but it sounds like we both could use a great convection conversion cookbook. Post if you find one and good luck!

Glenys's picture

(post #34038, reply #4 of 14)

"a great convection conversion cookbook"


There really is no such thing because unless microwaves that measure power, convection ovens vary to the point of almost being unique with each brand.  Then there's also true European convection versus a convection fan in a radiant heat oven. 

wishiwasachef's picture

(post #34038, reply #6 of 14)


Yikes, I might never purchased mine if I knew each oven was unique and there were not standard rules. I have a KitchenAid that has the fan. It did come with about a 100 pg. Cookbook with a roasting and broiling cooking table but not one for baking. What is does do is give baking times and temperatures for using convection vs. standard cooking for the recipes included in their book.


What I am trying to get at is that if I have a standard baking recipe, is there any rule of thumb on converting the cooking and temperature times to convection cooking?


For example, Chocadamia Cookies: convection bake at 325 for 9 minutes or standard bake at 375 for 9 minutes. That is a HUGE difference… So, I find a recipe I want to make for say Fall Apple Cake with standard cooking times and temperatures and I want to save time and energy by using the convection setting…. What is the conversion…?


Maybe I need a mathematician, which I am not, instead of a Chef, which I am not. Any additional input would be greatly appreciated.

MadMom's picture

(post #34038, reply #7 of 14)

The standard advice is to set the temperature about 25 degrees lower than your standard recipe calls for, and it should bake in about 25% less time, but I would check earlier to make sure.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

wishiwasachef's picture

(post #34038, reply #9 of 14)

Hey Ms. MadMom - Do you know if that is just for baking or also for general cooking?  Either way, thx. for the info.  I think you are right on the money for the baking.

Glenys's picture

(post #34038, reply #8 of 14)

Every manufacturer has a recommendation by I still stick to what I've found works best and it will be personalised to your needs. First select three items you've always roasted/baked, use the same pans and same temperature as your old oven or as you've always done. Use the conventional radiant mode first. Check the results by time and "doneness". Remember to preheat the oven and have it at the desired temperature for at least 15 minutes before baking.
If you use a recipe you've not tried before, you have no benchmark on results. Now that you've tried radiant heat (if this is an option) you can test the convection mode.
I like to test a roast rather than a chicken since I can insert a thermometer and read as it's cooking. If you've always been great with a roast, do what you always do but let the thermometer give you an exact measure of "doneness". Guessing won't help; time isn't an exact measure of doneness.
Baking requires more precision in temperature so we need to follow a trustworthy recipe. Changes pans will also change results so that should be noted as well.
I find most recipes have the temperatures set too low for most pies, scones, roasts, chicken etc. I keep the temperature higher and on convection for the results I like.

wishiwasachef's picture

(post #34038, reply #10 of 14)

Yikes, thx. for the info!  I have had great luck with roasting and broiling all meat, fish, veggies and chicken with my convection oven.  It is the baking that I am trying to perfect.  I have cheescake, apple pie and pumpkin pie down but  flounder when a new dessert recipe with a standard cook time and temperature comes along.  I am going to go with MadMom"s suggestion as well as, as everyone says, tweak it to my own oven.  You guys are great!  Thx. for your input.

sacle's picture

(post #34038, reply #11 of 14)

Thanks to all for your suggestions.  I sifted through all the responses to my original question, and tonight when I did our usual Sunday night pizza, I cooked it in my convection oven, but on a preheated floor tile from our recent construction.  Wow!   I think the tile was the answer!  It really worked, and the center of the pizza was nice and hot and crispy-crusted like the rest of it.  So that's my answer to a pizza stone.


I still haven't mastered all the ins and outs of regular --> convection cooking, but I'm getting there!  :)))


Susan

TracyK's picture

(post #34038, reply #12 of 14)

Yikes! Is it an unglazed floor tile? Are you sure it's food-safe?


I'm all for using tiles in place of overpriced commercial stones, but only if they're OK to use with food!


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

sacle's picture

(post #34038, reply #13 of 14)

<<Yikes! Is it an unglazed floor tile? Are you sure it's food-safe?>>


Good grief!  Never thought of that.  And that pizza was darned good......  :)


Guess it's back to the drawing board, but it WILL be with some sort of tile!   Thanks for the heads up!


Susan

TracyK's picture

(post #34038, reply #14 of 14)

No problem! Unglazed quarry tiles (made in the US or Canada, not in Mexico) are a good bet. :-)


Welcome to CT, by the way!



CT poster in bad standing since 2000.


Edited 3/19/2007 1:34 am ET by TracyK

Ballottine's picture

(post #34038, reply #5 of 14)

a great convection conversion cookbook.


Like Glenys said, there is  no such thing, however, not that long ago,  when I was new to  convection I got Beatrice A. Ojakangas' book: Cooking with Convection.  Books, subtitle is: Everything you need to know to get most from your convection oven.


I found it very helpful.  The book is available in paperback. I like  Ojakangas a lot and I enjoed a number of her recipes very .Bal



 


So much to cook; so little time.


Edited 3/12/2007 11:47 pm ET by ballottine

 

So much to cook; so little time.