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Dialing In Your Blackstone Pizza Oven – Different Temperatures For Different Pizzas

Dialing In Your Blackstone Pizza Oven

Have you ever wondered why pizza tastes better at a restaurant?

Although you can get restaurant-quality results at home with some dishes, making restaurant-quality pizza at home can be challenging. But it shouldn't be.

Homemade pizza is often destined to mediocrity simply because the oven in your kitchen isn't powerful enough to get the same results as at a pizzeria. Sure, your home oven can get the cheese to melt and the pepperoni to curl. But it just doesn't have the power to bake a crackling crust - blistering on the outside yet pillowy, chewy, and airy inside.

A Blackstone Pizza Oven will get professional results without buying a pizza restaurant.

Know your dough

The three most common styles of pizza to make at home are New York style, Neapolitan style, and pan pizza. But did you know that different dough styles should be cooked at different temperatures?

If you think about it, cooking different styles of pizza at different temperatures makes sense.

New York pizza should be thin, foldable, and rigid from the crust to the tip of the slice. Cooking New York-style pizza anywhere between 475-600°F for 10-12 minutes will give you a crust with plenty of structure and without splintering when you bite into it.

Neapolitan pizza should be pillowy and soft around the edges, yet chewy in the center. The ingredients in Neapolitan pizza dough can stand up to extremely high temperatures. Made only from flour, water, salt, and yeast, it thrives when cooked at 700°F. But Neapolitan pizza dough can tolerate heat up to 925°F. The results are a distinctively puffy pizza around the edges with leopard-like spotting, cooked in under 2 minutes.

Pan pizzas like Chicago-style deep dish, Detroit-style pizza, or Sicilian-style pizza should be dense in some places and airy in others, with enhanced crust flavor from where the dough is in contact with the pan. Some are thick like focaccia bread but remain airy by cooking at a lower temperature. 450-475°F is the sweet spot for pan pizzas, which can take up to 45 minutes to cook. Restaurants typically coat the pan with a thin coat of butter or oil, giving the pizza bottom an almost fried consistency. The lower temperature allows the bottom to brown beautifully without burning.

The power of the preheat

Preheating your Blackstone pizza oven is one of the most important steps for getting pizza night started properly. It requires minimal effort and can even be worked into your pizza-making routine, so there's no excuse for not preheating your oven.

Before you begin preheating, it's important to check two things.

It should go without saying, but check your gas tank and make sure you've got plenty of fuel to get you through dinner. There's nothing more disappointing than having to get more propane moments before you're ready to have pizza. Running out of fuel is never a good time, so consider keeping an extra tank around for good measure.

The other thing worth checking is your pizza stone.

Use a sturdy metal spatula or scraper to scrape away burned-on food that may have accumulated during your last cook. It's not uncommon for cheese and sauce to leech onto the stone along with bits of food. If you run your hand over a cool pizza stone and can feel burned-on bits, they need to be scraped down and removed. Those burned bits will give off acrid flavors that can be harsh tasting. They also act like Velcro and raw pizza dough loves sticking to it. Eliminate these little hazards and you'll start your pizza cook ahead of the game. You can flip your bottom stone over in the Blackstone Pizza Oven and use the cleaner underneath side as well.

The great thing about preheating is that it can happen in the background while you're getting ready to start cooking. Depending on weather conditions, most gas ovens take a minimum of 15-30 minutes to get preheated and fully heat-soaked.

While the oven is preheating, use that 15-30 minutes to allow your dough to come to room temperature, which will make it easier to stretch than dough directly from the refrigerator. The preheat time is also a great time for you to arrange your sauce, grate cheese, slice toppings, and have them all arranged for when it's time to start building pizzas.

Fanning the flames

Have you ever hooked up a fresh propane tank only to find out that it's just not heating properly, the way it always has in the past?

Propane is a wonderful fuel for outdoor cooking. It burns hot, it's affordable and can be found at most grocery stores. Propane is flammable and fail-safes are in place so we can burn propane safely in grills, pizza ovens, and other outdoor appliances.

One of the biggest frustrations when using propane is that often when you replace an empty tank with a full one, the flames are a fraction of how powerful they normally are.

This is not your pizza oven or grill malfunctioning. This is a fail-safe designed to engage for our safety when using propane.

When you replace a propane tank, you close its valve completely and then unscrew and remove the hose connecting the tank to your appliance. The full tank then gets attached to the hose connecting to your appliance. To allow the fuel to travel from the propane tank to your pizza oven, the main valve must also be opened.

But don't open it too quickly!

Opening the main propane valve too quickly signals to the tank that all of the fuel is ready to be released. Propane tanks have internal safety functions that know this is not normal behavior.

But the safety mechanism is a good thing. If this were a real malfunction, it would prevent the propane from leaking out immediately, causing a dangerous situation.

You will know that you've engaged this safety function if when you ignite the oven, the flame is small and powerless.

Fortunately, correcting the small flame and resetting the propane tank's safety mechanism is simple. Completely shut off the main valve on the propane tank, and then unscrew and remove the gas hose that connects the tank to your appliance.

This will close the drawbridge and allow fuel to flow normally the next time you connect. When you do re-connect, be sure to open the main valve extremely slowly, turning only a few millimeters at a time until at least a quarter turn. 

Pizza is always a crowd-pleaser and once you've mastered dialing in your Blackstone Pizza Oven, you'll be on your way to making restaurant-quality pizza at home that will leave the local pizzeria in the dust.

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