ROC Baking Steel vs Stainless Baking Steel

McCain’s Pizza

When we say ‘we make pizza’ do we mean taking McCain’s Pizza from the freezer and heating it up in the oven? Is so, then I’ve been making pizza since I was a teenager and I’ve returned home after my cooking journey.

If not, then I started my cooking journey after watching season 2 of Ch10’s MasterChef.

Image result for masterchef australia season 2
2012 Season 2 – Channel 10’s MasterChef Australia

You know the one with the awesome Adam Liaw.

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Adam Liaw,
Season 2 MasterChef Austraila Winner

In one of Gary and George‘s master classes, they show the contestants how to make pizza from scratch. The 00 type of flour, the fresh yeast, the ratios. They mixed the dough, let it rise, rolled it out. They reduced the tomatoes, then baked the pizza on a terracotta stone in his home style oven for 45 minutes. It looked so delicious and we at home were all happy with the results as the contestants awe and ahh whilst munching on their pizza slices with cheesy smiles and cheesy strings hanging on their cheeks.

It was these munching sounds and saucy cheesy faces that started me on my journey into home made pizza. My personal cooking journey, has been one of making the foods I loved the most, pizza, burgers, chips, pasta, donuts. And later sourdough breads, wholegrain, salads and low processed foods.

Since then a lot has changed. I did research and learnt a lot about cooking and equipment/tools. I started to see the marketing hype, the gimmicks, and and some innovation. At Roc, I try to leave out the hype and gimmicks and aim for it to work; to be durable, non toxic, and sustainable.

To be honest, I have never tried baking with a pizza stone and I’m alright with that. I can’t recall if I tried the recipe that Gary offers in MasterChef but these days it looks dated (especially the 14 grams of yeast for 700grams of flour…and the 45min cooking time…it’s a lot of yeast and a long cooking time by today’s standards).

I went from a cookie style thin baking steel sheet trays (1mm thickness) which left the underside of my pizza soggy to 1cm thick steel for baking pizza and I’ve always been satisfied with the results.

Over the years, I have seen discussions about whether there’s a material that is better than low carbon steel for baking pizza and sourdough? I have had home bakers request the ROC Baking Steel in stainless steel and even copper. Some because they want to know if they can get even better results and some because the don’t like the way steel, if left exposed to water and air can rust. (Tip: keep it oiled)

I’m not going to go into the minute details of why I just keep baking with a thick slab of low carbon steel instead of stainless or copper, but here is the summary;

Copper has high conductivity but it doesn’t have as much heat capacity as low carbon steel and this doesn’t give the results we want when baking. It’s super fast at moving heat but doesn’t store it for long and it’s reflective finish also limits its radiant heat. (Article link)

Stainless steel doesn’t rust but it also doesn’t emit as much Infra Red radiation due to its shiny surface and IR is really important when it comes to pizza and bread. Unless you want to put a black paint coating on it then Mild steel wins again.

Do we need to go for stainless or copper? No not really. Why not? Because low carbon steel works so well. Use the money saved for good quality ingredients.

I’ve been using low carbon steel for nearly 10 years now and it hasn’t let me down, and I’m not the only person doing this, have a look at the reviews from our customers on insta and facebook too. With the right methods and equipment you can cook your pizza in 5 mins in your home oven and in most cases it can be better than your favourite pizzeria. And if you are cooking a McCain’s frozen pizza then it also helps to take it to the next level and ensure you don’t end up with a soggy base.

Send me a message and comments or recommendations for new articles/videos.
Happy baking

Peter

Founder of ROC Baking Steel

P.s. I found the clip from Masterchef. The good ol days! (When everyone loved George 🙁 ). We have come so far since then. If you are new to making pizza, then take this youtube recipe with a grain of salt as there are other methods out there and I will share them with you (follow on fb and insta to receive updates or subscribe to the email list see below)

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Lena Turnbull
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Another win with the awesome ROC baking steel 🍕
Nerville Coleman
Nerville ColemanFacebook Review
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Hi Peter. Thanks very much for the Steel. Looks great and fits perfectly on the Weber (charcoal). Pizza's on this weekend!
simply_sourdough
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0% freshly milled wholewheat. Playing around with my new ROC baking steel so I can fit 2 loaves in at once. Still working on capturing steam but I think it's coming along.
Bianca Dapiran
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absolutely in love with my baking steel. Made bread and it turned out fantastic. brilliant flavor and the bread had a nice crust and the bottom of the bread was perfect. thank you so much for our baking still plate I'm obsessed. I definitely recommend ROC baking steel.

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