Pizza is a traditional favorite that’s stood the test of time. In fact, it’s only become more popular due to the widespread expansion of commercial pizza joints. Due to the traditional nature of pizza, the tools used for cooking it haven’t changed a lot in the past century. Chefs still use large pizza peels, brick ovens, and pizza stones.
Pizza steels are a great alternative to pizza stones and offer several unique benefits that make them a better choice than traditional pizza stones. For one, they’re impossible to break! Additionally, they also prevent the crust from getting stuck to the pan’s surface and ensure that the entire pizza is cooked perfectly even.
It’s meant to be a high-tech replacement for traditional pizza stones as it conducts heat better and is far more durable. I recently purchased one for myself, so I figured I’d do a quick write-up on it and show you guys whether or not it lives up to the hype! Let’s take a look.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, then you’ve no doubt realized how much I love collecting pizza stones. I have way too many of them sitting around both my outdoor and indoor kitchen. To me, they’re an essential part of making good pizza:
- They keep the pizza from burning.
- They help to cook a crispy crust.
- They ensure that the heat is dispersed and the pizza is evenly cooked.
That being said, my dough-joe pizza steel does all of these things, but better! Although you might think that steel would have a higher chance of burning your pizza, it actually prevents burns by ensuring that the oven’s heat is spread evenly across the surface of the steel. Stones aren’t quite as reliable when it comes to even heat dispersion due to small pockets of air within the stone.
My dough-joe has also given me far crispier pizzas. If you’re somebody who enjoys a good crunch with their pizza, then a steel is a must-have. My favorite way to cook the pizza is to heat up the oven with the steel inside to around 475-degrees, with the steel placed on the top rack.
Then, I’ll pop in my favorite fresh or frozen pizza, change the oven to “broil” mode, and wait for it to get extra-crispy. The combination of the overhead heat and the hot steel underneath helps to create a whole new level of crispness. So far, I haven’t had a single problem with my pizza being over or undercooked. As long as you rotate the pizza by 180-degrees halfway through its cooking cycle, you’ll have a near-perfect pizza.
Now that I’ve given you my honest opinion about the Dough-Joe pizza steel, I figured it’s a good place to mention some of the features that I particularly enjoy about the product. It’s become a staple in my kitchen and I use it almost every time that I have to resort to cooking inside (I still use pizza stones with my outdoor wood-fired oven).
One of the first things I noticed when I first unboxed my Dough-Joe, was its high-quality design. To be completely honest, I’m not sure if I’ve ever held a heavier, more solid piece of metal alloy in my hand before. It’s made from carbon steel and weighs almost 25 pounds. I feel like I could crush a brick with it if I really wanted to. As long as you remember to season the metal, you’ll never have to worry about it rusting or falling victim to corrosion.
By nature, carbon steel has non-stick properties. The few times that I’ve had to clean up spillage on the steel, I’ve just run a dish brush with some warm water across the surface to loosen anything stuck to it. As a side note, make sure you don’t ever use soap on this as it will break down the metal’s protective barrier and may cause corrosion.
In the corner of the steel, there’s a large thumb-sized hole that you can use to grip the pan with. It’s so much more convenient than what I’m usually used to dealing with when using my pizza stones.
If you’re half as clumsy as I am, then you no doubt value things that you can drop. Along with my other Conductive Cooking Pizza Steel, I’ve dropped both steels on numerous occasions and they have yet to break.
The only real downside that I have to mention about the dough-joe steel is that it’s incredibly heavy. In fact, it weighs 24 pounds by itself, making it a bit of a challenge to lift with one hand. If you have a history of wrist problems or don’t have a strong arm, then I could easily see this being a problem. So, while I’d never get this for my grandma, I’d recommend it to most of my friends!