Pizza baking question. Preheating cast iron pizza pan for 30-45 min. Making thin crust. I hear top rack of oven and bottom. Which is better?

  • Posted by: Tasha
  • October 19, 2015


Angela October 20, 2015
It depends a lot on your oven. At home, we use two stones on two racks in our gas oven. The top rack tends to brown the cheese before the crust is done all the way through on a thicker pizza, but for a thin crust, it's pretty fast on either stone.
Right now I'm in a temporary apartment with a very underpowered electric oven. The only way I can get my stone hot enough to cook even a thin crust is by preheating it about 2" from the broiler with both the top and bottom elements on.
My best advice is try it multiple times until you are happy with how it comes out, then write down what works so you don't forget. We made two pizzas once a week for 4-5 weeks before getting a really good pie out.
Kristen W. October 20, 2015
Bottom rack works well for me.
Annie S. October 19, 2015
I read this tip from a pizza chef and it works well for me. I heat the oven to 500 for at least 30 minutes. I put the pizza in and turn off the oven and turn on the broiler for about 5 minutes. The bottom cooks because of the hot oven and the top melts and browns. I have been doing this for about 10 years. I saw Heston Blumenthal use a similar technique a couple of years ago. So I would suggest putting your pan mid oven.
Steph October 22, 2015
This worked great! Thanks for sharing.
Smaug October 19, 2015
I use the bottom, I think you get a crisper bottom crust that way, but if you have the broiler at the top, it is nice to move it up under there for a minute at the end; you should be able to lift it with a peel (or cookie sheet) and put it directly on the oven rack at that point- the crust should be set. Broilers don't have thermostats, so you can use the broiler to push the oven past the usual 550 degree limit.
AntoniaJames October 19, 2015
You might consider starting on the bottom and then bringing it up to the top for the last few minutes, to brown / crisp / singe the toppings a bit more. I don't use a steel (I have 2 rectangular refractory tiles from a kiln shop - much easier to maneuver, more convenient all around), but I generally bake pizza on a shelf in the middle of the oven, which works beautifully. I don't put the pizza onto the tiles until after the oven has been at 525 for at least 20 minutes. ;o)
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 19, 2015
I vote bottom for thin crust.
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