Pizza stone in convection oven
My gas range just bit the dust, and I'm reluctantly making the switch to electric. The new range, with a convection oven, will be here in several weeks, so I'm preparing myself mentally for changing a lot of my usual cooking/baking procedures. One question has come up that I have not been able to find discussed online: I've been keeping my pizza stone in the oven all the time, and I'm wondering whether that would be an advantage or a disadvantage in a convection oven. (I've already determined that whether or not to keep using the stone at all for making pizza is not a settled topic.)
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On both occasions, my one complaint was that I had one devil of a time removing two small pizzas. They wanted to slither to the rear of the oven, which was blazing hot; I couldn't extract them without sauce dribbling off the stone onto the floor of the oven, nor without a lot of discomfort--and choice language--in the process. The first round of pizzas, baked on the Emile Henry stone, were unremarkable. Last night's pair, baked on the FibraMent stone, were among the best DH and I had ever had, including when eating out. The bottom of the crust was just the right degree of crispness, and the toppings were lightly browned. I attribute the great results to the stone, the long period of preheating at high heat, and the stone's position being as low as possible (the latter two previously untried). But I'm not keen on the daunting task of removing pizzas from the oven, so I'm not sure what method I'll settle on. For the convection test, I intend to place them on the top rack under the broiler and may use something that allows hot air to circulate all around the pizzas.
To answer my original question, leaving a stone in the oven when baking something else posed no problems. The biggest surprise was that using the convection feature seemed to make food cook more evenly and left no hard-to-clean crusty sauce on the pans. I can live with that.
The main thing with a pizza stone is that it increases thermal capacity. That's a good thing for a residential kitchen oven, regardless of whether it's gas or electric, no fan or convection.
There are two things no one here knows: the size of your pizza stone and the efficiency of your oven's fan.
The pizza stone size does affect airflow. This is particularly critical in outdoor grills. If a pizza stone covers the entire grill, there will be a change in heat distribution.
My pizza stone covers probably about 70% of one wire oven rack. Of course airflow isn't as important in my non-fan oven since all of the heat is radiant.
Often one can turn off the fan in a convection oven so obviously the appliance is designed to function correctly with or without active air circulation.
Personally I would just put the pizza stone in the oven and carry on. I would only remove the pizza stone if I noticed irregular baking/roasting behavior.
Best of luck.