APO: Best settings to replicate conventional oven at 450?

Hi there!

I have a deep dish pizza recipe that requires cooking in a conventional oven at 450 degrees and I was wondering what setting (or combination of settings) would be most similar to that.

In a conventional oven, the only source of heat is the bottom element; but with the Precision Oven, if I choose the bottom element, I can only heat up to 356 degrees. I tried the recipe using the top and bottom elements together, which allows me to heat to 450, but with that approach the top of the pizza got a bit overcooked before the bottom was fully cooked/crisp. I know I can also use the rear heating element at 450 degrees, but that employs a fan at High setting, which I thought would be more like convection cooking rather than conventional oven heat.

I was thinking that maybe I’d start with the top+bottom elements at 450 and then add a stage to switch to just the bottom element at 356 about half way through. But maybe that’s not the best approach.

Although my particular issue is with a pizza recipe :yum:, the more general issue is which settings on the APO best replicate a conventional oven at 450?

Thanks!

The mode with the rear element. Square and circle.

There are some variables based on the pan you are using and which rack level you chose.

This oven is more precise than a typical oven and you may find that the temp in your other oven is actually off by as much as 50 degrees. If you typically make this pizza in that oven and have a method you may need to compensate for the anova oven.

Hi Cloud, trying to make an unconventional oven behave conventionally can be challenging. Have you considered using a baking steel in your oven when baking? I don’t know how home bakers manage without one. It could prevent the undercooked deep dish pizza bottom that appears to be your actual pizza problem.

And why don’t you use the convection feature to achieve more uniform heating? To excel with your new oven you may have to adjust your thinking and recipes.

@chatnoir Your point is well taken and I’m totally open to adjusting my approaches to new equipment. :grinning: I did consider using the convection approach, which is what I believe the rear element provides. But although convection provides uniformity, with this particular recipe it’s advantageous to have more heat from the bottom than from the top and sides. Your suggestion about the baking steel might be one way to address that and is something that I also was thinking about. I actually have a baking steel that I use with our conventional oven and it’s great. But it’s too big (I think?) for the APO and it’s also darned heavy so I don’t think it would work. Is there a steel that people have found fits and works well with the APO?

Thanks again for the reply.

Hi Cloud, if your deep dish pizza’s conventional oven recipe required the use of a baking steel that may be part of your APO pizza challenge.

There was an earlier discussion here with a link to a source of a baking steel that fits the Anova oven. However, i’m not an accomplished navigator of this Community’s posts and can’t locate it, - might have been Amazon. You might have success or another member might locate it for you. When your new steel is in there, why not leave it there? That’s what i do. It mimics the steel plate floor in commercial pizza ovens.

You know of course, the good Anova folks may not have been trying to produce a better pizza oven, although that could be next.

Yes, steel plate is heavy, which is why it’s such a useful store of instant heat to provided the apparently needed temperature boost to get your pizza evenly cooked. You may discover that you can also reduce oven temperature to 425ᴼF with convection to further prevent the overcooked top.

With a new oven there a useful experiment you can perform to obtain an understanding of your oven’s heating pattern.
Here’s how:
Get a few loaves of yesterday’s basic white bread from the distressed goods rack in your grocery store.
Preheat the oven at your most commonly used temperature and mode, maybe 375F, or higher? No steam please.
Set your oven’s rack on the kitchen counter and cover the racks with bread slices leaving a little clear space around all edges.
When the oven is preheated carefully place the bread covered racks in the top, middle, and bottom positions. Close the oven door.
In about 10 minutes sufficient browning should occur to reveal hot and not-so-hot areas. Good thing to know for product placement in use. And you will have a new substantial supply of bread crumbs.

You might find it useful to do the experiment in both convection and normal baking modes.

In my kitchen’s main oven, a steam assisted one of another brand, for bread and pizza i over preheat by at least 50ᴼF to get the baking steel extra hot. Some cooks even preheat a steel using the broiler setting. For deep dish pizza i’d go higher because of the mass of the pan that insulates the dough while i just bake away directly on the parchment covered steel.

After the oven is loaded i reduce the temperature to my recipe temperature which is usually 25ᴼF lower than in a conventional oven because i almost always bake using convection. Works consistently every time for me. You will likely have to fine tune that somewhat to suit your recipes.

Happy baking.

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