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The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

Behrens - it sounds like you have partially polymerized oil spots. If so, then further cooking might turn them into finished (hard & slick) seasoning. However, you might not want that. Relatively thick, spotty seasoning isn't really what you want.

A pan that is sticky after long periods of non-use probably doesn't indicate that the seasoning came off, but that it was left with unsaturated oil residue which has "dried" - somewhat polymerized, but not hardened. I would try to remove it without removing the seasoning beneath. Moderate heat might soften it to the point where a lot of rubbing, maybe with soap, could remove it.

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

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The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

"Your piece emphasizes polymerized oil"
This is indisputably true, in that it uses the emphasis tag: "polymerized oil"

I have a stainless steel pan with a very durable coating of seasoning on it. If you want bullet-proof seasoning on stainless or any other pan, the best method, in my experience, is to do it accidentally.

I worked at place where we toasted bread brushed with olive oil on aluminum pizza plates in a wood-fired oven, right next to the roaring fire. The dishwashers [people] would scrub the pans with steel scrubbers then run them through the commercial dishwasher [machine]. They still built up tough-as-nails seasoning, which we occasionally burned off by leaving them in the back of the oven.

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

I concur with all your points, Kenji. I think I do - I didn't go back and check every single one. Something else I believe now, after years of trying things and messing up frequently: don't over-season your pan, and babying it is bad for it. You don't want to build up layers of weak seasoning. Put minimal seasoning on a new pan, keep it oiled, use it a lot, and clean it pretty aggressively to remove both food bits and weak bits of seasoning.
'
dagaetch - the salt thing has always shocked me. Not that it can't be useful, but there are many people who are afraid of soap and scrubbies, yet think grinding little rocks into their seasoning is fine.

Spacca Napoli's Jonathan Goldsmith on Italian Culture and the Power of Pizza

That Margherita pic is making me sooooo hungry.

Kenji's NYC Bucket List: What I'll Miss Most

My tips for moving from NYC to SF (apologies for some repeats of above):

1) "The City" - people from the Bay Area are not referring to NYC when they say "the City". Weird, huh? Someone recently told me that a pizzeria in the East Bay had the best pizza anywhere, and she added "and I'm from the City!". I had to stop and think. It sounded like the kind of authority that NYers often claim...but eventually I correctly guessed that she was referring to SF, for some reason.
2) Call it "Frisco". Really, do.
3) If you're in the Bay Area, 80W goes toward "the City" and the ocean, not 80E. I've had to make an embarrassing number of u-turns since moving west.
4) What that other person said about people crossing the street. Traffic has nothing to do with it - they just do what the sign says. If the sign changes to walk, they'll step in front of a moving car without so much as a glance to the left. In a post-apocalyptic hellscape, they'll be stuck on whatever block they were on before the power went out.
5) When you make a right turn at a light, in car, with blinker, someone on a bicycle will try to pass you on the right as you do so. And they'll think you're the idiot. Also, cars are SUPPOSED to merge into the bike lane before turning - that's what the dashed line is for. It's meant to stop bikers from doing the aforementioned, but it doesn't. It makes them yell at the driver.
6) Motorcyclists think that riding on the lane lines between cars is legal, and, get this, the safer thing to do. Ponch and Jon included (http://www.chp.ca.gov/programs/lanesplitguide.html). And, thanks to checks-and-balances, this makes it effectively "true". The legal part, that is. However, if you ever find yourself in an argument over the legality of it, say, as a motorcyclist vs a non-motorcycle cop, or as the driver of a car that is suddenly missing a mirror, you should be familiar with CVC21658a and CVC22107, for starters.
7) No one seems to know what cars are supposed to do around cable cars and their tracks.

Looks like I got into a bit of a driving tangent there, but you don't really need another opinion of In 'N Out, do you?

Don Antonio Brings World-Class Pizza to Atlanta

Count me among the droolers. I don't think the crust is so thick, except in the handle. I think Roberto is a cornicione "former" - meaning that he makes the edge thicker before baking.

Is it safe to assume that the pies here are on par with Keste? I'm probably not going to be Atlanta any time soon.

PizzaHacker is My New Go-To in San Francisco

As the sagacious and handsome "f r y" said about a year ago:

"Even a 100% PizzaHacker place wouldn't necessarily be trying to replicate his prior work."

PizzaHacker is My New Go-To in San Francisco

Jello Shots? I definitely should have come earlier.

Pizza Slice: You're Eating it Wrong

He's lucky Patsy was in a good mood.

PizzaHacker is My New Go-To in San Francisco

I skipped lunch, sat down at my computer to get work done, and then this comes up. How am I supposed to work now? I'm _starving_.

Maggie - I arrived at the bday party pretty late. Did we meet? I pro'lly would have remembered if we did.

Open Thread: What Was Your Best Pizza of 2013?

I look at Paulie's post and think "Man, I must be doing this wrong." At the moment, I can only think of 4 places I've eaten pizza at this year: Emilia's, Del Popolo, PizzaHacker (the new place, codename phatco), and Slicer. I had my hands in the first 3, and the fourth one was just opened by another friend (and former co-worker), so I really haven't gotten out much. Oh, wait, no, I just thought of 2 other places, but they weren't worth naming here.

So, with that disclaimer, all the pizza I had from friends' places was fantastic. Sure, there's bias there, but which way does it go? Do I like their pizzas because they are my friends, or are they my friends because I like their pizzas?

My Pie Monday: Fig and Caper Pizza, Coconut Milk Mozzarella, and More!

dhorst - that coconut milk mozz wasn't cooked on the pizza, right? Did you try that?

Also, do you have a light hand with the Aleppo pepper? I can't see it.

Pizza Obsessives: Jimmy Coponi

"It seems like more is being read into this article than was intended."

True

My Pizza Oven: Tailbiter's FrankenEgg

When I put in the euro sign, it looks fine in preview, but shows up as an a with a carat followed by a dash the drops down at then end. I'm going to enter those characters to see how they show up.

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My Pizza Oven: Tailbiter's FrankenEgg

Gonna back JEL up here. Antico was the highlight of my recent ATL pizza crawl (if that word can be used to describe travelling at least 45 minutes by car any time I went anywhere). Definitely one of the most evocative of Naples amongst U.S. pizzerias I've visited, except for a few minor things (anticO instead of anticA, $18 instead of €4, putting "dal 1889" in their logo vs. actually being around since the 19th century). Having 3 ovens reminds me specifically of Trianon, except that I could imagine Trianon actually needing 3 ovens. Antico was packed when I was there, and one oven could easily keep up.

My Pizza Oven: Tailbiter's FrankenEgg

AK: you mean VINCENT, not Maximillian, I assume. I'd love an oven that could communicate via ESP like VINCENT.

Pizza My Mind: What's Up With Take-Out Pizza in a Bag?

Yeah, you shouldn't have been surprised that Patsy's old place would use bags just like his new place. If you had gone to Grimaldi's in Hoboken, however, you would have gotten a box (unless things have reverted). Seems there was an employee there who thought the bags were kinda dumb, especially since the Hoboken Grimaldi's delivers. He'd say "yeah, I know Patsy likes the bags, but he's not delivering the pizzas, is he?". He was quite brash. And handsome.

BTW: barbie tables. Those little white discs with three legs are meant to keep the bag or box from collapsing onto the pizza. The protocol with the bags was to use several if pizzas were to be stacked. But, since you only got 1 pie from Grimaldi's, I wouldn't expect they'd do that.

First Look: The Forge, Oakland, CA

I've seen your oven on pizzamaking - I envy your oven, and, more-so, your design and fab skills. But I think you're selling yourself short - if you can design and build a high performance oven like that, I'm sure you could figure out a way of burning just the bottom of a pizza in it.

"they all agree they are great at 700-750" - so, maybe it's not such a poor choice if they aren't going for 60s pies? Better Neapolitan capabilities might be nice, anyway, but perhaps not worth some trade-offs I could hypothesize (direct cost, planning and approval time and costs, ability to cook things other than pizzas in it, etc.).

My Pie Monday: BBQ Brisket, Pizza Pringles, Kobe Beef Bacon, and More!

How'd the pan work out for you, Adam?

First Look: The Forge, Oakland, CA

@shuboyje, my comment about fine tuning was more about distribution than overall heat level. I wouldn't call panic-firing fine tuning, but a more extreme example of problems & corrections that can happen at the beginning of service.

I'm not trying to defend or even compare different ovens. I'm just saying that it's hard to blame any one thing based on one pizza made under uncertain circumstances, and that there really isn't much blame to go around here. It's very possible to get unbalanced pizzas out of balanced ovens. If you asked Anthony Mangieri to burn just the bottom of your pizza, he probably wouldn't, but he could. I'm sure Paulie G, TXCraig1, etc., could as well.

I'm curious about the origins of the Valoriani reputation you referred to. Other than MP, are there others who have significant real-world experience cooking in both Valoriani and other WFOs who have publicly given their opinion? By significant, real-world experience, I'm thinking firing 100+ times and cooking 10,000+ pizzas in each.

First Look: The Forge, Oakland, CA

The O/U on first Valoriani-bashing was 3 comments, so it's a push.

I don't think the partners and Jeffs intended for the Forge to duplicate Jeff K's PizzaForge pizzas, despite the name. I see a lot of Pizzaiolo / Boot and Shoe in the pizzas at the Forge. Even a 100% PizzaHacker place wouldn't necessarily be trying to replicate his prior work. So, I agree that the comparisons are somewhat moot.

I also agree that the picture shows a pizza that, to me, is too scorched. But, it's also just _a_ pizza, probably one of the first of the night, definitely one of the first nights. Actually, looking closer, most of the charring looks to have virtually no depth. The patch in the center of the picture would likely disintegrate before it reached your mouth. Lauren actually ate that pie (I presume), and seemed to find the char well balanced. Anyway, the pizzas I've had there have had better looking char, per Slice norms.

The first-of-the-night thing is significant. It takes some time to fine-tune the oven. You're more likely to get it close-to-right at the start with a more massive oven, but it's faster to correct in a less massive one. I've seen 3 of the most revered pizza makers in the world start service, then stop to panic-firing cold ovens or let hot ones cool down.

Juliana's: Patsy Grimaldi's New Pizzeria in Search of a Legacy

"the Ciolli family, to whom he sold his original Grimaldi's location and naming rights"

In light of the Grimaldi-Ciolli feud, I think it's worth mentioning that not all "Grimaldi's" pizzerias are owned by the Ciolli family. When Patsy retired, there were 2 - in Brooklyn and in Hoboken. Frank Ciolli bought the Brooklyn location. The Hoboken location is still owned by Patsy's partner.

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

One other thing - after barely re-seasoning it, it released pretty well. With pies like this, it doesn't require much.

The Pizza Lab: Foolproof Pan Pizza

Adam - the seasoning on the outside of the pans was thin and spotty. It looked terrible, but, the pans didn't rust, so that wasn't a big deal. The insides, however, were thickly spotted. Soft and globby, it was. You can get an idea of how thick the spots were from the highlights on the side of the pan in the picture below, which I took of the pan before doing anything with it.

Following the directions that came with, I set out to waste a few pizzas in one pan until it started releasing well. After one pie, I decided that was a waste of time, and resolved to burn of all the seasoning and start fresh. The seasoning was already pealing off, anyway. The pie had stuck to the pan, and the seasoning had stuck to the pie. I don't know how dangerous it is to eat polymerized and carbonized oil, but it's not appetizing.

I would recommend burning off the stuff, not using lye / oven cleaner. Detroit pans have folds that might trap the caustic chemicals and then leak them into your pie. They shouldn't crack like cast iron might when burning off seasoning, but I would bring it up to temperature and cool it off somewhat slowly anyway, to prevent possibly possible warping.

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First Look: Some Great Pizza at Emilia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California

Clockwise from top left: Emilia's Pizzeria during a recent friends-and-family night, owner-pizzaiolo Keith Freilich, a plain pie hot out of the oven. [Photographs: Adam Kuban] Emilia's Pizzeria 2995 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley CA 94705 (at Ashby Avenue; map); emiliaspizzeria.com Getting There: By car, it's at the corner of Shattuck and Ashby avenues; closest BART stop is the Ashby Avenue Station Pizza Style: Thin-crust, New York–coal-oven-esque Oven Type: A very hot Wolf "Pizza Grande" gas-fired oven The Skinny: Whether you're a whiny New Yorker looking for familiar-tasting pizza or someone who's never set foot in the Big Apple, the pizza at... More