Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay?

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UncleVic
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2007/12/26 23:47:28 (permalink)

Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay?

Ok.. I see all these folks on the East Coast bragging about their burnt crust pizza. Here, and I speak as a former Pizza Shop worker in the Midwest, a burnt crust could get you shot! Actually if you over brown them around here you're getting returns. May be a regional deal, but honestly, these burnt crusts are not for me either..

One of the reviews: http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=5224
One of the pics:
#1

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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/26 23:56:53 (permalink)
    You likely never had a 700-degree coal fired oven.
    #2
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/26 23:58:18 (permalink)
    We know plenty of fellow Easterners that most definitely do not enjoy their pizza crust burnt. But there are many (including us) that love it burnt. In our experience, the burnt crust crowd tends to be found more often among those that consider themselves especially devoted pizza fans, while they are rarely found among the more casual pizza people. We're not trying to say that a taste for burnt pizza is some sort of badge of pizza connoisseurship - the pattern just seems to tend in that direction for some reason.
    #3
    saps
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 00:06:42 (permalink)
    Love it burnt.
    #4
    UncleVic
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 00:08:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    You likely never had a 700-degree coal fired oven.

    Considering Coal is considered a carcinogenic in the Group 1 category, I don't think it's ever going to happen. But have had pizzas out of a 600 degree (gas fired brick oven) with perfect results!

    #5
    FrankBooth
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 00:21:52 (permalink)
    and coal is one of the reasons sally's and pepe's in new haven taste so good- love those carcinogens! extra well done pies around here! a friend of mine from my youth who used to work at sally's always said that the best pie of the night was the last pie of the night- all the shmutz and burnt everything would still be on the floor of the brick ovens (which by the way are 100 or so years old in the case of sally's and pepe's the spot- they were both baker's bread ovens before pizza oven's) and go right onto the burnt crust of your pie. when you ate a great pie at sally's you'd go through tons of those little napkins wiping the black crusted burnt crispies and crusties off those masterful pies... it's like a great steak- the char on the crust is crucial... enjoy fb
    #6
    phlmaestro2000
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 01:11:16 (permalink)
    I like it thin and crisp, but prefer it to be just shy of burnt, although just a few dark spots isn't a problem. But the pizza in the above photo is probably too burnt for me.
    #7
    unabashed
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 01:24:28 (permalink)
    to done for me.
    #8
    californyguy
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 02:17:16 (permalink)
    as one who has been to the best pizza joints in joisey,I can tell ya that if heavily burnt crusts were served there someone might end up sleepin wid da fishes....on the other hand maybe burning the crusts would improve the pitiful specimens that pass for pizza in californy
    #9
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 06:05:11 (permalink)

    I will concede that the photo seems too burned, yet if you look at the top corner, you will see a non-charred section. I am willing to bet that the bottom is not as dark as the crust. This is where the art of pizza making comes in. Unlike other ovens, with coal @700 degrees, you need to treat it as an artisan would. The fact that one side seems unlike the other demonstrates that these are not ovens that you walk away from.

    As for the smoke and cancerous fumes, I believe that the coal is underneath the floor of the ovens and not directly near the pies. I have looked and never have seen any flames evident.

    mark
    #10
    charlottesailor
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 07:32:01 (permalink)
    Don't like any food burned. Those pics of burned pizzas look terrible. I grew up in Chicago and serving a burned pizza would probably get you shot.
    #11
    ann peeples
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 08:22:16 (permalink)
    I like the top charred a bit,but that crust in the picture is way too burnt for me.
    #12
    Davydd
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 08:44:25 (permalink)
    After a week blitzing through Neapolitan pizzas I was wondering about that one yesterday. I would say that particular pizza may have been too burnt but to achieve a decent crust in a wood or coal fired oven you will need some dark brown charred spots.
    #13
    mland520
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 08:46:18 (permalink)
    Burnt could probably get you shot here in Dallas, as well. I am from the NE but I am not a burnt pizza fan either.
    #14
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 08:52:44 (permalink)
    In my opinion the above pizza has a burned crust. Even with high temp ovens (some in Naples cook a pie in 60 seconds), what you are looking for is some dark spots or leoparding; not solid blackness all around the edge. Here's a pic taken from pizzamaking.com that shows a home cooked pie with a pretty good example of leoparding. pb

    #15
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 08:58:03 (permalink)
    Let's define terms here:

    "New York Pizza" - the kind that folds, reaches its apotheosis in Manhattan. It is baked in conventional electric or gas ovens at 500 degrees or so. It is never "burned". It's almost impossible to find a "bad slice" in a small Manhattan pizza shop (note that this excludes Sbarro's, Pizza Hut, etc.).

    "Brick oven Pizza" - whether wood or coal-fired - doesn't fold. Even though its apotheosis is also in the City: http://www.patsyspizzeriany.com/, it is not "NY Pizza". If it must be associated with a city, the apt city would be Naples.

    These ovens which cook the pie at temps of 700 - 1000 degrees have led to great "gourmet" pies I've enjoyed all over the country: Grimaldi's in Scottsdale, Faccia Luna in State College, Pizza Paradiso and 2 Amy's in DC, and Coal Vines and Olivella's here in Dallas. Here's a review of one of these which reveals both the technique (and marketing psychology - "my oven is hotter than yours") behind this delightful trend.

    http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?_pageid=33,97400&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&item_id=55833

    In fact, writing this has settled where wife and I are going to have lunch today. This joint is between the two destinations she has picked out: The Galleria and Northpark Mall!

    These pies have a very thin, crisp crust and some small burnt spots on the bottom, but not burnt tops. I'll save my "burnt edges" for brisket and pork spare ribs!
    #16
    RibDog
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 08:59:53 (permalink)
    To me, burning the pizza as far as it is shown is a waste of good crust. I love the crust on a pizza. A little charring is okay but I would like to be able to eat the crust without it tasting like a burnt piece of toast.

    John
    #17
    prius
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 09:16:47 (permalink)
    Burned, burned and burned. Does it not taste burned as if you are ating charcoal?
    #18
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 09:18:27 (permalink)
    I had a fiend from Texas ... We brought him to Pepe's and he was aghast at the "burnt" crust ... Yet, for some strange reason, he was compelled to return the next day ...

    His palette adapted, and to this day, Pepe's is a must-stop as soon as he gets off the plane.

    The secret is Pepe's crust is excellent Italian bread ... I hesitate to use the word burnt, because it is, in fact, perfect.


    #19
    Davydd
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 09:27:28 (permalink)
    I can achieve the leoparding as porkbeats describes it in my electric 550 degree oven. The bottom of the crust will leopard as well with the hot spots of the stone and the bubbling action of the crust. It makes for great pizza.



    The boutique, rustica, Neapolitan style pizza is an art in achieving taste. I just did a report on Pizza Paradios and 2 Amys in Washington DC in this forum. Their ingredients were similar and limited and not heavy on the meats other than salami and procuitto.


    #20
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 09:36:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Ok.. I see all these folks on the East Coast bragging about their burnt crust pizza. Here, and I speak as a former Pizza Shop worker in the Midwest, a burnt crust could get you shot! Actually if you over brown them around here you're getting returns. May be a regional deal, but honestly, these burnt crusts are not for me either..

    One of the reviews: http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=5224
    One of the pics:



    Uncle Vic

    Wht not take a ROADTRIP and check it out for yourself.
    I noticed the forums have been up for almost 5 years now and we haven't gotten a trip report from you yet???
    #21
    David_NYC
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 09:55:10 (permalink)
    I think burnt pizza works on a true Napolitan brick oven-style pizza. It is an acquired taste, like the garlickly taste of kosher-style hot dogs. I also like hearth-baked Italian bread that is very brown, almost to the point of being burned.
    #22
    Pigiron
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 11:41:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MetroplexJim

    These ovens which cook the pie at temps of 700 - 1000 degrees have led to great "gourmet" pies I've enjoyed all over the country



    1000 degrees??? Do they really get that hot? That sounds like it would scorch and melt anything that came within 50 feet of the oven, including the pizza, the peel, and the arms of the chef!
    #23
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 12:04:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pigiron

    quote:
    Originally posted by MetroplexJim

    These ovens which cook the pie at temps of 700 - 1000 degrees have led to great "gourmet" pies I've enjoyed all over the country



    1000 degrees??? Do they really get that hot? That sounds like it would scorch and melt anything that came within 50 feet of the oven, including the pizza, the peel, and the arms of the chef!


    We;re going there for lunch today. I'll report what (a reported: http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?_pageid=33,97400&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&item_id=55833) "1000 degrees does.
    #24
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 12:06:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pigiron

    quote:
    Originally posted by MetroplexJim

    These ovens which cook the pie at temps of 700 - 1000 degrees have led to great "gourmet" pies I've enjoyed all over the country



    1000 degrees??? Do they really get that hot? That sounds like it would scorch and melt anything that came within 50 feet of the oven, including the pizza, the peel, and the arms of the chef!

    [url='http://video.google.it/videoplay?docid=3527298901888342949&q=pizzafest']Here's[/url] an excellent quality Italian video that shows a pizza being cooked in under a minute. It doesn't indicate the temp, but I'll bet it's at least 1000 degrees.
    #25
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 12:27:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Why not take a ROADTRIP and check it out for yourself.
    I noticed the forums have been up for almost 5 years now and we haven't gotten a trip report from you yet???

    To be fair, not everyone has as much liberty to travel as others. You (WJ) have a great deal of liberty, clearly, which is a good thing. I have very little, which can suck at times :-) Some have none at all. That doesn't mean folks haven't travelled in the past, or that they don't have relevant info to convey about their own food-related experiences or experiences that others have related to them.

    Even then, no matter how much or how little one travels, there is no requirement here that people post trip reports. I enjoy it (albeit I'd like it much more if one could post approved pics without a membership fee) but not everyone likes to write so much. *shrug* To each their own.

    That said -- plain and simple, most folks outside NYC/New Haven and thereabouts don't seem to prefer much if any char on pizza. I like some charring (tho I'm not sure I'd like as much char as is shown in the pic) but I'm clearly in the minority.
    #26
    UncleVic
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 13:06:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Wht not take a ROADTRIP and check it out for yourself.
    I noticed the forums have been up for almost 5 years now and we haven't gotten a trip report from you yet???

    Ditto to what TJ said. I travel now and then, but it's normally a one day deal. I have tried places mentioned here, and reported back with my opinions of such, if that counts as a trip report... Either way, a burnt crust pizza shop would not be one of my stops.
    #27
    ynotryme
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 13:28:58 (permalink)
    nothing wrong with a charred crust but the one shown was overcooked, not only the crust, but notice the toppings
    #28
    billyboy
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 14:12:55 (permalink)
    I do love the burnt crust, although I've never been to New Haven or had ANY Connecticut pizza, I have had burnt crust on pizza before. Someday soon. I think it provides a contrast in flavors between the sauce, cheese and toppings. I wonder, though, if the burnt crust is the convention, or if it is specifically requested by the customer (similar to the Hot Truck in Ithaca, NY).
    "It's almost impossible to find a "bad slice" in a small Manhattan pizza shop (note that this excludes Sbarro's, Pizza Hut, etc.)."- MetroplexJim I've gotta disagree with that statement. I live in Manhattan and have had more than my share of lousy slices. Too many places make subs, calzones, pasta and pizza and the art of the pizza gets lost in the shuffle. I've never had a good slice from Ray Bari's, any of the various Famous Ray's/Famous Original Ray's/Original Famous Ray's (with the exception of the Prince St. location actually called just "Ray's"), and Pizza Mercato to name a few. I find that the places with the best slices are the ones that have the smallest menus and just focus on doing that well. There don't seem to be many of them though. For me, most of the best pizza comes from the places that only traffic in whole pies.

    #29
    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    RE: Burnt Pizza Crust - Yay or Nay? 2007/12/27 14:34:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ynotryme

    nothing wrong with a charred crust but the one shown was overcooked, not only the crust, but notice the toppings

    To our tastes, both the crust and the toppings on the pizza in question look perfectly cooked. Eye of the beholder...
    #30
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