I want ask you about how you load your unbaked pizza onto the SiC. With only 6cm of clearance between your SiC and broiler element, how do you do it? Do you just shoot it into that narrow opening with a peel? Or, do you roll out the shelf from under the broiler element?
I've done both, and both ways have turned out fine.
I realize that this thread appears to contain your most current information/experiences with the SiC material, but in an earlier thread dated October 2007 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5645.20.html , you replied:
"I will add that I would suggest trying to find silicon carbide that isn't nitride bonded. It's a very strong material, but the nitride bonding decreases the density."
The shelf that I purchased is nitride bonded, as is the one that you discuss in this current thread. Maybe I misunderstood the context of the Oct. '07 thread, but it appears that you have changed your opinion on the benefits of a nitride bonded shelf. What insight caused you to favor the nitride bonded version?
Nothing has changed, and it wasn't an opinion. The nitride bonding decreases the density. I purchased what I was told was a nitride bonded SiC shelf because the price was right and the thickness was suitable. If it had been a 0.5" shelf, I wouldn't have purchased it because a nitride bonded shelf with those dimensions would have weighed too little. I wanted at least as much mass as I had with my previous shelf.
Also, I ran into a bit of a discrepancy with Seattle Pottery concerning the SiC shelf. I'm certainly not asking you to speak on behalf of them, but want to relay what happened. Their item #31257 (for which you provide an accurate link) is indeed a 16 X 16 X 5/8" SiC shelf. But according to them, this unit is not nitride bonded, it is their "regular" SiC shelf.
The product I was told I would get, and the product I received, has the properties of a nitride bonded SiC shelf. What they're offering could in no way be sintered, or else they have a horrible supplier of sintered SiC shelves. The density of sintered SiC is above 3.1 g/cm3
, while the density of what they're selling is bellow 2.7 g/cm3
. I would also find it rare to get anything but nitride bonded SiC shelves at a pottery (kiln) supply store. "Regular" in their case probably means it's not specified as a nitride bonded shelf as some name brand manufactures do, so they probably don't even know what kind of SiC it is. If it isn't nitride bonded, it's curious that it pretends to be.
She added that they do carry a 16 X 16 nitride bonded SiC shelf, but that it is only .394" thick. She was not aware of them carrying a nitride bonded shelf, in that size, that was thicker. I just want to be sure that I'm cooking on the same material that you have been using. Since this material conducts heat so well, I opted to get the thinner (.394) nitride version over the thicker (.625) non-nitride SiC shelf.
If they're claiming that the "regular" shelf is not nitride bonded, getting a thinner nitride bonded shelf is even worse.
Do you feel that will impact my baking performance or cause the baking surface to be more fragile?
You don't have to worry about fragility, just the fact you are dealing with a lot less mass. The baking performance will be vastly different.
Any problems with this shelf cracking when you place the raw pizza on it?
Did you do anything to prep the SiC shelf for its first use (cleaning or moderate temps)?
I brushed all the surfaces down with a wire brush, then cleaned away the particle debris with damp paper towels.