Author Topic: Does stone or ceramic expand when heated?  (Read 1922 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Does stone or ceramic expand when heated?
« on: May 11, 2010, 06:44:26 PM »
I've been cooking pizzas off and on with my ceramic Primo outdoor cooker.  One problem I have with it is the top of the pie doesn't brown much.  So I have tried to "dome" the pie during the bake but I run the risk of gettting it too close.  The fire tends to travel towards the right so the right rim will brown but not the rest.  Consequently I have to rotate the pie every 45s to get the rim to brown evenly.

Inspired by Ronzo's modded LBE, I decided to try and place a stone in the dome to create a 2 stone baking application.   I have successfully mounted a stone in the dome, in effect lowering the ceiling.  The gap between the top stone and the bottom stone (according to my calculations) is 3.25".  With a pizza in place and given a crust rise of about 1", there should be a 2.25" gap. 

The stone has to be secured tight.  My concern is that if the stone expands too much it may crack either the stone or my primo dome.  The primo dome is 3 times thicker than the stone but the pampered chef stone is much more dense. 

I am aware that some stones do expand as I have cracked several tiles in the home oven (slate, travertine, & saltillo tiles).   

So looking for some advice.  Does this experiment fall into the category of "don't do it" or "go ahead and light 'er up?"  :-D  ???

Again, I want to try it but don't want to think about worse case scenario of cracking my grill.  It's only money right?



Offline scott123

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Re: Does stone or ceramic expand when heated?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 07:56:50 AM »
What's the gap between the stone and the dome? It's not touching, right? As long as there's a little space there, I think you should be fine.

One alarm that is going off, though, is your use of what appears to be aluminum in attaching the stone. Aluminum melts in the 1200 f realm, and, although that's probably outside of your working temps, it's still pretty close. Even if you only hit 1100, the aluminum might start to weaken and fail.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Does stone or ceramic expand when heated?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 10:29:03 AM »
Thx Scott123, there is a gap on each side of the PC stone, but the front and back edge is touching and it's tight.  My concern is that the stone would expand and either crack or crack the grill.  Dummy me, I hadn't consider that both would likely expand together so no concern there.

I went ahead and baked 2 pies last night.  Stone didn't crack during the bake but did about a couple hours later.  I needed to shut the top vent to put out the hot embers completely.  So I had to dismantle my set up and the stone crack while I was fooling with it. 

Oh well, not the end of the world.  Fun little experiment anyway.    Neccesity being the mother of invention, I have a better idea for my cermic grill.  It will be a variation of the morterless oven but inside my ceramic grill.   I'll post up if I can get the kinks worked out.

Offline Jack

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Re: Does stone or ceramic expand when heated?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 10:57:31 AM »
Stone will expand, but I'm not sure you'll be able to measure it.  It won't be much, but if the stone is wedged in it's spot, it could cause an issue.  I used an angle grinder to reduce one dimension of my stone to fit in the oven and left 1/8 of an inch on each side.  1/8 inch is definitely a lot more than I needed for clearance, but I didnt' want to take any chances.

Jack


 

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