Author Topic: Pizza stones etc  (Read 7552 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Pizza stones etc
« on: May 14, 2010, 06:16:46 AM »
I use a piece of granite in my oven (actually a chopping board) - does anyone know what the surface temperature will be after 45 minutes in my oven at full whack (that's 246 centigrade)?

I'm thinking about buying another and placing it 6 inches above the first (although TBH, I'm fairly happy with one) - Has anyone tried this?  What was the outcome?

Lastly, has anyone tried adding wood chips to their oven?  In the same way home-smoking can be acheived in a saucepan, I don't see why you couldn't heat some chips in the bottom to get that smokey-woody flavour.


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22174
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 09:18:32 AM »
Lastly, has anyone tried adding wood chips to their oven?  In the same way home-smoking can be acheived in a saucepan, I don't see why you couldn't heat some chips in the bottom to get that smokey-woody flavour.

Soop,

I once tried that and ended up setting off the smoke alarm detector when I opened the oven door.

Peter

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 09:32:32 AM »
 ;D

How bad was it?

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6988
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 10:02:15 AM »
We can guess at what the temp in your oven could be but that wouldn't really do you any good. 
To get a closer idea of temps in your oven and stone surface temps, get yourself a thermogun.  Harbor Freight tools has them for around $40.  Sears carries the craftsman one for $69 or so.

any smoke you get from wood chips may result in a pizza that is too smokey in flavor.  The smoke flavor you get from cooking pizza in a WFO or using lump charcoal is a different kind of flavor.  Much much milder than using wood chips. 

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22174
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 10:29:49 AM »
;D

How bad was it?

Soop,

I had to scramble to open doors to the outside and get the embers outside. Even then, it took a few minutes for the alarm to stop.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22174
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 10:31:29 AM »
To get a closer idea of temps in your oven and stone surface temps, get yourself a thermogun.  Harbor Freight tools has them for around $40.  Sears carries the craftsman one for $69 or so.

Tran,

Soop is in the UK, so he will have to find a source closer to home  ;D.

Peter

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 10:55:44 AM »
actually, I've already been scouting:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Infrared-Thermometer-Digital-Temperature-Pyrometer/dp/B0037AWFQW/?tag=pizzamaking-20

this one obv doesn't go high enough.

I'll have a think on the smoking

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6988
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 12:10:48 PM »
Soop if you want a thermogun, I can look at my local harbor freight tools and get you one.  Just send me some $ via paypal and give me 2 wks?  It may cost around $40 and $10-$15 shipping?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 12:31:21 PM by Tranman »

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2010, 12:29:25 PM »
Soop if you want I can look at my local harbor freight tools and get you one.  Just send me some $ via paypal and give me 2 wks?  It may cost around $40 and $10-$15 shipping?

That's very kind of you, but I'm in England, so I doubt it will be cost effective.  The granite one I have works well enough, and it was only 12.

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 12:32:15 PM »
this one obv doesn't go high enough.

For a home oven, that's more than high enough.  If you're planning on building a WFO, then that will still give you hearth readings, but it probably won't be good enough for ceiling readings.  That being said, it seems like most WFO owners buy IR thermometers that are in that range.

Btw, granite is not a great choice for a pizza stone.  I might use granite for baking bread at lower temps, but it's too thermally fragile for the the high temps involved in baking pizza.  Granite has decent conductivity and is dense enough to prevent water absorption/steam expansion, but it's high silica content causes it to behave a little like glass. It's not going to be happy going from 246 to room temp as you open the oven door nor is it going to like going from 246 to 100 as the dough hits the surface and the water in it starts to boil.  At some point it will fail. Failure could be violent (bad) or not so violent/noticeable and you end up with a pebble in your crust (equally as bad). I would seek out a different material.


Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6988
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 12:33:34 PM »
Soop I meant the thermogun but the one at amazon reads to 968F which is plenty high enough for pizza baking.

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2010, 06:13:01 AM »
Soop I meant the thermogun but the one at amazon reads to 968F which is plenty high enough for pizza baking.

Oh yeah, sorry, I was thinking my oven goes to 550, but it's 250.

Scott, You were right about the stone, I just checked it (about to cook pizza) and it's cracked right through the middle.
Weird because I got that advice from Jamie Oliver.  Obviously doesn't know what he's talking about.

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2010, 04:02:28 PM »
Here's my condensed version of what stones I recommend for pizza (from best to worst with a heavily slanted NY style/high heat/short baking time perspective):

Soapstone

Nothing can touch this for thermal ruggedness and conductivity.  Can be fairly expensive depending on where you live though.

Cordierite

Rugged and relatively conductive, reasonably priced, but you need a thick slab (1" is ideal), which can get a little tricky to track down. 

Firebrick

Conductivity depends on composition, but, generally, firebrick is extremely rugged, dirt cheap but not all that conductive.  Less conductivity translates into better heat retention, but, expect much longer preheats. Lower conductivity also completely rules out weaker than normal ovens.  If you're oven can't hit 550 f. cross firebrick off the list (and track down soapstone).

Fibrament

Both thermally weaker and less conductive than cordierite at about the same price (or more depending on your local cordierite resources).

Unglazed Quarry Tiles

Conductivity can change depending on composition, but generally these have the worse conductivity of all baking stone materials. They also require extensive detective work to make sure they are food grade, as some unglazed tiles contain toxins.

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2010, 07:32:52 PM »
Scott, thanks for this.  It's a strange one, because if I was spending a lot of money, I might have researched and found you sooner.  However, I didn't spend much, and I got what I paid for.

Good news is, I think that I can now evaluate how much good pizza is worth to me and re-evaluate how much I'm willing to spend.  I'd previously heard of cordierite, and in England, a lot of people I called were unfamiliar.  soapstone however is more ubiquitous.  I am grateful for your wisdom, and I intend to make the fullest use of it!

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2010, 07:39:33 AM »
Well, it looks like soapstone pizza stones are pretty hard to come by :/
I've had a look around, and the only results I've found are in the US.

What other applications would there be for soapstone around the thickness I need?

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2010, 09:34:24 AM »
Actually, even here, in the US, you'd never want to buy an actual soapstone slab being sold as a pizza stone- the markup is way too high.  You basically want to find a stone supplier or a quarry. Soapstone is used for carving (usually small figurines) and for countertops. It's the same type of stone, but the carving stuff is in chunks while the countertop soapstone is sold in slabs (usually 3 cm thick).  They also take slabs and fashion them into soapstone ovens. Soapstone ovens are popular in Scandinavia (and hugely expensive).

You want a slab. Countertop installers are usually easier to find (at least here in the U.S.) but they'll buy the stone from a supplier and then mark it up. The less middlemen between you and the quarry, the better. Countertop installation usually involves some waste. Ideally, it's best to find a leftover remnant that's close to the size you need.  It will be relatively cheap and won't need much cutting if any.

You want to measure your oven shelf and allow a gap (about a cm.) on all sides for air flow.

I bought my slab from Teixeira in New Jersey.  The have a location in Glascow.

http://www.soapstones.com/teixeira_soapstone_nationwide.html

This place appears to carry marble slabs, but the soapstone appears to be of the carving variety.

http://www.mcmarmilloyd.co.uk/index.php

Here is an article on Countertops:

http://kitchen-counter-tops.net/soapstone/how-are-soapstone-countertops-made.html

I would try calling some builders specializing in kitchens and see if they do soapstone countertops or know someone who does. Hopefully your prices will be somewhat comparable to ours (or less). If so, you could be looking at 60 for a 40 cm x 50 cm x 3 cm slab.

If you run into a brick wall with finding soapstone, start looking at ceramic suppliers for cordierite kiln shelves.  Those will be much easier to track down in the UK.

Offline Soop

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 45
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2010, 10:35:58 AM »
Thanks Scott, I've actually looked for cordeite before and didn't get far, but I was unsure where to look.   I'll take a look at your suggestions now

Offline PizzaHog

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 542
  • Location: Clinton Township, MI
  • Heat matters!
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2010, 12:53:28 PM »
Soop
Not sure if these are available to you but the Old Stone brand of pizza stones are cordierite and all over the internet.
http://www.amazon.com/Old-Stone-Oven-14-Inch-16-Inch/dp/B0000E1FDA/?tag=pizzamaking-20

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2010, 02:51:20 PM »
As far as stones that can be easily purchased the Old Stone brand is definitely one of my favorites, but, if you start checking out ceramic suppliers you can get something quite a bit thicker for about that same price. I'm pretty sure that stone is around 1/2" thick (not counting the legs).  If you can walk out of a ceramic supplier with an inch, you'll be better off.

Offline PizzaNick

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 27
  • Location: San Diego, Ca
Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2010, 03:24:41 PM »
if you can find a kitchen countertop installer that works with soapstone, its pretty common for a piece to be cut out for a sink or cooktop, that is normally scrapped.  make friends with an installer and you could end up with a stack of suitable stones plenty big enough for cooking on for free.