Author Topic: Pizza stones etc  (Read 8620 times)

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Offline sear

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2010, 12:47:47 PM »
so of course the stone place gives me conflicting information, so im back to scratching my head .

quote " soap stone can be used on top of a heat source, but will blow apart in a oven"

110$ for a 16 x 16

 ??? ???


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2010, 01:43:24 PM »
The place I called quoted me $60 per square foot.   At $100 for a 16x16, I would personally have no problems buying it.  Not more though. 

scott123

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2010, 03:47:10 PM »
what does this mean about firebrick exactly in pizza making real life? it holds onto its heat very well and doesnt let go of it very well either so if you have a 700F soap stone and 700F fire brick will the bottom of the fire brick pizza be less done?

Soapstone of the same height and width? Absolutely. If the soapstone pie is just browned, the firebrick pie will be pale/raw in the middle.  This is not only a component of the conductivity (soapstone is 5-6 times more conductive than firebrick) but also a result of the differing densities/heat capacities.  Both have about the same specific heat, but the soapstone is about 50% denser (about 2000 Kg per cubic meter for firebrick vs. 3000 kg for the soapstone), so a soapstone of equal size will be able to store 50% more heat.

The one slight upside to firebrick is retention.  In theory, a WFO built entirely from soapstone would cool 5 times faster than one built from firebrick- so you can't heat the oven once and then use it with that retained heat for the whole weekend, but... you'd never build your entire WFO out of soapstone.

The other slight upside to firebrick is it's surface durability.  Soapstone is very soft.  Wood won't scratch it but metal will.  I use metal utensils carefully and don't have any issues but I think in a WFO, the brass cleaning brush and long metal peel might take it's toll. I'm in the process of designing a portable wood oven using soapstone and I'm planning on sticking to wood peels/turners, but, at this point, I'm not certain how I'm going to push the coals to the side either without using brass or finding a brass brush that's very soft.

scott123

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2010, 03:52:13 PM »
quote " soap stone can be used on top of a heat source, but will blow apart in a oven"

http://www.soapstone-co.com/whatis101.html

Quote
Because of its truly remarkable and natural heat retention characteristics, soapstone is widely used for masonry heater fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace liners and pizza ovens. Soapstone heaters and fireplaces heat very quickly from burning coal, pellets or wood, the soapstone will then slowly radiate heat very evenly for hours on end. Even after the fire has long gone out!

Fireplace liners- in other words, direct flame.

scott123

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2010, 04:34:22 PM »
I called around and found a piece of scrap soapstone 30"x50". They wanted $300 for it so I passed.

110$ for a 16 x 16

The place I called quoted me $60 per square foot.

The last time this topic came up a few members starting pricing soapstone in their area.  It ranged from $28 to $65 sq. foot.  I pay $10, but I'm fairly certain that there's only one middleman between me and a Brazilian quarry. I also firmly believe that if I didn't have a cheap source, I would pay a LOT more for it.  I don't think I'd go with more than a $100 for a 16 x 20 stone, though.  Not after some of the recent pricing I've been doing on cordierite.  I've seen 20 x 20 x 1 inch cordierite kiln shelves for as little as $67.  As I mentioned earlier, cordierite isn't quite as wonderful as soapstone, but, if the only options were soapstone for more than 100 versus cordierite for 70ish, I think the 1" cordierite would be a better buy. If I had to rate baking stone materials, I'd give soapstone a 10, cordierite a 9, firebrick about a 7, fibrament 4 and quarry tiles 2. As long as the cordierite is nice and thick (1") it's not that much of a compromise.

I get the feeling that when soapstone is shipped from other parts of the world, it's not packaged all that carefully and lots of pieces get broken.  Once it starts being shipping across the nation, though, the price goes up enough so that the packaging improves and pieces stay intact. I think that's part of the reason why the prices are so high- an extra middleman AND the pieces being priced are being cut from whole slabs.

I would start calling countertop installers.  They may have paid top dollar for the slab, but there's very little they can do with waste so they might cut you a deal.  I would especially see if they have little pieces hanging around.  Two 8 x 16 pieces are just as good as one 16 x 16 and would probably end up costing less.  The smaller you go, the more worthless they are for countertops.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 04:44:47 PM by scott123 »

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2010, 04:51:53 PM »
Thanks for the info Scott.  That's who I called, a countertop installer and their agent said I was getting the discount pricing.  To cut the dang thing in half or to fit my oven, she said their normal pricing for running the machine to do this starts out at a minimum of $500 a project.  I am assuming she was referring to a whole countertop project. 

At any rate corderite will fit the bill just fine.   If fibrament stone not as great as you say, what's all the fuss about it.  I know there are some members here who use them and love them, but it sounds corderite is a no brainer over fibrament. 

Offline sear

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2010, 05:26:27 PM »
"The mineral oil and some light penetrating sealers will bring out a dark richness to the stones natural color and also work as a protective sealing layer to the surface of the stone. Mineral oil may be re-applied to the stone periodically. Most sealers will remain for quite a while longer than the mineral oil. It is not necessary to use oil or sealers on the stone. "

should i be concerned with any sealers they may have treated it with ?

scott123

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2010, 12:19:32 AM »
If fibrament stone not as great as you say, what's all the fuss about it.  I know there are some members here who use them and love them, but it sounds corderite is a no brainer over fibrament.

Well, it depends on how you define 'no brainer.'  ;D First of all, it takes a fairly considerable amount of research to understand the huge advantages in crust texture achieved from quick baking times.  A lot of people are perfectly fine with the kind of conductivity that makes an 8 minute pizza. They can gush all they want about their 8+ minute pies, but, I know better :)

Secondly, tracking down and ordering a fibrament stone involves next to zero mental exertion. Learning that kiln shelves can be used for baking stones takes some research, and, finding them locally (cordierite is so heavy it's expensive to ship), takes some legwork as well. There are commercial cordierite pizza stones that are easy to order (such as Old Stone), but like I said earlier, they don't have the necessary thermal mass.

Thirdly, fibrament has a long and illustrious history with bread bakers.  Bread doesn't have the same conductivity needs as pizza.  It's a marathon, not a sprint. Fibrament works beautifully for bread, but not for pizza.

Lastly, the science is anything but a no brainer.  This page here

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5645.0.html

was a tremendous eye opener for me, but I think a lot of people would look at that page and go 'whuh?'  November, in an effort to be diplomatic and impartial, didn't really spell out the obvious inferiority of fibrament, but I'm a little less diplomatic and have no issues making it crystal clear :)

scott123

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2010, 12:25:40 AM »
"The mineral oil and some light penetrating sealers will bring out a dark richness to the stones natural color and also work as a protective sealing layer to the surface of the stone. Mineral oil may be re-applied to the stone periodically. Most sealers will remain for quite a while longer than the mineral oil. It is not necessary to use oil or sealers on the stone. "

should i be concerned with any sealers they may have treated it with ?

Unless you're getting the stone from someone's counter that's being dismantled, I highly doubt they'd oil the stone pre-installation.  If they did, though, mineral oil has a flash point of 275F and an autoignition temperature between 500 - 698F, so it should burn off (I'd open the windows pretty widely).  Even if it doesn't burn off, a trace amount of mineral oil is safe to eat.

If you're really concerned, you could probably sand it off.  Soapstone has almost no absorption, so the oil can't have penetrated far.


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2010, 12:45:18 AM »
but I'm a little less diplomatic and have no issues making it crystal clear :)

That's why I do enjoy your posts so much.  Keep it up.  Pizza making is tough enough as it is and I don't like it that people complicate and mystify the art in an effort to elevate their ego.  Just kidding, I don't know anyone like that but I do like to keep it simple since that's all my simple mind can handle. :)

I'll be looking for a fibrament stone soon. 

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2010, 08:45:20 AM »
Well, it depends on how you define 'no brainer.'  ;D First of all, it takes a fairly considerable amount of research to understand the huge advantages in crust texture achieved from quick baking times.  A lot of people are perfectly fine with the kind of conductivity that makes an 8 minute pizza. They can gush all they want about their 8+ minute pies, but, I know better :)

Secondly, tracking down and ordering a fibrament stone involves next to zero mental exertion. Learning that kiln shelves can be used for baking stones takes some research, and, finding them locally (cordierite is so heavy it's expensive to ship), takes some legwork as well. There are commercial cordierite pizza stones that are easy to order (such as Old Stone), but like I said earlier, they don't have the necessary thermal mass.

Thirdly, fibrament has a long and illustrious history with bread bakers.  Bread doesn't have the same conductivity needs as pizza.  It's a marathon, not a sprint. Fibrament works beautifully for bread, but not for pizza.

Lastly, the science is anything but a no brainer.  This page here

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5645.0.html

was a tremendous eye opener for me, but I think a lot of people would look at that page and go 'whuh?'  November, in an effort to be diplomatic and impartial, didn't really spell out the obvious inferiority of fibrament, but I'm a little less diplomatic and have no issues making it crystal clear :)

Looks like my last question from that post is still unanswered.

I am interested in trying to figure out what will work best in a production environment with a gas deck oven turned up to about 650F.

It is old and I am pretty sure it is NOT a corderite deck, since it is not a Baker's Pride.    The idea was to replace the 1.5" stones with 2.3" firebrick but not sure how that will translate in terms of the pizza quality.  Another option could be to do a layer of fire brick splits below the existing stones.  Really just trying to avoid the problems that pizzeria operators seem to complain about which is that during busy periods each pizza takes longer to bake than the previous one, but I don't want to compromise on quality.  The burner is also pretty strong for the deck size.

It's interesting also that different decks material could be more appropriate for different types of pizza it sounds like?  If the bottom is burning with corderite then maybe firebrick would work better actually? 
Patrick

Offline sear

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2010, 09:58:23 AM »
That's why I do enjoy your posts so much.  Keep it up.  Pizza making is tough enough as it is and I don't like it that people complicate and mystify the art in an effort to elevate their ego.  Just kidding, I don't know anyone like that but I do like to keep it simple since that's all my simple mind can handle. :)

I'll be looking for a fibrament stone soon. 

after reading all this and some other stuff, im not considering fibrament any more

Offline sear

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2010, 12:03:39 PM »
stopped in the stone place, the old man there would not " sell me a stone to make a bomb out of my oven"
swore up and down it will blow to pieces as little as 400 degrees.
then he added they crack on top of fireplaces and need to be replaced constantly.

'they pop and explode"

sigh ::)

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2010, 12:24:25 PM »
While on the topic of soapstone I should put in a little ad for American Flatbread :)
they are the only place that I know of that has a soapstone deck.

http://www.americanflatbread.com/about-us/our-oven/
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 12:34:50 PM by pcampbell »
Patrick

Offline sear

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2010, 12:29:30 PM »
i should also add he said to use quarry tiles, and they are more expensive than soapstone

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2010, 03:20:05 PM »
i should also add he said to use quarry tiles, and they are more expensive than soapstone

sounds like he's gotten the 2 mixed up or he's smoking some good stuff.

Offline sear

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2010, 03:43:18 PM »
sounds like he's gotten the 2 mixed up or he's smoking some good stuff.

it was like i had to try arguing evolution over creationism, he wont further his knowledge so whatever he already knows is the word of god.

pointless.

so i called a few more places , vermont soapstone and the place in jersey scott posted.
vermont was at like 120 +45 shipped  (also said the old man sounded crazy) and the one in jersey was at 78 and im waiting on shipping but i will be ordering it from them and its about a 2 week wait to get it


Offline pcampbell

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Re: Pizza stones etc
« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2010, 12:36:19 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.
scott123,

I don't know if anyone else here has a soapstone  pizza stone.

Could you post a picture of what the crust comes out like and some details about the oven and dough?

i am curious  how this works in a regular oven and if with such a high conductivity does the bottom just end up being baked well but the top ends up not being done enough... ?
Patrick