Author Topic: Soapstone vs Cordierite  (Read 12351 times)

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Offline Bobino414

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2010, 09:36:23 AM »

Norma

Nice work.

I'm looking forward to the experiments with your other ovens and Steve's report.


Bob


Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2010, 09:47:41 AM »
Norma

Nice work.

I'm looking forward to the experiments with your other ovens and Steve's report.


Bob

Bob,

Thanks for saying nice work.  :)  Soapstones have intrigued me for awhile.  That is why I decided to buy them.  It might take awhile to find out if soapstones are really better.  Right now I am still wondering.  ::)

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2010, 10:27:42 AM »
These are two pictures, top and bottom of my 16" stone I normally use to bake pizzas in my home oven. This is the stone I am comparing soapstone to.  As can be seen, I had oven mishaps and it has been used quite a lot.

Norma
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Offline Tampa

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2010, 10:29:46 AM »
Thanks Norma.  I especially appreciate your detailed setup and results.

The long warm up times for a large, thick slab, seem consistent and intuitive.  For me, there are two lingering questions.  Is it true that soapstone throw temperatures can be ~75F below cordierite and still get similar results?  How does the crust cook compared to cordierite?

Lower throw temperature - All things being the same, I'd much rather throw at a lower temperature, not only in a home oven (because they don't get that hot), but in a gas oven as well (b/c of lower energy costs).  If I could throw Caputo 00 at a lower temperature and still get comparable browning, that would be interesting.  To avoid the long warm up, I'd use a thinner slab.

Underside crust - The few pictures I've seen of the underside crust cooked on soapstone look different from the ones on cordierite or firebrick.  I know many forum members like chewy, but not me.  I'm seeking a slight baguette-like crisp on the rim and on the underside.  But itís hard to read crisp from a picture.

Scott, I know you have a lot of experience with soapstone and all things pizza.  If you werenít so focused on NY styleÖ  Any thoughts?  Other folks?

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2010, 10:40:16 AM »
Tampa,

I havenít tried loading a pie at lower temperatures to see what would happen with a pie in those conditions. Since this recent pie I made was an all together different type of pie, than I normally make, I canít compare the bottom crust to my other pies. I can tell you that the pie Steve and I baked on the soapstone in my 1/4 size convection oven did have a lighter crust than it normally does. If I had baked the same pie (preferment for Lehmann dough) at market in my deck oven, in my home oven, or my BBQ grill set-up the bottom crust would have been darker.

Hope this helps so far with the limited tests I have done.

Norma
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Offline scott123

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2010, 06:12:18 AM »
Dave, I'm extremely NYcentric, but I have done a handful of 575 deg. soapstone 2.5 minute bakes that were solidly in the Neo-NY territory.  It wasn't quite leoparding, but it was close. If a 75 deg. difference produces comparable results between soapstone and cordierite, then, when comparing it to the less conductive traditional WFO firebrick hearth, you could be talking as high as a 150 degree drop. In other words, hearth-wise, 700 deg. soapstone could match the output of 850 deg. firebrick. Based upon my 575 2.5 min. bake, I'm quite confident this is the case.

Now, that's just the hearth, though.  As far as I can see, soapstone doesn't buy you much in terms of the radiative ability of a ceiling. It's not like you could go with a soapstone ceiling in a WFO and be able to lower the ceiling temp 150 degrees.

Offline Tampa

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2010, 01:23:34 PM »
Thanks Scott.  Iím still wanting to give ĹĒ soapstone a try in my rotisserie setup.  Our supplier, Creative, sent me a note saying it was in the works.

Iím not trying to get you out on a limb, but, does it seem reasonable that I could brown the bottom crust made of Caputo 00 at 700F on Soapstone vs 850F for Eggheads like Jackie Tran?  (No offense JT)

I get that the top and sides are a different problem, and I think Iíve got a way to handle that.  Iím just wondering if you think the bottom crust will look comparable.

Dave

Offline scott123

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2010, 01:58:56 PM »
There's no limb here, Dave, the two would be identical.  Assuming, of course, my 150 projection is correct.  I reserve the right to be off 25 degrees in either direction  ;D

Not only would they blister and char in the exact same manner, but the barely perceptible contrasting absorption phenomenon that you've documented previously would be completely imperceptible.  I sincerely believe that as the baking time decreases, the phase change from water to steam occurs so quickly that absorption becomes even less of a factor- this is why you can find cast iron bakes with very Neapolitan-ish looking bottoms.

Offline Tampa

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2010, 02:30:29 PM »
This should be fun then.  I'm looking forward to giving it a go.  I'll post up when I've got some results - but expect a week or two given the custom stone, some fitting, and I need to get some 00.

Dave

Offline Bobino414

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2010, 03:33:41 PM »

Dave

Feel free to finish my bag of Caputo

Bob


Offline Ev

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2010, 06:13:16 PM »
I used Norma's extra soapstone in my home oven last week. I baked four pies for my neighbor but I was trying to hurry, so I didn't take any notes or photos. I can say though, that seemed to cook about the same as my 16" cord. stone. The upside, as previously noted, was the extra ease of launching a 17" pie.
 Norma had asked me to cut the stone to better fit her oven. The stone is now 19"x14". The cut off piece is 3.5x14. I was able to use both pieces together, giving me a cooking surface 19x17.5, with two short corners. ( the cut piece is only 14" long)
 While each pie cooked, I dressed the next, and was able to cook all four pies non stop. I noticed no appreciable loss of heat from pie to pie.
 I'll conduct a proper experiment soon and report my findings and photos.

Offline Tampa

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2010, 08:45:08 AM »
Thanks for the post Ev.  I'm looking forward to your next report.  Of course I took particular interest that this and the cordierite stone cooked about the same (except for the residual heat).  That is what Bob said with his soapstone.  To me it is no surprise that different bakers report different results.
Dave

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2010, 09:51:43 PM »
Thanks for the post Ev.  I'm looking forward to your next report.  Of course I took particular interest that this and the cordierite stone cooked about the same (except for the residual heat).  That is what Bob said with his soapstone.  To me it is no surprise that different bakers report different results.
Dave

Tampa,

Steve and I tried the soapstone out at market today in the 1/4 size convection oven.  I will post the pictures tomorrow, but the pie didn't bake any different with soapstone today. We even left the oven on with the convection feature on for over 2 hours.  The temperature of the soapstone when we did the bake was 520 degrees F.  The soapstone was 3 inches from the top of the oven and the whole inside of that oven is stainless steel.

Norma

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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2010, 07:12:43 AM »
These are the pictures from the small pie Steve and I baked in the 1/4 size convection oven yesterday.  As I said in my last post, we let the oven heat up for well over two hours and the pie was baked fairly close to the top of the oven.  This small dough ball we used was a preferment Lehmann dough ball.  We didnít have time to take consistent temperatures for how long this soapstone took to preheat, but we did monitor it some and it took well over an hour and a half for the temperatures on the top of the soapstone to slowly come up in temperature.  This was even with the convection feature on all the while.

We had a loading mishap, because we didnít have time to make a peel out of a pizza box, like Steve did the last time.  We just decided to use a paper plate to load the pie.  Well, that was a disaster.  It wanted to stick on the stone, before it was fully loaded.  It can see by this pictures that this pie didnít bake any different or less better than in the deck oven on the stone.  In the next experiment we will use a proper way to load a pie.

From the few experiments Steve and I did so far, (him in his home oven with a soapstone, me at home using a soapstone and the two experiments in the 1/4 size convection oven) that the bottom of the crust gets a lighter or different color from using the soapstone.  More experiments will follow to see if this stays the same, when using soapstone.

Pictures below,

Norma
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 07:18:29 AM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2010, 07:13:33 AM »
rest of pictures

Norma
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Offline Tampa

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2010, 07:23:30 AM »
Quote
From the few experiments Steve and I did so far, (him in his home oven with a soapstone, me at home using a soapstone and the two experiments in the 1/4 size convection oven) that the bottom of the crust gets a lighter or different color from using the soapstone.

Thanks Norma.  If you get more data to support this and/or develop an opinion about soapstone using lower cooking temperatures compared to cordierite, please share.

Dave

Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2010, 07:35:35 AM »
Thanks Norma.  If you get more data to support this and/or develop an opinion about soapstone using lower cooking temperatures compared to cordierite, please share.

Dave

Dave,

Steve and I will keep experimenting with the different pieces of soapstone to see what happens.  His home oven can get to higher temperatures than my home oven.  So far I like the cordierite stone better, but time will tell how well a soapstone does, when used in different settings.  I haven't tried the soapstone in my BBQ grill set-up, so when I have time to do that, it should be interesting.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2010, 08:44:11 AM »
I made a pizza on a small piece of soapstone last evening in the BBQ grill set-up.  I wished I had my IR gun at home to measure the temperature of the soapstone.  It seems when there is a higher bake temperature the soapstone does work out well.  Someday, I will place the small soapstone on top of my cordierite stone in my market deck oven.  I will let it there most of the day and also bake a pizza that way, to see if the soapstone acts different in my deck oven.

Pictures below of pizza made on soapstone in BBQ grill set-up.

Norma
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Offline Tampa

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2010, 07:17:34 PM »
I picked up a ĹĒ thin soapstone from Joshua at Creative Soapstone earlier today.  Below are the results from the first pizza.

I was not able to validate the idea that I can bake at a lower temperature on Soapstone than on Cordierite and get the same results.  I was hoping to throw the pizza at 625F, but by the time the pizza was ready, the stone had already reached 685F and I was hungry.  So I threw at a typical cordierite temperature and the result was very similar to what I would have expected on Cordierite (although the bottom crust may have been a bit more crispy, which we like).

At the risk of predicting too much based on the first pie, I have the following comments to share.  Iím sure this soapstone is going to crack in my setup.  Why?  Three reasons: my grill burners causes a fast temperature ramp, this is a thin stone, and stress concentrations.  One stress concentration is due to the irregular underside profile (the bottom center area is a little thicker just like the cordierite stone).  The other stress is caused by my rotisserie setup, where the center disk-shaped area is supported but the outer rim (~6Ē) is unsupported.

You may remember that I had a thick slab of soapstone to begin with and wasnít happy with the lengthy warm up time.  Creative made me this thin version for a nominal fee.  When I met up with Joshua, he offered to cut my slab (with a router using a diamond bit) so Iíd have a back up stone.  He also offered to make this slab a little thicker than the other one so I could which I preferred.  Joshua knows customer service!  It turns out that as he started work on the slab, Joshua noticed a long crack already present.  He said, it must have been a defect.  I think probably not.  I think that when I heated that slab up to 700F in that one and only test, the thermal shock caused the crack.  If so, Iím toast on this new thin one.  Weíll see, but Iíll enjoy the thin soapstone as long as it lasts.

By the way, it seems much easier to get an incorrect thermal reading on soapstone than on cordierite.  In my environment, the IR thermometer reflects off the somewhat shiny surface onto the back wall.  Only by measuring almost perpendicular to the stone, was I able to get a correct thermal reading.

Dave

Offline Bobino414

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Re: Soapstone vs Cordierite
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2010, 10:14:39 PM »

Dave

At least the soapstone looks pretty !

Oh by the way, leave the bacon at home next week. :-D


Bob