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.