Author Topic: What is the best type of stone?  (Read 3351 times)

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Offline Jeep Pizza

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What is the best type of stone?
« on: October 22, 2010, 01:47:02 PM »
What is the best material for a pizza stone? I have seen many comments about the different materials and I was wondering what the best material would be and why.
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Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: What is the best type of stone?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 03:10:04 PM »
depends more on your setup, temps, desired type of pizza etc i believe.  i've used standard paver bricks before  :chef:
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Offline Jeep Pizza

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Re: What is the best type of stone?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 04:32:51 PM »
Most of what I have cooked with is a standard home oven with unglazed tile for cooking surface. I have fire brick ( both whole and splits) to experiment with on the grills. I also had a pizza stone given to me by a friend the other day. I am looking for what would take heat the best and retain it the longest for a home oven for now. I don't know where the grill testing will lead me.
Time is money, money is power, power is pizza and pizza is knowledge.

Offline scott123

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Re: What is the best type of stone?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2010, 01:13:39 PM »
The best type of stone is the stone that will bake your style of pizza in the right amount of time at the temp you're working with.

Generally speaking, there's sweet spots for baking times for each type of style:

Neapolitan - 45 seconds to 2 minutes
Coal/Neo New York - 2 to 4 minutes
New York Style - 4 to 5 minutes

To break that 5 minute barrier in a home oven that maxes out at 550, you need a highly conductive stone.  Firebrick isn't conductive enough, nor is fibrament or unglazed quarry tiles. Cordierite should be, although, I wouldn't use cordierite in anything below 550.  For an oven that only goes to 525, you're going to want the most conductive stone available- soapstone. If you happen to be cursed with an even more anemic oven than that (500 or below), you could play around with an iron pan, or, more preferably, you could tweak your oven so it'll go hotter.

Thicker stones have more thermal mass, so they store enough heat to bake an entire pizza (and don't need to be replenished by the burner below, which takes forever) as well as retain heat for ensuing pies. If you're going with soapstone, that means slab soapstone at 1.25", or, if cordierite, a 1" thick kiln shelf. The one downside to thicker stones is that they take longer to heat up, but with conductive stones like soapstone or cordierite, it shouldn't take that much longer than an hour.

One nice thing that I've been noticing about more conductive stones is that you can pre-heat them to lower temps, and, when you put the broiler on at the beginning of the bake, it stays on for a longer time. If, for instance, you have an oven that goes to 550 and you pre-heat the stone to 550, when you set the dial to broiler, it might not even turn on/glow red. The longer you can get the broiler to stay on during that 5 minute bake, the better.

Grilling is a whole different ball game.  Most grills don't have that 550 degree ceiling. With the higher heat, you can use something less conductive like firebrick. In fact, sometimes firebrick is preferable because it insulates the bottom of the pie while the heat laps around it and achieves better browning on top.

Offline Tampa

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Re: What is the best type of stone?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2010, 03:00:28 PM »
I'm a fan of Scott's answer.  I've messed w/ several stone types and read quite a bit on the subject.  The right stone depends on the oven type.
dave

Offline Jeep Pizza

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Re: What is the best type of stone?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2010, 07:31:34 PM »
Thanks for the info, this gives me some good info to work with. I am going to try to get a soapstone remnant from one of the local counter shops for the home oven and try some temperature experiments on the grill with the brick.
Time is money, money is power, power is pizza and pizza is knowledge.

Offline Tampa

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Re: What is the best type of stone?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 08:40:26 AM »
Good plan.  I don't know how much you have used the search function on this forum, but there is a lot of information here that will help.  Especially

 - Soapstone & home oven use for cooking pizza
 - Grill setups for pizza.

Dave


 

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