Author Topic: which material stone best for my oven?  (Read 5976 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline esoog

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 37
which material stone best for my oven?
« on: November 03, 2010, 01:27:05 PM »
I have a electric oven that goes as far as 550F. Will be trying out ny pizzas mainly and attempting np. I have a kitchen tile shop etc that would supply clay, granite and slate tiles that can be used for baking (as other people seem to do that its a bargain in uk). What material do you recommend (especially scott r love to get your input please mate). Please let me know fellas, all the best


Offline esoog

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 37
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 01:28:10 PM »
for those that are in uk the store name is Fired Earth  :)

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3063
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 03:56:02 PM »
esoog, Im flattered, but im not sure im the best one to answer your questions.    There has been a lot of info on this forum about newer, more interesting materials than what I have used at pizzerias and in my kitchen.      Hopefully someone else with more knowledge in this area will chime in.   


Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6968
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 03:58:16 PM »
First of all, neither slate nor granite should ever be used as baking stones.  I sincerely hope that the store selling these isn't marketing them in this fashion, especially granite.  Slate is very soft and flaky and will most like just crack in the first couple uses, but granite is mostly silica and can shatter like glass with extreme temperature changes.

Unglazed clay tiles are an option, but they won't be conductive enough to work well in a 550 deg. oven. Also, they most likely won't be thermally strong enough to handle the kind of oven tricks you'll need to incorporate in order to hit Neapolitan temps.

Here are a few options:

1. Forget about Neapolitan, for now, buy the unglazed clay tiles and mod your oven so that it bakes at 650-700 F. You should be able to hit 650 with the frozen towel trick (do a search).

2. Find a ceramic supplier and purchase a 1" thick cordierite kiln shelf.  This will most likely work well for NY in a 550 deg. oven, and, when the time comes, will stand up to higher temps for Neapolitan.

3. Find a source for soapstone. It's extremely difficult to find in the UK, but if you do some digging, you might find a source. It most likely won't be cheap, though. The advantage to soapstone is that it's more conductive than cordierite and is guaranteed to bake a 4 minute pizza (the sweet spot for NY style) in a 525-550 oven. Another advantage  of soapstone is that, when the time comes to mod your oven to hit Neapolitan temps, you can shoot for a slightly lower temp (750 instead of 850) and expose your oven to a little less duress (high temps/cleaning cycles can be hard on ovens).

I would try these guys in Glascow

M. Teixeira Soapstone UK Limited
p: + 44 790 860 0138
email: UK@soapstones.com

M. Teixeira is a pretty respectable Brazilian soapstone importer here in the U.S., so hopefully their Glascow office will be knowledgeable.  See if they'd ship you a remnant (if your oven can fit a 17" x 17" x 1.25" slab, that's ideal for 16" NY style pies).  The remnant most likely will be expensive, but the shipping will be exorbitant. You're looking for a classic high talc Brazilian soapstone.  The good thing about Teixeira is that they only sell soapstone and should know what you're asking for.  A lot of granite and marble places may tell you they sell soapstone, but when you get there, it's something else such as serpentine.

The UK has plenty of ceramic suppliers, and, if you do some comparison shopping, you should be able to find a kiln shelf locally for very little money. Just make sure it's 1" thick. I would probably recommend getting up to speed with cordierite and then keeping your eye out for soapstone.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3063
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 05:21:55 PM »
Scott123, just the guy I was hoping to respond,  thanks.   

I am curious about the soapstone thing myself.    If I use my fibramint stone in a 550 degree home oven I get a perfect top to bottom balance of heat.    Is it probable that if I drop soapstone into the same oven temp/recipe the bottom of my pizza will bake faster than the top making it so that I need to use the broiler to even out the bake? 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 08:51:09 PM by scott r »

Offline scott123

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6968
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 06:39:24 PM »
Yes, you will need to use the broiler to augment your top heat because the bottom of your pizza will bake quite a bit faster.

If you're at, say, 8-10 minutes @ 550 with fibrament, the bottom will be done in 3-4 minutes with soapstone.

The pies I'm doing now are 4.5 minutes @ 525 with a 6" vertical gap and about 2 minutes of red hot broiling at the beginning of the bake. Sometimes the broiler will push my oven over the 550 mark and turn off so I have to watch it.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3063
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 09:01:02 PM »
Thats a crazy fast bake time for your temp.   Very cool!

For some reason I have never needed to cook a NY style pizza at 550 in any of my ovens for more than about 6 minutes, and thats with probably a little more char than typical NY.  I do use extra thick stones, so maybe thats why my times are faster.  I always seem to be fighting the opposite problem, too much heat from below and not enough heat from the top when I try to use oven mods or tricks. 

As far as the soapstone thing goes, does it really make a nice even looking char around the sides of the pizza?  The air swirling around the pizza is still 550, so to me it seems as if the pizza would not bake from the sides evenly.  Also, im worried about using the broiler, because usually I end up with a weird char to the cheese that doesn't taste right, and I have noticed an unusual look to the broiler method pizzas.  Still, this is very interesting stuff, and im sure that with the right type of broiler (gas maybe?) this is a great alternative to a whimpy bake.   
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 11:34:58 PM by scott r »

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3063
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2010, 01:29:54 AM »
I just poked around and found some pictures.    The pies look great!   My favorite was one that was baked with soapstone and the convection feature on.   If I use the convection feature in my oven with a normal pizza stone I get too much browning on top and on the sides when compared to the bottom.   I think that might be the perfect answer for me to be able to get the fast bake out of a conventional oven without the need to use the broiler.   Does that sound right scott?   

Offline esoog

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 37
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2010, 04:50:42 AM »
Wow guys thank you ever so much for the advice! You guys knowledge amazes me and your posts just inspire me to get better and better I just love the passion!
I got hold of a source for the kiln shelf just as you described Scott and look forward to making some excellent pies. I do find the crust with a current bake time of 15 mins on a screen quite dry. Thanks again folks

Offline DonC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 33
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Southwest Michigan
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2010, 01:50:11 PM »
I'm getting good results using unglazed quarry tile($3)from a local flooring store on the bottom oven shelf preheated to 475F for 20 minutes before baking.Using the peel was the most intimidating thing for me but the difference cooking right on the tiles makes was well worth learning to use the peel.I've tried pizza stones a couple times in the past and they always cracked after a couple uses.


Offline DannyG

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 129
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2010, 09:19:01 AM »
I use a fibrament stone on the bottom shelf in a GE electric oven with a maximum temp of 550. I preheat the stone about 45 minutes after the oven signals it has achieved the max temp. The stone temp maxes out around 607 degrees. I don't use the broiler and I don't use convection. My pies cook in 6 minutes and 45 seconds. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11964.msg111646.html#msg111646

Offline esoog

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 37
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2010, 03:52:30 PM »
Just brought a corderite 1" thick kiln shelf from a local dealer  ;D    really cant wait to start using over the weekend. Is there anything like cleaning or putting anything on it i have to do before using? will post pics up .....thanks guys  :chef:

PaulsPizza

  • Guest
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2010, 04:05:34 PM »
Just brought a corderite 1" thick kiln shelf from a local dealer  ;D    really cant wait to start using over the weekend. Is there anything like cleaning or putting anything on it i have to do before using? will post pics up .....thanks guys  :chef:

Nice Gos! How much did that bad boy cost?

Paul
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 05:13:45 PM by PaulsPizza »

Offline esoog

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 37
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2010, 04:29:46 PM »
It was 35 but I had to go to Stoke on Trent and collect. Will post you pics, it's just quite dusty which I'm thinking do I lightly oil it? I've had place in oven at low temp to get rid of moisture maybe that's the reason. Just made up that dough recipe thanks again Paul

PaulsPizza

  • Guest
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 05:18:22 PM »
It was 35 but I had to go to Stoke on Trent and collect. Will post you pics, it's just quite dusty which I'm thinking do I lightly oil it? I've had place in oven at low temp to get rid of moisture maybe that's the reason. Just made up that dough recipe thanks again Paul

That seems good value, I remember when I got my stone I had to bake it before I first used it.


Offline jonesyb

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 114
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2011, 07:26:36 AM »
Loads of great information in this thread. Thank you.

Offline jerrym

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 87
  • Location: UK
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2011, 01:43:54 PM »
jonesyb,

i was about to purchase stone but tried some 1" quarry tiles which work a treat.

choice depends on pocket and availability.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12351.msg121216.html#msg121216

Offline jonesyb

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 114
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2011, 03:06:33 PM »
Thank you. It seems you know that trade. Any recommendations on where I could acquire something like that from?

Offline jonesyb

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 114
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2011, 06:44:19 AM »
Just discovered there is a Fired Earth within 5 minutes walk from my house.

Can anyone point me in the right direction of suitable tiles from their website: http://www.firedearthshop.com/epages/FEShop.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/FEShop/Categories/Browse_Catalogue/Floor_Tiles&PageSize=12

Offline Pizza Rustica

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 94
Re: which material stone best for my oven?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2011, 11:19:47 PM »
Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this weekend about Nathan Myhrovld's four year 36 person team analyzing cooking methods, recipe's, etc. His research shows that a 1/4" steel sheet is best for your home oven. Has anyone tried this?

Here is the link:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124353978673570.html
Russ


 

pizzapan