Author Topic: Fibrament?  (Read 2063 times)

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Offline Nickos219

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Fibrament?
« on: October 01, 2011, 11:58:56 AM »
I'm looking at getting into pizza making, some of the pies I've seen on here look absolutely amazing and I want to give it a go so I'm starting to buy the pieces needed. Fibrament looks like a good deal but I've heard some ups and downs on it.


i have a old POS gas oven the dial goes to 550 but i don't know what it actually heats up to, (ill be finding that out soon as well) but I've read about steel plate, that other ceramic kiln shelf stuff and a host of other options.

what are your thoughts and opinions?

Thanks,
Nick


scott123

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 02:44:54 AM »
Nick, gas ovens, depending on the model, can have special hearth needs. Does your oven have a broiler in the main compartment or does it have a separate compartment beneath for broiling?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 03:16:43 AM by scott123 »

Offline Nickos219

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 09:56:56 AM »
Nick, gas ovens, depending on the model, can have special hearth needs. Does your oven have a broiler in the main compartment or does it have a separate compartment beneath for broiling?
unfortunately the broiler is on the very bottom of the oven right next to the floor, it's really a pain in the ass to get to :-(

scott123

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 11:19:02 AM »
Nick, for your particular scenario, I normally suggest the oven within an oven technique.  You basically want to build a ceiling on a lower shelf out of quarry tiles and then put a hearth below that of something in a mid range of conductivity- like a cordierite kiln shelf.  When you put in a false quarry tile ceiling (with the gaps covered by foil), you're basically isolating the thermostat in the top of oven, allowing the bottom of the oven to rise above the typical peak oven temp.  You're also, with the tile ceiling, adding some thermal mass, so it holds some heat and transfers it down on the top of the pie.

Going this route, you can get a lower baking compartment that could hit temps as high as 650.  As long as the vertical space between the tile ceiling and the hearth is small enough, you should get browning on the top of the pizza.

The ceiling should cover as much as possible of the shelf, but, for the hearth, you want air gaps for the heat to pass. At the same time, you want to maximize the size of the hearth, since larger pizzas generally turn out better.What are the internal inner dimensions of your oven shelves?

Offline clawmd

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2011, 11:21:23 AM »
I have used a fibrament stone for a long time. I organized a group purchase of 20 and have heard only rave reviews. There has not been any breakage and they clearly out perform thinner ceramic stones that are readily available. The rectangular shape fits most ovens very well, and there is no reason to remove them between uses. The mass effect is very noticeable, the oven regains heat quickly after the door has been opened.

Offline Nickos219

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 12:41:29 PM »
Nick, for your particular scenario, I normally suggest the oven within an oven technique.  You basically want to build a ceiling on a lower shelf out of quarry tiles and then put a hearth below that of something in a mid range of conductivity- like a cordierite kiln shelf.  When you put in a false quarry tile ceiling (with the gaps covered by foil), you're basically isolating the thermostat in the top of oven, allowing the bottom of the oven to rise above the typical peak oven temp.  You're also, with the tile ceiling, adding some thermal mass, so it holds some heat and transfers it down on the top of the pie.

Going this route, you can get a lower baking compartment that could hit temps as high as 650.  As long as the vertical space between the tile ceiling and the hearth is small enough, you should get browning on the top of the pizza.

The ceiling should cover as much as possible of the shelf, but, for the hearth, you want air gaps for the heat to pass. At the same time, you want to maximize the size of the hearth, since larger pizzas generally turn out better.What are the internal inner dimensions of your oven shelves?
great advice thanks!
my oven racks are 18x24

do you not recommend fibrament? cordierite instead?
i do bake bread as well from time to time

scott123

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 01:37:50 PM »
No, Nick, I don't recommend Fibrament.  Fibrament is physically weaker, thermally weaker, less conductive and more expensive than cordierite.  Cordierite will work just as well for bread.

At least I don't normally recommend Fibrament.  Bottom heat only scenarios can be especially difficult to dial in a good top to bottom heat ratio.  If the hearth is too thick and/or too conductive, the bottom of the pizza will bake faster than the top.  Fibrament's especially poor conductivity, which, in most instances, is a defect, in bottom heat only gas ovens, can potentially be a bit of a blessing. It's lack of conductivity allows for higher baking temps and gives the ceiling heat more of a chance. At the same time, though, 3/4" fibrament at 650 degrees may not give you the best possible bake times on the bottom of the pizza, so you might have to push the oven a bit higher.  As you go higher in temp, that's great for the top heat, but it might get a bit uncomfortable for the oven.  550 to 650 is not that drastic of a tweak.  550 to 700 kind of is.

On the other hand, the composition of different brands of cordierite kiln shelves varies, so the conductivity is a bit of a crap shoot. You could pick up a 3/4" x 18 x 18 kiln shelf and pre-heat it to 650 and end up with the bottom finishing long before the top is done, regardless of how close you position the hearth to the ceiling.  You'd then have to go out and get a 1/2" thick kiln shelf instead (both lower conductivity and less thermal mass handicap the hearth's baking abilities and let the top heat 'catch up').

I guess, if you really want to ensure the best possible chance of achieving proper top browning, and want to avoid potential multiple trips to a ceramic supplier, then go with Fibrament.  But expect to pay. If you ever have any plans to make the best possible NY style pizza, you're going to want an 18" stone (or as large as your oven can fit).  For Fibrament, this means a special order, which will most likely put you into the $100 realm.  If you go the cordierite route, you should be able to walk in to a ceramic supplier and pick up an 18" x 18" x 3/4" (or 1/2") kiln shelf for around $35. 

One really important pre-purchase task that you'll want to perform is to measure your oven really carefully and make absolutely certain that it will accommodate an 18" x 18" square stone.  I find it best to cut a dummy out of cardboard, putting it in place and making sure the door closes.  Pay close to any lips on the oven shelf.

scott123

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 02:49:09 AM »
I went back and re-read my post and wanted to add a few things.

Basically, when you've got an electric oven with a broiler and a bottom element, you can set the bottom to one temp and the top to another.  So, if the top is finishing too quickly, you can turn the broiler down, or, if the top is finishing too slowly, you can turn the broiler up or move the pizza closer to it.

In a gas oven where the heat source is only from below, when you preheat the ceiling and hearth, you're preheating them to pretty much the same temp (the hearth will be a bit hotter because of it's proximity to the heat source), but, whatever temp you pre-heat them to has to work for both.  Instead of adjusting the top and bottom heat with different heating elements, you have to adjust it with different hearth materials- materials that transfer heat slower and faster.  By using a more conductive and/or thicker hearth, you're speeding up the bottom bake time, while a less conductive/thinner hearth slows it down.

In almost every electric oven with a broiler in the main compartment, the hearth is almost always at a disadvantage because the oven tends to not go above 550, and 550, with any thin or poorly conductive stone won't bake the bottom fast enough, while the broiling element will pretty much give you any time you want, depending on how close you put the pizza to the top of the oven.

In a gas broilerless oven, this is reversed.  With a false ceiling, you can remove the thermostat from the equation and drive up the temp past 550, giving you plenty of hearth heat, allowing for pretty much any stone.  As far as top heat goes, a thick tile ceiling helps, but the higher the temperature, the better.  To give the ceiling a fair chance, you have to handicap the hearth with relatively poor conductivity and/or thinner material. Fibrament has just about the worst conductivity of any retail baking stone, so, in that sense, it's ideal, but its expensive and you may be able to do it for a fraction of the cost with cordierite.

The biggest issue with a gas oven setup is that, unlike an electric oven when you can turn the broiler on and off to correct top and bottom heat issues, in a gas oven, if the top and bottom are too much off, you have to buy another stone. The stone is the equalizer, not the oven dial.

I'm aware that I'm repeating myself quite a bit here, but gas oven setups can get a bit complicated and I wanted to be as clear as possible. I hope this helps.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2011, 04:22:34 AM »
Hi Scott,
 I understand your points but I have a Fibrament and a GE gas convection oven/range and have found that using the 'roast' convection works great. There is also a 'bake' convection that is a lower setting on the fan. Using my IR gun I've found my stone gets to a solid 565 or so with the oven set at 550. This is after 45-60 minute pre-heat. Next time I will check a temp after the pie is done to see what is left in the stone. Point being, a higher end gas oven 'with convection' works very well, much better that the older electric one I had or the gas one I had before I got our newer GE. The gas ovens with convection were not around till recent years and I have loved mine now for a solid couple years. Used to be you could get a gas range but if you wanted convection in your oven it had to be electric (dual fuel) or just regular gas oven.  BIG difference on overall heat and consistency with convection gas.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline Nickos219

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Re: Fibrament?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 12:54:32 PM »
thanks for your input all of you
ill only have this oven for another year or so
building a new house and ill have a separate cooktop and wall ovens for that place so i dont want to get too involved buying things for this gasser if i cant use them in the new oven

the new oven will (hopefully) this one or similar.
http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/EW30EW65GS.html
but thats still a year off so who knows


 

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