Author Topic: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...  (Read 3197 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline gijoe985

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 81
Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« on: May 29, 2012, 03:52:34 PM »
So, I'm deconstructing and reconstructing a gas stove in order to create an oven that can cook larger pizzas. I plan to chop it in height and line the inside with stone.

Up until now, contrary to much I have read, I have bee using a 1-3/4" thick granite stone for my pizzas in my home oven. I modded it to get to around 600-650 F. It has worked really well for my needs. I will be needing a new stone for the larger size of my new oven, but I wasn't sure if I should stick with granite. One thing to clarify is that I can get the granite for free, which has been the main driving force in using it. I might be able to score some soapstone which obviously would be better. If neither of those things work, I've thoguht about fire bricks, and only today started to read some reviews of using thick steel (which I could also score cheap/free). \


Any input? I know I've heard that granite will crack, but I assume that would be from sudden heat changes. I am planning to put deflectors on my flames so that the granite would not get direct heat. Again, any input would be appreciated.


Offline BrickStoneOven

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1594
  • Location: Boston
Re: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 06:32:59 PM »
I've never heard of anyone using granite because of the potential of it exploding. Scott will most likely be in here sooner or later.

Offline gijoe985

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 81
Re: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 01:49:27 PM »
I have had no exploding problems so far. Though it doesn't heat very fast.

Offline Tory

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 71
using stone
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 01:28:24 PM »
I have used a stone in my electric oven for a couple years now and am pretty happy with the results.

I am sort of curious if anyone has ever tried using two stones in the oven. One of them to cook the pizza on, and the other stone maybe two shelf spaces above it to create a more focused radiant heat area within the oven. I got this idea from watching a video (filmed at Tony Gemignani's restaurant in San Francisco) where he had this speciality oven that had an interior space of only about 10-12 vertical inches and maybe about 18 inches wide.

So this is what makes me wonder if putting another stone in 'above' the pizza would simulate this same type of cooking space within the oven?

Or maybe raising the shelf that the cooking stone is on so that its up near the top of the oven just beneath the 'broiler coils", and only have the broiler going for a few minutes to cook the pizza.

Any ideas on this?  If you've tried this before, or know whether or not it would work, please let me know.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 02:04:57 PM by Tory »

Offline gijoe985

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 81
Re: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 03:03:49 PM »
I am hoping to construct a pizza oven by redimensioning a regular gas oven. I plan on having stones all around. I am just trying to find the cheapest route. So far, granite from my old work ( a granite business) is the best bet...

Offline Tory

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 71
Re: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 04:41:40 PM »
Well, if granite takes so long to heat up, why would you want to use it? Especially in a home-made oven.

Unless you can make your oven so you can switch out that granite if it doesn't work for you, I'd be inclined to
do more research before I settled on that.

It may have an initially low price to use granite, it may cost more in the long run. I'd look around more if I were you.

But good luck. :)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 04:50:59 PM by Tory »

Offline gijoe985

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 81
Re: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 01:25:34 PM »
What would heat up faster? I usually let my oven preheat about hour. Is that long?

buceriasdon

  • Guest
Re: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 01:50:05 PM »
The most efficient material to use for the oven lining would be insulating firebrick. http://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/81/insulating-fire-bricks

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Granite, steel, firebrick? Making my own oven...
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 02:04:58 PM »
It's a bit after the fact, but here are my thoughts on natural stones.

If you go far enough back in time, you'll see posts of mine professing the superior attributes of soapstone.  I don't regret recommending it, because, at that time, there wasn't anything better available, but we have far better options now. Mother nature has no quality control.  Anytime you walk into a stone distributor, the stone you purchase can contain trace elements of just about anything AND it can have defects that aren't visible to the naked eye. Natural stones are always going to be a gamble.  You can hedge your bet a bit by going with soapstone, and identifying it carefully, but there's still always a chance that it will either have flaws that cause it to fail down the line or be comprised of materials that don't give you the thermal conductivity you're looking for.

Granite, for cooking, isn't just a gamble, it's putting your life on the line.  Granite has incredibly poor resistance to thermal shock. It's like baking with glass- and not Pyrex either.  It's not a matter of whether or not it will fail, but when it will fail and how violently.  There are certain materials that have no place being near heat and granite is at the top of the list.

The idea that you can walk into a quarry, any quarry, and find a stone to bake on needs to die, once and for all. These stones served our ancestors honorably and they still have beautiful non heat uses, but, in this day and age, anything that goes into an oven needs to be engineered to do so.

Steel is really your best bet, IF you have a top heat source. If this is a bottom heat only scenario, then the conductivity of the steel will cause the bottom of the pizza to burn long before the top is done. In that setting, you want to handicap the bottom heat transfer with a poor conductor- like quarry tiles.


 

pizzapan