Author Topic: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?  (Read 15983 times)

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Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2012, 01:00:12 PM »
Ah great, thanks Scott. I'll pop over to OSH or Home Depot later in the week. I have neither foil nor vegetable oil here, and I'd rather not buy stuff I'm not gonna use fully, so I might wait to do that until I'm back in Toronto---but I think I got the grease out. It's now mainly the powder that sticks to my hands that bugs me!

How much 40 grit would you recommend? I have trouble judging such things :\ And how far down do I want to take it? I looked around a bit but couldn't find a picture of a similar plate (I'm terrible at searching for stuff like this though) so I'm not sure what I'm aiming for. I should be getting a new camera soon so I can post some pictures of my plate once I have it :)


scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2012, 01:51:01 PM »
Any kind of oil is fine- olive, canola, sesame.  Creamy peanut butter would probably do the trick. I mentioned foil to keep the counter clean. If you're willing to clean the counter, nix the foil.

You might be able to get away with one piece of 40 grit sandpaper, cut in half, but, just to be safe, get two.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:55:32 PM by scott123 »

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2012, 01:54:37 PM »
Thanks again Scott! I'll be sure to post some pics so that anyone else doing it can see how it goes :)

(And also, so everyone (including me) can get a good laugh when I do something wrong :p)

scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2012, 01:59:26 PM »
Photos are always nice (said by a guy that never posts pictures ;) )

Oh, if it's not too pitted, take the steel down to the shiny metal. You should be able to do it pretty quickly with coarse sandpaper.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2012, 03:00:02 PM »
Aditya: I look forward to hearing about and seeing your progress with the new steel.

Scott: After playing around with trying to move 40 pounds around in my oven, I discovered that my back (with 2 surgeries) and elbow (golfer's elbow for a guy who hasn't picked up a club in over 35 years) can't do it. So, I'm now going to source a 16x16 silicon carbide kiln shelf and see if that's a reasonable substitute for 4 minute NY bakes. I'll probably start a new thread once I get it, since november's threads seem to be geared more toward sub 2 minute neapolitan bakes.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2012, 03:01:27 PM »
Oh, speaking of weight: I totally lightly bent the rack in the oven here. Hopefully my own holds up better >:D

buceriasdon

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2012, 03:19:10 PM »
Without heavy mechanical grinding, starting with 36 grit, you will never remove the oxide layer and I know of no reason to do so. The hot roll process exposes the hot steel surface to oxygen which molecularly bonds to the surface and is actually harder than the steel itself. Clean it as well as possible and season it if you're still concerned, without cause I might add. Sanding will not remove the grease in the pores of the metal. That is simply not possible.
Don

scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2012, 03:21:09 PM »
After playing around with trying to move 40 pounds around in my oven, I discovered that my back (with 2 surgeries) and elbow (golfer's elbow for a guy who hasn't picked up a club in over 35 years) can't do it. So, I'm now going to source a 16x16 silicon carbide kiln shelf and see if that's a reasonable substitute for 4 minute NY bakes. I'll probably start a new thread once I get it, since november's threads seem to be geared more toward sub 2 minute neapolitan bakes.

Barry, while I'm sorry to hear about your potential issue with the weight of steel, I'm happy that you're volunteering to be a silicon carbide guinea pig.  Two important caveats with SiC:

1. Get 3/4" NOT 1/2". As you turn down the temps for NY bakes (from November's Neapolitan temps), thermal mass is going to be a factor.  Because SiC is so light, 1/2" is not a lot of mass. If there's any hope for SiC for NY, it's going to be 3/4"

2. I wouldn't cut SiC- either yourself, or the company that sells it to you.  SiC is close to the hardness of a diamond.  Besides being incredibly difficult to cut, I believe cutting makes it fragile.

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2012, 03:22:46 PM »
Without heavy mechanical grinding, starting with 36 grit, you will never remove the oxide layer and I know of no reason to do so. The hot roll process exposes the hot steel surface to oxygen which molecularly bonds to the surface and is actually harder than the steel itself. Clean it as well as possible and season it if you're still concerned, without cause I might add. Sanding will not remove the grease in the pores of the metal. That is simply not possible.
Don

Yeah, I'm actually fine with that as long as it doesn't affect the conductivity, but I sure as hell don't want any of it coming off onto my hands when I rub them over it---let alone a pizza! There's less of it coming off now than before I cleaned it, but there's still some, so I'm looking to get rid of that. Why do you say that my concern is without cause? I just don't want any of this stuff in my food :p
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 03:24:22 PM by heuristicist »


scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2012, 03:24:18 PM »
Without heavy mechanical grinding, starting with 36 grit, you will never remove the oxide layer and I know of no reason to do so. The hot roll process exposes the hot steel surface to oxygen which molecularly bonds to the surface and is actually harder than the steel itself. Clean it as well as possible and season it if you're still concerned, without cause I might add. Sanding will not remove the grease in the pores of the metal. That is simply not possible.
Don

Don, while I agree that sanding isn't really necessary, if Aditya is starting to see 'silver' with 600 grit paper, then, with 40 grit paper, he should be able to take it down to the metal- assuming it's not that pitted.

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #60 on: July 10, 2012, 03:26:39 PM »
Don, while I agree that sanding isn't really necessary, if Aditya is starting to see 'silver' with 600 grit paper, then, with 40 grit paper, he should be able to take it down to the metal- assuming it's not that pitted.

Actually, I didn't "start" to see some silver underneath so much as it was already there in a minor scratch. There are some pits but not too many. In any case, things should become more clear once I can post a picture of it tomorrow (I could use my phone, but the couple of pictures are pretty bad and it's hard to tell what's going on).

scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #61 on: July 10, 2012, 03:27:10 PM »
Oh, speaking of weight: I totally lightly bent the rack in the oven here. Hopefully my own holds up better >:D

Ruh roh  :) Are we talking a permanent bend or is the shelf sagging a bit with the plate in place?

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #62 on: July 10, 2012, 03:28:00 PM »
Barry, while I'm sorry to hear about your potential issue with the weight of steel, I'm happy that you're volunteering to be a silicon carbide guinea pig.  Two important caveats with SiC:

1. Get 3/4" NOT 1/2". As you turn down the temps for NY bakes (from November's Neapolitan temps), thermal mass is going to be a factor.  Because SiC is so light, 1/2" is not a lot of mass. If there's any hope for SiC for NY, it's going to be 3/4"

2. I wouldn't cut SiC- either yourself, or the company that sells it to you.  SiC is close to the hardness of a diamond.  Besides being incredibly difficult to cut, I believe cutting makes it fragile.

Scott, I'm looking for 3/4" in 16x16. I've seen 5/8" at a couple of web sites, and I've emailed the kiln supply place that I got my cordierite shelf from to see if they can source a 3/4" oxide bonded shelf (they don't cut the shelves at this place).

Glad to be the guinea pig (I think). We'll see if I'm still squealing a happy tune in a few months  ;D

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #63 on: July 10, 2012, 03:28:59 PM »
Ruh roh  :) Are we talking a permanent bend or is the shelf sagging a bit with the plate in place?

Good question. I'll take a closer look at home. It was a pretty minor bend when I noticed it though, the rack is still totally usable and fits fine in the oven. Again, maybe a picture would give the better description :)

buceriasdon

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #64 on: July 11, 2012, 10:45:49 AM »
I am giving you the benefit of many years of experience and knowledge in the metal fabrication trade concerning mill scale on hot rolled steel. Whether you use that experience is up to you, but I guarantee you will never remove the layer with hand sanding. The mills use a hydrochloric acid bath before proceeding to cold rolling and a Google search will prove it. Type in "Removing oxide layer from hot rolled steel."
Don

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #65 on: July 11, 2012, 11:58:35 AM »
I am giving you the benefit of many years of experience and knowledge in the metal fabrication trade concerning mill scale on hot rolled steel. Whether you use that experience is up to you, but I guarantee you will never remove the layer with hand sanding. The mills use a hydrochloric acid bath before proceeding to cold rolling and a Google search will prove it. Type in "Removing oxide layer from hot rolled steel."
Don

Even if I can't remove it, I want to minimize the residue that comes off of it. I don't want any of it coming off onto my hands or my food. There's definitely less coming off now, so I'll see what happens when I keep going. If you have any advice about how to prevent it from rubbing off onto my hands or food, I'd appreciate it.

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #66 on: July 11, 2012, 11:59:26 AM »
Ruh roh  :) Are we talking a permanent bend or is the shelf sagging a bit with the plate in place?

Must've just been sagging, I don't really see any bend in it now.


Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #67 on: July 15, 2012, 10:13:13 PM »
OK, here are some pics (well... two, one per side) of my plate after I hand-sanded it. I'm pretty sure that the black powder residue was just little steel bits that were removed during sanding. After I was done sanding, I gave it a good wash and scrubbed it with a sponge and then with just my hand. Now it's pretty smooth, and there's only a small amount of residue that comes off onto my finger when I rub it over it. My hypothesis now is that this is very fine particulates left over from sanding, and that oil-soaking will help remove them. This will have to wait until I'm back in Toronto though, as I don't have any oil here and don't really wanna buy any if I have a bunch at home that I'm not gonna use. I'd love to hear if anyone else has any other advice or opinions on this. Please also let me know what you think of the plate itself given the pictures :)

Small versions attached, full versions available here (limited time only!... ish):
http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~aditya/plate/

scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #68 on: July 15, 2012, 10:22:20 PM »
That's looking pretty good from my end.

How about butter, do you have any butter? Mayonnaise?

Also, have you tried baking off whatever this stuff is?

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #69 on: July 15, 2012, 11:28:01 PM »
I (unfortunately) have no fats of any sort here. If I really need to I can get some, but it just seems wasteful to not use the stuff I have in Toronto.

And yeah, I've put it through the oven at 550F a couple of times. (No self-clean here.) I'll note that sanding increased the amount of black residue, especially at lower grits, and that's what convinced me that the residue is just sanded-off steel bits (if it were mixed with water, we'd call it slurry, but I'm not sure what the dry equivalent is). Other than that---does the plate seem ready to use? There are these pits as you can see in the photos but there aren't too many.

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2012, 07:48:49 PM »
Okay, my cordierite kiln shelf was totally demolished during shipping. Damn UPS!

Any way, I still have my steel plate, but I'm wondering what I should buy to replace it. I should be able to procure another cordierite kiln shelf, but I'm wondering if this is the best option. I may still want to do some high-temperature experiments, but more than that I want to experiment with breads too. Sourdoughs, for one, but I also really want to try making naan using the self-clean cycle. I expect a steel plate won't do that so well :\

Also, I've included a picture of my broiler (and the rest of the oven). Doesn't seem like it's powerful enough for the NP, but that won't stop me from experimenting anyway ;p

scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #71 on: September 13, 2012, 08:00:55 PM »
Aditya, welcome back  :)

Nope, that broiler's not going to give you Neapolitan sub 2 minute leoparding.  I would say that you're missing about 4 passes of the coil.

Naan can work beautifully on steel.  Naan gets some top heat (well, technically inner oven heat), but it's mostly a hearth/wall intense heat.  A 550 stone positioned close to broiler, with the broiler on during the bake, I think you're looking at a big naan win.

As you get into bread, you're going to need something less conductive than steel. I forget, have we talked about quarry tiles? Those are good for bread, and cheap.  Firebrick wouldn't be bad for bread either, if you've got the time for a thorough pre-heat.

With that broiler and the steel plate, you're in a position to make some world class NY style pizza.  That's where I'd start.

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2012, 09:52:27 PM »
Thanks Scott!

Ah well, no NP leoparding I'll have to live without. What I mainly like about NP is the shape and the amount/"layout" of the cheese, so I should be OK. (I like the sauce too, but I prefer it more seasoned/spiced than straight tomatoes).

Good to know that naan should work on steel. I probably won't have be able to give anything a go over the next few weeks but I should be getting back into pizza, baking, etc. after that. I've always wanted to try for restaurant-style naan, but of course tandoors won't work in a balcony-less apartment (unless you go for the electric variety, which I hear are not so good), so I've always wondered how far I could get without one. I just need a good recipe! (I've collected a couple, but I'm looking to replicate the naan of a certain restaurant... too bad I don't live in the same city as them anymore, and I've also heard that their quality has really gone downhill since I left.)

You've mentioned quarry tiles and firebrick. If you expect that that'll be better than cordierite (or e.g. fibrament) I'll find some and pick some up next time I rent a car. I expect Home Depot should have some unglazed terra cotta tiles, according to a thread I found by googling.

At any rate, I'll be playing with the steel plate first, and that should keep me occupied (and fat) for a while. I have yet to try a true NY pizza so I will have to keep an eye out for that too.

Thanks again Scott!

Offline heuristicist

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2012, 10:10:12 PM »
BTW, just to make sure I've got this right: the idea is to keep the stone/plate in pre-heat, and then have the broiler on for when the pizza is in the oven? So after the stone/plate has come to temperature, I would flip on the broiler, give it a few minutes to max out, and then launch the pizza?

scott123

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Re: Need a new stone; advice? Are two stones useful?
« Reply #74 on: September 14, 2012, 08:07:48 AM »
Yes, you use the bake feature to pre-heat, and then, during the bake, you have the broiler on.  There's a little flexibility when it comes to when you have the broiler on during the bake, though.  Depending on how high you have the hearth, you might not need the broiler on for the whole. Not to mention, the broiler will usually heat the thermostat to it's peak temp and the thermostat will shut the broiler off, so you probably can't get the broiler for the whole bake if you tried.

For my 4 minute bake, with my hearth pre-heated to a 525 dial temp (550 actual temp), I broil for the last 2 minutes of the bake. I think later broiling allows the crust to puff up a bit before setting, but that's just a theory.

Quarry tiles can actually be very difficult to find.  Some Home Depots will have them, many won't.

I think you're better off calling brick places and finding 1 1/8" firebrick 'splits.'  Those are much easier to track down than quarry tiles.


 

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