Author Topic: Opinions needed on this pizza stone  (Read 1665 times)

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Offline lakebilly

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Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« on: September 10, 2012, 05:46:52 AM »
I'm not ready to shell out big money for an outdoor oven yet, but I'm wondering if this stone will get me closer to being able to make a more authentic Neapolitan style pizza.  I've got a large viking grill capable of 75,000 BTU's that get's very hot that I would use it on.  I'm guessing I could get the stone surface to about 650 degrees.  These stones are 1" thick and available in various sizes.  I will attempt to buy two stones that will cover about 75% of my grilling surface.

http://www.amazon.com/20-Square-Industrial-Pizza-Stone/dp/B008CLNAOC/?tag=pizzamaking-20

The seller has this to say about it:

-These pizza and baking stones are Non-Glazed; lead free, and certified Non-Toxic
-High quality pizza and baking stones made here in the United States of America.
-Perfect for barbequing pizzas, these stones will not crack when used on the BBQ.
-Perfect for fast heating wood pizza and baking ovens, they will not crack during extreme cooking.
-100% Guarantee against thermal shock and cracking during cooking or baking.

as well as this:

"The perfect pizza stone for the perfect pizza. These are not designer stones that look pretty and crack during the first use. Our Pizza Stones are rough and rugged. They are made of a high grade Non-Toxic Mullite mixture, containing a very high quantity of grog. This makes our Baking Stones virtually indestructible and impervious to thermal shock. 100% Guarantee against cracking and thermal shock. If for any reason one of our pizza or baking stones cracks while using it we will replace it!!! These pizza stones are very porous allowing pizza moisture to be absorbed making for a very crispy crust"


buceriasdon

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 07:56:25 AM »
Before paying for such elevated price I would check the yellow pages for ceramic/pottery supply houses in you area, even if you had to special order the price savings would be considerable. If not check out :   http://www.axner.com/cordierite-kiln-shelves.aspx

Offline scott123

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 08:37:54 AM »
Lakebilly, authentic Neapolitan pizza requires an overwhelming amount of heat- on all sides. An inferno above, as well as an inferno below.  Choosing a thicker, more conductive stone increases the transfer to the bottom of the pizza- so much so, that you could very well achieve Neapolitan undercrust leoparding at 700 with this stone.  Unfortunately, though, speeding up the bake on the undercrust will only magnify the shortcomings of the top heat, and, in a single stone grill setting, unless you have a rotisserie burner, the top heat is almost nothing.  Even with a two stone scenario, with one stone for the hearth an a second for the ceiling, you'll never get Neapolitan leoparding on the top of the pizza. The best top browning you'll ever see in a 75K btu grill is the kind you see on NY style pizza.

Between a 'Neapolitan' pizza with a leoparded undercrust/white, possibly raw top vs. a perfectly baked NY style pie (with a NY style malted flour dough), the NY style wins every time.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 02:50:03 PM by scott123 »

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 02:31:22 PM »
Lakebilly, authentic Neapolitan pizza requires an overwhelming amount of heat- on all sides. An inferno above, as well as an inferno below.  Choosing a thicker, more conductive stone increases the transfer to the bottom of the pizza- so much so, that you could very well achieve Neapolitan undercrust leoparding at 650 with this stone.  Unfortunately, though, speeding up the bake on the undercrust will only magnify the shortcomings of the top heat, and, in a single stone grill setting, unless you have a rotisserie burner, the top heat is almost nothing.  Even with a two stone scenario, with one stone for the hearth an a second for the ceiling, you'll never get Neapolitan leoparding on the top of the pizza. The best top browning you'll ever see in a 75K btu grill is the kind you see on NY style pizza.


I generally agree with Scott. It is difficult, to say the least, to bake NP pies without a WFO. I think these are about as close as you will get with a grill if you seriously insulate the top of your grill which I'm sure is not reccomended by Viking or anyone else. Be very careful if you go down this path. Your grill was not designed for this sort of thing.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10237.msg89810.html#msg89810 (scroll down)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12371.msg117401.html#msg117401
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11418.msg104172.html#msg104172
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11579.msg106197.html#msg106197

This the grill they were cooked in:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9614.msg83372.html#msg83372
Pizza is not bread.

Offline sajata

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 02:53:47 PM »
does your viking have a rotisserie?

check out my post 30" viking
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20403.0.html

Offline scott123

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 03:14:42 PM »
I think these are about as close as you will get with a grill if you seriously insulate the top of your grill which I'm sure is not reccomended by Viking or anyone else.

If Lakebilly's Viking grill has a rotisserie burner, then, yes, there's a chance he can match your leoparding.  Without an IR burner, though, those pizzas are impossible.

Lakebilly, if you do have an IR burner, then you want to follow Craig's lead and get the least conductive stone possible. Fibrament is very low, but quarry tiles and firebrick can be a bit lower.  The problem with quarry tiles, though, is that they can be fragile and lack resistance to thermal shock, making them unsuitable for grill use.  Every quarry tile you buy (assuming of course, you can find them) is a gamble. Some are sturdy, many are not.  Unfortunately, it's the most porous ones that are the least sturdy and that give you the poorest conductivity/best baking properties for this type of application.  The benefit of a poorly conductive stone is that you can go higher with the grill temp without burning the bottom of your pie. For instance, if Craig is getting good undercrust char in 2 minutes with fibrament at 775, you might be able to get that same undercrust bake in 2 minutes with quarry tiles at 800 or even 825.  The higher the temp you can run the grill at, the more top heat you're getting.  Going from 775 to 800 isn't going to give you a huge increase in top heat, but every little bit helps.

The problem with firebricks is that the thinnest ones you can get are at least an inch thick.  When you work with this much thermal mass, they take forever to pre-heat.  If you have the time, firebrick splits should work very well- possibly allowing you to hit 825 for a two minute bake, but expect at  least a 2.5 hour pre-heat, which is going to use up a lot of propane.

Offline lakebilly

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 05:08:14 PM »
First off, my apollogies to the site adminstrator(s) for posting in the wrong forum.  I originally posted this in the Neapolitan forum.

Secondly, thanks to everyone for the quick replies.

My Viking does have the IR rotiserie burner in the back.  But from the above replies, it looks I'll like I'll need to add a stone or some sort of heat retaining dome over the pizza.

What would happen if I would use a second stone and somehow attach it to the lid so that it lifts out of the way while loading and unloading the pizza?  I would try to design the mounting so that it would be parralel with the lower stone, yet lift with the lid.



Offline scott123

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 05:27:38 PM »
My Viking does have the IR rotiserie burner in the back.  But from the above replies, it looks I'll like I'll need to add a stone or some sort of heat retaining dome over the pizza.

Not necessarily.  The IR burner is doing most of the heavy lifting here.  A stone ceiling just above the level of the IR burner might not be a bad idea, but, before you start messing around with that, I'd take a long hard look at Craig's setup first as well as make a decision regarding a hearth material.

If you do put a stone in the lid, I would drill 6 holes in the lid and run 3 long bolts across to act as supports for the stone. Size it really carefully so the stone fills the lid (it's always a good idea to have a ceiling that's larger than the hearth so it's can collect the rising heat from below) as well as making sure the stone is above the IR burner.  Use a piece of cardboard as a dummy.

This is getting really advanced, but if you were to add a top stone, it might get really interesting to put it at a bit of slant so that it takes the IR coming out of the burner and bounces it down towards the pizza.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 08:05:31 PM »
This is getting really advanced, but if you were to add a top stone, it might get really interesting to put it at a bit of slant so that it takes the IR coming out of the burner and bounces it down towards the pizza.

Oh hell no.  Use a 1/8" piece of steel.  All it's there to do is bounce the heat down, not suck it up, and steel is much easier to work and lighter too.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline lakebilly

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Re: Opinions needed on this pizza stone
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 05:36:36 AM »
Thanks again everybody.  Craig, I appreciate the extra time you spent on your reply and all of the links.

I've been making New York style pies for several years now, but a new pizza place in nearby Fort Wayne, has a wood fired oven and serves Neapolitan pizza.  I've really like them and was hoping to start making them at home.

I'll take all the info in this thread and give it a whirl.  I'll start with Craig's recipe and a hot stone on the grill and see what happens.

Pictures to posted to this thread soon.

Pizza, football and beer.  Does it get any better?


 

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