Author Topic: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?  (Read 1962 times)

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Offline CDNpielover

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Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« on: November 11, 2012, 02:27:42 PM »
First of all, I apologize for starting so many threads.  I've just moved across the continent and am replacing everything, and want to put in some thought before buying some new pizza stuff.   :chef:

I've been making pizzas for maybe about 10 years now (boy am I getting old).  I've always just been working with super cheap pizza stones in the $10-$15 range, but I want to get something a bit better this time around.  I will be baking in a gas range, which seems to be underpowered compared to the ranges I've used in the past (because of this, I usually increase the oven temp another 25 F when baking).

I've been reading about cordierite and steel stones.  There is actually a metal shop just about 2 blocks away from my house that sells the A36 hot press steel.  I' haven't inquired about price yet.  I'm just not sure if a steel plate would be best for my needs.  I usually make Chicago thin crust and american pizzas, with only the very occasional NYC, so I'm not sure a steel plate is necessary for me.

So, I'm leaning towards a cordierite stone.  However, I'm not sure what is the best bang for my buck.  I've found a local pottery supply shop that sells a mulleite/cordierite blend (5/8 " thick and 16x16" octogon) for $25.  However, I don't know if it is food grade, and I don't have any information on % composition since they are closed today.

Here is a 1/2" round cordierite stone from amazon, $31.16 with free shipping http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IF2ZNM/?tag=pizzamaking-20

and here is a more expensive 1/2" round stone for $42  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000E19MW/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Can anyone offer any advice on what would be the best stone for the best price?  Is there another online supplier that sells a good stone for a good price?


Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 12:19:05 PM »
51 views and not a single opinion?  I have to admit it's kind of surprising given all the talk of cordierite and steel on this site.  Guess I'm on my own here, thanks anyway!   :chef:

Offline weemis

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Re: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 12:35:42 PM »
I'm certainly not an expert on the topic, but I've gone through three pizza stones so far. I've always bought cheapies, $10-$15 range, and they seem to do the trick just fine. But I've gone through three of them, so there's that. Never used steel before, but there's a recent flux of folk using steel. Not sure if you've read this thread, but check it out if you haven't. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12887.0.html

Good luck in your pursuit!
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 02:42:59 PM »
If I was just getting started, I'd go with steel. At least 3/8".
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline norma427

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Re: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 07:02:39 PM »
CDNpielover,

Since there is so much controversy on the forum about what kind of stone or steel to try I think that is why most members donít post.  I have seen many pizzas made by different members that have turned out great with steel, cordierite and other pizza stones. 

I still like my cordierite stone, though I havenít really tried out a steel plate, but did try soapstone.  I think there is a learning curve when using steel too. 

I purchased my cordierite baking stone here.  http://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-ps1416-rectangular-pizza-baking-stone-14-x-16/124PS1416.html although mine isnít square.  It is only 16Ē round in diameter. I think cordierite pizza stones can be purchased many places.

Norma
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Offline communist

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Re: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 08:06:40 PM »
I really like steel - it facilitates the making of my NY pie.  Essentially, it converts a home oven with a max of 550 degrees into a 650 pizza oven.  3 1/2 to 4 1/2 minute bakes are easy, with a light, puffy, almost charred crust with a bit of crisp.  But if you are interested in an American pie, with longer bake times usually seen at most pizzerias such as six to ten minutes, the stone will be easier to use.  My 1/2 inch steel plate is heavy, and has corners, and I will feel like a fool if I ever drop it on my foot.  It is a pain to bend over the oven and place it in the oven, and it does stress my oven rack.  I like it, but if NY pie is not your passion, a stone has advantages.   Mark
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 09:45:45 PM by communist »

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 10:56:23 PM »
Wow, thanks for all of the help everyone, I really appreciate it!  I'm probably going to go with a cordierite stone, now I'm just trying to nail down the cheapest price.  Unfortunately, the 16.5" stone I linked earlier has increased in price by $5!   :'(  (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IF2ZNM/?tag=pizzamaking-20)

It seems like the cheapest option would be a kiln shelf from the local pottery supply place.  They sell a 16x16" octogon for $25.  I called there today and they couldn't give me much information, except that they get it from Aardvark Clay in CA.  I emailed Aardvark, and they just told me that they "aren't 100% cordierite and they would not put food on them, although people have used them for pizza ovens."  I'm not sure what to make of that, but I suppose I should just spend $10 more and get a food grade stone from Amazon.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Advice on stone - cordierite or steel?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 11:04:04 PM »
Wow, thanks for all of the help everyone, I really appreciate it!  I'm probably going to go with a cordierite stone, now I'm just trying to nail down the cheapest price.  Unfortunately, the 16.5" stone I linked earlier has increased in price by $5!   :'(  (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IF2ZNM/?tag=pizzamaking-20)

It seems like the cheapest option would be a kiln shelf from the local pottery supply place.  They sell a 16x16" octogon for $25.  I called there today and they couldn't give me much information, except that they get it from Aardvark Clay in CA.  I emailed Aardvark, and they just told me that they "aren't 100% cordierite and they would not put food on them, although people have used them for pizza ovens."  I'm not sure what to make of that, but I suppose I should just spend $10 more and get a food grade stone from Amazon.


I tried 1/2" steel, but in a 17"x17" size, it weighed over 40 lbs, and, although I liked the results, it was just too heavy for me to comfortably get it into and out of my oven. Given what you're looking at, I would suggest going the cordierite kiln shelf route (I've have done that myself). I think a square shelf would probably make for easier pizza launching than an octagon, and I would go for at least a 5/8" thick shelf for more thermal mass, especially if you want to bake multiple pies. You should be able to find one in 16"x16" pretty easily.

Barry
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