Author Topic: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament  (Read 5928 times)

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Offline jackhammer9001

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pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« on: November 23, 2012, 09:52:34 AM »
I got some solid advice for making my dough now i would like to know the best cooking surface to put the dough on. I have a pizza stone from BB&B and it does work ok with decent results. my oven will cook at 550 but I'm reading that my stone doesn't really retain heat very well so i want to ramp up the heat factor a little. What is best for cooking my current stone, unglazed quarry tiles from HD or Lowe's or this baking stone called
FibraMent. Any suggestions?
Thx,
Bob  :pizza:

 http://www.bakingstone.com/


Offline ccgus

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 02:00:57 PM »
I've got a FibraMent which I use on my hacked weber- it's OK.  I've also gone the unglazed quarry tile route as well (in a home oven) and while they will work I've found that they are a little too thin to retain any real heat (and stacking them doesn't work great either).

After going through a handful of different stones, and I've finally settled on the Dough-Joes:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ZLY3US/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Even though they look like unglazed quarry stones- they are much thicker and do a much better job at retaining heat for the bake.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2012, 05:23:04 PM »
Bob:

It would help to know what style pizza you like to make. For example, for NY style at that temperature, you'll find many people who like cordierite kiln shelves (3/4" or 5/8"... thicker is better for thermal mass, which helps when baking multiple pies), and others who like 1/2" a36 cold rolled steel (much faster heat transfer, but very heavy). Some people also like fibrament. Search around for lots of threads on the topic.

Barry
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 08:13:04 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline communist

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 07:10:12 PM »
Steel (half-inch) is the best , but it is very heavy.  I have a fibra ment also.  I cannot recommend it.

Offline Biz Markie

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 07:41:39 PM »
Steel (half-inch) is the best , but it is very heavy.  I have a fibra ment also.  I cannot recommend it.

Curious - what are your reasons for not recommending the Fibrament?
I've had one for a little over a year and haven't had any real issues until today.  Baking some simple crackers and they stuck, then ripped off particles of the stone.
I don't have much to compare the Fibrament to, other than an Emile Henry pizza stone which, in hindsight, worked pretty stinkin' well considering how thin it is.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 09:33:45 PM »
My Fibrament worked beautifully on my grill at ~750F. In my oven however, it's nothing special.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline communist

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 09:15:52 PM »
Curious - what are your reasons for not recommending the Fibrament?



  I am not recommending fibrament for a quick 4 to 6 minute bake because I didn't think it transferred heat quickly to my pie to puff it up in the first few minutes in my home oven that can only hit 530.  My steel is better, and according to others, cordierite is better also.  It was sort of expensive, and the other two are cheaper.   I regret I bought it.   Mark

Offline communist

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 09:17:33 PM »
  Baking some simple crackers and they stuck, then ripped off particles of the stone.



  What is it made of?  Fiberglass and cement?   Mark

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2013, 10:31:27 PM »
  I am not recommending fibrament for a quick 4 to 6 minute bake because I didn't think it transferred heat quickly to my pie to puff it up in the first few minutes in my home oven that can only hit 530.  My steel is better, and according to others, cordierite is better also.  It was sort of expensive, and the other two are cheaper.   I regret I bought it.   Mark

I think you're right Mark about Fibrament's slow heat transfer. This is why it worked so well for me at 750F with a gas burner right below it. I was hitting 2:15ish times. With anything more conductive, I would have burned the bottom of my pies. For a home oven even at 550F, something more conductive is in order. This is why steel works so well.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Biz Markie

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 10:08:42 AM »
  What is it made of?  Fiberglass and cement?   Mark

I'm not sure. . . they say it's proprietary.  But pretty annoyed that it actually came apart onto my bread.


Offline Biz Markie

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 10:11:21 AM »
TXCraig,

Would steel be too quick of a transfer for artisan breads that have more like a 15 minute bake time? 
I have seen many references to steel here but am pretty ignorant of it. 
I've heard mention of how heavy the 1/2 inch steel is. .. can a typical home oven rack support it?  My Fibrament is 16x20 and is very heavy. . . causes a little bowing of the wire rack.

I'm wondering if Steel may be great for a superhot, fast pizza bake but not for bread. . .

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 10:25:51 AM »
TXCraig,

Would steel be too quick of a transfer for artisan breads that have more like a 15 minute bake time? 
I have seen many references to steel here but am pretty ignorant of it. 
I've heard mention of how heavy the 1/2 inch steel is. .. can a typical home oven rack support it?  My Fibrament is 16x20 and is very heavy. . . causes a little bowing of the wire rack.

I'm wondering if Steel may be great for a superhot, fast pizza bake but not for bread. . .

I don't know enough to give you a good answer, but my guess is you may be right about the conductivity being too high for bread. What might work well is to use steel for the initial spring then after the loaf has set, move it to a rack or conventional stone.

I think most oven racks can support a 1/2" steel. The weight can't be much different from a large turkey?

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline andyt

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 10:47:31 AM »
For 15+ years I have been using the King Artur baking stone:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/pizza-baking-stone#5236#

I have an electric, GE Profile oven with a convection roast setting that gets the stone temp to about 540F in an hour preheat.  After baking a pizza the stone temp drops to 470F but recovers to about  530F in eight to ten minutes.  It is durable with no cracks or chips so far.

Can anyone offer additional background info on this stone, how does it stack up against fibrament, cordierite or 1/2" steel plate etc?

Many Thanks
andyt

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 11:47:58 AM »
For 15+ years I have been using the King Artur baking stone:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/pizza-baking-stone#5236#

I have an electric, GE Profile oven with a convection roast setting that gets the stone temp to about 540F in an hour preheat.  After baking a pizza the stone temp drops to 470F but recovers to about  530F in eight to ten minutes.  It is durable with no cracks or chips so far.

Can anyone offer additional background info on this stone, how does it stack up against fibrament, cordierite or 1/2" steel plate etc?

Many Thanks
andyt


My guess is that the KA stone is Cordierite given that it is grill safe. I looks like it is too. Fibrament has quite a bit lower thermal conductivity (0.67 vs 3.0 W/m-K) and is nowhere near as resistant to thermal shock. Fibrament stones are generally 3/4 inch.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline scott123

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 12:50:13 PM »
I think you're right Mark about Fibrament's slow heat transfer. This is why it worked so well for me at 750F with a gas burner right below it. I was hitting 2:15ish times. With anything more conductive, I would have burned the bottom of my pies. For a home oven even at 550F, something more conductive is in order. This is why steel works so well.

This is absolutely correct.  There is no 'best' pizza stone, only the best stone for a given scenario.  Because Fibrament's low conductivity allows for much higher temps without burning the bottom, in setups where higher temps can be reached, it can be the ideal material, especially in bottom heat only scenarios where you want to handicap the bottom heat to allow the top to catch up.  This is why one of the best deck ovens on the market, the Marsal MB, uses 2" fibrament for the decks. Low conductivity provides a natural deflection- in bottom heat scenarios, such as gas deck ovens, this is hugely beneficial.

Steel is the best, right now, for the home oven owner that can reach 550 and has a broiler in the main compartment, which, because this is fairly common, makes steel the best choice for a lot of people. But steel is by no means ideal for everyone. As soon as you move into bottom heat scenarios, such as some gas ovens and non rotisserie burner grills, steel is the worst material you can purchase.

Offline scott123

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 12:58:10 PM »
My guess is that the KA stone is Cordierite given that it is grill safe. I looks like it is too. Fibrament has quite a bit lower thermal conductivity (0.67 vs 3.0 W/m-K) and is nowhere near as resistant to thermal shock. Fibrament stones are generally 3/4 inch.

It's cordierite.  One important thing to keep in mind with cordierite is that it can fluctuate quite a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Different composition, differing manufacturing processes, differing densities- all of which produce different conductivities and different baking properties.  No matter who's making it, it will be more conductive and more durable (both physically and thermally) than Fibrament. Fibrament is a cast process, and you can't cast a cement without water.  When the water evaporates, you're left with air pockets.  Air = weakness = lack of conductivity. They try to make up for the structural weakness by reinforcing it with fiberglass (fibrament), but fiberglass will only get you so far.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2013, 01:34:26 PM »
Be that as it may, I've put my Fibrament stone thrugh many dozens of 0 --> 750F+ --> 0 cycles and it is no worse for the wear. I'm not convinced that a Fibrament on a reflective aluminum tray isn't the best option for a grill. Having used both Fibrament and cordierite, my opinion is that Fibrament is superior for a grill application such as mine. IMO, it's the low conductivity - not the potential lower durability - that limit it's use in the home oven.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline scott123

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2013, 02:42:57 PM »
Craig, I use the term 'thermal durability' as a more concise way of saying 'resistance to thermal shock,' and when I talk about Fibrament, I'm referring to the material itself, not the aluminum clad grill version.  Fibrament, on it's own, has very little resistance to thermal shock, hence the need for an aluminum heat spreader/deflector. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I think it's important to note that thermal durability isn't countless slow trips from 0 to 750 (or, for that matter 0 to 1500, which Fibrament can comfortably do), but, rather, the very quick trip that occurs when a non cladded stone is exposed to flame.  I'm splitting hairs, but too many people see a connection between peak operating temps and thermal durability, where, for the materials we talk about, there is none. With aluminum deflection, fibrament becomes very durable in a grill setting, but the material itself is intrinsically very weak thermally.

As far as the Fibrament grill stone being the best option for a grill, it depends on the grill and on the intended application.  Just like steel isn't a one size fits all solution for the home oven owner, Fibrament can be unnecessary in certain grill settings. In a non rotisserie burner grill, then Fibrament is one of the best choices, but there are quarry tiles that have even less conductivity than Fibrament.  This lower conductivity makes them very thermally weak, so deflection is critical, but, in theory, a non rotisserie grill with the right quarry tiles can provide better heat balance than Fibrament.  The only advantage Fibrament has over this scenario is that you don't have to embark on the difficult quest of finding quarry tiles or have to put together some sort of deflector.

As far a cordierite goes in a non rotisserie grill setting, it, again, isn't as simple, straightforward or as easily to set up as Fibrament, but cordierite + deflection, as seen in countless LBEs, can be just as effective as Fibrament.  Finding the right deflector and positioning it is no easy task, so I'd generally recommend the Fibrament grill stone over cordierite if someone was shopping for a new stone for their grill, but, if they had cordierite on hand, I might recommend shopping for a deflector over Fibrament.

When you get into rotisserie settings... the choice becomes application specific.  Neapolitan can't happen in a typical non rotisserie grill, but when you add the rotisserie to the equation, it's possible.  For Neapolitan, Fibrament's low conductivity is excellent, as you found out, but, as I mentioned, the right quarry tile/deflector could improve one's chances by providing even lower conductivity/better top to bottom heat ratio.  For NY, once you have all the necessary top heat from the IR burner, you can pre-heat a cordierite stone as low as you want.

In summation, just like there's no best stone for every oven, there's also no best stone for every grill either.  Fibrament is definitely the best stone for a non rotisserie grill for the owner seeking the least setup hassle, but when you get into a willingness to seek out harder to find materials and/or get into NY style with a rotisserie, there's better options.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 04:34:00 PM »
I think this is an important discussion for anyone considering a grill mod to approximate NP, so let me share a couple more observations.

Craig, I use the term 'thermal durability' as a more concise way of saying 'resistance to thermal shock,' and when I talk about Fibrament, I'm referring to the material itself, not the aluminum clad grill version. 

Just to be clear, the Fibrament grill stone is not aluminum clad. It simply comes with an aluminum pan to sit it on when used directly over a flame.

Quote
Fibrament, on it's own, has very little resistance to thermal shock, hence the need for an aluminum heat spreader/deflector. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I think it's important to note that thermal durability isn't countless slow trips from 0 to 750 (or, for that matter 0 to 1500, which Fibrament can comfortably do), but, rather, the very quick trip that occurs when a non cladded stone is exposed to flame.  I'm splitting hairs, but too many people see a connection between peak operating temps and thermal durability, where, for the materials we talk about, there is none. With aluminum deflection, fibrament becomes very durable in a grill setting, but the material itself is intrinsically very weak thermally.

Iím sure you are correct, however, nobody should consider using the stone without the pan which is included with the stone, so I see this as a non-issue.

Quote
As far as the Fibrament grill stone being the best option for a grill, it depends on the grill and on the intended application. 

For sure, and to be clear, Iím only talking about NP approximations on typical (larger Ė not LBE) gas grills (and likely many other larger grills).

Quote
Just like steel isn't a one size fits all solution for the home oven owner, Fibrament can be unnecessary in certain grill settings. In a non rotisserie burner grill, then Fibrament is one of the best choices, but there are quarry tiles that have even less conductivity than Fibrament.  This lower conductivity makes them very thermally weak, so deflection is critical, but, in theory, a non rotisserie grill with the right quarry tiles can provide better heat balance than Fibrament.  The only advantage Fibrament has over this scenario is that you don't have to embark on the difficult quest of finding quarry tiles or have to put together some sort of deflector.

As far a cordierite goes in a non rotisserie grill setting, it, again, isn't as simple, straightforward or as easily to set up as Fibrament, but cordierite + deflection, as seen in countless LBEs, can be just as effective as Fibrament.  Finding the right deflector and positioning it is no easy task, so I'd generally recommend the Fibrament grill stone over cordierite if someone was shopping for a new stone for their grill, but, if they had cordierite on hand, I might recommend shopping for a deflector over Fibrament.

When you get into rotisserie settings... the choice becomes application specific.  Neapolitan can't happen in a typical non rotisserie grill, but when you add the rotisserie to the equation, it's possible.

In my experience, only a small portion of the IR from the rotisserie burner is actually directed towards the pizza. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the IR burner itself does not provide anywhere near enough heat on its own to bake a reasonable facsimile of NP in a typical gas grill. You must have elevated air temperature that only insulation can provide. With suitable insulation, you can do it without the IR burner. Iíve done it. The IR helps Ė so does lighting a little wood fire in a pan in the corner Ė but neither is a substitute for insulation. I was eventually running with 16 layers of fire blankets to hold in suitable heat.

Quote
For Neapolitan, Fibrament's low conductivity is excellent, as you found out, but, as I mentioned, the right quarry tile/deflector could improve one's chances by providing even lower conductivity/better top to bottom heat ratio. 

Quarry tiles may have a lower conductivity, but they are also thinner and the heat may be less even. If evenness of heat is not an issue, nor is keeping them in place as you turn the pie, they very well may be a better option. I never tried them because none of my local stores carry them and the Fibrament worked better than anything else I'd seen. Given that heat above the pie is all important, you really canít afford to turn down the burner under the stone if you can avoid it. There were times I did need to turn it down under the Fibrament to avoid scorched bottoms. My grill could get the Fibrament to 850 or even 900F in certain conditions. There was no way I could balance that much bottom heat.

Quote
For NY, once you have all the necessary top heat from the IR burner, you can pre-heat a cordierite stone as low as you want.

In summation, just like there's no best stone for every oven, there's also no best stone for every grill either.  Fibrament is definitely the best stone for a non rotisserie grill for the owner seeking the least setup hassle, but when you get into a willingness to seek out harder to find materials and/or get into NY style with a rotisserie, there's better options.

You may be right, but I have not seen the pie out of a traditional gas grill (rotisserie or otherwise) that proves it yet.  ;D
 
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: pizza stone, quarry tiles or fibrament
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2013, 05:37:11 PM »
What is it made of?  Fiberglass and cement?   Mark


Mark,

There used to be a link to the patent application that was filed on the Fibrament product but the link is no longer operative. Also, I couldn't find it on the Wayback Machine. Then I noticed that the inventor's name, Mark O'Toole, was embedded in the inoperative link and I used that to do more searching, leading to this: http://www.google.com/patents/US6190450.

Peter