Author Topic: Stone vs. Steel  (Read 2813 times)

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Offline sebdesn

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Stone vs. Steel
« on: January 26, 2006, 11:33:07 AM »
I just had an interesting thing happen..This may be old hat to the regulars on the list, but don't remember seeing it anywhere in my reading of the archives..
   I was doing a couple of 9 to 10 inchers for lunch and did not want to wait for the stone to heat up. Years ago, before I got a stone, I used a 14" square chunk of 1/4" steel plate to cook pizza on. It worked well with the stuff I was doing then. Haven't used it for years. Anyway, I figured it would heat up quicker, and dug it out of the garage.
   Set the oven at 475ºput it on bottom rack. Used same dough as usual(below). About 7 minutes, and cheese was browning, took it out and on rack.Cut it and bottom was very crisp, and had very dark spots. Good rise with  big holes  at the rim and nice crumb in the center.
   My stone cooked pies are done at 585º and the stone temp is at about 620º at cooking time. About the same time. Not nearly as crisp, and no dark brown spots on the bottom.Rim and crumb of bottom about the same.
   Stone is 5/8" thick.4.87 lb (.02 lb per sq in.) Steel is 4.5 lb (.023 lb per sq in.), so the mass is about the same  per sq inch.
   I have to assume then that the steel must have a greater storage of btu's, or the transfer of them out of the steel to the pie must be much faster.
    Anyway,  those of us with home ovens  might be able to use that higher transfer to our benefit,if we are looking for extra heat on the bottom.

Dough;
  %
100  High gluten
58.65 H2O
1.5  Salt
.3   ADY
1.0 Light Olive oil

Dough weight per pie 310g.(9to 10 in.)
rough mix,15min autolyse, 3 or 4 min. mix,ferment in reefer 3 or 4 days.

Bud


Offline vitoduke

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2006, 03:09:28 PM »
Hi Bud---I thought a 14 x 14 steel plate would weigh more. I checked with a friend of mine that has a machine shop and it should weigh approx. 14 pounds. He said it has to be some kind of alloy. Thanks ---Mel

Offline sebdesn

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2006, 04:13:17 PM »
Mel, oops..guessI was a bit to hard on my 5lb kitchen scale!(it didnt say "tilt"LOL)
   Weighed the steel on the bathroom scale and it is in fact 14lb...And the stone is 10lb....Sooo....figuring 196 sq in of steel its .071# per sq in and the stone at 246 sq in is .041#per sq in...
     So that would make a substantial difference in mass... That along with the different heat conductivity of the steel vs. stone , the steel makes the crust crisper at lower temps than the stone..
Bud 

Offline PizzaDanPizzaMan

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2006, 10:38:56 PM »
Hi Bud,

Hey, do you know what kind of steel you have there? Is it carbon steel or some type of stainless? I am interested because I do a great deal of my pizzas on the BBQ and although I have a Fibrament D stone with the heat deflector, I find that it simply does not even come close to cooking on the stone in the oven or using the BBQ with ceramic tiles instead of the stone. The problem with the ceramic tiles is that they cannot tolerate the direct flame. After just a few "firings" they are in too many pieces to puzzle together again on the grate. I have often thought about a stainless steel plate but figured it would be too heat resistant where we are really looking for heat retention. On the other hand, a more common and certainly less expensive carbon steel, although I believe it would be easier to get to a higher temperature, it would come with the problem of contamination (AKA "rust") and certainly would be more difficult to maintain.

Now that I have said all that, I just had a reflection on the few pieces of Cast Iron that I own. Seasoned cast iron does not have the same problems that come with wrought steel plate. I guess I need to investigate the differences.

When you say "steel plate" you lead me to believe something other than cast iron. Am I correct at least in this assumption?


Anybody else have any thoughts on this?

Dan
« Last Edit: January 26, 2006, 10:40:59 PM by PizzaDanPizzaMan »

Offline sebdesn

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2006, 11:28:20 PM »



Dan, It is just mild steel plate, like you would use to build a building or something, nothing exotic....If you have a suitable sized  chunk of cast would be the equivilant I am sure. I have a Kamado that I use a cast iron lid as a shield between the coals and the food on the rack, It holds up well. I havent cooked a pizza on it however...
  My steel has been "seasoned" with grease etc so it doesnt show rust...Even if something is rusty it probably won't make any difference unless the rust is really fluffy...just rusty shouldnt disqualify it...Youre not making sauce on it...
Give it a try, I was surprised how well it worked for what I was looking for...
Bud


 










Offline Perk

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2006, 09:59:43 AM »
Intresting stuff,
a stone is more pourous then steel.
So my thought would be steel would heat up faster and stay hotter longer.

It would be intresting to know what kind of metal it is, 14 lbs is light for a chunk of metal.
definately not steel.



-Dave
Jacksonville Fl.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2006, 10:35:59 AM »
Perk,

Actually, the laws of thermodynamics work somewhat differently from what you think. Metal has a higher thermal conductivity and will absorb heat faster than other materials, such as a pizza stone of refractory or similar material, but it will also give up the stored heat faster. A pizza stone (or tiles) will take longer to heat up to a given temperature, but it will give up its heat more slowly. Some of the differences might be compensated for by the selection of materials and their thermal mass (e.g., amount/thickness of the material), but all else being equal, a material with a high thermal conductivity should give up its heat faster than a material with low thermal conductivity.

Peter

Offline sebdesn

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2006, 12:44:41 PM »
 Perk, The weight is 14#, As Mel said, 1/4" steel plate weighs that much...
Peter, Your are right about steel giving the heat up faster. If I would have had the oven at my normal 585º,I'm sure it would have burned it long before the cheese was melted.   But for those who are looking for that quick shot of "crispy" generating heat in a normal oven, it might be useful.

Bud


Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2006, 09:23:26 PM »
I'm taking my first baby-steps into this world this weekend...sorry to hijack this thread, but---

So you don't put any buffer in between the pizza and the steel/stone?  Not even oil?

If I were to go the "steel" way, where could I get such a piece of steel?  Home Depot?
Is there any danger in using the steel (i.e., toxins being cooked into the pizza or fumes filling the room)?

Offline gottabedapan

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Re: Stone vs. Steel
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2006, 11:44:35 PM »
I'm taking my first baby-steps into this world this weekend...sorry to hijack this thread, but---

So you don't put any buffer in between the pizza and the steel/stone?  Not even oil?

If I were to go the "steel" way, where could I get such a piece of steel?  Home Depot?
Is there any danger in using the steel (i.e., toxins being cooked into the pizza or fumes filling the room)?

You definitely DO NOT want to use oil on a stone, because the stone, being porous, will absorb the oil, which will not only gunk up the stone and, over time, turn rancid, but could also create a fire hazard.

With stones, normally, the pizza sits directly on the stone. Parchment or a screen can be used as a buffer, but they're usually employed to make it easier to transfer the pizza from the peel to the stone rather than as a buffer.

A properly seasoned steel or cast iron does not require additional oil (unless you want to "fry" the crust, such as in a Pizza Hut-style pan pizza, but in that case, you're not preheating the pan). You could also use parchment or a screen with a steel or cast iron slab, but it's probably not a good idea to use oil on a preheated slab steel/cast iron, since most vegetable oils and shortenings have smoke points between 200°-420° F, and at 585°, you're starting to push the flash point (the temp. at which the oil ignites).

Unless the steel/iron is coated, it should not give off any fumes or other noxious substances, however, manufacturers of cast iron cookware recommend scrubbing the cookware thoroughly with hot, soapy water, then drying it on the stovetop or in an oven before seasoning it. The pre-cleaning and seasoning should take care of any residual compounds on the surface left over from manufacturing, shipping, and storage. If you're still worried about possible contaminants, you could bake the sucker on a grill or stick it in a live fire covered with glowing coals for a couple of hours before seasoning it.


 

pizzapan