Author Topic: Broken Soapstone!  (Read 895 times)

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Offline PizzaSean

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Broken Soapstone!
« on: May 08, 2013, 02:39:36 PM »
So I was prepping my dough for Friday night just now and moved my stone only to find that the hairline crack had gone clean through the stone.

It's in two "halves" which fit neatly together and I don't think I will be able to acquire anything else to bake on before Friday night.

Is this okay to use still or is it risky from a health perspective??

And then the next question is of course...what's next?? I bake NY style exclusively and use a typical home oven that is electric/gas broiler up top. I keep the stone close to the broiler and run the oven wide open at 550F to achieve typical stone temps between 550-600F.

Steel plate?

Thanks guys!!!!!!

Sean


Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 02:49:22 PM »
You'll be fine Sean....now you have an excuse for some Steel or Aluminum.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline scott123

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 05:56:58 PM »
Sean, that's disappointing that your slab cracked.

I've warned many members in the past about using cracked stones.  Basically, when a stone cracks, the forces involved may not create a clean break, and you increase the chance for chips and shards to break off of the cracked area.  If one of these shards ends up in your pizza and you or a guest bit into it, it will break a tooth.  I think the probabilities are very low that something like this will occur, but I don't think it's worth the gamble.

Now, soapstone and cordierite might be a little different in regards to cracks.  Cordierite is a much more homogenous material, so when it does crack, the chances are greater that it will create weaker areas around the crack, whereas soapstone has veins that might, to an extent, be pre-weakened, and might fail a bit more evenly.  Maybe.  Did the stone crack along a vein?

I think, if it did crack along a vein, your chances for structural integrity are considerably higher, but, no matter how high the probability, you'd still have a risk.  Personally, I wouldn't chance using it on a regular basis, but I'm a bit of a worry wart, and the fact that I have a chipped tooth from a pizza stone chard doesn't help.

I'd have absolutely no problem using it once or twice until I was able to find a replacement, though.  I might take a magnifying glass and look for other cracks, and assuming I couldn't find anything, I'd use it this Friday, perhaps keeping a watchful eye on it during the bake to make sure no pieces were coming off.

Beyond Friday, though, steel is the answer.  If you're happy with your bake times now and can comfortably hit between 550 and 600, then I think you should be able to match what you're doing now with 3/8" steel- at least, for a couple pies.  1.25" soapstone is going to better 3/8" steel when it comes to recovery.  How many pies are you doing at a time now, and how many pies do you want to be able to do?  If you are baking lots of pizzas at a time, I think 1/2" might be  the better choice.

At least, 1.25" soapstone will store more heat initially.  Soapstone will let you bake more pies before requiring replenishment, but steel might replenish a bit faster.  If you need, say, 4 pies, back to back, then soapstone will work better than 3/8" steel, but, if you can, say, put 10 minutes between each pie, 3/8" steel might be a bit more responsive to the heat coming in from the burner below.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 09:09:58 PM »
About 30 years ago my older brother chipped a front tooth in a fight. He took an olive pit into a Pizza Hut; ordered a pizza with olives on it, made a scene about the pizza cracking his tooth. PH settled with him in the form of a check for $1000.00. True story.
I hope you don't chip your tooth Sean; but if you do.....
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline PizzaSean

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 10:26:06 AM »
Hahaha wow! That's a great story right there...

And thank you Scott for bringing me up to speed on my situation. I actually am away from home until tomorrow, so I will get back to you on the vein/crack relationship. My memory tells me that it did seem to develop that way though.

As for quantity, I typically do 10 in a night, usually I will do 3 or 4, then take a break and eat - then do 2 or 3 for people showing up later and take another break - then the balance of the pies at the end for anyone with a second wind and for some leftovers.

So based on what you said, I probably want to lean towards 1/2" so I can just keep em coming if need be?

Also, what can I expect the steel to run money wise? I can fit 18x20 if I recall. And would 1/2" at that size weigh too much for my oven shelf to handle? It sounds heavy in my imagination!

Thanks guys!
Sean

Offline Pizzaboyo

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 04:37:49 PM »
Is this any use to you PizzaSean?
http://www.pizzasteel.com/pizza-steel/
An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 04:55:21 PM »
Is this any use to you PizzaSean?
http://www.pizzasteel.com/pizza-steel/
That is stainless steel; waaay over kill and it's only 1/4 inch thick. A 1/2" thick piece of cold rolled A36 steel is the ticket and should cost half of that one. Have them cut it in half for ease of handling.  ;)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Pizzaboyo

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 05:44:33 PM »
That is stainless steel; waaay over kill and it's only 1/4 inch thick. A 1/2" thick piece of cold rolled A36 steel is the ticket and should cost half of that one. Have them cut it in half for ease of handling.  ;)
Oooops  :-[
An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth.

Offline PizzaSean

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 01:00:06 PM »
Thanks for the leads - I'm gonna look into this cold rolled A36 steel and see what I can make happen.

Meantime: my report is happy! The pies came out totally normal on the broken stone and *so far* no fragments or anything turning up in the pizza - we'll see how the leftovers are.

Sean

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 01:49:15 PM »
I can fit 18x20 if I recall. And would 1/2" at that size weigh too much for my oven shelf to handle? It sounds heavy in my imagination!

Sean:

It will be even heavier in your oven than in your imagination! Based on my 17x17.25 weighing in at 42 lbs, I calculate around 51.5 lbs for 18x20. I agree with having them cut it in half if your oven rack can handle it.

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


Offline PizzaSean

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 02:03:00 PM »
Barry --
That's actually good news! The soapstone slab I currently have is in the 40-50 lb realm I would estimate just because it's 1.25" thick. But I do agree with the halving idea!

How about your 17x17.25 steel? Is it 1/4" 3/8" 1/2"?

Sean

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2013, 12:35:51 PM »
Sorry, Sean... it's 1/2 inch

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

Offline AP-123

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 04:37:43 PM »
About 30 years ago my older brother chipped a front tooth in a fight. He took an olive pit into a Pizza Hut; ordered a pizza with olives on it, made a scene about the pizza cracking his tooth. PH settled with him in the form of a check for $1000.00. True story.
I hope you don't chip your tooth Sean; but if you do.....

Sounds like the world would be a better place with more guys like your brother in it... What a douche bag.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 04:40:20 PM by AP-123 »

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Broken Soapstone!
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 06:03:49 PM »
Sounds like the world would be a better place with more guys like your brother in it... What a douche bag.
NO; you're wrong!!
The world would be a better place if there were more guys like you.
Instead of being out there in the world(and in my way); running your mouth like a little girl, you just sit behind a computer and call people names. And I thank you for that...smart move. ;)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


 

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