Author Topic: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?  (Read 5396 times)

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Offline The Pontificator

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Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« on: December 16, 2007, 02:10:20 PM »
Or is it time for replacement? Or should I just live with it?

For the past 13 years I've kept a Villaware baking stone on the bottom rack of my oven. It's one of the large ones that's probably an inch thick.

It's had a lot of olive oil spilled on it over the years and any more it just smokes and smokes no matter how long I run the oven at 550. Unfortunately, my oven isn't the self-cleaning variety so the temperature can't get any higher.

To my knowlege, these baking stones cannot be cleaned. Scrubbed using a stiff-bristled brush and water, yes. Soap or any type of cleaning agent? Nope.

I suppose my options are to either replace it or live with the smoky 'patina' (it's pretty eye-watering).

Any suggestions?
"I hope you choke on a biscotti!"


Offline Jackitup

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2007, 02:22:29 PM »
Well, if you're thinking of replacing it anyway, try some Proforce from Sam's Club. Worse case scenario you replace it anyway. Use gloves, spray it down and let it soak and work, and scrub a few different times, then soap and rinse a few times. Won't make it new but should clean it up alot. If no Proforce around (great stuff by the way) try some oven cleaner. Either way give a "good long bake" in the oven when you're done to take the chemical smell off. Worth a try??
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline The Pontificator

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2007, 02:30:16 PM »
All I know is that the 'seasoning' instructions that came with the stone said not to use soap or any other kind of cleaner on it.

Another option is to perhaps find a local industry with a high-temperature kiln that they can put it in there during the course of their own work (for a small fee).

I'm looking for the least expensive alternative. This thing isn't going to be cheap to replace.
"I hope you choke on a biscotti!"

Offline scott r

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2007, 03:11:39 PM »
Do not ever spray anything on your stone.  Any soap/solvents/chemicals will just get trapped in there and leak slowly out into your food.  If you don't have a cleaning cycle find someone who does and use theirs.  Eventually the oil will turn to soot and you will have a clean stone.  I really think this is the only option, and trust me, you don't have to buy a new stone.

Offline November

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2007, 03:15:28 PM »
I second the motion to use a sodium/potassium hydroxide solution such as one typically found in oven cleaners.  The best approach would be to use a pure water-NaOH solution so that a simple rinse with water afterwards is all you need to remove any chemicals.  Heat the stone very slowly after a long air-dry to ensure it doesn't crack due to water expansion.

Offline November

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2007, 03:18:41 PM »
scott,

That's a great solution if the following two factors aren't a problem for you: ultra high heat for carbonization and if you don't mind a dark baking surface.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2007, 04:12:01 PM »
I only mentioned the cleaners as a last resort being it sounded like you were ready to toss it. Another thing to try is putting it outside on a gas grill for a few hours to cook off on a higher heat as mentioned, providing you have a gas grill. The blackness that remains isn't a bad thing, but should get it to stop smoking your house up.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline The Pontificator

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2007, 05:05:49 PM »
If you don't have a cleaning cycle find someone who does and use theirs. 

Best idea yet!  ;D
"I hope you choke on a biscotti!"

Offline The Pontificator

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2007, 08:00:27 PM »
Another possibility: a blowtorch. That might work, although I think the stone needs to be already hot before doing it.
"I hope you choke on a biscotti!"

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2007, 08:59:10 PM »
You'd want to be careful with the torch thing, there's a possibility of exploding a section and having it fly in your face. Had a fire going at a construction site one winter to keep us warm on a piece of concrete and it blew chunks all over the place. Concentrated heat with a blowtorch may do the same ting on a baking stone. Just a note to be careful if you try it.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!


Offline MysticCobra

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2007, 11:46:40 PM »
If you're seeing smoke, then you're burning stuff off, even if it's happening more slowly than you like.  If you leave your stone in there long enough, then eventually the combustibles will be consumed and the smoke will be gone.

Do you have a kitchen exhaust that vents outside?  Just crank up the oven and let 'er rip until it's done!

I would definitely recommend you avoid the blowtorch.  Even if you heat the stone up first, you're going to get a localized "hot spot" under the flame, creating a temperature gradient in the stone.  Temperature gradient means stress, and stress can lead to cracks.  Stick with options that heat the stone evenly.

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2007, 01:00:40 AM »
Another thing to try is putting it outside on a gas grill for a few hours to cook off on a higher heat as mentioned, providing you have a gas grill. The blackness that remains isn't a bad thing, but should get it to stop smoking your house up.
Jon
YEP! Put it on the gasser for a couple of hours, oil soaked side down, facing the fire so the oil runs out of the stone. Even if you had a clean cycle on your oven the smoke is going to be real nasty inside your house. Outside on the gasser no worries.  ;)
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline rebeltruce

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2007, 07:45:30 AM »
I've had good luck cleaning my stones by rinsing well with very hot water, then spread a good covering of kosher salt on the stone.

Then scrub away eith a paper towel or two, using the salt as an abrasive.

Then I rinse the stone well in very hot water. Let it air dry for several hours, then back in the oven it goes.


Offline Rein Ciarfella

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2008, 02:58:28 PM »
This is a not-uncommon question (and occurrence).  I was over at the Amazon site the other day and found this: "Jan 24, 2008 11:45 AM PST After following manufacturers directions for the Bialetti pizza stone the fumes and smell were so bad while heating up I had to put the stone out side because the fumes were burning our eyes.I did follow the directions as stated ,I greased it with vegetable oil,could this have cause it and has any one of you ever experienced this problem?".

To which I replied:

"It's not uncommon for folks new to pizza stones to do this. I did it myself, thinking this would season the stone. Big mistake, same results. After over a year of using a stone I can tell you without reservation that this was completely unnecessary. The stone will darken and develop stains and a slightly smoother surface with use (and the inevitable spills that occur). Don't even concern yourself with it. Just use it and it'll break in all on its own. I scrape it clean with a bench scraper after it cools each time, followed by a quick wipe with a dry paper towel to remove the carbon dust which always occurs. That's all you need to do. "

To The Pontificator I'd say, just be patient.  Don't wash it, don't spray it with *anything*!  Do what I did (the next day, after I did some research to figure out what happened) - fire up the oven as high as possible, open all the windows and doors to get a cross draft, crack the oven a little when it reaches temp and go outside or to another part of the house.  We don't even have an oven vent or fan and it took maybe 30 minutes to burn off all the oil I so mistakenly soaked into the stone.  Since then it's been fine.  I'm a more than a little curious to know how you spill oil on your stone so much that it's a problem.  Other than the odd bit of cheese or slopped-over tomato, I've never had anything get on the stone that would cause smoking.  Maybe you should look at your technique?
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Offline Davydd

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2008, 09:07:57 PM »
Leaving the stone in a self-cleaning oven and cleaning the oven did the trick for me. Since you don't have a self-cleaning oven maybe you can find a friend who does have one and use theirs.
Davydd

Offline DieselAddict

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Re: Can my oil-soaked baking stone be cleaned?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2008, 10:37:39 PM »
Some quality time on the grill should do the trick if you don't have a self cleaning oven. Any source of concentrated heat will likely break the stone.

I know its tempting to use sodium hydroxide (lye) which will certainly cut the oil but it won't rinse out easily with water. You will need to rinse it well then remove the residual lye with a mild acid solution (citric would be preferable). What you don't want to do for sure is use anything that has a surfactant in it (commercial soap). That will never come out of the stone.


 

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