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Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

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  • Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

    I'm trying to find a cheap alternative to a pizza stone. I read that if you are not careful, they can crack if you don't know how to take care of them.

    I'm thinking of using concrete stones that are 6x12x1.5 as a practice start. I've read about using quarry tiles, but can't seem to find them at the local home depot.

    Does this seem like an ok idea?

    Concrete is rock right? Rock shouldn't be toxic.

  • #2
    Re: Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

    Concrete may, or indeed most likely WILL have air pockets or voids in its manufacture which may explode on heating. Be very cautious about doing this.


    • #3
      Re: Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

      Unglazed quarry tiles is a most common tile. It's the red tiles you see in restaurant kitchens. A whole box is less the fifteen bucks. Make sure you leave some room on the sides for airflow. You may have to half a few of them.


      • #4
        Re: Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

        Consider checking with your local masonry supply store. Eight firebricks should give you a baking area of about 18 square inches, plus or minus. Around here, that would cost me about 10 bucks.

        You can put them in your oven and use them as a pizza stone. Be sure to give them a lot of pre-heat time.

        Some people were putting the bricks on grills. I think that there were a couple of grill fires due to the open/intense flames which caused the grill boxes to get hotter than the manufacturer recommended.

        I don't think that is an issue in an oven because of the thermostat regulated heat. Set the oven for 550, and that is how hot the bricks will get.
        Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.



        • #5
          Re: Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

          I'd keep the concrete pavers out of the oven. I think the caustic portland (you can't be sure that all of it was converted back to limestone on curing) in direct contact with food is not a good idea.

          Firebrick is a good idea, and you can reuse them when you finally build your proper oven .

          The quarry tiles are only 3/8 of an inch thick or so. I don't think they have enough thermal mass to do any good.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


          • #6
            Re: Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

            Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
            Eight firebricks should give you a baking area of about 18 square inches, plus or minus. Around here, that would cost me about 10 bucks.
            Adding to George's suggestion, I would buy "splits" if they are available. Splits are half the thickness of regular fire bricks. They are about the same thickness as baking stones. They will heat up faster than the full size bricks, so you'll be eating pizza sooner (and that's always a good thing!).

            In my town the splits are the same price as the full bricks (go figure).
            Ken H. - Kentucky
            42" Pompeii

            Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

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            • #7
              Re: Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

              If we are talking home ovens, quarry tiles are adequate, 3/8ths or no. On several occasions, I lined the commercial South Bend ovens with them at a club to which I belong. After 70+ pizzas (perfect bottoms and a few sore backs..) the tiles performed nicely.
              I almost recommended double stacking. But it is not necessary for a 600+ plus environment. Wood fire? Double up.


              • #8
                Re: Poor man's baking stone:Concrete pavers?

                Except for refractory concrete, most concrete is made using portland cement. Your pavers most certainly are.

                The internal crystal structure that holds the concrete aggregate together will start giving up the ghost as it cools back down after being heated above 650 degrees or so.