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Granite as a cooking surface - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Granite as a cooking surface

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  • Granite as a cooking surface

    Hi

    Has anyone uses a slab of granite for the floor of their oven? I was thinking of laying common red bricks ontop of my concrete hearth with a layer of sand then the grannite slap on top. Fire Bricks are NZD$6.50 each over here and I have a piece of grannite big enough to cover the floor of the oven. I picked up about 60 second hand fire bricks for NZD$3.00 ea (Not enough). Has anyone made an oven using a combination of Fire Bricks and red clay type bricks? I was thinking of using the fire bicks for the top portion of the dome and the common red bricks (approx 60 years old and I have about 1600) on the bottom half of the dome. Do you think there maybe an issue with this. i.e different thermal expansion rates of the bricks causing cracking?

    Your help is appreiciated
    Cheers Andrew

  • #2
    Re: Granite as a cooking surface

    Originally posted by Andrew Beal View Post
    Has anyone uses a slab of granite for the floor of their oven? I was thinking of laying common red bricks ontop of my concrete hearth with a layer of sand then the grannite slap on top. Fire Bricks are NZD$6.50 each over here and I have a piece of grannite big enough to cover the floor of the oven.
    I have read about granite being highly unstable when exposed to heat and flame; apparently it pops, flakes, cracks, and even explodes under high heat. Blowtorches are used to create the look of "rough hewn" surfaces by heating the surface until pieces shatter away. Avoid.

    Be sure to use as much insulation below the cooking floor as possible. Sand and brick don't count. Rather than layering concrete slab\brick\sand\granite hearth, consider concrete slab\insulation\brick hearth.

    I picked up about 60 second hand fire bricks for NZD$3.00 ea (Not enough). Has anyone made an oven using a combination of Fire Bricks and red clay type bricks? I was thinking of using the fire bicks for the top portion of the dome and the common red bricks (approx 60 years old and I have about 1600) on the bottom half of the dome. Do you think there maybe an issue with this. i.e different thermal expansion rates of the bricks causing cracking?
    The difference in expansion might be serious. I used 2 different firebricks, both from the same manufacturer, both nominally medium duty, just slightly different in texture and color, and had a crack through one of the bricks after my first few firings. I would shy away from using different bricks in the dome. You could use the firebricks for the floor, which will take alot of abuse with food sliding across it, and use the commons for the dome.
    Last edited by cynon767; 11-30-2009, 09:11 PM.
    -jamie

    My oven build is finally complete!

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    • #3
      Re: Granite as a cooking surface

      I have heard of a number of folks using Soapstone for a cooking surface. It is also commonly used in fireplace hearths. Not sure it would save you any money though.
      Pizza Oven Picture Gallery
      http://picasaweb.google.com/toddfas/PizzaOvenProject

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      • #4
        Re: Granite as a cooking surface

        Soapstone is silly expensive: It makes NZ firebrick look like a bargain.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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        • #5
          Re: Granite as a cooking surface

          I'd be pretty worried about it cracking under the heat. Also as far as I know granite is very impervious to liquid, which is one of the reasons it's so ideal for a kitchen worktop. I think a better surface is a very porous one like brick or terracotta which actually sucks the moisture away from the dough as it cooks, making a crisp crust. But I know some people on here have used successfully used soapstone which is even less porous than granite, so what do I know!

          Personally I would save a nice piece of granite for a pizza preparation work-surface next to the oven (granite is great for dough and pastry prep because it stays cold and dough doesn't stick to it easily), and anyway it seems too nice to use for inside an oven!

          If you do decide to go with the granite though, post your progress on the forum. It'd be very interesting to see how it worked out.

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