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Soapstone - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

Forno Bravo Forum Community,

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.

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.

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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  • Soapstone

    I'm interested in using soapstone for the hearth of a masonry oven. Does anyone have experience with this material/application? Will the heat retaining qualities of soapstone provide anything that a traditional firebrick will not? Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    Re: Soapstone

    Soapstone is a nice material, but it costs so much more than firebrick that most of us haven't considered it more than briefly. If you are in a cost-no-object situation, than by all means go for it and let us know how it works out.

    Here's a link to a temporary oven built at a MHA meeting, with a soapstone insert to the floor:

    MHA News - 2006 Meeting - Backyard Oven with Peter Moore
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: Soapstone

      The soapstone idea seems to keep coming up over and over again. What is the benefit that I'm missing? Just the pleasant/smmoth appearance?
      Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.



      • #4
        Re: Soapstone

        You're right George, I looked into soapstone for the BenjaMia Bakehouse oven but went with firebrick due to cost.

        I think the soapstone would have looked great, felt great and I think that I had heard that it had good heat retention properties....but alas too expensive!

        sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!


        • #5
          Re: Soapstone

          That makes sense. Thanks for your thoughts.


          • #6
            Re: Soapstone

            From what I have understood the soapstone will heat up faster but will tend to overheat(if that makes sense)...read that it is better for pizza than for bread ovens
            "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
            "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch


            • #7
              Re: Soapstone

              Soapstone is very soft. We used to use it for the art students to carve. I would imagine that melted and burnt cheese and stuff would not stick to it easily it's slippery stuff, hence its name. If you sand it which is quite easy you get talc powder. Another name for the stuff is talc stone.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


              • #8
                Re: Soapstone

                I'm a sculptor and have worked a lot with Kenyan soapstone, it really is a lovely material to work with and carves very easily indeed. I imported a huge amount from Kenya a few years ago and I imagine it would be possible to get hold of bricks fairly easily - however I would not recommend using it for the oven floor as it would wear out very quickly....
                My rustic oven;