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Stones for very high temps? - 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.

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Stones for very high temps?

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  • Stones for very high temps?

    Hi Everyone.

    Do baking stones typically have a temperature rating?

    I fire pizza's on a converted weber grill which I managed to get up to about a thousand degrees last night.

    I have a cheap $15 bed bath and beyond stone which held up fine for the first 2 pies, but when I went out to put on the 3rd noticed that it had broken completely in half. That being said, I do think just a tiny bit of cheese from the 2nd pizza may have made it onto to the stone. Would that have caused it to break? At temps that extreme I know it gets a little dicey.

    Bottom line is I need to find something that will be a little more forgiving in the 800f + range. Any suggestions? I'm wondering if the cheapo quarry tiles would hold up?

    Thanks all

  • #2
    Re: Stones for very high temps?

    Your pizza stone is probably "rated" just fine, however, it probably cracked because of the thermal gradient. In other words, one side is exposed to more heat than the other. The bottom side is exposed to the direct flame, whereas the top side gets rapidly cooled when you throw on the fresh pizza dough. This, coupled with the thermal cycling sets up internal stresses within the brittle material. The only possible solution you have is to build yourself a wood fired oven !!!

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    • #3
      Re: Stones for very high temps?

      I think jeeppiper's got it right.

      Or you could dial it down a notch - trying to cook at 1000F is a bit extreme. I think most of us cook our pies when the floor is in the 650 to 800F range.

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      • #4
        Re: Stones for very high temps?

        Originally posted by jeeppiper View Post
        Your pizza stone is probably "rated" just fine, however, it probably cracked because of the thermal gradient. In other words, one side is exposed to more heat than the other. The bottom side is exposed to the direct flame, whereas the top side gets rapidly cooled when you throw on the fresh pizza dough. This, coupled with the thermal cycling sets up internal stresses within the brittle material. The only possible solution you have is to build yourself a wood fired oven !!!
        Oh i totally agree about the WFO, this is more of just a test run of my pie making skills before I move onto the big leagues

        As far as the heat exchange, this makes sense, I just thought that because the dome of the oven was upwards of 950f, then there would not be that much of a heat gradient between the top and bottom.

        I think i'll definitely will dial it down a bit though. At those temps it was actually getting to difficult to manage the cook. The pies were needing to be turned within like 15 seconds of going in and basically had to spin them constantly to keep them from turning to charcoal on whatever side was facing the direct heat.

        I had always been envious of the 60 sec cook times of the pro ovens but I guess i can settle for 2-3 minutes

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        • #5
          Re: Stones for very high temps?

          BB&B offers a number of faux 'pizza stones', virtually all of which ($15-$50) do not identify their composition other than 'natural' materials. The one legitimate stone they offer is a 13" soapstone round that they list for $125. (ouch!)

          Soapstone International in Anaheim will sell you an offcut for around $20/sq' (last time I was quoted was two years ago). If you go this route, make sure there is no veining in the stone at all or it will crack along the vein.

          San Diego and Anaheim Soapstone Countertops

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          • #6
            Re: Stones for very high temps?

            Originally posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
            BB&B offers a number of faux 'pizza stones', virtually all of which ($15-$50) do not identify their composition other than 'natural' materials. The one legitimate stone they offer is a 13" soapstone round that they list for $125. (ouch!)

            Soapstone International in Anaheim will sell you an offcut for around $20/sq' (last time I was quoted was two years ago). If you go this route, make sure there is no veining in the stone at all or it will crack along the vein.

            San Diego and Anaheim Soapstone Countertops
            That's an awesome suggestion, thank you. I have a friend who knows quiet a bit about stone, I'll be sure to take him with me when I go.

            Right now, for a short term solution I'm actually looking at Kiln Shelves. I have a clay supplier near me and they sell 18" round cordierite stones for like $18. I've read a few posts by people saying they work well.

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            • #7
              Re: Stones for very high temps?

              I ve used a stone for over 5 years
              $15 from Aldi with a free Stainless Pizza Rocker cutter
              Got the second one with a free wooden peel same price.

              I use them in a regular oven and haven't got above 250C
              Makes excellent pizzas (I've had real ones in Naples)
              Takes about 10 minutes.
              Obviously not WFO pizza but so convenient and so good it does make you think is the WFO worth while to build and fire up for 2 pizzas on Saturday night that might be a few percent better but a lot more inconvenient.

              Im still going to build an oven though
              For sustainability
              Give me a off grid cooking option a bread and slow cooking oven and bio char maker.
              Last edited by TropicalCoasting; 03-18-2014, 05:26 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Stones for very high temps?

                Originally posted by TropicalCoasting View Post
                Im still going to build an oven though
                For sustainability
                Give me a off grid cooking option a bread and slow cooking oven and bio char maker.
                285 posts and you haven't yet built an oven? Get your arse off the internet and out into the backyard.

                (Though I have to admit I actually prefer the pizzas I make on the stone under the griller. But the process of making them in a WFO is way more fun.)
                My pizza stone is a 300 x 300x20 sawn sandstone paver from Bunnings. They last well, and if you break one its only about $6 for a new one.
                Last edited by wotavidone; 03-19-2014, 02:44 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Stones for very high temps?

                  Ive built many in my head just no actual ones,(helped a friend build a real one)
                  When its built it is going to be pretty good though(way better than if I built it 285 posts ago)
                  It would have been in the wrong position too,Ive changed my mind 3 times so far.
                  Wont be this year though as I have heaps of other projects on.
                  Carport,garden beds and major landscaping.
                  It will probably be one of next years projects
                  Meanwhile I will eat my pizzas of a stone from an indoor oven and wait a few minutes longer.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Stones for very high temps?

                    I doubt I speak for everyone, but if convenience was the driving force then I don't think i'd even bother making my own pies.

                    For me, whether it's cooking, brewing my own beer, makings pizza's, whatever... It's all about testing myself to see how good of a product I can produce. I LOVE Neapolitan style pizza, thus my goal is to make the best representation of it that I can possibly pull off. If that means planning dough 3 days ahead spending my Saturday morning splitting oak logs, well then so be it!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Stones for very high temps?

                      Originally posted by MD56 View Post
                      I doubt I speak for everyone, but if convenience was the driving force then I don't think i'd even bother making my own pies.

                      For me, whether it's cooking, brewing my own beer, makings pizza's, whatever... It's all about testing myself to see how good of a product I can produce. I LOVE Neapolitan style pizza, thus my goal is to make the best representation of it that I can possibly pull off. If that means planning dough 3 days ahead spending my Saturday morning splitting oak logs, well then so be it!
                      I can make a very satisfying margherita under the grill on a stone, but you are right, nothing beats doing it the old-fashioned way.
                      If convenience was the goal we'd still be choking down bought pizza.

                      Tropical Coasting - you need the carport to keep the weather of your firewood pile, but the oven is way more important than garden beds and landscaping. Oven first mate. The missus'll get over it. Or not.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Stones for very high temps?

                        Originally posted by wotavidone View Post
                        Tropical Coasting - you need the carport to keep the weather of your firewood pile, but the oven is way more important than garden beds and landscaping. Oven first mate. The missus'll get over it. Or not.

                        Its a veggy gardens
                        I need to grow the san marzanos and basil.
                        An investment in veggies gardens delivers significant tangible financial returns.
                        That can then be utilised on a Pizza oven.
                        Carport protects an investment and provides a vertical growing surface for grapes and passionfruit,somewhere to attach a solar panel or wind turbine to charge an electric bike.
                        Pizza oven will eventually reduce electricity and LPG costs and deliver bio char for the veggies, but at a far lesser return on investment.
                        There's a logic to the madness.

                        Im Peak Oil aware and I dont think we have too many years of cheap oil to go so Im trying to speed things up that will help reduce my cost of living pressures.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Stones for very high temps?

                          Originally posted by TropicalCoasting View Post
                          Its a veggy gardens
                          I need to grow the san marzanos and basil.
                          An investment in veggies gardens delivers significant tangible financial returns.
                          Sigh, it must be lovely to live somewhere that veggies will actually grow.
                          Here in South Oz, I plant tomatoes as soon as I can at the end of winter, and hope I get a crop before Christmas. By New Year the sun kills everything.
                          Our basil gets grown in pots.

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