#51  
Old 10-02-2012, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

If nothing else, soapstone is a natural product and as such is highly variable in it's specific properties. Nice landing and counter material, but not so much for the floor of the oven itself.
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  #52  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Sounds like a bad experience with soapstone.
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  #53  
Old 07-18-2013, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Great thread. Very informative.
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  #54  
Old 07-20-2013, 07:04 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Update on my Soapstone Floor! I wrote previously about my soapstone floor in my barrel vault here in Vermont (see 10/12/12 for the issues). Well last week I decided to remove the soapstone entirely, and replaced it with 1 inch firebricks (the soapstone was also 1" thick). The major problem is that the stuff just got too damned hot, and if I didn't have my laser thermometer at hand, I was almost always burning the bottoms of my pizza. Also, even though I moved the fire off the soapstone after starting it, it still cracked into several pieces, which, fortunately for me, made it MUCH easier to pull the floor out! (The entire slab weighed about 40 lbs. and would have been very hard to handle through the oven door opening of 9x17"). I didn't see any evidence of "shards" as someone else mentioned in another comment, so I don't think it would have been unsafe to continue cooking on it, and the cracks--while completely through the material--did not cause any large gaps etc. because the piece was bordered by firebricks, keeping everything from moving. The lesson here is that soapstone is certainly unnecessary, has unique cooking issues, and must be SLOWLY brought to temperature to avoid cracking. On the other hand, the firebricks work just great, and even they will burn the bottoms if I'm not careful, so nothing was lost in this experiment!
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  #55  
Old 07-20-2013, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Luca,

Thanks for the update, I was thinking of getting a small 16x16 inch piece of soapstone to experiment on but here, even as a drop from a kitchen remodel they want a lot of money. I will keep on looking for a cheap or free piece I think it would be interesting to try it but I am glad I did not go for the floor insert like you did. It is good to see that people are experimenting.
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  #56  
Old 02-21-2014, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

I just spent $1500.00 for soapstone to put into an exisiting wood fired oven. I had no idea how soft it was.My fingernail scratches it. I have a restaurant so we use metal paddles and wire brushes. Obviuosly this is going to scratch it terribly. What is everyone using as utensils ?
Nathalie
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  #57  
Old 02-24-2014, 02:41 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 46
Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

I really don't think you will have a problem. I used standard metal and wood utensils on my soapstone for 2 years with no visible problems. The wire brush I used is uniform in bristle length, so there was no chance for gouging. The aluminum turning peel is used with minimal force on the horizontal plane, so again little opportunity for damage. As you will note in my earlier notes, the issue that made me remove the soapstone was not undue or uneven wear; it was the overheating and cracking elements related to intense fires built on the soapstone itself. I've seen soapstone slabs used in commercial ovens (e.g. see American Flatbread ovens) and haven't heard of any problems. Incidentally, they have two slabs with the fire burning between the slabs so that there is no direct fire touching the stone. That assures a slow heating process and allows the soapstone to achieve high heat without cracking.
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  #58  
Old 02-24-2014, 02:47 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

P.S. I had a 14"x18" piece of soapstone left over from my oven build, so I placed it in our electric home oven and tried making a pizza on it. Amazingly, after heating the oven for about 45 minutes, it gave a nice browning to the bottom of the pizza!! I tried it again and this time used the broiler for the last 5 minutes or so to get the top browner (which worked great). The bottom line is you can get a very good pizza in a 500 degree home oven by use of a soapstone slab and broiler finish!!
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  #59  
Old 02-26-2014, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Firebrick all the way! It's cheaper and it works
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  #60  
Old 02-27-2014, 05:56 PM
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Location: Virginia
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Default Re: Soapstone vs Firebrick ??

Has Anyone ever used soapstone for the dome of the oven?
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