#1  
Old 05-18-2010, 07:23 PM
Serf
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NYC
Posts: 23
Default Soapstone as a pizza stone

Has anyone tried soapstone in a gas/electric oven??
Will it work??
can't start to built a wfo yet
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2010, 06:45 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
Posts: 1,156
Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

I wondered the same thing, how would Soapstone, or Granite for that matter, work as a hearth in a kitchen oven. I read James info on his kiln shelf, I wondered if this shelf was denser so it took more time to heat but then inversely would hold temps in the oven longer. I've seen an ad in craigslist locally for cut-to-fit Granite pizza stones for ovens, $25. I don't know if the lack of porosity of the stone would work against pizza and breads.

Enquiring minds want to know.

Chris

PS I also have been thinking about using a few stones for passive warming of prepaired food at the table, hot plates if you will. After all these ovens have plenty of space to heat a few stone pads.

Last edited by SCChris; 05-19-2010 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:52 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 31
Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

I have generally heard that granite will cause trouble (you don't want to bite into a piece of it), but I have no knowledge either way on that.

Soapstone has been used for cookware for centuries, and is generally regarded as a superlative choice for pizza stones. (I believe All-Clad's stupidly expensive pizza stone is just a 13" round of soapstone with a fancy tray). I've considered getting a piece cut down for my electric oven, but recently found a local place that stocks kiln shelves, and price concerns tipped me that way.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:36 AM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: Disneyland, CA
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Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

I believe it's been well-documented that granite chips and spalls when subjected to brick oven temps making it an unsuitable floor material. I would guess that a piece of granite subjected to normal gas-oven temps ($500F) would work fine for an indeterminate time.

Chris - In my search for soapstone cutoffs, I came across a local shop selling granite and marble remnants as well as standard slabs for countertop fabrication. (He had one piece of soapstone, too small to consider). He told me it was his son who was selling the $25 granite 'pizza stones' on Craigslist.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:24 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

I found a place on on the south side of Ball road just West of College. He had a cutoff just right for 2 3cm oven stones. $50 total and cut to size.. I'll bake a batch of bread or two this weekend and report back. In the conversation with the folks at the shop, I was told that the darker more homogenious stones hold up better in ovens. It was explained that the lighter veining is talc and the darker stone is serpentine, because of the differences in expansion the vein will open up over time where a stone without veins will holdup much longer.. Makes sense to me.. The serpentine is much harder than the talc..

Chris
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

Thanks for the info, Chris. How big did the two oven stones cover? Can you post a pic?
John
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:09 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

What I ended up with was 2 20" by 16" stones. I also included in the photos a 20" by 12.5 "sink cutout" of Marble, that I use as the work surface to stretch and fold the bread dough, $0. The Marble is a nice cold surface that helps to keep the dough temps down during the initual S&F work period before transfering it to the fridge.

Chris
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Soapstone as a pizza stone-soap-stone.jpg   Soapstone as a pizza stone-soap-stone2.jpg   Soapstone as a pizza stone-marble.jpg  
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:13 PM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: Disneyland, CA
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Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

Nice work, Chris. Both your SS pieces can only enhance the functionality of your oven not to mention the appearance. My current plan is to procure enough soapstone (one piece?) to cover the floor of my oven prior to starting my build and incorporate a marble prep surface just like yours into the adjoining countertop. My biggest question now is whether to pay for a single floor piece or go with separate pieces in case one of them eventually cracks, separates, etc.

Thanks for the pics.
John
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:55 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

If you decide to go SStone in your WFO I recomend pieces rather than a single piece. This stuff is heavy! I'm wondering how long it'll take to heat the stone to temp.. Like I said, I'll keep you advised.. If I got serious about adding more insulation to the oven base, an easy way to do it would be to pull the firebrick floor, add an inch of rigid insulation to the inside of the dome and the entry and put SStone over the top. I think if you try you might be able to get all of your floor in SStone for $200 or so, if you piece it.

Chris
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:57 AM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Soapstone as a pizza stone

Good advice, Chris. I'm going to see the SS guy next week and would be thrilled to pick up some 'planks' roughly 50x12". I don't care if they don't match, but will try to get pieces without fissures, irregularities, etc. I wonder how 3/4" SS vs 1 1/4" will differ in performance. My floor insulation is 2" of Insblok 19 on top of 3 1/2" of 8:1 vermicrete so my plan is to place the SS directly on top of my 2 2/12" firebrick floor. $200 is what I expected to pay.
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