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Old 03-28-2013, 10:55 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Katy, Tx
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Default What about stainless steel

I am curious. What about putting a stainless steel as cooking surface of the oven on the top of the oven hearth?
Is it a silly question?
Just newbie asking
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:09 PM
david s's Avatar
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Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
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Default Re: What about stainless steel

One of the reasons firebrick works so well as a cooking surface for pizza is that it will suck moisture away from the wet dough, creating a nice crispy base. Cooking pizzas on trays rather than directly on the floor results in a soggy base because moisture gets trapped there. I think that this would be the result if you tried a stainless steel floor. Also, stainless steel has the characteristic of warping a lot under heat. You would need quite a thick piece to prevent this. If you have access to some free stuff, then use it and report back on its performance, I'm sure everyone would be interested.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:32 PM
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Location: Dallas
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Default Re: What about stainless steel

I don't think a soggy pizza bottom would result from baking on a stainless or mild steel hearth. A growing number of people are using 1/4" to 1/2" mild steel plate instead of pizza stones, cordierite, or soapstones to bake pizzas in their home ovens. Home ovens are generally limited to around 500F or 550F. At this lower temperature, they report getting crisper bottoms with better texture, coloring, and charring than with the less conductive stones. The pizzas cook faster on steel than on the other surfaces too.

Stainless steel and, especially, mild steel, is far more thermally conductive than medium-duty fireclay brick. I don't have a WFO, so I'm talking out of turn here, but at WFO pizza cooking temperatures, it may be that the bottom of a pizza cooked on a stainless steel hearth would be burnt to a carbon cinder before the top was finished.

I'm neither an engineer nor a WFO owner, so I could be totally wrong about this. Perhaps one of the many far more knowledgeble WFO builders on the forum will be able to give a better or more thorough answer.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:10 PM
cobblerdave's Avatar
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Location: brisbane australia
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Question Re: What about stainless steel

Gudday
I'd be interested to know how a steel floor would work.
For what it's worth I built a wood BBQ years ago with a 20 mm flat steel plate. If it sounds like it would make a good bit of armour plate you can guess its origins.
It took a good vigorous fire to get it hot but once up to temp you only needed a bit of flame on the bottom to keep it cooking all day. It didn't burn things like a thin plate BBQ would. I used a oil drum cut in 1/2 as a lid and baked in it as it would hold the heat for hours and would do a great slow roast. This was pre pizza days so I never thought of doing bread or pizza or baked goods...shame.
Perhaps 2 flat BBQ plates stacked together could achieve the right mass in a gas BBQ? Not sure but its pretty simple and easy experiment. I've cooked pizza on a ceramic pizza stone in a BBQ , the base cooks well before the top. Might try this out with a steel plate this time. The results last time were definitly eatable so worth the effort

Regards dave
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: What about stainless steel

Mild steel <> stainless steel, as they have very different conductive properties. Mild steel has been used as a pizza stone - I started a thread on that over in pizza stone cooking.

I am not so sure that stainless would work the same, plus it is many times more expensive than mild steel.
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