A Pizza Stone Repair Kit
Note from Peter: I’ve recommended interesting products here from time to time, but only rarely. However, I get so many emails from folks lamenting a broken or cracked baking stone that I couldn’t resist posting this guest column from our long time friend, Bob Radcliffe (I remember when I dropped my 10 year old stone and had to fight off serious tears — it was a type of mourning after such long-term bonding and many wonderful pizzas, so Bob’s story spoke to me directly). Anyway, here he is and, after his popular series about his quest for the perfect tomato pie (see the Guest Column archives if you missed it) I couldn’t refuse his request to make his home made repair kit available to others. I get no kick-back from this, by the way, but I do get a kick out of Bob — one of the most original people in the PizzaQuest universe. Take it away, Bob:
My Pizza Stone Repair Kit
Well, from the title, you can figure out that the author, aka the “NC Tomato Pie Guy,” does sometimes cook in a regular oven – in my case either an LP gas or electric oven – instead of in my custom, wood-fired outdoor one. That wood-fired oven was a labor of love I built from scratch, with guidance from the Forno Bravo Forum website. My cooking adventures formed the basis for a series of articles Peter was gracious enough to post here on PizzaQuest.com.
For well over 20 years I’ve experimented with breads and pizza using a square clay pizza stone (14”x16”x1/2”). Sadly, it recently broke in two – and broke my heart, too. I really loved that old stone, since we’d been through so much together. It was practically a member of the family. Holding onto that stone reminded me of my old car, a four-wheel farm vehicle I just knew I could drive for a million miles, but my beloved 1989 Datsun Pathfinder only made it to 450,000 miles before the engine blew last year. So I listened to my 94-year old Dad and bought a new car – sort of. He was delighted with my decision, since he’s bought more than 50 new cars in his lifetime. He wanted me to experience the feeling. I found my “new” car on Craig’s List – a real beauty – an upgrade – a 1995 four-wheel drive Datsun Pathfinder – same color (red), with only 225,000 miles, for $1,400 cash. When I told Dad, he thought I said $14,000 and couldn’t believe I got a new truck for that. Was he surprised! Well, no one I know here could believe I would buy a car for $1400 with all those miles either. I managed to get my bargain car in tip-top shape by spending just $2,000, including a trailer hitch and new tires. It does “miss” once in a while, but no emissions test is required and the insurance payment is low. If it gets a scrape or two driving on my farm paths I hardly notice and, frankly, I don’t cringe. As you can see, when it comes down to it, I’m a “Mr. Fix-It” kinda guy! My new car works just fine.
So, back to my pizza stone: Buying a new one wasn’t the first thought crossing my mind. I felt confident I could some way fix it. I began by frantically searching on Google for an answer, and looked into a lot of “dry holes” there, but no such luck. So I dug into my bag of wood-fired oven tricks and took the broken halves and lightly brushed the edges clean. I applied a thin layer of industrial kiln adhesive to each face of the crack, and on my kitchen granite counter top (a very flat surface) pushed the edges firmly together. Then, I wiped off the excess adhesive on the top cooking surface and let the pizza stone sit untouched for 12 hours. After that, I then preheated my electric oven to 500 F, turned the oven off, and placed my “repaired” stone in the oven overnight. Voilà! In the morning it was “cured” – fixed – and ready to use again!
Forget about the underside surface irregularities caused by the extra adhesive. You cook on the top surface, not the bottom. It will work just fine! If this stone were to crack again, it would occur somewhere else, since the adhesive is stronger than the tile itself. Much like my wood-fired oven. I am told that in the year 3,000, when an inquisitive archaeologist attempts to dissemble my wood-fired brick oven with a sledge hammer (or laser gun), the bricks will break before the joints fail. Nice!
Well, initially, I got really excited that my Pizza Stone was fixed. Then I got more excited when I realized there must be thousands of other frustrated souls out there with broken pizza stones.
So I came up with the idea to sell a Pizza Stone Repair Kit. I hastily sent Peter Reinhart an email with my idea. He suggested I write another PizzaQuest Guest Column. So here we are.
For just $15, I’ll ship you exactly what you need to repair your Pizza Stone – with complete directions and special adhesive. If you are a bargain hunter, the adhesive I provide is not available at retail stores, nor in small quantities. I guarantee this kit will repair your ceramic or clay (not metal) pizza stone. I make the repair kits. Best of all, I provide technical support. You know who you are dealing with – Bob Radcliffe at www.lynchcreek.com. This is a 100% Made-In-America solution. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, if this Pizza Stone Repair Kit fails to repair your Pizza Stone – I’ll REFUND YOUR MONEY. If you can find a better deal, my advice to you is – take it!
Mail your $15 check, cash or money order today payable to:
LYNCH CREEK FARM, 1973 Rocky Ford Road, Kittrell, NC 27544 ATTN: Pizza Stone Repair Kit
I’ll ship my Pizza Stone Repair Kit to you ASAP. You will be back in business cooking pizzas with your old stone in a day.
P.S. I have promised Peter another article about my new wood-fired oven “Potato Pie.” Stay tuned.
Recent Articles by Bob Radcliffe
Pizza Quest Info
Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on Amazon.com