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Baking / Pizza stones

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the manufacturer says not to, but i'm wondering why. it looks like a piece of ceramic to me. hard to imagine any temperature that the steel oven could survive would have any effect on it.

anyway, I roast a lot at high temperatures, and the stone lives in the bottom of the oven and gets spattered with grease. i'm too lazy to take it out, or to cover it with foil or anything like that. I'm wondering if it would be worth risking it.

thoughts?


Notes from the underbelly

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the manufacturer says not to, but i'm wondering why. it looks like a piece of ceramic to me. hard to imagine any temperature that the steel oven could survive would have any effect on it.

anyway, I roast a lot at high temperatures, and the stone lives in the bottom of the oven and gets spattered with grease. i'm too lazy to take it out, or to cover it with foil or anything like that. I'm wondering if it would be worth risking it.

thoughts?

I don't think it would hurt anything?

BTW: I leave my stone on the oven bottom, but turn it over whenever I use it.

SB :wink:

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We do it all the time. There's one large, heavy square baking stone on one rack, and a lower rack is lined with unglazed quarry tiles, and we leave them in the oven when we put it on self-clean. It's been ten years now.

(For what it's worth, unless it's a question of space, a pan so big that it won't fit in the oven with the big stone in, I cook with the stone(s) in all the time, lots of time right on the stones. That has nothing to do with the self-cleaning story, that was just a p.s.)


Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

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Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

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I've done it and the stone turns out looking like new again. I remove the stone from the rack (since I've read that it can warp) and place the stone on the oven floor during the self-cleaning cycle.

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i am glad you did it and it came out clean. speaking as a potter, the clay used for stones is probably fired at around 1600-1800 degrees F. i can't think of any reason why the self cleaning oven which reaches around 800 degrees should harm the stone. for anyone out there who is interested in doing this, my feeling is go for it......

alienor the potter

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Cool, thanks for the replies. Next time it's getting baptized by fire.

I wonder why the manufacturer's tell you not to?


Notes from the underbelly

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Cool, thanks for the replies. Next time it's getting baptized by fire.

I wonder why the manufacturer's tell you not to?

so they can sell you a new one when yours turns black and ugly.

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Interstingly, I have managed to split two stones, one in my own oven, but we still use it! It lives in the bottom like many of you have said, but I take it out for cleaning the oven (not sure why). The other one I split was in my brother's oven, not sure why I have damaged two stones and what to do differenttly. All I did was leave em in and turn the oven on, and use the oven ... ok yeah the oven was hot like 500 plus f, but still!

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I have been putting this off for ages and just flipping my bread /pizza on to my oven racks to crisp up the crust..it is satisfactory at best...not great ... and can be messy but has worked for years.. .... now I want to take the step and actually get my own stone... will you please help me with some suggestions as to wear and what type I should buy? Also tips on using it? Size options? I have one oven I can dedicate to baking so I would love to just put the stone in and leave it there ...

I have done a search and found a lot of info that includes mention of them ... no where could I just find a thread about buying and using a baking stone ...is there one?

I would love to see pictures if possible of how you have yours set up, what you bake on them and what type of oven you use?

thanks so much in advance for your help


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I've been using a stone for years. When I'm not doing breads or pizzas, I usually put the stone on either the lowest shelf in my oven or on the floor. Using the stone causes my oven to maintain a much more even temperature. If I have to open the door to check on the food, the oven temperature returns to normal much quicker. The only downside is that I have to remember to turn on the oven AT LEAST 30 minutes before I need it. And if I'm baking breads at 450-475 deg F, I turn it on a full hour ahead of time to let the stone heat to the right temperature.

I don't know that I would suggest a particular brand, but I would stay away from the stones with the handles -- you're giving up precious surface area. I've also used both round stones and rectangular stones. Round stones are great if you are doing pizzas or a loaf or two of bread, but again, you are limited by the actual surface area. I'd go with a nice rectangular one that fits in your oven.

One last piece of advise -- and this is more for bread making. If you do water injections to create steam, be careful not to hit the stone ... it could crack. An instructor I once had actually used unglazed quarry tiles instead of a stone. They were dirt cheap, and if one happened to crack -- eh, no biggie -- she'd just replaced the one that cracked.


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Thank you so much for that info it is just what I wanted to know!

I plan to use it for bread and pizza making and don't need handles if I am going to leave it in the oven ..will it affect convection baking or roasting leaving it there? (perhaps a silly question but I really dont know!)

also where do I purchase unglazed quarry tiles? are they the same as unglazed smooth terra cotta tiles?

when I get one do I just put it in the oven or does it require special cleaning?

ok one more question...if I want to steam the bread to improve the crust can't I just put a pan of hot water under on the rack under the stone or will that crack it?

ok really last questions for now ..how much sould I plan to pay? and should the stone fill the entire rack of the oven? or should there be a flow space around it?


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Actually, you will want to purchase fire brick splits which are available at almost any decent brick yard. The splits are something like 3" X 6" X1" thick and cost maybe $1.50 each.

You can build a bed of the firebricks and even put up walls, like the "Hearthstone" that costs almost $200.

Tim

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I picked up a baking stone like this one for around $20 about fifteen years ago.

It's plenty big enough for what I bake, and I just leave it either on the oven floor or lowest rack when I not using it. It really does seem to even out oven temperatures. Just remember to allow a little extra time for it to heat up.

To clean it I use a wire brush.

SB :cool:

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Just a few days ago I bought a few thick, heavy slate tiles at a hardware store, and they seemed to work quite nicely. If you go the unglazed quarry tile route, I have read that you want to make sure that it says "lead free" on the box...

Emily

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ok really last questions for now ..how much sould I plan to pay? and should the stone fill the entire rack of the oven?  or should there be a flow space around it?

Based on how my oven is, I'd say if you're going to put the stone or bricks on the floor of the oven, make sure it doesn't cover any holes that might be on the bottom. I have a sqaure baking stone that I put directly on the oven floor, and luckily it fits just within the ventilation holes that run along the edge of the oven floor, side to side and front to back. However, I don't know how much of the rack can be covered, if you're going to do that rather than put them on the floor of your oven.


"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)

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You don't necessarily have to move the stone to a lower rack of the oven floor if you want to use the oven to bake cookies or roast a chicken. Just make sure you double sheet pan the item so that the bottom doesn't burn.

Agreed that the unglazed tiles must be lead free.

To answer your steam question, it isn't the presence of steam that will bother the stone. It's if you throw the water directly onto the stone where you could have problems. Water will cause the stone to cool and thus contract slightly. If enough contraction happens too suddenly, it could possibly crack.


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I recommend getting one that takes up as much of the shelf space as possible. Mine is about 14" wide, which works fine except when I carelessly make a pizza that is wider than the 10" depth.

Also, avoid anything round. Those are cute, but pointless, as you likely won't have any room for error when placing your food on the stone, except for maybe single loaves of bread.


Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

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Thank you so much for all this info!!! I appreciate it more than you can imagine!!!

Now I am excited about shopping for this

I think I will look at quarry tiles, slate and also check into the fire brick splits and just see what they all look like and cost

line a rack with them (avoiding any vent holes)

Tim: I was wondering if the fire brick splits were smooth enough? ..I have seen them and they appeared quite coarse...but maybe what I had seen is not what you mean? do they have smooth fire bricks? I will go see anyway there is a brickyard not too far from here

JasonTrue: Thanks I am going to avoid the round ones ..I have a large double oven and one can be just for baking bread and pizza now with out a problem.. while I build my skill at this...so I want to make sure I get the most efficient use of it!

thank you all so much again your advise is so valuable!

anymore advice or pictures of how your oven looks with them in so I am sure what I am thinking is correct would be appreciated

I adore baking breads and pizza's (I am from Providence RI and know the good stuff) am really excited to make the best crusts I can here where I live in the Northwest ...my friends think I am such a snot when I roll my eyes at the pizza here..we have fantastic foods from all over the world here ..but as far as bread, bagels and pizza go ...not even close imho..

I would like to recreate some more of my home here for my friends and family!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Ditto on what Tino said. I've had mine for years - think I just picked it up at bed bath and beyond about 6 years ago after a pampered chef showing. I wasn't really "in to" these so I bought an inexpensive one with the rack. I tossed the rack. I leave it in the bottom of my oven and it aids in cooking time and I will toss a piece of toast on it (for what we call "oven toast") or warm up rolls on it.

It really turned out to be more functional than I thought it would be.


Whoever said that man cannot live by bread alone...simply did not know me.

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Ditto on what Tino said.  I've had mine for years - think I just picked it up at bed bath and beyond about 6 years ago after a pampered chef showing.  I wasn't really "in to" these so I bought an inexpensive one with the rack.  I tossed the rack.  I  leave it in the bottom of my oven and it aids in cooking time and I will toss a piece of toast on it (for what we call "oven toast") or warm up rolls on it.

It really turned out to be more functional than I thought it would be.

this is an awesome idea thank you!!!!


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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In addition to keeping one in the oven, I have another one I use on the gas grill, which makes great pizza and flat bread at 500+ degrees - just make sure not to put a cold stone on a hot grill, as it may crack.


Edited by tdo-ca (log)

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I got a box of 24 unglazed, lead-free quarry stone tiles at my local Home Depot for about $7. Six of them fit the bottom of my oven perfectly, which means I got the equivalent of 4 baking stones for less than $2 each.

They work just as well as the expensive stones I've used in the past, but this time I won't have to get upset if one cracks. :)


The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again.

~George Miller

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Does the stone have to be of a certain type? I have some left over travertine 18"X18" and I think one of those would fit in the oven, so could I use that?

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Does the stone have to be of a certain type?  I have some left over travertine 18"X18" and I think one of those would fit in the oven, so could I use that?

I'm not positive about travertine, but I seem to recall that it's more porous than something like quarry stone. Is it glazed or sealed in any way? You definitely want to avoid anything with a coating on it, as you can't be sure if the coating is food safe or not.


The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again.

~George Miller

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