The New Bakers Dozen
Quest for a better Pizza Stone

The The Bakers Dozen: Quest for a better Pizza Stone
By Scott123 (Scott123) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:55 am: Edit

I am attempting to create pizzeria style pizza at home. From what I've learned it's all about heat. Pizzeria ovens are HOT (700+ degrees) and they have thick (1-2") baking stone surfaces. Although I can't match the BTUs, I can get a thick baking stone with a good thermal capacity. I've narrowed it down to 3 stone possibilities. Firebrick, Fibrament (from and Soapstone. Please don't recommend unglazed quarry tile - I'm not going that route. I know it's a shot in the dark but has anyone had experience with all three?

Each has their strengths/weakness. The fire brick is thick (2") - lots of thermal mass, but... it takes forever to preheat and is so heavy that I have to reinforce my oven shelf. And the fire brick feels gritty, which I'm concerned might get on my crust. The Fibrament baking stone at .75" thick, preheats very quickly but it doesn't seem to have enough mass to maintain a very high heat for the 10 or so minutes it takes to cook pizza. Soapstone, at 1.25" feels like the perfect thickness, and it has a superior conductivity so a very quick preheat, but... I don't think it's porous enough to absorb moisture from the crust, something a pizza stone needs to do. Any ideas?

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 10:31 am: Edit

I had a Fibrament until about two weeks ago. It works pretty well, giving me a nice, crisp crust, but the reason I don't have it anymore is because it cracked in two the last time I used it. So, obviously, durability is an issue with this one.

That said, I work the pizza/pantry station at an upscale Italian restaurant, and I'll take our Italian-made, wood-fired pizza oven (which I got past 800 degrees last night) any day of the week. You should pick up one of them. :)

- Steve

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 10:31 am: Edit

Actually, you should pick up one of THOSE. Sorry.

By Boz (Boz) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 11:27 am: Edit

My sister uses one and has good results she bought from king arthur baking.

She is ordering the hearthkit next week.


By Chefrev (Chefrev) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:37 pm: Edit

I actually have had good results with unglazed terra cotta tiles, but if you'd rather not use them, that's certainly up to you.

By Scott123 (Scott123) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 06:35 pm: Edit

Steve, believe me, once I have a few thousand dollars to play around with and a few extra square feet, that's the first thing I'm going to buy. I'm curious, was the crack on your baking stone a clean break or did it fracture? Are you still using it? Are you going to get another one under the the warranty?

Also, since you are a pizza professional, I have another question for you. Are you able to tell from looking at your wood burning oven how thick the stone is?

And lastly, you said the baking stone worked "pretty well". I am guessing that there's a world of difference between what you get from the fibrament and what you get at work, right? It's just a wild guess but I'd say a typical 10 minute pizza on your fibrament takes 5 minutes at work, right?

Boz, I checked out the king arthur site. They have a 1/2" stone (not thick enough for me) and the hearthkits which don't list any thickness and sell for $200. Thanks for the info, but the three solutions I'm looking into would give me comparable thickness/thermal mass at 1/3 the price.

Chefrev, thanks but no, not enough thermal mass and I don't think placing them on top of each other is the solution I'm looking for.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 10:04 pm: Edit

big. fat. thick, piece of black slate.
pizza and scones.
nothing better.
have fun.

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