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Old 06-26-2013, 04:22 AM   #1
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Putting a stone in the bottom of my oven...

I have seen pizza stones for sale to bake pizza - I have always thought that the benefit was to distribute heat evenly to the crust. Would there be any benefit to putting a stone tablet on the bottom of my oven, under the heating elements? maybe even one on the top of the oven as well? About 80% of the things I use my oven for is baking cookies, cakes, pies, bread, etc. How about lining the walls with the same kind of stone?

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Old 06-26-2013, 07:03 AM   #2
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I don't think you are supposed to put anything in your oven. It is designed to work a certain way and anything in there will bugger up the heat distribution. I learned this with those tin foil trays. My oven came on too much and ended up burning everything we tried to bake....

Here is a page from a GE manual. Range - Using Aluminum Foil in the Oven
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:01 PM   #3
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I have a rectangular baking stone on my ovens lower shelf. I have 1 inch of space on both the right and left to allow for convection. I leave it in there thinking it will help maintain temperature if I need to open the door during the cooking time. Naturally it is also for pizza and breads. I would like to know what gave you the idea of the stone UNDER the heat source please.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:14 PM   #4
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I don't see any advantage except you would retain a more consistent temperature if you open the oven a lot.

Do you peek a lot?

Baking on the stone itself is where you benefit from its use.

Either way I wouldn't place it on the bottom of the oven without an airspace.

RL, I think the warning about foil is because it's so thin and melts easily.

Maybe one day I'll tell the story about a cheap aluminum pan I once owned.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
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No benefit from a stone under the bottom heating element. Any stone placed in the oven must allow for circulation. But also remember that oven temperature varies, sometimes a lot, from top to bottom, and the thermostat is calibrated with that in mind for that particular over without a stone. A stone can throw that calibration off, so you always have to check with an oven thermometer to see any difference.

The stone has very little effect on the oven, except that it does significantly slow the time bringing the oven to temperature. That's the reason instructions for the use of stones always say to give it a long preheat. It just takes longer to bring the stone up to temperature.

Actually tests show a stone has very little effect on the temperature variations from the element cycling on and off, and it has little effect on how long it takes to recover from opening the door. It just doesn't have enough mass to do much. It's not at all like a true brick oven.

The stone's one benefit, though, is a real one. The stone is at one consistent temperature across its surface. That's not true of bare wire shelves and cookie sheets on shelves. So it's good for something like pizza where you want even heating of the entire bottom. Of course, a thick aluminum plate would do the same job.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:44 PM   #6
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Glc perhaps a thick full shelf stone might show some temperature holding characteristics???
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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"Glc perhaps a thick full shelf stone might show some temperature holding characteristics???"

That's where I was going. Thermal mass doesn't let the heat waft out as just hot air does. (Kinda like people)

My stone/stones are 3/4 inch thick and are the size of the shelf minus aprox 1/2 inch. They don't lose heat when the door is opened for a short period of time.

They take a while to get up to temp but once they are there they stay that way.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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Thank you. Out of curiosity, have you ever seen a tandori oven? i believe it is Indian and is lined with bricks. The breads are stuck on the wall and cook there.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagut View Post
"Glc perhaps a thick full shelf stone might show some temperature holding characteristics???"

That's where I was going. Thermal mass doesn't let the heat waft out as just hot air does. (Kinda like people)

My stone/stones are 3/4 inch thick and are the size of the shelf minus aprox 1/2 inch. They don't lose heat when the door is opened for a short period of time.

They take a while to get up to temp but once they are there they stay that way.
The reason that such a stone doesn't give you any significant temperature holding is that, as soon as the temperature drops, the oven fires up with a burst of heat to recover. A stone that has reached equilibrium is putting out the same amount of heat all the time (which is the heat it takes in), so it can't react to the temperature drop, being just a dumb stone. There's just not enough mass to compete with the elements in heating the oven.

The stone will, of course, maintain it own temperature far better than a baking sheet, but it's not doing much for the oven air temperature.

Now, in wood fired brick ovens, the mass is enormous. Takes a very long time to store up heat, but the brick mass itself is from that time itself the heat source and massive enough to recover the oven temperature.

When you look at how the stone affects the temperature as the oven element cycles on and off, you find that the stone moderates that cycle by a few degrees, detectable but not significant.
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