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Old 06-01-2004, 11:47 AM   #1
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Need recommendations on a good pizza stone

My kids love that I bake pizza for them now. I've been baking it without a pizza stone but the crust does not brown like I would want it to. I know I need to invest in a pizza stone. Any suggestions on which one I should get? What brands are good out there?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-01-2004, 10:50 PM   #2
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I've heard pretty good things about bakingstone.com but $60 for a 15 x 20 x 3/4" stone seems like a lot of money. A lot of people recommend unglazed quarry tiles. I think unglazed quarry tiles are a bit of gamble. Since they aren't made for cooking, sudden heat changes might cause them to chip or flake. If you really want to spend some bucks get a slab of soapstone. That seems to be the rolls royce of baking stones.

I went with fire brick, which is what's found in most wood burning ovens. Fire brick is hard to track down, big, unweildy and heavy, but it's one of the least expensive baking stone solutions while at the same time giving you some of the best results. I am a fanatic when it comes to recreating pizzeria pizza though. If you're just looking for something to play around with, bakingstone.com should be your best bet.
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:33 PM   #3
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MJ is the pizza expert here. Her should know the best Im guessing.
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Old 06-02-2004, 12:11 PM   #4
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Thanks Scott123. I'll check into it, but wasn't looking to spend too much money either. :?

I'll ask MJ about it also.

Dina
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Old 06-02-2004, 02:53 PM   #5
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If I want good, brown pizza, I go in my backyard and cook it in my wood fired pizza oven, but I do have A stone in my indoor oven.
I can't remember where I got my stone, but it cost me about $20.00.
If I have to replace my stone, I am definitly going with unglazed quarry. You could buy like 9 of them and but them up against each other, and have A huge cooking area in your oven. There only about $2.00 for A 1/2" deep 4'x4' tile. I think I'm gonna buy some anyway. I have heard very good things about unglazed quarry tile pizzas.
Some people use A screen for New York style pizza. The moisture will still escape the dough, making for A good crust.

Try adding some sugar when you make your dough to get it brown.
I think the most important thing is to CRANK up the oven. A stone needs to be preheated for at least 30-60 minutes. The digital controls on my oven only go to 550F, thats what I bake at.
Here is A site where people are VERY serious about pizza. They have some killer recipes, and they talk about anything that has to do with making A pizza

http://www.pizzamaking.com/yabbse/index.php

Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2004, 04:19 PM   #6
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Here is A picture (link) of those unglazed quarry tiles. They seem to be tried and proven by some of the "home pros". When you click on the link, just scroll down aways to see the photo . They have an interesting discussion also.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/yabbse/in...ay;threadid=99

Now you can make your own bread to!
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:39 PM   #7
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MJ,

You're the best! Thank you so much. I'm getting me some of those unglazed quarry tiles.

Dina
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Old 08-03-2004, 06:24 PM   #8
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Hey guys, I just bought one of those $7 stones from WalMart. Its a 16" Round stone about 3/8" thick. I preheated the stone at 500 for 1 hour. Then I put my homemade pizza on it and let it cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes For some reason, the crust did not cook at all!
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:42 AM   #9
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I got a pizza stone as a wedding shower gift. I think it came from Williams Sonoma. I really love this stone, but I do not think I would have bought it on my own as unglazed quarry tile does just as good a job at a fraction of the cost.

scott123 mentioned that sudden heat changes might cause unglazed quarry stones to chip or flake and while this may be true keep in mind that your stones should not be going through and sudden heat changes. Keep your stone in the oven at all times. This way it will not be subjected to and sudden changes in temp. Also keeping your stone in the oven helps regulate the temp in the oven by adding more mass. This will improve the efficiency of your oven.
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Old 08-30-2004, 09:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by GB
scott123 mentioned that sudden heat changes might cause unglazed quarry stones to chip or flake and while this may be true keep in mind that your stones should not be going through and sudden heat changes.
Proofed (80 deg.) wet pizza dough being placed on a preheated 550 deg stone is a pretty sudden/drastic change. Just the act of making pizza exposes your stone to a decent amount of thermal shock.
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Old 08-30-2004, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott123
keep in mind that your stones should not be going through and sudden heat changes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott123
Proofed (80 deg.) wet pizza dough being placed on a preheated 550 deg stone is a pretty sudden/drastic change. Just the act of making pizza exposes your stone to a decent amount of thermal shock.
If what you say is true then we should not be using pizza stones to make pizza. You said that you should not put your stone through sudden changes in temp, but then said that making a pizza will do just that.

My pizza dough is never wet to the touch when it goes on my stone. I just it with flour to make sure it can slide off my peel and therefore it is always dry to the touch. I have never had a problem with my stone when making a pizza.
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:29 PM   #12
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GB, I used the term 'stone' since you were using it. Pizza stones, since they are made to withstand the thermal shock are okay for making pizza. Unglazed quarry 'tiles' aren't made to handle the shock and there is no way of not submitting the tiles to sudden changes of heat.

The cornmeal/flour upon which the dough slides may be dry but the dough has water in it, and this water will stay at 212 degrees until it turns to steam. It's not instantaneous. For those few seconds it takes to convert the moisture on the bottom of the crust to steam, the top of the 'tile' is in the 200 degree range. 550-200 is pretty drastic.

P.S. You've taken a quote from yourself and put my name on it.
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Old 08-31-2004, 08:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott123

P.S. You've taken a quote from yourself and put my name on it.
Oops sorry about that scott123! You are absolutely right. I should learn to open my eyes more
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Old 09-02-2004, 10:29 AM   #14
 
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Oh no...another big splurge. I bought the Hearthkit oven insert to replace my old pizza stone. I saw the review in the Cook's Catalog and I just had to have one no matter what the cost.

I love it.
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Old 09-03-2004, 08:53 AM   #15
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Oh no...another big splurge. I bought the Hearthkit oven insert to replace my old pizza stone. I saw the review in the Cook's Catalog and I just had to have one no matter what the cost.

I love it.
Do you love it for bread? For pizza?

How long do your pizzas take to cook? What temp do you preheat it to? Gas or Electric oven?
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Old 09-03-2004, 08:47 PM   #16
 
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Scott. I have yet to make pizza at home on this stone. I just baked bread on it so far. It is great for bread baking and other cooking. I leave it in the oven all the time. It keeps the oven temperature from fluctuating, so my baking is more even.

I do not make any changes in temperature, but I keep an eye on things near the end of the estimated cooking time.
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Old 09-04-2004, 12:51 PM   #17
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I just picked up a stone last week for 8 bucks at one of those discount shops.
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Old 09-04-2004, 01:03 PM   #18
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you can use like a 12 inch by 12 inch tile as long as in isn't glazed. At least thats what I use.
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:03 PM   #19
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Scott. I have yet to make pizza at home on this stone. I just baked bread on it so far. It is great for bread baking and other cooking. I leave it in the oven all the time. It keeps the oven temperature from fluctuating, so my baking is more even.
Once you do make pizza I would love to hear about it. Specifically how long it takes.
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Old 09-05-2004, 09:32 AM   #20
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Pizza Stone

Dina, I have a rectangular pizza stone that I bought from Sharpknives.com some years ago. It is a really great pizza stone. It is better than most of the ones you find in the stores. It is more like a quarry tile. I paid $25.00 for mine. I can't find it on their website because they redid their website. But I found it on another site. Here is the link: http://store.yahoo.com/p4online/bakingstones.html arrow down the page a bit, till you see the 14 x 16 rectangular one. It is really a great stone and even better, I can put it in my cleaning cycle in my electric oven. When I first bought it, I asked the owner how was the best way to clean it. She suggested I use the cleaning cycle in my oven and even told me, if for some reason the stone cracked, she would replace it. I've had mine for 3 years now and always clean it with no problem in my oven. Again, like mentioned previously, if you don't want to spend that much money, the quarry tiles are your best bet. One more thing, if you buy a pizza stone, or quarry tile, make sure you never soak the tile in water, just wipe it with a sponge and scrape it with a scraper if needed. If it does get a bit wet, make sure it is completely dry before you put it into the oven or cleaning cycle or it will crack.
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