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Old 11-12-2004, 07:49 AM   #11
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thank you scott123

thank you scott123 :D :D :D

your reply was clear and complete! I'm primarily interested in using a stone for bread-baking (if the one I eventually buy works for pizza that will be a plus but hey - I can always buy those "New York style thin crust pizzas" right in my neighborhood).

I wish sites that sell stones gave good info like you instead of marketing hype.

Looks like I'll skip the 1" stone I found - it was the most expensive anyway.

Based on the advice so far, I'm leaning towards the 13 3/8 x 17 1/2 x 3/4" thick stone from bakingstone.com
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Old 11-12-2004, 08:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
Why don't you use your stone to actually bake on? I'm confused even more sub :oops:
hi kitchenelf -

b/c I don't own one yet! I'm thinking of buying one (primarily for bread baking). I did my 'net research like a good girl and got totally confused by all the marketing hype and ended up with lots of :?: :?: :?: :?: so I said to myself - self! - post your questions on DiscussCooking - you will get good advice from real people with no axe to grind. And here I am...

From some posts, it sounds as tho putting a cookie sheet right on a stone is not a good idea b/c the stone can make the cookie sheet too hot for the cookies and burn the bottoms.

But you say you do bake cookies right on the stone. Do you experience any problems or do you make any adjustments to temperature when you do it? I guess I'm concerned that the stone, since it's somewhat porous, would absorb some of the fat from anything with a lot of fat that was cooked right on it and that, over time, that might not be good for the stone.

I'm just trying to make an informed decision before I buy. Getting feedback here really helps. Thanks :)
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Old 11-12-2004, 11:43 PM   #13
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sub - I think scott gave you as good of an answer as I ever could.

Now .... the debate of baking a pizza directly on the stone or not ... I do. Yes, the dough has a little oil in it, it gets on the stone and discolors it, but I don't notice any "smoking" problems. I figure there are a couple of things going on here:

One, it's going to season like a cast irom skillet.

Second, it probably shouldn't smoke untill the "smoke point" of the oil is reached or exceeded.

Since I normally bake pizza at around 350-F ... I never exceed the normal smoke points. Maybe I need to stick it in the oven and crank it up to 450-F to see what happens???
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Old 11-13-2004, 06:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
...the debate of baking a pizza directly on the stone or not ... I do. Yes, the dough has a little oil in it, it gets on the stone and discolors it, but I don't notice any "smoking" problems.
hi Michael

The "debate" is whether one should bake cookies directly on the stone - some do, some don't.

What kind of stone (shape, size - especially thickness) do you use? What do you bake on it? How much time does it take to preheat?
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Old 11-13-2004, 07:15 AM   #15
 
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Re: want your opinions on baking/pizza stones

Quote:
Originally Posted by subfuscpersona
I am contemplating buying a baking stone. For a variety of reasons I don't want to go the "unglazed quarry tiles" route. I have an ordinary gas stove (not self-cleaning, not convection) and an oven shelf measures 17 x 25".

I want a rectangular stone that I just keep it in the oven at all times. What difference, if any, will it make when I use the oven for something other than baking bread? Can I put a utensil or cookie sheet directly on the stone? I also keep a few large, heavy cast iron pans in the oven. Can they be placed directly on the stone whithout marring it?

A common size (which seems good for my oven) is 14 x 16 but I have questions about the material and thickness.

The most commonly available stones of this size are 1/2" thick abd retail for about $25 (plus shipping). Different sites describe them as "stone composite", "clay stone", "unglazed ceramic sheet" (etc etc) - one site said theirs was ...made from a natural Clay Body, cordierite and mullite. I don't know if these are all adjectives for the same thing and whether they're simply a larger version of unglazed ceramic tiles.

A thicker stone sells for $40-$45 - for example, pastrychef.com has one measuring 14 1/2" x 16 1/2" x 1" thick which is described as "Restaurant-quality".

I also found a 13 3/8 x 17 1/2 x 3/4" thick stone from bakingstone.com that sells for $44.50 (which includes shipping). It's made from what they call FibraMent which is described as a proprietary blend of heat resistant and conductive raw materials approved by NSF International for use in baking ovens (This one was praised by some posters in the alt.food.sourdough group.)

Now - if you got this far - plz share your experience and give me your advice, opinions, recommendations, reactions ... TIA!
I can only tell you what i use in my range, not tell you what to buy. I have a Hearthkit Oven stone oven insert. http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/hea..._hearthkit.asp

Pizza is not a food cooked in my home, so I can't tell you about how that reacts to my Hearthkit. I bought the Hearthkit for other reasons -- mainly even heating and heat retention.

Since the insert has a metal rack, I just use the oven normally -- placing the dish or pan on the rack, remembering to keep an eye out for the temperature as stated on the removable thermometer -- not the oven gauge.

I think my baked goods and my casseroles and roasts are better for the Hearthkit.

The New Cook's Catalog by Burt Wolf also praises it. This is an expensive piece of equipment, but in my mind it is worth it for me. I gave away my rectangular think pizza stone.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:23 AM   #16
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Pizza stones are amazing. The best way to get the perfect crust on the bottom. Preheat the stone, then throw the pizza in on top.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:34 PM   #17
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I broke the one I had. But, when at a sporting goods store the other day, I spied a cast iron pizza pan, large. It looked like a great pan, one could also use it as a griddle when out camping (too large for the top of my stove).
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:27 AM   #18
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HearthKit

New here; hope I'm doing this right. I think I'm in the baking/pizza stone thread.

I recommend something called a HearthKit or HearthKitchen. The company seems to appear and disappear -- forum won't let me post their web address, but it's easy to find. They make a clay oven insert that's like a large square flat stone (you order by your oven size) with vertical sides. Makes perfect crusty bread/rolls/baguettes/bagels and perfect-crusted pizza, and you can keep it in your oven to enhance anything you bake.

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