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Quest for a Better Pizza Stone

From the WFO board

Posted by Scott Pierson on February 06, 2004 at 20:37:31:

I am attempting to create pizzeria style pizza at home. My question is not specifically about wood burning ovens but I'm hoping that someone will know a thing or two about baking stones.

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 BTU's, I can get a thick baking stone with a good thermal capacity. I've narrowed it down to 3 stone possibilities. Firebrick, Fibrament (from bakingstone.com) 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?

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