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Pizza Stones

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I used to make pizza more than I do now, but I usually keep a pizza stone in the oven (for convenience and lack of easy storage). I baked off a gorgeous half sheet pan full of chicken thighs, but the chicken fat spilled out onto the pizza stone and the oven floor. The oven floor I'll deal with, but I have no idea what to do about chicken fat on a pizza stone. I waited 1/2 hour after the oven was off and cooling before putting toweling in to soak up the liquid, but the stone had already completely absorbed it.

Other than making my kitchen smell like chicken every time I turn the oven on, does this damage the stone and is there anything I can do about it?

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I bought a scrap piece of granite from a granite store in Chantilly for about 10 bucks. Fits perfectly on my grill, which gets considerably hotter than my home oven. Works great for pizza.

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I used to make pizza more than I do now, but I usually keep a pizza stone in the oven (for convenience and lack of easy storage). I baked off a gorgeous half sheet pan full of chicken thighs, but the chicken fat spilled out onto the pizza stone and the oven floor. The oven floor I'll deal with, but I have no idea what to do about chicken fat on a pizza stone. I waited 1/2 hour after the oven was off and cooling before putting toweling in to soak up the liquid, but the stone had already completely absorbed it.

Other than making my kitchen smell like chicken every time I turn the oven on, does this damage the stone and is there anything I can do about it?

It might cause it to break at some point, but mine was pretty stained for a long time before that happened. With due respect to Charlie Papazian, relax, don't worry and bake a pizza.

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Other than making my kitchen smell like chicken every time I turn the oven on, does this damage the stone and is there anything I can do about it?

Leave the pizza stone in the oven next time you run the clean cycle.

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OK, I'd been reading through this article at Serious Eats and decided that we need to get a Lodge pizza pan over stacking cheap quarry tiles, and then this article came out about pizza steels which caused intense desire to spend ridiculous $ on a steel. Anybody have any comments or suggestions for cheaper alternatives to the steel? Or the best solution for making some NY-style pizza at home? That's all we want.

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I have one of the steels and think its worth the money. I've been really pleased with the results from it vs. the old pizza stone I'd had.

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Since I plan to make naan this week, I am heading to Home Depot soon to buy a couple of $4 marble tiles measuring about 10" x 10". Reading through these comments, I will be sure not to purchase anything glazed. What I've read online suggests soapstone, granite, marble and terra cotta are all recommended, though concern about food safety factor into questions about finishes and the exact nature of minerals in tiles intended for construction vs. cooking. One comment indicated that marble tiles might explode in oven, yet most cautionary remarks are about cracking. Two pizza stones I've bought cracked, though, so I prefer to spend less than I have in the past.

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OK, I'd been reading through this article at Serious Eats and decided that we need to get a Lodge pizza pan over stacking cheap quarry tiles, and then this article came out about pizza steels which caused intense desire to spend ridiculous $ on a steel. Anybody have any comments or suggestions for cheaper alternatives to the steel? Or the best solution for making some NY-style pizza at home? That's all we want.

Have people who have bought pizza steels been happy with the results? Do they hold up well over time? How does what you bought compare to this one?

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Have people who have bought pizza steels been happy with the results? Do they hold up well over time? How does what you bought compare to this one?

The Modernist version, according to Serious Eats, only differs from the original by its "Battlestar Galactica edges, 1/8", and 7 lbs", plus the Modernist logo. We're really happy with the original baking steel. 15 pounds is already quite heavy, thankyouverymuch so we don't have any plans to upgrade. I can't compare with a baking stone, since we never had one, but I have gotten a lot of mileage about the all-American origins of my steel (then again, my FIL works in a steel mill, so YMMV). We've also only had it for a couple months so can't really tell how it performs over time, but I can't think of any reason it wouldn't keep performing as expected.

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I get pretty solid use with the pizza steel. It has held up well, is easy to clean, and basically stays in my oven like a pizza stone (and has proven to be awesome at finishing off roasted veg, in their roasting pan, for the last 5 minutes of cooking).

If I had a yard I would totally put together the steel / weber kit that Kenji wrote about recently.

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You can count me as another person who loves the steel. I am thinking about buying a second one to put on a rack above it to radiate heat onto the surface.

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I got a half inch, custom-cut steel slab from a local metal shop, unfortunately I am blanking on the name. Cost less than $50.

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Cool. There are too many options for a steel noob like me to know what to get. Can you spell out what you got from them? Is there any reason to be concerned about food safety if it's not being made for cooking?

Measure your oven (width/length of shelf) so you know how big to get. You definitely don't want to get something too big for your oven! In terms of thickness, you can go 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch. The 1/2 inch will cook better, but it's heavy (40+ lbs), which is a consideration of your ability to lift and your oven shelf's ability to hold it. So you ask for a custom cut sheet of steel that's, for example, 18"x16"x0.5".

I'd wash it before you use it, but other than that there's no more of a food safety issue than from using a cast-iron pan. It's just steel. :)

You can even use it on top of your range (it even works with induction!) as a griddle, or freeze it and use it almost like an anti-griddle. Mine has even become seasoned just like a cast iron pan.

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Woah woah woah, there are many different grades of steel. Cast iron is not the same as many grades of steel you may be looking at. For $50, this was most likely not stainless steel. Heating galvanized steel and food can be very dangerous. I believe heating galvanized metals causes zinc vapor to be produced.

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So I tried to find some better evidence, I'm still having trouble finding a food grade of steel that isn't stainless steel. Obviously cast iron and blue/black/carbon steel used in cookware are safe, but I still don't really know what grades represent the food safe ones.

I am thinking that maybe Dan's steel plate is not cast iron, because cast iron is just that, poured into a mold to produce a shape such as a skillet. A plate of steel is rolled out and cut. (Doesn't preclude them from being the same molten steel I suppose?)

I found some interesting links that may be useful:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/09/the-pizza-lab-the-baking-steel-delivers.html

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bakingsteel/baking-steel-create-the-crust-you-crave

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskCulinary/comments/17enby/is_a36_steel_food_safe_and_can_it_be_seasoned/

I would just caution anyone to do some research before skipping down to the ole steel mill.

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Woah woah woah, there are many different grades of steel. Cast iron is not the same as many grades of steel you may be looking at. For $50, this was most likely not stainless steel. Heating galvanized steel and food can be very dangerous. I believe heating galvanized metals causes zinc vapor to be produced.

Okay, fair point, buuuuuuuuut...

Cast iron is not a grade of steel, it's a method.

I didn't say "galvanized steel," i just said "steel." :) As long as what you get is *just steel* you'll be fine. Galvanized steel is steel that's been coated in zinc, you'd probably have to specifically say "galvanized steel," and you probably can't even get it custom cut. They'd have to cut it, then galvanize it. Sheet steel. Easy peasy. Ask for SHEET STEEL.

I also never said that my steel was stainless. Just a big ol' plate of steel. And no, it's not "food grade," but then technically neither is raw cheese or serrano ham. :P

Stainless doesn't make it "food grade," either - just means it won't rust.

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I get pretty solid use with the pizza steel. It has held up well, is easy to clean, and basically stays in my oven like a pizza stone (and has proven to be awesome at finishing off roasted veg, in their roasting pan, for the last 5 minutes of cooking).

If I had a yard I would totally put together the steel / weber kit that Kenji wrote about recently.

I bought one and am enjoying it a lot. I do find that the recipes that call for heating up the steel under the broiler work best, no surprise. The only problem is keeping my overly sensitive smoke detector from going off.

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