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baking stone vs baking steel

i was all set to get myself a baking stone when I came across David Lebovitz's most recent blog (http://www.davidlebovitz...), in which he waxes poetic about the benefits of the baking STEEL. he does address the issue of energy required for both (steel heats up/cooks quicker) but aside from that I'm wondering what you all would suggest, if I only want to purchase one product (for now)... I imagine myself using it more to bake bread than pizza, if that makes any difference (Serious Eats has a post about the merits of steel but focuses on pizza). also if you have a preferred brand/model please send! thanks

asked by jakestavis 9 months ago
5 answers 534 views
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added 9 months ago

Well, the Leibovitz article begs the question: are you OCD or not?

Pizza stones have a long proven history of usefulness in the modern kitchen. Leibovitz claims that the baking steel works too.

So the main question is whether or not you are OCD or not.

Baking steel $75, baking stone $25. The second question is how much do you want to pay.

I have a baking stone that I bought from a restaurant supply store twenty years ago, for less than twenty bucks. It has a permanent home on the bottom rack of my oven, usually stored upside down to prevent soiling on the cooking surface.

Anyhow, good luck with your purchase decision.

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added 9 months ago

Can't give you much input on a steel but for the $15 I spent in a pizza stone in very happy with how my pizzas turn out. I don't keep it in the oven to use as a sink like Many people do.

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added 9 months ago

I have both a stone and a steel. I used the stone for 20+ years, then was sucked in, as always, by Kenji's review of the steel. I now exclusively use the steel, mostly because cleanup is marginally easier, but I can't really say my pizza crust has improved dramatically since I started using the steel. My oven (Viking) will only heat to 232C without the broiler switching on (BAH!) so that is probably a factor. You know what I want? I want a baking steel that is 1/4 bigger than the stones or steels currently available. Launching a decent-sized pizza onto my steel is always a tad stressful! Can't speak to bread since I use the cast-iron pot method for baking bread.

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added 9 months ago

I have a stone and a steel, but always use the steel. I make the pie on parchment paper, then slip it in and out of the oven with ease using a long wooden pizza peel.

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added 9 months ago

I am fortunate enough to have a gas range which reliably reaches 550F. When I first started baking pizza at home, I used 6 unglazed quarry tiles from Home Depot. Later on I inherited a pizza stone from a friend who was doing some spring cleaning. The results were the same (excellent) for both - the stone is easier to manage because you don't have to fiddle around with aligning the tiles, but at the same time if you drop a tile or two you're out ~$1 whereas if you break a pizza stone you're out $25-50 depending on the size. I would say a baking steel is an improvement only because in all likelihood it wont break due to being dropped or thermal shock.