Pizza stones crack if used in the gas grill?


 

Tom Henderson

TVWBB Member
We love to cook pizza in the oven using a pizza stone.

I would like to use the stone in my Genesis, but some suggest cracking is likely.

I’d like to avoid buying a pizza steel if I can

I’ll always put the stone on the grates before I start the preheat, and keep the grill closed afterwards while it cools.

With the above process am I likely to crack the stone?

would putting a sheet of foil under the stone help or make it more likely to crack?

Thanks in advance!
 

BPratt

TVWBB Pro
We love to cook pizza in the oven using a pizza stone.

I would like to use the stone in my Genesis, but some suggest cracking is likely.

I’d like to avoid buying a pizza steel if I can

I’ll always put the stone on the grates before I start the preheat, and keep the grill closed afterwards while it cools.

With the above process am I likely to crack the stone?

would putting a sheet of foil under the stone help or make it more likely to crack?

Thanks in advance!
We have broken everyone we had whether it’s in the oven or on the grill.
 

Grant Cunningham

TVWBB Super Fan
We have broken everyone we had whether it’s in the oven or on the grill.
Some people say they have great luck with stones, others haven't. So I'm wondering:

— How long did your stones last before they cracked?
— Did you ever wash them with plain water?
 

BPratt

TVWBB Pro
Some people say they have great luck with stones, others haven't. So I'm wondering:

— How long did your stones last before they cracked?
— Did you ever wash them with plain water?
Probably never washed though I’m not sure since I don’t do any dishes. My guess is temperature shock in our four seasons climate.

The stones last for a month or two. Doesn’t matter if they are cheap or expensive. Me thinks there must be a better way…

I’m not really deprived of pizza. 3 of the chefs in the house all make great pizza in a pan. Plus, we have lots of great pizza on just about every block here in Massachusetts.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Gold Member
There’s two type of pizza stones in the market. One that’s cracked and ones that’s going to crack.

I had a 14.5” x 16” 3/8 in. A36 steel plate made at a local metal fab shop. With rounded sanded edges, it cost me $62.

Ive come to love how my steel works and will never go back to stone. You just need to learn and adjust how you cook on a steel. For me, I find that dial gauge temp of 450° is optimal for perfect pizza. Any higher and the pizza cooks unevenly in my Summit gasser and or my Kamado E6.

I have a new thermal IR reader coming soon and will then know exactly my optimal steel plate cooking temp so I can stop playing with cook temps.
 

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DanHoo

TVWBB Diamond Member
The only pizza stone I've cracked was due to stupid. It got too hot and I sprayed it down with a spray bottle. This was around 2005.

I have two rectangular stones. I've used these on my silver B, my E330 and in an electric oven.

I have two because I have a double oven and sometimes both are going.

On the E330 I double stack them.

I also have a BGE stone for a large that has been in the egg, and in the oven.

I never wash them. If they need cleaning they get scraped with a stainless steel bench scraper aka pastry cutter.

20210709_201940.jpg 20210531_200658.jpg 20210531_200048.jpg
 
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Brett-EDH

TVWBB Gold Member
The only pizza stone I've cracked was due to stupid. It got too hot and I sprayed it down with a spray bottle. This was around 2005.

I have two rectangular stones. I've used these on my silver B, my E330 and in an electric oven.

I have two because I have a double oven and sometimes both are going.

On the E330 I double stack them.

I also have a BGE stone for a large that has been in the egg, and in the oven.

I never wash them. If they need cleaning they get scraped with a stainless steel bench scraper aka pastry cutter.

View attachment 34956 View attachment 34957 View attachment 34958
Those pizzas look real good.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I sometimes do them in a cast iron griddle or pan. Otherwise the dough goes directly onto my grates. I tend to use my Wolf for pizza because of it's way more generous real estate and the ir burner in the back. When I combine heat from the main burners with heat from the infrared rotisserie burner the grill acts (and the pizzas come out) just like they were done in a wood fired oven. Sometimes I will even put just a hint of smokie on them as well to add to that effect. Thanks to my custom made grates by Dave Santana AKA RCPlanebuyer slapping dough on the grates is easy
 

Ed Grostas

New member
We love to cook pizza in the oven using a pizza stone.

I would like to use the stone in my Genesis, but some suggest cracking is likely.

I’d like to avoid buying a pizza steel if I can

I’ll always put the stone on the grates before I start the preheat, and keep the grill closed afterwards while it cools.

With the above process am I likely to crack the stone?

would putting a sheet of foil under the stone help or make it more likely to crack?

Thanks in advance!
Tom,
I have two pizza stones. One is about 25 and the other about 30 years old. I've used them in gas and electric ovens as well as on the grill. They are 3/4" thick, American made. Still going strong. I don't know if the newer ones are made any differently but I think if you follow the process you mention you are ok. I would not use the aluminum foil. Just based on my experience a thicker stone will do better on the grill. I usually put the stone on the grates, turn up the burners all the way, wait about 25-30 minutes, check the temp of the stone with an IR thermometer, and launch the pizza. After the pizza is done, I close the lid and let it cool for several hours before removing the stone. After cooling to room temp, I clean my stone by scraping off anything caked on. I ocassionally rinse off with plain tepid water before storing away. Hope this helps.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Have the same two stones for the last 20 years or so, when done I just let them cool down with the grill. I also do like Larry using a peel just slid the pie onto the CI grates on the gasser. We have a kettle pizza but haven't used it in a long time really didn't see any advantage to it. And a PITA to get the pizza to cook evenly.
 

Greg in Utah

TVWBB Pro
I’ve also had 2 stones for many years and have had no cracks. I leave them in the oven thinking their mass helps stabilize the temps.

Look for pizza stones that aren’t made in China and I bet you’ll be just fine.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Guru
With ceramics, thermal shock is the big problem. Fast changes in temperature, especially if directly heated from below and not from the top, can cause cracking from the thermal expansion shock & temp differentials.

One of these days, I am going to pick up a piece of 1/4" low carbon sheet, sized for both my oven and my grill. I have the tools to finish the edges and the surface, so just a sheared piece would be fine.
 
No problems with my stone cracking.

Whether a stone or a steel or direct grill grates will work better for you depends on your set up and cooking temps.

Steel transfers heat into the bottom of the pie MUCH faster than a stone does. So a steel is better than a stone at lower temps -- perfect for cooking the pie bottom in your kitchen oven which can only get up to 500-600F at most. Stone is better at high temps -- like a full-on brick oven with 800F floor temp and 1,000F air temperature. A steel in that environment would incinerate the bottom.

Charcoal grills and gas grills will run at floor and air temps somewhere in between low (kitchen oven) and high (wood fired brick oven). Also, you are trying to get the top and bottom both cooked correctly and at the same time. So in a particular set up and temp range, a steel may cook the bottom too fast/much and a stone may cook too little/slow.

For my gasser, I use the Kettle Pizza Gas Pro. That's a stone below and a steel above (to cook the top). I get very good results for the top and bottom both being cooked well. If the stone cooks the bottom too slow as compared to the top, the work around is to put the pie directly up on the steel to get some more quick char for the bottom.

Regardless of your equipment, it is a process.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Gold Member
Steel transfers heat into the bottom of the pie MUCH faster than a stone does. So a steel is better than a stone at lower temps -- perfect for cooking the pie bottom in your kitchen oven which can only get up to 500-600F at most. Stone is better at high temps -- like a full-on brick oven with 800F floor temp and 1,000F air temperature. A steel in that environment would incinerate the bottom.
spot on. i incinerated a pie in 90 seconds the first time i used my steel. the temp was WAY too high; easily above 600F. to combat the steel being too high i implemented pizza screens which keeps a small gap between the pizza bottom and pizza steel. 3 mins on the screen and to cook the pie and melt the cheese and then i deck the pie onto the steel for final crisping to get the crunch texture we seek.

i have since made my target cooking temp 450F on my E6. my goal is to get the pie onto the steel, without the screen, for a three minute cook total for it all to come together correctly (cheese melted and dough cooked).

and for those who haven't cracked a stone. you've had better luck than i did. i went through 2 stones and then used saltillo clay (unglazed) tiles in my oven in the past. this method worked well for a few years. home depot used to sell these tiles and they were super cheap. i don't know if they're still available for purchase.
 
Brett -- So how is the E6 for cooking the top of the pie?

There's a lot of ways to dial in the cook on the bottom (hi temp/lo temp, steel vs stone, direct/indirect, screen or pizza pan as a shield). But for me, the harder thing to do is to get the top to cook the way you want it.

Don't people often raise the pie up into the dome on a kamado to get the top cooking faster? I know that''s a thing when using a kettle.
 

Brock Gingery

TVWBB Fan
With ceramics, thermal shock is the big problem. Fast changes in temperature, especially if directly heated from below and not from the top, can cause cracking from the thermal expansion shock & temp differentials.

One of these days, I am going to pick up a piece of 1/4" low carbon sheet, sized for both my oven and my grill. I have the tools to finish the edges and the surface, so just a sheared piece would be fine.
Bingo. There is a reason when it comes to stones Cordierite is the type specified for use in a grill.

And I cant tell you how many people I've heard express shock at seeing a stone explode to the sides upon shattering because they put a frozen pizza on it.

Bring the temp up on them smoothly, make sure your food is at room temp when it goes on, and get the correct type of stone of sufficient thickness.
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Gold Member
Brett -- So how is the E6 for cooking the top of the pie?

There's a lot of ways to dial in the cook on the bottom (hi temp/lo temp, steel vs stone, direct/indirect, screen or pizza pan as a shield). But for me, the harder thing to do is to get the top to cook the way you want it.

Don't people often raise the pie up into the dome on a kamado to get the top cooking faster? I know that''s a thing when using a kettle.
i've had good success so far. only two months in and two big pizza cooks in todate on the E6.

to get that balance if bottom and top being done at the same time, the pizza screens have been the BEST tool in achieving this.


my last cook was a heat experiment and i prove to myself that even lowering the coals to the bottommost E6 position, still generates a lot of heat to the steel. i started cooking at 450F dial temp and that pizza came out near perfect, again on screen for 3 mins and then decked for 1-1.5 mins. then the E6 got hotter and the steel too which caused the 2nd pie to become too done on it's bottom when decked for 1.5 mins so 45 secs to 1 min was the key for the remainder of the cook.

i also added oak chunks to the coals (KPro) which imparted a nice smoky flavor but I need to break my chunks down to 1 in x 1in by 4 in pieces so as to not overdo the smoke and generate too much heat.

i have an IR heat gun coming shortly which will enable me to record accurate steel temps. i think this tool will be very helpful in fine tuning the E6, steel, times and heat/smoke recipe.

overall, the E6 is and has been amazing to cook with. i enjoy it much more than my gasser and food taste has gotten so much better. and I find the E6 to be a great replacement for my WSM 18 which I sold before getting the E6. the insulated design of the kamado/E6 is pretty brilliant. and 24" is quite huge. insomuch that my family laughed at me asking "do we really need this huge grill?" they all like the food so the answer is YES, we do need this huge grill.

below pics are same pie, screen cooked till top and bottom were near done (around 3 mins), and then decked for final cook (1 min), then cooled and sliced.
 

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Richard in NS

TVWBB Wizard
I have a thin one for the oven that says not to use it over 450 F degrees. The one for the grill is half an inch thick and I have had it for about eight years and had it up over 700 F degrees. I never wash it, just scrape it with a pizza brush scraper.
 

Bruno

TVWBB Diamond Member
There’s two type of pizza stones in the market. One that’s cracked and ones that’s going to crack.

I had a 14.5” x 16” 3/8 in. A36 steel plate made at a local metal fab shop. With rounded sanded edges, it cost me $62.

Ive come to love how my steel works and will never go back to stone. You just need to learn and adjust how you cook on a steel. For me, I find that dial gauge temp of 450° is optimal for perfect pizza. Any higher and the pizza cooks unevenly in my Summit gasser and or my Kamado E6.

I have a new thermal IR reader coming soon and will then know exactly my optimal steel plate cooking temp so I can stop playing with cook temps.
Hahaha I had some stamped colored concrete done and the guy told me there is cracked concrete and concrete waiting to crack.
 

 

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