Baking (rec.food.baking) For bakers, would-be bakers, and fans and consumers of breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, crackers, bagels, and other items commonly found in a bakery. Includes all methods of preparation, both conventional and not.

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Old 10-01-2006, 05:19 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Todd K.
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

I am replacing my el-cheapo stone. It broke when the wife turned on
the electric burner it was sitting on. I do most of my baking (pizza
and bread) on the gas grill outside (Weber Silver B). The el-cheapo
stone had no problems with that directly on the grill. I am
considering a Fibrament stone, however they say don't put it directly
on the grill. They offer a BBQ version that comes with a metal pan for
an additional $15. The BBQ version only comes in round.

If my old stone handled the gas grill OK, why wouldn't a Fibrament?

If the Fibrament really does need something between it and the grill
surface, why wouldn't a cheap cookie sheet or some unglazed quarry
tiles suffice for this?

Slightly OT: If I decide to just use the quarry tiles (with no
Fibrament stone), do I bake directly on them or put a baking sheet on
the tiles?

Thanks,

Todd K.


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Old 10-01-2006, 05:27 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Vox Humana
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?


"Todd K." wrote in message
ups.com...


Slightly OT: If I decide to just use the quarry tiles (with no
Fibrament stone), do I bake directly on them or put a baking sheet on
the tiles?


You can bake directly on the tile or you can made-up the product on a sheet
of parchment an slide the whole works on the stone. I wouldn't use a metal
baking sheet.


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Old 10-01-2006, 05:33 PM posted to rec.food.baking
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

I bake directly on my unglazed quarry tiles. (I have heard is that
glazed tiles should never be used for cooking or baking). As with other
baking stones, the tiles should be put in the oven when it is cold and
heated along with the oven. I would guess that you could put the tiles
on the grill when it is cold and then heated gradually.
Bobbi Jo

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Old 10-01-2006, 10:23 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Eric Jorgensen
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

On 10 Jan 2006 09:19:38 -0800
"Todd K." wrote:

If my old stone handled the gas grill OK, why wouldn't a Fibrament?



Your old stone was probably ceramic (and high in bentonite) - fibrament
is more of a cement. It would be damaged by direct flame.


If the Fibrament really does need something between it and the grill
surface, why wouldn't a cheap cookie sheet or some unglazed quarry
tiles suffice for this?



Yeah, it just needs a heat spreader that will block the flames. Quarry
tiles may leave too much of a gap and increase the preheat time
excessively. Or it might work. Send 'em an email, it's a small company and
they'll get right back to you.


Slightly OT: If I decide to just use the quarry tiles (with no
Fibrament stone), do I bake directly on them or put a baking sheet on
the tiles?



Unglazed quarry tiles are fine to bake right on top of. In a normal
sized oven, five 8" tiles with one of them cut squarely in half will fill
the rack nicely. Cut it against the grain of the ridges on the underside of
the tile.

In my experience, for pizza, my quarry tiles didn't pack quite the same
thermal punch that a rocket hot fibrament slab does. Neither do other
ceramics I've tried.
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:47 AM posted to rec.food.baking
QX
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 17:27:17 GMT, "Vox Humana"
wrote:


"Todd K." wrote in message
oups.com...


Slightly OT: If I decide to just use the quarry tiles (with no
Fibrament stone), do I bake directly on them or put a baking sheet on
the tiles?


You can bake directly on the tile or you can made-up the product on a sheet
of parchment an slide the whole works on the stone. I wouldn't use a metal
baking sheet.


I have heard from a friend that quarry tiles may contain lead, and you
should ensure that they are lead free before cooking on them. Is this
true? I know there are test kits available to test for lead in painted
surfaces etc. Should I be concerned about lead, or is the concept an
urban legend. (not knowing what is used to make the tiles).



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Old 11-01-2006, 01:57 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Kenneth
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 17:47:37 -0800, QX
wrote:

On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 17:27:17 GMT, "Vox Humana"
wrote:


"Todd K." wrote in message
roups.com...


Slightly OT: If I decide to just use the quarry tiles (with no
Fibrament stone), do I bake directly on them or put a baking sheet on
the tiles?


You can bake directly on the tile or you can made-up the product on a sheet
of parchment an slide the whole works on the stone. I wouldn't use a metal
baking sheet.


I have heard from a friend that quarry tiles may contain lead, and you
should ensure that they are lead free before cooking on them. Is this
true? I know there are test kits available to test for lead in painted
surfaces etc. Should I be concerned about lead, or is the concept an
urban legend. (not knowing what is used to make the tiles).


Howdy,

I don't have a clue about what's actually in quarry tiles,
and would be a bit hesitant to accept the information that
might be provided me by some nice person working at Home
Depot.

The alternative that I would suggest is a slab of natural
stone. I had a piece of soapstone (about 2" thick) in the
bottom of my oven for nearly 20 years.

It held an amazing amount of heat, and really improved my
baking.

The slab cost me just a few dollars...

All the best,
--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Old 11-01-2006, 03:13 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Mike Avery
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

On 1/10/06, QX wrote:


I have heard from a friend that quarry tiles may contain lead, and you
should ensure that they are lead free before cooking on them. Is this
true? I know there are test kits available to test for lead in painted
surfaces etc. Should I be concerned about lead, or is the concept an
urban legend. (not knowing what is used to make the tiles).




I have heard this several times, and have searched extensively on the 'net.
I have found *NO* evidence to suggest that unglazed quarry tiles contain
lead. I have repeatedly followed that statement on-line with a request that
anyone who has any evidence to the contrary contact me. So far, no one has
come forward.

A quick note on lead and glazes. Some glazes contain lead. If a lead
containing glaze is completely fired, the lead is inert and will not
contaminate foods or drink, at least as long as the glaze is unchipped and
unbroken. However, if the lead containing glaze is not fired correctly, the
lead in the glaze can be leached out. Tiles made in third world nations -
that is, the cheap tiles in import houses, sold from mysterious vans on the
side of the road, or purchased just across the border - are the ones most
often poorly fired.

The general equation is no glaze = no lead. In the past few decades, the
use of lead in glazes has declined, and even the third world potters have
gotten better. Still, it's cheaper to use an unglazed tile, so why take a
chance?

Lead usually migrates to food when acid is present, especially liquid
acids. So, putting a tomato salsa into a leaden container is not a good
idea. Nor a citrus fruit based punch. Most bread doughs are not terribly
acidic, sourdough being the exception. The other considerations are
temeprature, with high temperature speeding all chemical reactions, and
exposure time.

I don't think a lead glaze poses a serious health risk. Bread dough is
semi-solid, the exposure time is relative short. Once the dough forms a
crust, which is very quick, the migratio of lead is stopped. If you have
glazed tiles, using bakers parchment will probably protect the bread quite
effectively.

A comment on using tiles. Using sheet pans greatly reduces the
effectiveness of tiles. Jef Hammelman has some pictures of breads baked
directly on tiles (or a hearth) versus on sheet pans on tiles (or a hearth)
in his book. You lose a lot by using sheet pans. Bakers parchment is a
much better option if you are reluctant to put the bread directly on the
tiles.


Mike

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Old 11-01-2006, 03:56 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Vox Humana
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?


"Mike Avery" wrote in message
news:[email protected] il.otherwhen.com...
On 1/10/06, QX wrote:


I have heard from a friend that quarry tiles may contain lead, and you
should ensure that they are lead free before cooking on them. Is this
true? I know there are test kits available to test for lead in painted
surfaces etc. Should I be concerned about lead, or is the concept an
urban legend. (not knowing what is used to make the tiles).




I have heard this several times, and have searched extensively on the 'net.
I have found *NO* evidence to suggest that unglazed quarry tiles contain
lead. I have repeatedly followed that statement on-line with a request that
anyone who has any evidence to the contrary contact me. So far, no one has
come forward.

A quick note on lead and glazes. Some glazes contain lead. If a lead
containing glaze is completely fired, the lead is inert and will not
contaminate foods or drink, at least as long as the glaze is unchipped and
unbroken. However, if the lead containing glaze is not fired correctly, the
lead in the glaze can be leached out. Tiles made in third world nations -
that is, the cheap tiles in import houses, sold from mysterious vans on the
side of the road, or purchased just across the border - are the ones most
often poorly fired.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------

You can buy inexpensive lead testing kits that can test for lead. I guess
that if someone is in doubt they can always do the test.


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Old 12-01-2006, 04:05 AM posted to rec.food.baking
Eric Jorgensen
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

On Tue, 10 Jan 2006 17:47:37 -0800
QX wrote:

I have heard from a friend that quarry tiles may contain lead, and you
should ensure that they are lead free before cooking on them. Is this
true? I know there are test kits available to test for lead in painted
surfaces etc. Should I be concerned about lead, or is the concept an
urban legend. (not knowing what is used to make the tiles).



Not lead, mercury.

In areas where BTUs come at a relatively high price - for example Mexico
and most third world countries - it's very common practice to mix mercury
in with the clay, because this significantly lowers the firing temperature
and saves you a lot of money in your fuel budget.

Nobody does this in developed countries where fuel isn't so hard to come
by. It's actually illegal in most developed countries.

Nearly all of the mercury sweats out during the firing process and ends
up in a puddle on the floor of the kiln, and is mixed into the next batch.

Some small amount of it does remain in the fired ceramic, and it can
certainly leech out.

How much? Hard to say. You probably wouldn't want to store food in
unglazed containers that were fired with mercury, but who stores food in
unglazed ceramics? Eating off of glazed dishes that were fired with
mercury, every day for your whole life, probably doesn't constitute
'significant' exposure to mercury.

Baking on a tile? Even less.

As for myself, I make a point of not eating heavy metals where i can
avoid it. Just doesn't seem like a good idea.

Depends what tile you're referring to how worried you should plausibly
be. If we're talking about those 'saltillo' tiles that are mottled pink &
yellow, about 3/4" thick, often misshapen, and quite porous, those are
almost certainly made in mexico as cheaply as possible, and it's very
likely that there is some tiny amount of mercury in them - but still
probably not enough to worry about for the occasional pizza.

If we're talking about made-in-the-USA good quality quarry tiles from
the hardware store or tile supplier, no, there isn't any mercury in 'em.
The EPA would have a field day.
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:57 AM
Experienced Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 46
Default

My biggest problem with quarry tiles isn't the toxic substances they may/may not contain, it's their potential lack of resistance to thermal shock. Commercial baking stones/firebrick (even the cheapo ones) are specifically engineered to handle the type of extreme temperature changes involved in hearth baking. Quarry tiles are not. There's a good chance the tiles won't break on you, but, at the same time, there's a small chance they will. If you're not paying attention, a shard may end up in your bread/pizza. Pit shard against teeth, shard wins. Trust me, from personal experience, I know. This scenario is probably a thousand to one, but why take the risk when firebrick is only a few dollars more?

A lot of people gush about the unglazed quarry tiles that they've been baking with for years without a problem. All power to them. Me and my chipped tooth are sticking with tools specifically engineered for the job.


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Old 12-01-2006, 04:26 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Eric Jorgensen
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

On Thu, 12 Jan 2006 09:57:57 +0000
scott123 wrote:


A lot of people gush about the unglazed quarry tiles that they've been
baking with for years without a problem. All power to them. Me and my
chipped tooth are sticking with tools specifically engineered for the
job.



I started out making pizza on unglazed earthenware tiles, and then my
parents upgraded to an immense bentonite ceramic slab - which was a lot
better.

I moved out, and while my career was doing just fine for a number of
years, I neglected to invest in anything. I was kinda pizza'd-out from
being designated pizza guy at home - even when I'd go home to visit.

Then the bubble burst, my high-tech job evaporated and i started
competing with half a million geeks (actually closer to 540,000) for the
same couple hundred jobs, and got a hankering for pizza.

The quarry tiles worked very well for the $6 investment made at Lowes.
The only breakage problems i had was when i dropped them and chipped the
edges.

The job market got better, I started making more money, and bought the
fibrament slab. It was worth the $60, considering it'll last a lifetime and
will be replaced under warranty unless i break it doing something
incredibly stupid.

It's not only that it stores more heat, it releases it a little more
gradually.

You can get the quarry tiles really hot, searing hot, but when you slide
the pizza onto them they transfer most of what they've got stored very
quickly.

You end up with the bottom of the crust being crisper than the rest, and
actually a slightly longer bake time than the fibrament. On the fibrament
slab, it's just got more heat stored after the initial flash, which allows
you to produce a more evenly crisp surface on the crust with a more evenly
baked interior.
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Old 16-01-2006, 11:25 PM posted to rec.food.baking
Charlie Sorsby
 
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Default Fibrament Stone Questions?

In article ,
Kenneth wrote:
[...]
= The alternative that I would suggest is a slab of natural
= stone. I had a piece of soapstone (about 2" thick) in the
= bottom of my oven for nearly 20 years.
=
= It held an amazing amount of heat, and really improved my
= baking.
=
= The slab cost me just a few dollars...

I've been wanting something like that for years. Where did you get
your soapstone slab?

Is there an on-line or mail-order source? Or a local source who
may be willing to ship to me?

Thanks for any help!

Charlie
--
Charlie Sorsby

Edgewood, NM 87015
USA
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