The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Exploding Baking Stone?????

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Scott M's picture
Scott M

Exploding Baking Stone?????

Lately I've had a crazy hankering to make some Trinidadian "Buss Up Shut" roti (a wonderful variation on flatbread), which is done on what they often call a "baking stone" or "tawah". It's a very large griddle-like surface, over direct flame.


Therein lies my quandary....They often call it a "baking stone" but I'm wondering if it is actually cast iron. Is it OK to heat a baking stone (Pampered Chef) over a gas flame?


The instructions say no, but we all know that manufacturers are often ultra-conservative.


Will my stone explode into smithereens if I do this?


Thanks,


Scott.

ladywild's picture
ladywild

We have a stone that can go on a grill.  Its made by big green egg.  Its much thicker than the pampered chef stone that goes in an over.  Something like that might work for you.

Scott M's picture
Scott M

Thanks, I'll look into that.


It's funny that most stone manufacturers consider grill use to be an indirect source of heat. I suppose the lava rock might have a dampening influence. Do you place yours directly over flame?

rrossi's picture
rrossi

I definitely would not use any baking stone over direct heat or flame.  I tried using a baking stone on my gas grill, which was a diffused flame and several inches higher above the flame than a stove would be.  The stone broke apart.  I currently use a stone made by Revel baking stone designed for the grill.  It sits a stainless steel frame and also has a diffuser under the stone. It has work great. Never any problem.


I also use a fibra-mat stone on my Big Green Egg.  But it has to be set on a place-setter to diffuse the heat.  That combination works great too.


 

Scott M's picture
Scott M

I had a look at the stone. Looks like it's intended for use directly over a charcoal fire, which would, I think, be tantamount to a gas flame.


I'm gaining a bit of confidence with the prospect of putting a baking stone over a flame.

DerekL's picture
DerekL

I use a BGE - and the radiant heat from the charcoal is a very different critter from the nearly direct/direct contact of flame that you'll get from a gas stove.*  (In fact, the stone is actually meant to be heated indirectly using the plate setter to support the grill with the stone on top.)  Not to mention, the charcoal/radiant heat heats the entire bottom (no hot spots relatively speaking) while a gas flame will create a hot spot directly over the burner - I.E. lots of potential stress (read: potential shatter) on your stone.


*Don't believe me?  Hold your hand at the typical height of a stone over a bed of charcoal - then try the same holding your hand right on top of your burner (where the stone will sit).  Make sure someone else is at home to dial 911 or to drive you to the emergency room if you do try the second test though.

Lucifer's picture
Lucifer

Propane, butane and LPG burn in excess of 1000 centigrade. Neither charcoal nor electric oven will get that hot. A gas oven flame is well distributed and wouldn't touch the stone directly.

Scott M's picture
Scott M

Ok, thanks folks. On again-off again is now off again.


No idea why they call it a "baking stone" when clearly most of them are either steel or cast iron. Maybe it's a historical thing.


 

dosidough's picture
dosidough

I don't think the regular baking stone will take that much direct heat.


There are nice cast iron pizza pans/plates avaiable that can be put over direct flame. The ones I'm familiar with are larger than a normal griddle and are round. I got one that was pretty inexpensive and use it for things other than pizza and for stove top uses. Search it on Amazon. I've seen expensive enameled ware and Lodge makes a nice economical one.


Good luck, and bake on....


Dosi

Scott M's picture
Scott M

>>>Search it on Amazon.



Great advice. Those look perfect for cooking roti; and they're less expensive than replacing a grenaded baking stone.


Thanks.


Scott.


 


 

ladywild's picture
ladywild

We have had our Big Green Egg stone up to about 750degrees and had it over direct heat.  I won't recommend this to you because the instructions tell you not to put it over direct heat, but we don't listen :-).  Its worked great for us.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

mentions your metal plate...


http://hillside.tripod.com/recipes.htm#dostiroti


This is a similar type bread baking plate, I've seen in Dubai in the Folk village.  That one  looked a lot like a shallow upside down wok, trapping in heat over an open wooden fire.  It wouldn't take much fuel or heat to get it going and bake a fair share of roti.  The Caribbean was a melting pot for many world traveling sailors many years ago.  Logic dictates that some of the easiest and most economic methods for cooking would take root.

Don Bigote's picture
Don Bigote

There was a time I experimented with (what I thought to be) an easier way to parbake paper thin pizza crust without having to waste much time and energy heating up the oven, and possibly bypass the  struggle of unloading the unwieldy crust off the peel.  I put the pizza stone atop a roasting grill which stood about an inch or so above teh coils of an electric kitchen stove.    Suffice it to say that while the first crust was cooking and I was prepping the second.. I heard a POP!.. and when I got back to the stove, the baking stone had split right down the middle.  Fortunately, the two halves still mate together rather well so I still use them (despite having bought a new stone).. but they will forever remind me of the costly lesson on uneven thermal expansion.

Scott M's picture
Scott M

Thanks to everyone for the cautionary advice. I'm officially dropping the notion of direct heat on a baking stone.


Failing the aquisition of an authentic Trinidadian tawah, which are usually around 15" in diameter, I'm going to follow up on Dosi's suggestion of a large CI pizza pan. I have a 12" Lodge round griddle, but it's not quite big enough for roti.


Like I said...I've got a crazy hankerin' for curry and roti...yum....

Shaqgo123's picture
Shaqgo123

Here's one idea: Buy some unglazed quarry tile that I (and many other people) use to line the oven for bread baking. Heat them slowly until you get where you want them over direct flame. This stuff is fired in a kiln at temps higher than you will achieve. But if it does crack the tiles are cheap so you're only out a few bucks.