The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Newbie question about baking stones

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NDuke's picture

Newbie question about baking stones

Hi.  I've baked a loaf of bread here and there throughout my cooking "career" but never wanted to do more than that until now.  Free time in the country does a lot to get hobbies started  :)  Anyway, I have a few questions and thought this would be a great place to start.

I want to invest in a baking stone and have found a great site ( with what I want.  But if I leave this in the oven as is the logical storage space, how do I deal with baking?  I love to cook, but that doesn't mean that I'm NEAT when I do.  I have several spots on the floor of the oven cavity now from spills.  Would I need to cover the stone with foil every time I bake if I am not baking on the stone?  Or if the spillage comes from an already hot liquid, does it matter? What about grease spills? 

Also, I have been given a small baking stone that I researched online and see that it actually lists for a decent amount on e-bay and a few other sites.  Evidently the company is out of business... The Carmel Kiln Company which made a "Greatful Bread Plate".  It's a glazed ceramic stone with dimples in it and was once touted as being "the best".. though no one else has taken up that idea since so I suppose it was another good idea that never got momentum.  Anyway, my question is, am I crazy not to use it?  I like the decorative look but it seems that it would be small to bake on.





thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I ordered one from and used it for about a year before it started disintegrating. The top of it now looks like a road full of potholes. I don't dare use it without parchment paper.

I contacted the manufacturer. He refused to replace it, saying I should just turn it over and use the other side for baking (i.e. the non-coated concrete surface side). 

Not a good product (at least for me) and not a good experience re: lifetime warranty. It's more like no warranty, because even if he allowed me to ship it back for a replacement, shipping alone would cost about as much as it would cost for a new one.

As for what do you do with it when not baking, just leave it in the oven. When you need to bake without it, take it out of the oven. It's heavy, but not so much as you might think. Takes all of 10 second to take it out of the oven. Don't concern yourself with what it looks like. It'll get ugly no matter what you do soon after you start using it.

If I were you, I'd use the ceramic stone you have, but do a little research to make sure that it's really a baking stone and is food-safe. 


NDuke's picture

Thanks for the info on the Fibrament.  *sigh*  guess it was too good to be true!  :)  The price is a lot lower than I would have expected. Anyone have suggestions for a nice stone?  I want something a little more than a round pizza stone. 

The Greatful Bread IS for baking on.  A lot of people use it as a decorative piece.  Guess I could use it for both since the glazed top won't discolor.  Thinking about it. 


lumos's picture

There's been lots and lots of questions and answers posted on baking stones here, actually.

I'd recommend cordierite kiln shelf you can get from a kiln manufacturer (they'd cut to fit to you oven)  or granite slab which is sold as a chopping board.  They're both really good (cordierite is better but a granite chopping board is easier to get) and much cheaper than most of what's sold as a baking stone.  If you use the search tool on the left for 'cordierite' or 'granite chopping board' you'll find lots of posts about therm.

FaithHope's picture

I have a Fibrament stone too.  As you can see, it's pretty worked!  The big spill in the middle was when someone just put pizza straight on it!! Ah...wasn't home for that!  But, it doesn't really matter.  It works great!  I love it!  I keep it on the middle rack full time.  I just put all the other stuff (cake, casserole, ect.) straight on top with no problems. The only thing I didn't like about the Fib. it that it was $80 bucks!  Man!!  I'm just about to finish my WFO, I've been buying Fire Brick Splits for my neighbors and they have worked just as good!  You only need 6!  And you can find them for about $.99 each!  That is WAY better!  If I had to do it over again, I'd go with the Fire Brick Splits!  But I love my stone and it works great for me!!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified) started to disintegrate. The surface coat just peeled off, like old paint peeling off of a wall. Now it looks like those worn, concrete slabs used for sidewalks.

I understood it to be designed to take the abuses of artisan baking, including the baking of very wet doughs like ciabatta or pizza.

Either it isn't, or mine is defective. Whatever the case, I think a lifetime warranty should have covered it, but it wasn't honored. For $80 + $40 shipping, it's a huge disappointment.

richkaimd's picture

After breaking a bunch of large "pizza stones", I switched some time ago to using 6" X 6" unglazed quarry tiles.  They're cheap, effective, and, at least in my hands, rarely break.  I sometimes forget about them in the oven.  I've never given a thought to whether or not to put a baking dish on top of them.  I just do it.  No biggy.

My only caution is that you should never pour water onto them when they're hot.  Like all clay, they'll shatter.


Chuck's picture

My experience is if your local hardware store carries unglazed and untreated quarry tiles (if they say "stain resistant", don't) and sells them individually (not just in stacks), they work great and they're cheap. But if your usual store doesn't have the right thing and you have to drive around 25 miles to find them (for some reason telephoning around seems to always produce misleading answers:-), or even worse have to special order them, their "cheapness" morphs into "expensiveness".

(Unfortunately unglazed and untreated quarry tiles sold individually are one of the items that's different in different store regions even within the same "chain" [i.e. Home Depot] - some stores have them and others don't, even though all the stores have the same name on the sign out front.)

linder's picture

I bought some unglazed tiles several years ago at Home Depot in California -  they work great.  I put 6 tiles on the rack that holds the bread for baking (this gives me a 12 inch by 18 inch surface)  and another six tiles on a second rack over the bread baking rack.  My steam pan rests a on third rack on the bottom shelf of the oven.  This has worked really well for me and it's easy to take down and put back together as well as clean.  When not in use, the tiles are stacked on a cabinet shelf.

loydb's picture

I've used a Fibrament stone for around 3 years and have had no problems with it. It lives on the bottom rack of my oven 24/7. If I'm going to cook something that might boil over, I set a sheet pan on top of it. Once a year or so I pull it out and scrub it well with a scouring pad (no soap!) and hot water, then let it dry for a day before heating to 250 or so for a couple of hours. I never actually soak it, so there's not a lot of water absorbed.



leostrog's picture

I bought a cheapest stone and I use itmore than  two years. I must say that this is a very useful and muli-purpose item - forbreads baking, cooking  the meats with slow -cooking method, baking my potatoes and beetroots in foil. All kinds of pastries  that were  baked in stone have really different texture than any other baked without.

It makes sense to lay a sheet of parchment or thin silicone sheet - it's enouch for  prevent spots in stone.

highmtnpam's picture

one reason, they cut it to size.


NDuke's picture

Thanks for all the feedback! I tried out the ceramic plate that I already had and it works great (yumm pita bread!), but I'm afraid that I'll break it so I found something that will hopefully allow me to retire it pretty soon.

FaithHope suggested brick splits... and while looking around on the internet I found that even though I am out in the boondocks for everything else in the world except cows, horses and coyotes, there happens to be a brick manufacturer in this small Texas town that supposedly has a small showroom and brick splits available! Found that little bit of info on a pizza discussion about do-it-yourself outdoor baking ovens. Amazing!

Company coming tomorrow, but Tuesday I am off to find this brick maker and get me some splits! WOOT! So excited! :D

leostrog's picture

I think, yoy have to check before that these tiles will made with  good-quality clay without harmful impurities, and they must be tempered and resistant to high temp.