The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

kiln shelf baking

george1016's picture
george1016

kiln shelf baking

I've been researching extensivly, but can't get a defininate answer on this. I have an old kiln shelf I am ready to cut to fit my oven my question is that there is old glaze spots on one side that I could grind off, but would that be safe to use?  I've seen some posts that say there could be resididuel lead inside the shelf that could leach out and some that say that glaze is fired at 1400 degrees so there is no way a home oven maxing out at 550 could even soften it. I'll take any advice, the shelf was free from an old shed at a relitives house. One side is untouched if that matters. thanks in advance-george

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

when it comes to food, but not overly so.  I use unglazed quarry tiles, which some argue are not safe, for my baking surface.  If it was a new and unused kiln shelf I would probably use it.  From an old shed though?  The glaze spots would not be the big question for me.  That shelf has too much unknown history.  My shed, at least, is home to many, many not-food-safe things.  Not knowing what was spilled on it, set on it, leaked on it over the years...  I would pass if it were me.

OldWoodenSpoon

george1016's picture
george1016

It was stored on it's side, I could sterilize it, I guess, with bleach or something, right, I was more concerned with the glaze chemicals leaching out more so than microbes which could be heat sterilized, am I right or not.  I know I'm trying to talk myself into it, but it's only because I've heard stories of exploding tile useage in the oven, so I'm leary of going that route.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

hard enough, you will find ample arguements, both pro and con, for anything you want to bake on.  Therefore, you get to choose, and if you want to bake on your kiln shelf, sterilize it to your satisfaction and go for it.  As I said, I tend to be cautious, but not extremist.  So, I won't tell you that you are wrong, or right.  I will tell you that I bake as much as two or three times a week on my unglazed quarry tiles and I still have the original dozen that I bought two years ago.

I will clarify just one point:  I was talking about chemicals, not germs, when I mentioned my own shed.  That is where I store all my fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and assorted, related things.  I don't have a lot, but I would not want to eat off anything stored near or around that stuff.  You may not have seen anything like that when you picked up the shelf, but that does not tell you what was there x years ago.

Best wishes and happy baking, whatever you decide.
OldWoodenSpoon

dhass's picture
dhass

When it comes to food: When in doubt, throw it out.