The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kiln Shelf Sizing

ktz84's picture

Kiln Shelf Sizing


I'm about to get a Kiln Shelf from Bath Potteries however not sure how big I should go. My oven shelf is 42cm x 36cm and the there is a few cm around all edges. Should I go as big as the oven will cope with or is it wiser to leave a bit of room for to allow the heat / steam circulate. The top oven has no fan and the bottom has fan which can't be turned off. The oven goes to about 260C although not sure that's totally relevant at this minute.

17" x 14" would be an ideal size though not listed as an available size so 17" x 14.5" would squeeze in but that would leave very little room at the door and back of the oven.

mrfrost's picture

Conventional wisdom is there should be at least one inch clearance on all sides of the stone for proper circulation.

Like you, I wanted as large a stone as possible in my "smallish" oven and risked a stone with about an inch clearance on each side, but only about one half inch, front to back. That seems to be adequate as I am totally pleased with the performance.

Outside of the "conventional wisdom", I guess each case has to be analyzed on it's own, and may involve numerous factors. The main factor probably being just how much space do you have, if less than one inch.

No fans involved in my situation.

Good luck.

ktz84's picture

Thanks mrfrost. I remeasured last night and I had wee bit more room back to front than I got last time so I went for the 17" x 14.5". There will still be at least an inch round all sides. Lets hope I don't crack it on the first go :D

barryvabeach's picture

The size shouldn't have anything to do with cracking.  I have read some posts on pizza forums where they say 1/2 inch is plenty, and that makes sense to me.   Even if it were only 1/4 inch, the heat would still rise through that opening. 

PeterS's picture

If it is a gas oven, you will want a larger gap to ensure proper venting of the combustion gases. I haven't worked it up, but  1/4-1/2 seems too small for even and electric oven. If the gap is too small the stone would become the primary source of heat for the airspace above it--like a deck oven. I suppose this would work, but it will probably take longer for the oven to heat up or recover when opened. Since the thermostat sensor would measure the air temp, the stone would probably be subject to overheating.