The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Baking/Pizza Stones

Bakenstein's picture

Baking/Pizza Stones

I would really appreciate the Low-Down on this very critical piece of equipment:

Which stones are best? Fibrament,Superstone, Hearthstone, Soapstone, generic...
What causes breakage?
Putting a stone above your loaf.
Plus anything else on the subject would be much appreciated.

Floydm's picture

I went through two of the ultra-cheap (10-15 dollar) pizza stones from Target or wherever. They each shattered with little apparent shock after only a week or two's use. I then tried cheap ceramic floor tiles from Home Depot, which also broke after a month or two of use. Finally I spend a bit more and bought this baking stone online. It definitely helps retain heat and has proven to be quite durable. My only wish was that it was 2 or 3 inches longer so that I could strech my loaves out a little longer.

I have no experience with the different types of stones, and I haven't experimented with two stones yet, so I'm no help for you there.

This reminders me that I keep meaning to hit the ceramics supply shop because I hear the kiln tiles you can get there are cheap and work great for baking.

qahtan's picture

I bought my two stones at Corning factory outlet, so far
no problems, had them about 2 years......qahtan

Bakenstein's picture

Today my baking stone arrived via the link above. The box weighed a ton & free shipping saved me bundle. It was very well boxed & protected.
My old round pizza stone looks pretty puny compared to the Old Stone Oven. I have more room to work with too.

I really appreciate all the good advice here.

I still want to try the Flower Pot Cloche and adding tiles or another stone above my deck.

Ricardo's picture

I use cheap ceramic floor tiles for about a year same tiles no problems at all
Most pople just turn the oven too high for the tiles to take on the heat
One must bear in mind to slowly turn the oven and heat it up to the righ baking level take about a hour or hour and a half

Bakenstein's picture

I went to my local Home Depot to try and get some unglazed tiles and the
fellow in the flooring dept. couldn't figure out what to order from his monolithic book. I was hoping to get enough tile to go with a 2 Deck set up. If anyone knows of the # of their tile perhaps from the box it came from I would really appreciate the info.

whitedaisy's picture

I love my Pampered Chef baking stones. They cost a lot, but I think of them as an investment in my "best baking self" :o) Pampered Chef has all kind of stoneware. I use the flat pizza stone for most loaves. The mini loaf pan makes 4 loaves that are perfect for dinner at my house. And the rectangle baker makes great rolls (and cakes too)

ed minturn's picture
ed minturn

I just ordered the pizza stones for myself and family. They tell my to not preheat them and then place a pizza or bread on them as they may crack. Any thoughts on this.   thank you,  ed

Dragonbones's picture

That defeats the whole purpose!

Anyway, so what if they crack? I have a cracked one. The two pieces fit together nearly seamlessly, and I can still bake on it.

pmccool's picture

The stone I'm using is from Pampered Chef and (thus far) has done just fine even when preheated to 550 dF empty, then having moist, cool dough plopped on it.  YMMV.


ed minturn's picture
ed minturn

I have used my PS stone a few times but have not tried preheating it and then placing the dough on it. Will it really improve how the bread cooks by doing it the preheated way. thanks, ed

qahtan's picture

Are there any nasties in slate, you know like lead or???????
I have never heard of any baking ever being done on slate and do you think it would tolerate the temprature, as it's not like clay
that goes in kiln. ?????? qahtan

Floydm's picture

Here's another idea:

Unglazed ceramic tiles. 12 inch by 12 inch, almost a full inch thick. These babies are HEAVY and seriously retain heat.

The cost?

99 cents each at Home Depot.

I had to ask for help to find them, but the cost can't be beat. I splurged and spent 5 bucks more for a carbide grit hacksaw blade so I could cut the tiles to fit my oven, as two of them are too wide to fit.

As the picture shows one of them is a tad chipped, but at 99 cents each I can easy afford to get another when I need to.

Keith's picture
Keith (not verified)

Slate is a porous stone. Not nearly as porous as most baking stones, but I think it woud work just fine. Bricks work just fine and are easy to replace once they get too grungy.

Teresa_in_nc's picture

I've used unglazed quarry tiles on the bottom rack in the my oven for over 15 years. Six tiles give me a large enough surface for my pizza and free-form loaves. I leave the tiles in the oven all the time. They are a little darkend from use, but clean up easily. I simply scrape any spill-overs with a metal spatula and wipe (when cool) with a damp sponge. In all that time, only one has cracked and was replaced for under $1. I bake my pizza at 500 degrees and do high heat roasted chicken at 450 degrees.

Kitchen Witch's picture
Kitchen Witch

Well as luck would have it I have 3 large pizza stones (expensive ones at that), and soon I will try an experiment with the 3 of them in the oven, one on top, one on the bottom and one inbetween, and see what happens.

kenaparsons's picture

I've just posted a picture of my solution to the pizza stone on the gallery page. Blue slate paver from a gardern store for under $3. I chose a 22lb., 1 inch thick stone that fit my oven. Have been using it for 2 years now and works like nothing I've tried before. It handles 500F+ temperatures, a lot of surface moisture, and retains heat for a long time.

andrew_l's picture

You can also use iron or soft steel - any metal supplier should be able to cut you a piece, quarter inch thick. Not porous, of course - but then, nor is the bottom of an oven and that works too!

Joe Fisher's picture
Joe Fisher

Don't spray them with water when they're 500 degrees :D Luckily it was a cheapo $15 model that I just had on the floor of my oven to help even out temperature fluctuations.

I recently purchased a Fibrament stone, and am quite happy with it. It was worth the extra money to me to not have to deal with loose smaller stones, and not have to drive an hour to find a store that stocked larger quarry stones. I seem to live in a quarry stone-free area of NJ.

It's a massive 3/4" thick, came with free shipping and a 10-year warranty. Works for me!


titus's picture

Pizza stones aren't available here on the continent and are too expensive and heavy to mail order.

I see that our local equivalent of Home Depot has bricks on sale this weekend.

So, my question is:

If you are using just plain bricks, you can leave them on the oven floor all the time and just put the bread/pizza on them directly or in their pans?

Also,do you have to make any kind of adjustments to oven temp etc, when baking other things like muffins, cakes, etc if the bricks are staying on the oven floor?

Thanks for any info and guidance.

ryan's picture

this is what I used until I purchased a stone. yes alittle warping but still bakeable and can be sprayed with water, as well who doesn't have a metal baking sheet?

happy baking,

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I bought my 16X16X1 kiln shelf about two years ago from Sheffield Pottery for 35 dollars plus shipping (which as I recall was around $15.)  It retains the heat really well and has held up with no cracking or splitting.  They offer all shapes and sizes on the web, and I thought their customer service was first rate.



Aprea's picture

but could someone tell me what a kiln shelf is - is it a clay shelf to replace your oven rack"


Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

A kiln shelf is what potters use inside their ovens to fire clay.  Here is a link. To peruse the different sizes and prices, just put "kiln shelf" in the search box.


sphealey's picture

Background: I worked for 5 years for one of world's larger manufacturers of refractory.  I am familiar with the materials used to make industrial refractory, and also the separation we maintained between the manufacturing lines for industrial products and for medical/laboratory products.

With that knowledge, I personally would not use any refractory for cooking which does not have either (1) an NSF mark (2) a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) freely available from the manufacturer.


monzy's picture


That is great advice.

Do you have any insight into the non-refractory natural materials s/a slate, marble, terracotta?

What do you use?


loydb's picture

I moved my relatively-thin pizza stone up to the top shelf, and installed a 1/2" thick Fibrament stone on the bottom shelf. I get great heat from the pair, and the Fibrament holds heat forever.



CanuckJim's picture


I've advised a lot of people over the years about baking stones, and it might be of use to get out of the marketing/price/quality tangle.  In the larger metropolitan areas, it's quite likely there is a refractory supplier who works with the foundry, pottery, kiln, metallurgy industries.  In all likelihood, they will carry "refractory tiles," read giant firebricks, in a variety of sizes (1' x 1', 2' x 2', etc.) and thicknesses (1", 2", 3", etc.).  The supplier I use in Toronto will even take custom orders for special shapes.  It's worth checking out: the price will probably be good, the quality is there, and they don't crack.



SPS's picture

Hi Jim, 


I know this is an old thread, but hopefully you read and respond. What is the name of your supplier and location? I am from TO and am looking to get a custom size baking stone.  Thank you.

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I took a similar route today in procuring a slab of marble for my baking.  I didn't want to pay a fortune for shipping on line, so I went to a ceramic tile place in town where we had purchased our kitchen and bathroom flooring two years earlier.  I explained what I wanted and the man gave me an 18 x 18 x .5 piece of marble that is perfect for my needs.  He offered me a choice of granite, stone or marble, and I chose the marble.  He said it was a sample of some stock they no longer carried, and he charged me nothing. 

cmckinley's picture

I buy unglazed tiles from home depot for about 2 bucks..they work great.  Haven't had any problems with them can line your entire oven with them and keep them in there all the time

mredwood's picture

Slate is porous and withstands heat. When I had to purchase a wood stove the envy of all who burned wood for heat was Vermont Castings stoves that were topped with slate.