Cordierite Pizza Stones

Pizza stones can be made of several materials. Among them are standard ceramic and clay and Fibrament, which is a patented material made out of substances that both conduct and resist heat. Now, bakers are turning more and more to a material called cordierite. If you are looking for toughness and durability, then a cordierite pizza stone is for you.

Why a Cordierite Pizza Stone?

First, cordierite is a material that is used reliably in kilns, which can be heated up to many hundred degrees Fahrenheit. A cordierite pizza stone can tolerate these temperatures without cracking, and indeed the maximum temperature it can tolerate is 1315 degrees C. It was inevitable that it attracted the interest of professional pizzaioli, who bake in ovens that can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, the stone can go from a very low temperature to a very high temperature without cracking. If food needs to go from the fridge to a very hot oven, cordierite is the material of choice. A baking stone made of cordierite can also tolerate the fierce heat of a barbecue grill cranked up to high.

Why a Baking Stone?

It is perfectly possible to make a good pizza on a plain old cookie sheet. But a baking stone absorbs more moisture from the crust because it is porous. This gives the diner a superbly crispy crust. The stone is also a poor conductor of heat because of its thermal mass. This allows the pizza to heat without the crust being burnt, even if the crust is thin. The risk from a regular cookie sheet is that the crust will either burn or it will be so soft and flexible that a pizza slice is hard to eat without a knife and fork. A cordierite pizza stone works even better if it is on the thick side, and if it is first placed in the oven to heat up before the pizza is placed upon it.

The style of pizza is also important when it comes to the type of baking stone. A Chicago thin crust pizza takes a while to cook, while a New York pizza is cooked quickly. In this case, a cordierite stone with its low heat conductivity may have an advantage with the Chicago style pizza.

Some History

Discovered in 1813, cordierite was named after a French geologist named Louis Cordier. It is a magnesium silicate with the chemical formula (Mg,Fe)2Al4Si5O18.

Who Makes Them?

Among the retailers selling cordierite pizza stones are Old Stone Oven, Sur La Table, Mr. Bar-B-Q and Pizzacraft.