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Baking steel question

ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,109
I'm going to get a baking steel for my new oven. Was thinking about getting the 1/2" one and just letting it live on the bottom shelf of one of the two ovens. 

Is there any disadvantage to the thicker steel other than cost, preheat times and weight?  
XL & Small Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, Pitmaker Vault, Blackstone Griddle, 6 gal Cajun Fryer, BlueStar 60" Range

Comments

  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,800
    edited May 16
    I would seriously think about the cons first.... I own the 1/2" one and I would not buy it again even though it works amazingly well.  I say this as a 225lb very fit dude - it's HEAVY AS F.  The shape and the lack of handles make it extremely awkward to move around, even more so when hot. Once it's laid down flush on a surface the only way to pick it back up is to slide it unil it overhangs the lip of the counter. One slip and it will absolutely wreck your counters and/or flooring. 

    I would go with the standard 1/4 size. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,109
    SonVolt said:
    I would seriously think about the cons first.... I own the 1/2" one and I would not buy it again even though it works amazingly well.  I say this as a 225lb very fit dude - it's HEAVY AS F.  The shape and the lack of handles make it extremely awkward to move around, even more so when hot. Once it's laid down flush on a surface the only way to pick it back up is to slide it unil it overhangs the lip of the counter. One slip and it will absolutely wreck your counters and/or flooring. 

    I would go with the standard 1/4 size. 

    I will never move it once it's in the oven. I have 4 convection ovens so, there is never a need to move it.
    XL & Small Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, Pitmaker Vault, Blackstone Griddle, 6 gal Cajun Fryer, BlueStar 60" Range
  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 664
    edited May 16
    I have a .375" baking steel.  I know the thicker the steel, the longer the preheat requirement.  I let mine preheat at the desired temp for at least 45 minutes.  I noticed other people indicating the .5 inch ones can take 60-70 minutes to preheat.  So while not necessarily a disadvantage, if you will be cooking back to back pizzas, you will need to consider the time required in between them to allow for the steel to get back up to temp.  This would be lower for thinner thicker peels.
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
    Arteflame grill grate

    http://barbecueaddict.com
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,800
    edited May 16
    If it's staying put then it may be a non-issue.  Your preheat time may suffer tho - it takes almost 1 hour to get my oven up to 550F with the steel in place. 

    What are you hoping to achieve with the steel being on the floor of the oven? 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 664
    @Thatgrimguy
    I bought one that has two holes on one side which makes it so much easier to lift out of the oven in a pinch.  I suspected that I would need to do this as it may need to be reseasoned at some point and I was right.
    https://www.amazon.com/NerdChef-Steel-Stone-High-Performance-Surface/dp/B00JXVNUI6?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_9453142011
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
    Arteflame grill grate

    http://barbecueaddict.com
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,777

    I will never move it once it's in the oven. I have 4 convection ovens so, there is never a need to move it.
    How will you clean it?  I have the 1/4 inch type and it works very well.  It does get food stuck to it and needs to be cleaned.  Removing the 1/2 inch one (even when cool) will be difficult. For this and the other reasons, I would stick with the 1/4 inch one.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 31,148
    smokingal said:
    I have a .375" baking steel.  I know the thicker the steel, the longer the preheat requirement.  I let mine preheat at the desired temp for at least 45 minutes.  I noticed other people indicating the .5 inch ones can take 60-70 minutes to preheat.  So while not necessarily a disadvantage, if you will be cooking back to back pizzas, you will need to consider the time required in between them to allow for the steel to get back up to temp.  This would be lower for thinner peels.
    The refractory time between pies does not change.  That pie takes a certain amount of heat energy out of the steel.  If it's a bigger steel, you just get a smaller temp drop, but the amount of surface area is more or less the same and the refractory time should be the same.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 9,391
    smokingal said:
    I have a .375" baking steel.  I know the thicker the steel, the longer the preheat requirement.  I let mine preheat at the desired temp for at least 45 minutes.  I noticed other people indicating the .5 inch ones can take 60-70 minutes to preheat.  So while not necessarily a disadvantage, if you will be cooking back to back pizzas, you will need to consider the time required in between them to allow for the steel to get back up to temp.  This would be lower for thinner peels.
    I disagree about the recovery time with thicker baking steels.
    The advantage of the thicker steel is less temp drop between cooks and faster recovery time because of this. The thicker steel, in pizza comparison cooks, cooked multiple pizzas better than thinner steels.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 31,148
    The only disadvantage other than it's heavy AF is it takes longer to heat up.  But it holds the temp twice as well as the 1/4".  I have a 1" Aluminum "steel" and a 3/8" steel, and another one or two.  The thicker, more massive it is, the lower the temp drop and the better it works.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 664
    I misspoke.  I meant to state that the time to get back up to temp would be lower for thicker peels.  Correction made.
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
    Arteflame grill grate

    http://barbecueaddict.com
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 31,148
    Shiff said:

    I will never move it once it's in the oven. I have 4 convection ovens so, there is never a need to move it.
    How will you clean it?  I have the 1/4 inch type and it works very well.  It does get food stuck to it and needs to be cleaned.  Removing the 1/2 inch one (even when cool) will be difficult. For this and the other reasons, I would stick with the 1/4 inch one.
    I know I hate taking my pizza oven apart and floor out to clean it every time.  Wait, I wonder if I could just scrape the crap off in situ?
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,109
    edited May 16
    Shiff said:

    I will never move it once it's in the oven. I have 4 convection ovens so, there is never a need to move it.
    How will you clean it?  I have the 1/4 inch type and it works very well.  It does get food stuck to it and needs to be cleaned.  Removing the 1/2 inch one (even when cool) will be difficult. For this and the other reasons, I would stick with the 1/4 inch one.

    The 1/2" is only 30lbs.  I curl 30lb weights at the gym in each arm. I can't imagine it's that hard to move. If I needed to deep clean it, I'd cool it in the oven, then transfer it straight from the oven to my sink and clean it and then straight back to the oven to dry and store.

    I would think that once it's well seasoned I can clean it like a griddle top. Wipe it down with oil and use a bench scraper.
    XL & Small Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, Pitmaker Vault, Blackstone Griddle, 6 gal Cajun Fryer, BlueStar 60" Range
  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 664
    Whichever one you choose, be sure not to place anything that can give off moisture on top of or underneath it when not in use.  I thought placing it on top of my pizza stone when not in use would be cool, but the stone puts out moisture as its getting up to temp and that caused the steel to rust.
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
    Arteflame grill grate

    http://barbecueaddict.com
  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,109
    smokingal said:
    Whichever one you choose, be sure not to place anything that can give off moisture on top of or underneath it when not in use.  I thought placing it on top of my pizza stone when not in use would be cool, but the stone puts out moisture as its getting up to temp and that caused the steel to rust.
    That's a good point. It will be easy to keep the top seasoned in the oven. but the bottom will be harder to oil without removing it....
    XL & Small Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, Pitmaker Vault, Blackstone Griddle, 6 gal Cajun Fryer, BlueStar 60" Range
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 5,225
    I've kept my oven lined for years with Fire Brick
    Visalia, Ca
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,800
    edited May 16
    The 1/2" is only 30lbs.  I curl 30lb weights at the gym in each arm. I can't imagine it's that hard to move. 


    I thought the same thing as you when I purchased mine. 30lbs? Piece of cake. You're in for a rude awakening. It's the shape than makes 30lbs feel like 75lbs. Taking it to the sink to clean is a nightmare... try holding a 30lb slab of steel upright when it's wet. Great way to scratch up, dent and mar that sink. Goodbye granite counter edges if it even so much as touches it. I know this all sounds hyperbolic, but I'm saying this as the owner of the 1/2" baking steel for 3+ years. 

    Is your primary purpose pizza? These steels work best in the upper 3rd of your oven, not on the bottom. You want it as close to the roof of your oven (and broiler) as you can to take advantage of radiant heat. 

    On the floor of my oven I'd just get a burnt bottom. Steel will scorch much faster than stone. On the upper-shelf with the boiler I can cook 3 pies back to back 90 seconds each.


    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 2,354
    So if I am 230lbs and a very fit dude and can curl 40lb dumbells at the gym I should be good to go buying this right?

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, Minimax, 22" Blackstone, Pizza Party Bollore. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,800
    edited May 16
    You'd be better off having a 140lb fabricator weld a dumbbell handle to it. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,284
    I have the 1/4 inch steel from when they first came out. It lives in the bottom of my oven just to help stabilize temps for when I’m baking. I can’t remember the last time I used it for its intended purpose as a cooking vessel.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 31,148
    I have the 1/4 inch steel from when they first came out. It lives in the bottom of my oven just to help stabilize temps for when I’m baking. I can’t remember the last time I used it for its intended purpose as a cooking vessel.
    That is a very good idea.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 31,148
    ...for a muppet.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 1,961
    3/8” steel here lives in the oven, pizza on weekends. It is roughly 17x17”. Go to a tractor dealer or fab shop and have one custom made that’s what I did
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 1,961
    Oh and it is heavy as fvck.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,050
    I have a 1/4" 14x17" in my oven, center rack. Works perfectly for my needs. See no reason for a 3/8 or 1/2" steel. Preheat to desired temp, change to broiler mode, launch pie. PAY ATTENTION if you don't like burned crust!

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,109
    Thanks for the advice, that's why I love this place.  Ordered a 1/4"
    XL & Small Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, Pitmaker Vault, Blackstone Griddle, 6 gal Cajun Fryer, BlueStar 60" Range
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,050
    Excellent choice. =)

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 1,800
    Forgot to mention, their griddle is a really good compromise. That’s what I use most. Forgot I even owned it this morning.  
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • HogFatherHogFather Posts: 121
    Oh Yeah! Well, I can curl 55lb dumbells so I am going to buy a 3/4 baking steel.
    Large Egg

    Pig, KY 
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