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Anyone have the stones to answer my questions??


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I have so much to learn. And when it comes to grilling, this is the best place I've found to do that. So here goes:

 

I want to get a cooking surface that can handle higher temps than my cast iron skillet because whenever I try to use that to sear my steaks, I ruin the seasoning--which is a huge pain. I've been looking at getting a soapstone, but my aversion to paying $120 for a half moon led me to a few different places. I've been considering an 18" round stone from Soapstone Products.....but then I ran across the Fibrament-D baking stone, which got me wondering: 

 

Will a soapstone work well for pizza? Soapstone Products believes so, but I understand it's not porous and that may not allow for the "perfect" pizza crust." On the flipside, will something like Fibrament's products (or even some pizza stone) satisfy my need for  a high-, even-heat searing with good heat retention? 

 

Or a third option: am I thinking about this all wrong?

 

And to be sure, in all of the above cases, I should still be using my heat deflector below my cooking surface, right?

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Consider this...

 

Use cast iron.  It's cheap.  It's easy to use.  It will burn the 'seasoning' off but if all you are using that one piece for is searing steaks, then it doesn't need a seasoning.  When you are finished using it, clean it off, wipe it down with oil, and put it away so it won't rust between uses.  

 

Easy money....

 

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1) John makes a good point. 

 

2) soapstone should make for a great pizzastone. 

 

3) I believe Fibrament “stones” are porus and will absorb liquids just like your heat deflector. I would NOT sear a steak on the Fibrament. 

 

4) you do not need a deflector when searing, although I find it helps with even heat distribution. 

 

5) have you thought about an SS griddle? 

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Good stuff, gents. Appreciate the food for thought...makes better food for eating. ;-)

 

6 minutes ago, Mewantkj said:

5) have you thought about an SS griddle? 

 

No, I haven't. Wonder what your thoughts are on that versus soapstone.....though I imagine a good search of the forums would probably be more appropriate than my asking you to rehash  something probably discussed ad nauseam. (IOW, no need to reply.)

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I use a CI griddle for high heat searing. I have 2 different sizes, one for each of my different sized KK's. 

 

I never use a deflector underneath. CI distributes the heat fairly well without. They both have a really good seasoning on them that I haven't loss since I've owned them. I pre oil them with peanut oil. Sear at 450*-500* and use Ghee moments before the food goes on. Shutdown the grill immediately after pulling the food. The thicker the cut of meat the lower the Sear temp otherwise you'll burn before you get to md rare. I only use the flat side so I do not maintain a seasoning on the ridged bottom side. 

 

I use these for cooking a lot of different foods and use one of them at least once or twice a week. 

 

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I have my good cast iron frying pans and I also do what ckreef does.  I've a cast iron pan I use for high temps.  I clean it and oil it and use it right over the coals.

I also have an Emile Henry stone good to 900+˚ but I prefer my cast iron.

Some here will also recommend a baking steel but cast is hard to beat for the cost even if you buy two.

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I saw a tip from Alton Brown that seems to work well for me.  Clean you CI with Kosher Salt.  Wen you are done cooking and shutting down you grill, just leave the CI on there while you eat.  When you are done, pour some Kosher Salt in the pan with the fat the is leftover from the cook and use a wadded up paper towel with tongs to scrub the pan using the salt.  When done, just wipe down with a clean paper towel.  Re-oil and let the pan cool.  As it cools, it will absorb the oil you just put on. 

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Good stuff, guys. Breathing new life into my CI skillet usage with these great tips. 

 

That being said, I picked up an 18" round soapstone from soapstoneproducts.com. Really cannot beat their prices...after shipping it'll cost the same as a half-moon for the Big Joe. I'll post some pictures, to include how it's packaged, but from what I hear, they don't have the same problems as Amazon does.

 

Also, I've seen people putting soapstone slabs in the freezer and then using them to mix ingredients into their ice cream. Think I'll give that a go, as well, a la Marble Slab.

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On 7/16/2017 at 4:55 PM, smithereens said:

That being said, I picked up an 18" round soapstone from soapstoneproducts.com. Really cannot beat their prices...after shipping it'll cost the same as a half-moon for the Big Joe. I'll post some pictures, to include how it's packaged, but from what I hear, they don't have the same problems as Amazon does.

 

Whelp, showed up in the mail today--I couldn't have been more excited to finally get my hands on it. 

 

Here are some pictures to show how the soapstone was packaged. (Excuse the paint brush cover over my shipping level. Operational security in deeply engrained in this Devil Dog.)

 

All told, there are 6--that's SIX--layers of styrofoam above and 6 layers below the stone in the box as well as some corner inserts around the stone itself. Clearly packaged with pride and care by someone who cares more about their product and your cooking experience than being "green." Granted, the shipping wasn't cheap, but all told, I came out way ahead of buying the standard half moon most people get.

 

In case anyone is interested, I have a 10% coupon for another order at soapstoneproducts.com. It's available to the first person who's going to actually use it.

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Even though you made the decision to go with the soap stone. You might think about looking at a Carbon Steel pan. I have a Lodge 12" with a long handle. I use it on both my Egg and my Weber Gasser. In addition I use it on camp fires in forest service fire pits, grills, and any other open flame. It is the best pan for searing I have ever used, and I highly recommend it. The Carbon Steel provides a much smoother surface than most CI and it takes very little maintence to keep it in cooking shape. 

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