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Soapstone vrs cast iron


len440
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Thinking about a griddle for my Joe classic 2.Haven't decided on 1/2 moon vrs full moon or 2, 1/2 moons . Also haven't decided between soap stone or cast iron both have advantages :

Cast iron won't crack, heats faster but loses heat to meat faster, fish flavor might carry over to next cook and prone to rusting without proper care.I would assume a 500 degree sear will burn off the seasoning. Soapstone heaver (?) won't impart last cooks fish flavor on next sear, don't have to be reseasoned after each cook won't rust. But it will fail the drop test. Which leads me to ask just how tough is a soapstone? I ask this due to my deflector plates cracking. Any opinions will help me decide.   

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SOAPSTONE 

  • Soapstone is a thick bacteria and stain resistant slab which provides an even cook with fewer flare-ups all while allowing the meats to cook in their own juices.
  • It takes longer to heat up than Cast Iron but has more thermal mass so it stores more energy and will stay hotter for longer. 
  • Not porous and therefore will not trap the flavours of the food its cooking
  • Will not rust or decompose. 
  • Soapstone is a soft stone and therefore special care should be considered when using cooking tools to prevent scratching the surface. 

CAST IRON

  • Heats up faster but holds less energy. 
  • More resilient than soapstone
  • Porous, so will hold flavours of your last cook. 
  • Griddles can leave a nice pattern on the food surface

 

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Thanks Scott any idea on how prone  they are to cracking? I'm a little concerned about this because kamado Joe is replacing my deflector plates, the one literally cracked while i was watching  it when i was starting the Joe.

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  • 1 year later...

I just can't imagine spending another $50 on soapstone as deflectors.  They keep cracking every 20-30 cooks.  I'm not cooking on them, just deflector plates for indirect cooks.  Why not use cast iron or even stainless steel?  I just can't find 15" options, so weird.  I am super careful, never dropped them etc.  Otherwise LOVE the kamado.

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4 hours ago, trichiro said:

I just can't imagine spending another $50 on soapstone as deflectors.  They keep cracking every 20-30 cooks.  I'm not cooking on them, just deflector plates for indirect cooks.  Why not use cast iron or even stainless steel?  I just can't find 15" options, so weird.  I am super careful, never dropped them etc.  Otherwise LOVE the kamado.

 

I believe heat deflectors can be taken care of at a level where they don't break prematurely on you.  I have never broken heat deflectors without dropping them so far and I have been using these things for 8 or 9 years now.  

 

Do NOT let crud build up on them.  Scrape crud off with a scraper or a wire brush.  Buildup on these heat deflectors causes them to heat unevenly.  This uneven heating has to be contributing to them breaking prematurely.  It is a good idea to brush all residue from their surfaces occasionally and then bring them up to 500 degrees and hold them there for 30-40 minutes.  

 

And, for what it's worth, these things are not supposed to last a lifetime.  They are consumable items.  IF you need a lifetime heat deflector you should buy the cast iron griddles to use for that purpose.

 

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20 hours ago, John Setzler said:

 

I believe heat deflectors can be taken care of at a level where they don't break prematurely on you.  I have never broken heat deflectors without dropping them so far and I have been using these things for 8 or 9 years now.  

 

I agree with John and while I have not been kamado cooking quite as long as him, I have been cooking for about 6 years and have never broken a deflector. I have four of them a 13", two 14", and a 14" half stone. All of my deflectors are ceramic with cordierite and are  1/2 or 5/8" thick. I use all my full stones as both deflectors  and pizza stones. I keep them clean by rotating the dirty ones  dirtiest face down during a pizza cook. About 30 - to 45 minutes at 650 deg and the bottom stone comes out a nice clean chalky white. One thing I have read, but not experienced is that ceramic stones if used wet may crack when internal water turns to steam with heat and causes internal pressure. For this reason, I also insure my ceramic stones are dry. 

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