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SOAPSTONE VS REVERSIBLE CAST IRON


itskrod00
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Want to purchase one of these accessories.  My question is can the soap stone do everything the cast iron can do plus more?

 

I imagine the soapstone wouldnt get as hot as the cast iron?

I imagine the cast iron cooking, more food would possibly stick and more maintenance

 

or

 

are they too very different tools for different type cooks/food.

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I have both.  I think the soapstone is a superior cooking surface.   There is not anything I would prefer to cook on the cast iron.   But there are drawbacks and I do occasionally use the cast iron.

 

The soapstone takes a lot longer to get hot.  I preheat it for at least an hour.  The cast iron heats up much faster.  If I am short on time, I'll use the cast iron.

 

Also, the soapstone is much easier to damage.  It scratches and chips easily.  If you scrape it (attempting to clean it), it will scratch and chip.  And I worry that if I am not careful I will drop or bump it and it will crack in 2.  On the other hand, the cast iron rusts like crazy unless you re-season it after every use.  If you are careful with it, I think the soapstone will last longer.

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  • 2 weeks later...
23 minutes ago, pmillen said:

Good info for me, here.  I have the same debate.

 

Based on the preceding, I lean toward the soapstone, but an hour to heat it properly?  Geez!


It is a thick hocking hunk of soapstone. Plus one would normally heat soak for about an hour anyway, so there’s no added burden

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On 4/22/2020 at 6:57 PM, acr said:

I have both.  I think the soapstone is a superior cooking surface.   There is not anything I would prefer to cook on the cast iron.   But there are drawbacks and I do occasionally use the cast iron.

 

The soapstone takes a lot longer to get hot.  I preheat it for at least an hour.  The cast iron heats up much faster.  If I am short on time, I'll use the cast iron.

 

Also, the soapstone is much easier to damage.  It scratches and chips easily.  If you scrape it (attempting to clean it), it will scratch and chip.  And I worry that if I am not careful I will drop or bump it and it will crack in 2.  On the other hand, the cast iron rusts like crazy unless you re-season it after every use.  If you are careful with it, I think the soapstone will last longer.

I also have both and completely agree with you on this

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12 hours ago, Chris Topher said:

Plus one would normally heat soak for about an hour anyway, so there’s no added burden

 

Help me understand what you mean by this.  When the lid thermometer reaches my desired temperature, should I be waiting an hour for the BJ ceramic to heat to same?

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34 minutes ago, pmillen said:

 

Help me understand what you mean by this.  When the lid thermometer reaches my desired temperature, should I be waiting an hour for the BJ ceramic to heat to same?


I normally don’t start cooking at the moment my thermometer hits my desired temp. I give it time to settle in. There are, of course, differing opinions and practices. 

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I don't have the soapstone but I really like my CI reversible. I use it a lot for searing, smash burgers and general grilling, when I don't want to fire up my Camp Chef griddle. I haven't had any rust problems, as I store it in my garage after cleaning, I just keep it seasoned and it works well. I almost never use the ribbed side, only the flat side. As others have stated I think the soapstone would give a better cooking surface but it wasn't available when I got my CI and I can't see the need for it in my case now.

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On 5/2/2020 at 10:01 AM, pmillen said:

 

Help me understand what you mean by this.  When the lid thermometer reaches my desired temperature, should I be waiting an hour for the BJ ceramic to heat to same?

 

Yes, the soapstone holds it's temperature for a long time. 

 

Shortly after you light the grill, the dome thermometer (the air temperature) may read 500F, but the soapstone surface might only be 200F (not even sizzle when if you splash some water on it).  It can take a really long time for the soapstone to warm up to the same temperature as the dome.

 

But it goes both ways.  If it is cold, it takes a long time to heat up.  And if it is hot, it takes a long time to cool down.  That is what makes it such a great cooking surface.  Toss a cold steak on 500F piece of aluminum, and the aluminum will instantly cool  off.  Toss a steak on a 500F soapsone, and the stone will stay 500F.

 

If you are gilling on the stainless steal grates you can cook the moment the air is hot, because you are relying on the hot air to do the cooking.  But when you are cooking on soapsone (or cast iron) you have to wait until the surface is hot, because it is the surface that does the cooking.

 

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On 5/4/2020 at 8:06 PM, acr said:

Yes, the soapstone holds it's temperature for a long time.

 

Thanks for taking the time … to offer your thoughts, @acr.   I’m sorry that I didn’t make myself clear when I asked if I should be waiting an hour for the BJ ceramic to heat up.

 

I was addressing @Chris Topher's  Statement that waiting for the soapstone to heat isn’t an extra delay because “one would normally heat soak for about an hour anyway.”  I wasn’t commenting on soapstone’s thermal mass—slow to heat, slow to cool.

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