The ability of a pizza baking stone to distribute the absorbed heat uniformly and form the crispy crust is determined by the material. Thermarite is among the latest class of cordierite material. This is said to be an amalgamation of copper, magnesium, zinc and aluminum. All these metals have their own unique coefficient of thermal conductivity and absorption. When they are fused together to form the Thermarite, their capacity gets enhanced. For example the heat withstanding capacity of standard pizza baking stone is 2000 degrees (F). But practically speaking the stone gets exposed to temperatures between 500 degree (F) to 600 degrees (F) within an oven or a grill. Hence the material can work at its best efficiency levels without wilting.
Structure of Pizza Baking Stone
The structure of pizza baking stone is made of many layers. The density of each layer depends on the manufacturing and treatment processes to which the stone exposed.
- Thermarite electron density is 2.63GM/CC and its specific gravity is 2.65GM/CC. This material has high resistance to thermal shocks. Hence the material is highly conductive medium for heat. Due to its density, the particles are able to retain heat over extended period of time. Hence you can expect the inner layer temperature of the pizza baking stone to be far higher than the external temperature (within the oven). Since the stone gets preheated at 450degrees (F) for about 5 minutes, the retention capacity spreads uniformly all over the stone. This ensures uniform baking of the dough along the radius and thickness.
- The pizza baking stone material can protect the pizza from any fluctuations in temperature within the oven, especially the gas oven. The material has high tensile strength which avoids any kind of physical damages when exposed to moisture from the dough.
- When the pizza baking stone is subject to higher temperature over an extended period, it can develop stress. The specific gravity of the material is a factor which helps in reducing the stress by considerable extent. Hence the stone retains its tensile strength after prolonged usage also.
- The structure of Thermarite as cordierite makes it highly porous in nature. The percentage of water absorption at higher temperature is relatively higher. The small pores on the pizza baking stone surface can extract and absorb moisture from the inner layers of the dough. The process gets initiated and continues at a uniform rate, making the dough get crispy crust at the different layers.
- Thermal has a high coefficient of thermal expansion. This property makes the material stretch out along the length and width within the oven. Hence the material is considered to be highly flexible in nature. Once the temperature is restored to normalcy, the material gets compressed.
- On the measuring scale, the Thermarite has a hardness factor of 6. This is said to be responsible for stress and heat withstanding capacity of the pizza baking stone. Even after using the stone for a long time period, you will find its hardness to be consistent.