I’m awaiting my Anova Oven, and wanted to know if there are any baking stone/steel recommendations for bread and/or pizza?
- Do I need one?
- Is baking steel better than stone in the oven (steam related issues?)
- What size should I get to fit the oven?
Congratulations PBA, on your purchase.
The typical domestic pizza stone has about 6% the specific heat factor of a thick baking steel. However, do you need one is a more complex question as it depends on your style of baking and the formulae you use. Some cooks find steels can burn crusts at high temperatures leaving a bitter flavour.
Check the dimensions of your new oven, particularly rack size to ascertain what size stone/steel will fit. I suspect you may have trouble finding something small enough to fit the racks. Someday Anova may consider them as useful accessories. You may have to contact Anova as they don’t disclose the precise details you need to know. I would ask for their recommendation, - and why, particularly regarding your steam related issues.
While you’re in contact with the Anova folks you also might want to ask about their recommendation regarding water filtration. Nothing kills a boiler faster than a heavy accumulation of sediment and salts. It may be important to keep the warranty valid unless they have some way for you to purge the boiler on a regular basis. Don’t even think about using any caustic compounds for boiler maintenance.
FYI, commercial combi-oven manufacturers (Alto-Shaam and Rational) provide 1-day and 2-day educational workshops for profession chefs so they have sufficient knowledge to use their ovens successfully. Is something similar available on the internet?
Happy cooking, - and keep well.
This one is a perfect fit. Slides right into the shelf slots.
I don’t know about the anova oven But i use stone made for lining pizza ovens (easily cut )I cut it to fit my oven. Been using for 10 years +
Cordierite is common for pizza stones. You can get it in various forms and shapes. It’s also used for inside of ovens and kilns.
This guy will make any size steel you want and offers many different sizes and shapes:
I got one from Etsy that fits perfectly and was easy to season. Worked great for the Pizza recipe in the app. I tried a griddle pan and also tried stacking 3 sheet pans prior to getting a real steel. Go for a steel. Here is the link to the one I purchased
Etsy Anova baking steel listing
A few days ago I asked this question to both Anova support and bakingsteel.com, and both companies told me that bakingsteel.com is about to release a baking steel that’s custom made for the Anova Precision Oven - it’s already in stock, they just haven’t announced it yet but that’s coming in a few days. For now just check both websites frequently.
Some other info for you from my experience:
Bakingsteel.com also makes a mini griddle that fits the Anova oven, but it’s a little too heavy for the oven and bends the racks (so far not permanently, at least in my case).
A baking stone might be better than a baking steel for certain bread recipes, but a baking steel is the best choice for pizza.
I’ve also read elsewhere that the Lodge griddle mentioned by Thetechguru perfectly fits your oven, but it’s not very thick and doesn’t take advantage of the full depth of the oven. It also has rims on both sides that would make it awkward to use for pizza. That said, the one coming from bakingsteel.com is likely to be quite a bit more expensive than this one, and the Lodge griddle might be sufficient for your needs depending on what you’d like to bake.
Before you buy a baking steel consider it size. In most ovens, for effective convection air flow there needs to be space on all sides of the baking steel to permit sufficient hot air circulation for even cooking.
I don’t own the Anova oven and therefore i’m unfamiliar with it’s working. If it’s vented on the side panels to allow air to be ducted back to the element and fan you can disregard my comment.
Good point. The Lodge one is small enough that this wouldn’t be an issue. The upcoming one I mentioned that’s custom-built for the Anova Precision Oven presumably takes convection into account, but let’s see what they announce.
I’ve learned learned to avoid making assumptions with domestic food equipment.
Before you buy check the dimensions just to be certain.
Shipping a steel plate might be expensive. If there’s a machine shop or welder in your area you might be able to get a piece of scrap steel plate cut to an appropriate size at a reasonable price. Be sure to have the edges de-burred so you don’t get cut handling it.
Looks like the Baking Steel version is available. $99 was cheaper than I expected.
The photograph of the oven’s interior with the baking steel in place reveals 4 return air ducts at the corners of the rear panel that would likely provide sufficient air circulation.
User’s may have to conduct some experiments in order to discover the best height location in the oven for each item type. Unless of course if Anova shares with customers the results of their valuable extensive research. Looks good.