The Original Baking Steel

Regular price $119.00
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Regular price $119.00
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  • Virtually indestructible
  • Made in the USA
  • Flat and easy storage
  • For home ovens, grills, induction, camp fires, and more…
  • Does more than just pizza! Great for rustic breads and more…
  • Pre-seasoned with our proprietary oil
  • 16” x 14” x ¼” | 16 lbs

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An unlikely product that was 40 years in the making.

My dad’s a steel man. My brother’s a steel man. And I suppose somewhere deep inside I’m a steel man, too. My family owns the Stoughton Steel Company in the South Shore of Boston, where we’ve made industrial steel products for over 40 years.

Unexpected start to a story about pizza, right?

Well, when I was young I wasn’t very interested in the family business. Instead, I learned that I loved working in restaurant kitchens. There’s something about the energy, the hustle and of course, the food.

In my twenties I landed a cooking job with the celebrated chef Todd English, slinging pizza at his Boston restaurant, Figs. Todd was at the head of the artisan pizza trend: he sourced local ingredients and championed the now-trendy airy, thin crust pizza long before anyone said the phrase “farm to table.” My time at Figs offered an education that I couldn’t have bought.

It’s true what they say: the best education is hands-on experience. And under chef Todd English, I was steeped in all the pizza-making experience I could ask for.

Like any person, I already liked pizza. But after working for Todd, I lived for it.

But homemade pizza never lived up to what we made in the restaurant

Although homemade pizza is fun to make, the pie never quite measures up to the airy, perfectly crispy crust you get straight out of a restaurant’s screaming-hot brick oven. For years I (and every serious home cook I knew) had used a baking stone in our ovens, thinking that they were the best way to approximate the charred, blistered crusts we love. Even with my training, though, I never thought I could make restaurant-quality pizza at home.

Why?

There are 3 major problems with baking stones:

Problem #1

They are prone to cracking.

Problem #2

They are not great at retaining heat or evenly dispersing that heat across their entire surface.

Problem #3

They require long cooking times (10 minutes or more) that dry out the crust—a cardinal sin in pizza making.

The way I saw it, I was left with 3 options. I could deal with these problems like I had been, I could spend thousands of dollars to build a wood-fired pizza oven (ha!), or I could invent my own solution.

LITTLE DID I KNOW THE SOLUTION HAD BEEN STARING ME IN THE FACE MY WHOLE LIFE

Remember how I started this story? Turns out, steel is amazing for more than just industrial parts. Years ago, I came across an article about Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine. That hallowed encyclopedia of food science makes a key observation about the physics of baking. It essentially says, “Did you know the best conductor for making a perfect pizza crust is not a stone, but steel?” If I were anyone else, I might have nodded, thought about it for a second, and moved on with my life. But not everyone is a steel man with a passion for pizza.

This felt like fate.

Soon after, I sprinted into the steel plant to hunt for the thinnest piece of metal I could find to test the idea out. I found a rusty scrap that had once been a Caterpillar part. It wasn’t pretty, but it looked like just the right size for my experiment.

That first pizza I made was revelatory: it baked in half the time of my traditional pizza stone, and the perfect, airy crispness of the crust brought me back to the days of working with a 900-degree wood-fired oven.

And thus, The Original Baking Steel® was born. Well, at least after making some modifications to the shape, weight, and seasoning process.

In the years since, The Original Baking Steel® has been widely celebrated by home cooks and professional chefs alike.

AS SEEN ON

“If you want to make the best, most bubbly, and well-browned pizza, The Original Baking Steel produces a crust like no other and is easy to move, clean, and use.”

The Original Baking Steel® will turn your 500° oven into an industrial powerhouse.

Noticed how long it took you to read up to this point on the page? About 4 minutes, assuming you didn’t pause or skim. That’s the same amount of time it takes to bake a beautiful pizza with The Original Baking Steel®.

Thanks to steel’s unique ability to conduct heat better than stone, you can bake your favorite pizza in half the time… with better, tastier results.

Because steel retains heat better and conducts heat more efficiently, The Original Baking Steel® will be the equivalent of a 900° wood-fired oven despite being in your 500° home oven.

As a result, you greatly reduce the risk of drying out your crust. Ever bite into a homemade pizza that had a decent crunch, but then felt like chewing on cardboard? You can thank your baking stone for that. Longer cooking times means more moisture being drawn out of that precious (and I do mean precious) dough you spent hours developing. What a waste.

The Original Baking Steel®…

  • Cooks pizzas in 3–5 minutes
  • Is virtually indestructible
  • Is made in the USA
  • Is easy to store

Made in the USA

The Original Baking Steel® is proudly made in the USA. Maybe we could find a cheaper supplier overseas. But we didn’t want to risk the quality of our product. We take great pride in providing you (and your dough) with only the best.

More than just pizza: It’s The Original Baking Steel®, not The Original Pizza Steel.

While The Original Baking Steel® was originally invented to make pizza better and faster, it can do so much more.

It’s perfect for rustic breads, smash burgers, bagels, and plenty of your other favorites. Plus, you can put the Original Baking Steel® on your grill as it doubles as a griddle! That’s the benefit of steel.

All of these pizzas, breads, burgers, and more were made with The Original Baking Steel®:

MADE IN THE USA

The Original Baking Steel® is proudly made in the USA. Maybe we could find a cheaper supplier overseas. But we didn’t want to risk the quality of our product. We take great pride in providing you (and your dough) with only the best.

We’ve been home for the last 6 months. Baking a delicious pie and sharing it with the family has never been more important, and satisfying. 

Why Steel?

It's curious steel isn't more widely used for pizza making. And, had it not been for the Modernist Cuisine article, I, someone who has been working on pizza making the last 24 years, would have missed it.

Luckily, the Modernist Cuisine article was written on February 12, 2011.

At the core of the article was this idea: steel is what makes the difference. Quick question.

Here's Why...

Steel conducts heat ridiculously fast. Make a mental note of this property, it plays a starring role in our story.

In your cooking experiments you’ve noticed how cooking temperatures + times hugely influence the taste and texture.

Try roasting cauliflower at:

300°F for 2 hours
VS
460°F for 1 hour, followed by 300°F for the next 1 hour

Both will come out at the same time but with profound taste differences.

Returning to ridiculously fast heat transfer property of steel.

This equation better explains the process using Fourier's Law:

q = (k / s) A dT

= U A dT

where

q = heat transfer (W, J/s, Btu/hr)

k = Thermal Conductivity of material (W/m K or W/m oC, Btu/(hr oF ft2/ft))

s = material thickness (m, ft)

A = heat transfer area (m2, ft2)

U = k / s

= Coefficient of Heat Transfer (W/(m2K), Btu/(ft2 h oF)

dT = t1 - t2
= temperature gradient - difference - over the material (oC, oF)

Inside your oven the pizza will cook in 4 minutes. At that speed a magical transformation happens at the molecular level.

The pizza we’re going for is crispy on the outside and soft and moist inside.

These are 2 conflicting attributes: crispy and chewy.

Here’s how we do it: take your Baking Steel and place it in the oven for 60 minutes at 500 degrees F. It’s going to be ridiculously hot.

At the 60 minute mark open the oven and place pizza on top of Baking Steel.

Because the steel is a heat conductor it’ll transfer that 500 degree temperature very very quickly. It’s this catapulting effect that makes all the difference. It’s the only material capable of giving a crispy exterior with a moist inside. Got a quick question for you.

Science fact: The conductivity at 500°F with a Baking Steel inside equals the surface of a woodfired oven at 900°F.

Thickness of our steel

The Original Baking Steel (our best seller) has a thickness of ¼”. Not ½”. Not ¾”. This precise thickness is a critical part of our development process. For the surface size of the Original (14” by 16”) we had no choice but to go with ¼”. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t experiment with other thicknesses. We did, and they all failed in one specific way: they didn’t create the pizza perfectly.

Why it’s 16 pounds

Because of the thickness of our steel and the size of the surface our weight works out to 16 pounds. You’ve seen above how thickness is a critical factor. By the same logic, 16 pound weight is also a critical factor. It sounds heavy, but ovens were designed to handle this weight. We do, after all, use our ovens to make Thanksgiving turkeys.

The result

Here are some example of pizzas and other things you could enjoy:

The trouble with stone surfaces

The most widely used surface for cooking pizza is stone. The most obvious flaw of stone is that it breaks (because stone can’t handle extreme changes in heat/cold).

But there is a bigger problem. Ovens are moisture sucking monsters. And because stone transfers heat more slowly the pizza needs to cook longer. This loss in moisture impacts the taste. It sucks.

Other alternatives

Cast iron is decent, but way too many hot and cold spots throughout that metal which in my opinion make cast iron way over rated. And forget about trying to use a sheet tray by itself, the dough doesn’t have much of a chance of cooking properly.

Close your eyes and think about all the times you’ve baked pizza at home. It all changes today.

Intentionally made in the USA

Maybe we could find a cheaper overseas supplier. But, at what compromise of quality?
The Easy-To-Use Steel Can Be Used With Any Heat Source, And Even On The Go.

-The Original Baking Steel
-Baking Steel Booklet with recipes and How-To's
-Use and Care Instructions

-16 Lbs.
-14"x16"x1/4" Thick
-Low Carbon Steel
-Made in the USA
-Pre Seasoned with our Proprietary Oil
-Flat and Easy Storage

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