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Emile Henri pizza stone - opinions?

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josephnl Apr 24, 2012 10:36 AM

I've been looking at the Emile Henri pizza stone, and I like the looks and also the fact that it can be brought to the table. They say that you can cut right on it without damaging the surface. Is this really true? Anyone have this stone, and do you like it?

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  1. t
    thimes RE: josephnl Apr 24, 2012 12:06 PM

    I don't have one, so take that into consideration with my comment . . .

    I can't imagine bringing a pizza stone to the table. The whole point of a stone is that it gets hot, very hot, and retains that heat really well when baking. So the stone would be 500 degrees (or more) when you bring it to the table and would stay that hot for a while - which would keep cooking your crust.

    I did look it up online - and I see that maybe you could bring it to the table for a different purpose - e.g. cheese board, or just warm to serve the pizza on (if you used something else to cook the pizza on).

    I don't think I'd be a fan of the handles for how I use a stone - and honestly I prefer a square stone for when I'm baking other things on it - like baguettes, you can't fit 3 of 4 on a round stone since only the one in the middle will can stretch from side to side, the other ones fall off the edges.

    As far as the surface, I have no idea. Maybe another poster has used one.

    But that were my thoughts from a strictly practical standpoint of a pizza stone.

    4 Replies
    1. re: thimes
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      josephnl RE: thimes Apr 24, 2012 12:23 PM

      Excellent point re bringing to table. I stupidly read the box, saw the handles and failed to think it through...really dumb! They even make it in red, so that it would look nice on a table!! One thing I found appealing about the round shape is that it would fit nicely on my barbecue, something I've never tried, but also promoted on the packaging.

      1. re: thimes
        davis_sq_pro RE: thimes Apr 24, 2012 12:24 PM

        Some people bake on a pan or some other surface and then put the pizza on a (cold) stone on the table in order to keep the crust crispy. (The stone is supposed to wick away any condensation that might form as things cool down.) Not sure how well this works. Personally I wouldn't want to cut on the stone anyway -- seems like a great way to destroy your cutting implement of choice...

        1. re: davis_sq_pro
          j
          josephnl RE: davis_sq_pro Apr 24, 2012 12:33 PM

          I use a very inexpensive pizza cutting wheel, so damaging it is not a concern. Also, can't imagine serving a hot pizza on a cold stone!

          1. re: josephnl
            davis_sq_pro RE: josephnl Apr 24, 2012 12:39 PM

            Perhaps "cold" was the wrong word. You could preheat it a bit so that it feels warm, just don't crank it to 500 if you like your table to not have burn marks.

            As for the pizza wheel, replacing an inexpensive one on a regular basis because you keep messing it up by cutting on stone will add up... of course your definition of messed up and mine may not coincide.

      2. tommy RE: josephnl Apr 25, 2012 05:29 AM

        Avoid this overpriced thing and buy a regular, plain, unglazed, uncolored, unhandled ceramic baking stone. This thing is designed to appeal to peoples sense of style, rather than function.

        8 Replies
        1. re: tommy
          BiscuitBoy RE: tommy Apr 25, 2012 06:58 AM

          yup!

          1. re: BiscuitBoy
            m
            mikie RE: BiscuitBoy Apr 25, 2012 11:19 AM

            I don't know, I kinda like the way it looks.

            Ok, I'm just trying to add a little humor to the conversation.

            1. re: mikie
              BiscuitBoy RE: mikie Apr 25, 2012 01:17 PM

              Oh, I like the way it looks too...Heck, if I had the $$$ I'd have a Ferrari...but using tommy's sensibility, I drive a Honda

              1. re: BiscuitBoy
                tommy RE: BiscuitBoy Apr 25, 2012 01:26 PM

                But a Ferrari performs better than a Honda (by most standards, no offense to your ride). I suspect this thing doesn't perform better than a stone.

                I have serving platters which I use for pizza. They serve their purpose and the stone serves its. Best of both worlds.

          2. re: tommy
            j
            josephnl RE: tommy Apr 25, 2012 11:37 AM

            I kind of like the way it looks and if form and function happily coexist, I delighted to pay a bit more, I posted this thread wanting to know about function...does it bake evenly, does it clean up easily, does it scratch if cut on, etc.

            1. re: josephnl
              strangemd RE: josephnl Apr 25, 2012 12:22 PM

              We own one of these stones and have used it extensively, both in the oven and on a grill. Obviously, it's very hot during the oven-table transition, but nothing that a few trivets or 4 potholders can't handle. We use one of those big pizza scissors to cut up the pies, and have had no problem with that technique. If you use a wheel, the stone would probably end up dulling it a bit with time. Cleaning up is very easy; there's very little sticking and the burnt bits come off with a short soak. It is quite nice for presentation.

              1. re: strangemd
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                josephnl RE: strangemd Apr 25, 2012 12:58 PM

                Thanks! They do say in their literature thar you can cut on it without damaging the surface...but who knows?

                1. re: josephnl
                  r
                  redbeanbun RE: josephnl Apr 25, 2012 02:53 PM

                  i agree that it's pretty but falls functionally short. it's small, the handles are a waste of surface area, and it stays in the oven/on the grill anyway so what does it matter that it's pretty? you're better off cooking your pizza on stone like tommy recommended, and for pretty and presentation effect, slide that pizza onto a beautiful cutting block and cut it with your largest, most intimidating chinese cleaver.

          3. j
            JRmum RE: josephnl Apr 26, 2012 03:15 AM

            I've got one and I love it. It makes beautiful pizza and cleans really easily unlike unglazed pizza stones. Though DP once cut the pizza on it with a super sharp knife (don't ask me why) and it did scratch the surface. Not majorly and not through the glaze, but you can see faint marks. I got it because of the ease of clean and because it was the only stone I found back then that wasn't made in china. I prefer to buy products that are made in the EU or US because of food safety.

            1. RealMenJulienne RE: josephnl Apr 26, 2012 03:50 AM

              Serious Eats did a very comprehensive test of about 12 different pizza baking surfaces, including the Emile Henry: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

              The other tests are very good reading as well. I'm leaning toward a cast-iron pizza pan myself: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

              1. w
                wincountrygirl RE: josephnl Apr 26, 2012 03:54 AM

                I have one but I've never cut on it because I leave it in the oven until it cools down which is sometimes overnight. I do cut on my cool pizza peel though. That is great!

                1. s
                  scott123 RE: josephnl Apr 26, 2012 12:29 PM

                  A huge part of stone selection boils down to how serious you want to be about pizza.

                  No serious pizzamaker would ever take a hot stone out of the oven, nor would they ever think about cutting on their stone. You take the pizza out of the oven with a peel, you put it on a metal pan and you cut the pizza on the pan. That's pizzamaking 101.

                  Another aspect of taking pizza seriously is the need for thermal mass for fast bakes. This stone has no thermal mass. Functionally, it should perform just about the same as a $15 stone at Walmart. 1000s of people make mediocre pizza with a Walmart stone and are pleased as punch with their results. If you want to spend $50 for a stone that will give you mediocre pizza, go for it, but if you really want the best pizza possible, then you should avoid these worthless retail stones like the plague.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: scott123
                    tommy RE: scott123 Apr 26, 2012 01:22 PM

                    That's exactly right, although I couldn't come up with such a delicate way of saying it.

                    As an example, take a look at this cooking school's use of the stone:
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKn1FA...

                    The person in this video seems to think this stone has magical properties so that you don't have to preheat it like you do other stones.

                    1. re: tommy
                      s
                      scott123 RE: tommy Apr 27, 2012 08:06 AM

                      I expect a certain amount of discomfort when I watch youtube pizzamaking videos, but that was especially painful. Like fingernails on a chalkboard.

                      A video like that could be more effective than waterboarding.

                      1. re: scott123
                        davis_sq_pro RE: scott123 Apr 27, 2012 10:55 AM

                        Ooh, Boboli crust. The foundation of *any* high-quality pizza.

                  2. v
                    VitalForce RE: josephnl Apr 28, 2012 04:35 PM

                    I have one of these and it works just fine for a medium sized pizza. I don’t bring it to the table, but I do put it on top of the stove when the pizza is ready. The bottom stays nice and crispy for well over 10 minutes as a result, rather than softened and less interesting when put on a dish and left for more than a couple of minutes.

                    In other discussions I’ve read on this stone, people comment that the cheap stones they buy often break or crack regardless of how they treat them. You would have to deliberately go out of your way, or be extraordinarily unlucky, to break this one due to the flameware technology involved.

                    A cast-iron pan also sounds good, as one person mentioned. I believe there was a very positive ‘Cooks Illustrated’ test of one in a recent issue.

                    I use a cutting wheel. Neither the wheel nor the glazed ceramic gets damaged or scratched. Of course, like anything, if it gets used, it will get marked up eventually. The stone cleans up easily afterwards. It bakes evenly.

                    Because it’s not a traditional oven stone, and because its users would obviously not be working commercial pizza ovens, a couple of posters here are comparing apples and oranges in this discussion. For what it’s designed to do, the Emile Henry pan works very well.

                    That said, having a larger rectangular stone, or some unglazed quarry tiles, in addition to this, would probably be the way to go if regularly baking large or multiple items in a large oven. (Most of us have more than one cooking pot after all.) See the interesting tile and firebrick set up in the ‘Los Angeles Times’ Food section this week.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: VitalForce
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                      josephnl RE: VitalForce Apr 28, 2012 10:43 PM

                      Thanks for your intelligently written and informative comments. Exactly what I was looking for in my op. I'm an occasional baker of pizza, and it sounds like the EH stone will do just fine for me.

                      1. re: VitalForce
                        tommy RE: VitalForce Apr 29, 2012 06:53 AM

                        "Because it’s not a traditional oven stone, and because its users would obviously not be working commercial pizza ovens, a couple of posters here are comparing apples and oranges in this discussion."

                        I've never seen a commercial pizza oven with a baking stone.

                        Baking stone use isn't for commercial ovens. It's for home ovens. Where are these apples/oranges comparisons?

                        1. re: tommy
                          v
                          VitalForce RE: tommy Apr 29, 2012 07:47 PM

                          Well, I read rushed judgments (with little sense of curiosity) regarding an innovative product that doesn’t appear to have been used by the commentators, based on experiences with very different devices that do seem to have been used—comparing apples and oranges.

                          Lots of people have worked commercial pizza ovens at one time or another.

                          1. re: VitalForce
                            s
                            scott123 RE: VitalForce Apr 29, 2012 09:34 PM

                            I have put in, on average, about 3 hours a day for the last 5 years, studying home oven thermodynamics as they relate to pizzamaking. I've also spoken to a minimum of 50 unlucky home oven owners unfortunate enough to own this stone. I've been weighing the merits of this product since I became aware of it a year and a half ago. There's no 'rushed judgement' here.

                            I'm curious, believe me ;) My 'curiosity' borders on obsession. I don't have an agenda here. I'm just trying to help the op make a more informed baking stone selection.

                            I do have a certain amount of commercial pizza oven knowledge, but that knowledge has played no part in the comments I've made in this thread. I'm comparing apples with apples. This is a bad apple- and a massively overpriced one to boot.

                            1. re: scott123
                              j
                              josephnl RE: scott123 Apr 29, 2012 10:19 PM

                              I'm the op. i spoke today with a salesperson at Williams-Sonoma who I've known for years. She told me (after consulting with colleagues) that they have sold probably hundreds of the EH stone, and do not recall any being returned. Patrons seem to love them they said. Clearly they ae for the home cook who makes an occasional pizza, not for the commercial pizzeria. Based on the experience of those who have actually used the EH stone, I think I'm going to buy myself one.

                              1. re: josephnl
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                                gourmanda RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 08:16 AM

                                I use the rectangular stonge from the EH Flame line both on the grill and in the oven. I love it! As others have said, it cleans up easily, doesn't get scratched when using a pizza wheel. It keeps the pizza nice and warm for a while. As far as brining it to the table, I would do so after putting it on a cutting board. Keep in mind it is quite heavy. I'm looking forward to trying things besides pizza on it this summer when it's on the grill.

                                1. re: josephnl
                                  Mr Taster RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 11:12 AM

                                  The EH stone boasts of its lightweight properties, which says to me they're marketing it to people that don't know how to make pizza.

                                  Lightweight is a gimmick. Handles are a gimmick. Neither of these are essential to making great home pizza, and in fact the lightweight property in particular will work *against* you in making great pizza. (But honestly, if you're not interested in upping your game, like the Boboli cooking school gal in the youtube link above, then buy whatever you care to!)

                                  The essential function of a pizza stone is to emulate the commercial pizza oven in the home oven, as best as one can. The stone is a heat sink, pure and simple-- which means the thicker and heavier it is, the more heat it retains, and the better it functions. Ideally you're looking for a heavy square stone, 1" thick, and a small pizza peel to move it in and out of the oven.

                                  Consider the deck of a commercial gas pizza oven. It's super hot (800 degrees or more) and remains hot all the time. Though home temps cannot match this, a properly preheated pizza stone (1 hour at 500-550 degrees) emulates the superheated commercial oven, cooking the bottom of the raw dough quickly, and wicking away moisture, making the bottom crispy.

                                  Also, notice that the opening of a commercial pizza oven is wide and narrow-- wide so that multiple pizzas can fit (which is not relevant to the home cook) but narrow so that the heat stays near the top of the pizza and helps to properly cook the top of the pizza. (Think about how many home pizzas suffer from "blonde top"). You can emulate this by putting a large, heavy pizza stone on the top rack of your home oven. The larger, heavier, and more space the pizza stone takes up in your oven, the closer you will be to emulating the narrow, superheated deck of a commercial pizza oven.

                                  A pizza stone absolutely shouldn't be lightweight, because you're not meant to carry it around. In fact, once it's done cooking, you need to get to get it off the superheated stone as fast as possible (remember, it's a heat sink) so that it doesn't overcook and burn.

                                  I leave my stone in the oven all the time, even when I'm not cooking directly on it, because it eliminates the problem of heat loss when I open my oven to check on whatever it is that I am cooking. (Think about it-- the heavy stone takes hours to cool down even when the oven is off, so it is wonderful at keeping oven temperatures stable even when you open the door.)

                                  If you're even slightly interested in upping your pizza game, I vote no on the EH stone. Here's a proper one, which fits perfectly in my small apartment wall oven.

                                  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster
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                                    gourmanda RE: Mr Taster Apr 30, 2012 12:03 PM

                                    I was surprised by the comments of it being lightweight. I now see there is a difference between the pizza stone and the grilling/baking stone. The latter of which I have and will tell you it is not lightweight but works beautifully.

                              2. re: VitalForce
                                tommy RE: VitalForce Apr 30, 2012 05:17 AM

                                "Lots of people have worked commercial pizza ovens at one time or another.

                                I'm not sure why this is germane to the discussion. Can you expound?

                                By "very different devices" are you referring to pizza stones? If so, that's hardly an apples to oranges comparison.

                          2. sunshine842 RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 12:51 AM

                            Josephnl -- you decided before you made the OP that you were going to buy this stone...you never really wanted anyone to say that it was anything other than the most perfectly awesome pizza stone ever conceived.

                            If you just wanted to buy one -- just go buy one...but don't ask for opinions and then discount the stuff that doesn't support your pre-made conclusions.

                            I wouldn't own one -- I'm in the unglazed stone that lives in the oven camp -- but you don't need our permission to go buy what you obviously want to own.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: sunshine842
                              tommy RE: sunshine842 Apr 30, 2012 06:12 AM

                              Spot on.

                              1. re: sunshine842
                                j
                                josephnl RE: sunshine842 Apr 30, 2012 09:42 AM

                                sunshine, thanks for your kind comments. I suggest you reread my op and the responses on the thread carefully. I asked a simple question...does anyone have the EH pizza stone, and do they like it? Exactly four posts have been responsive to my question, and all four posters who actually own and use the EH stone like it. Additionally, someone pointed me to the "serious eats" blog which actually tested many pizza stones, and they liked the EH very well. Had the persons who actually own the stone said that they do not like it, of course I would not buy it. Please do not assume that my query was not genuine!

                                I have not, nor do I intend to, spend 5,000 hours studying home oven thermodynamics. I do not expect to be able to make pizza at home which is equal to that in the best pizzerias, I just want on occasion to make a decent pizza at home. Yes, I do like the look of the EH pizza stone, and I thank those persons on this thread who answered my question.

                                By the way, Mark Bittman who has published many cookbooks, and writes regularly for the New York Times, in a recently published Pizza Issue in the newspaper, stated that although he prefers using a pizza stone, he can make a very good pizza right on a metal pizza pan!

                                1. re: josephnl
                                  sunshine842 RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 11:32 AM

                                  My comments were based **entirely** on your responses to other posters.

                                  Part of "feedback about the EH stone" includes "why I don't think it's a good stone".

                                  1. re: josephnl
                                    s
                                    scott123 RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 06:03 PM

                                    "I do not expect to be able to make pizza at home which is equal to that in the best pizzerias, I just want on occasion to make a decent pizza at home."

                                    When the same expenditure will get you a stone that WILL make a pizza which is equal to that in the best pizzerias, why should you settle for something that gives you considerably less? Is this a food web site or an interior design web site? :) Great pizza should always outrank an aesthetically pleasing stone. You and your guests will be eating the pizza, not the stone.

                                    1. re: scott123
                                      Mr Taster RE: scott123 Apr 30, 2012 07:12 PM

                                      Agreed.

                                      You may not be able to make a pizza matching the best pizzerias in the world, but with the right recipe and simple equipment, you can make a damned fine one indeed.

                                      Mr Taster

                                2. t
                                  thimes RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 05:30 AM

                                  Who would have thought a pizza stone thread would get people so riled up.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: thimes
                                    tommy RE: thimes Apr 30, 2012 06:13 AM

                                    I would say the subject matter has little to do it. Not sure why the OP is all riled, though.

                                  2. Chemicalkinetics RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 08:52 AM

                                    So here is a question. If you are buying this Emile Henri pizza stone for the look, then go ahead, but like thimes stated: it is not necessary to bring a pizza stone on to the table.

                                    Traditionally, it is believed that the unglazed stone is the way to go for producing great pizza. This is a glazed stone, so it would not have the advantage. Emile Henri advertizes this stone is more durable than the porous stones and a pizza cutter can be used on it. Well, if these are what you want to go after, then why not a cast iron pizza stone. A cast iron pizza stone is tougher and more durable than this Emile Henri stone for sure. Cast iron certainly conducts heat better than this, so it will bake more evenly.

                                    At the end, if you like the look of the Emile Henri pizza stone, then go for it. However, it isn't going to perform better than other alternatives.

                                    18 Replies
                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                                      VitalForce RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 30, 2012 10:29 AM

                                      I would suggest people have a look at the pizza baking surface test series on the Serious Eats site that was recommended by RealMenJulienne. It's quite informative. The series wrap-up url is below:

                                      http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                      1. re: VitalForce
                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: VitalForce Apr 30, 2012 10:38 AM

                                        Thanks. I did read it. RealMenJulienne posted it earlier.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          v
                                          VitalForce RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 30, 2012 11:29 AM

                                          The Lodge cast-iron pan does look very good. But the surface would need some extra care, and it would be a hefty piece of iron to lug around. The EH pan is relatively light in comparison, the surface isn't an issue, and the pizza results are equivalent as top performers according to SE, along with the King Arthur stone. (But the latter doesn't easily allow for sustained crispness after baking as do the other two.)

                                        2. re: VitalForce
                                          tommy RE: VitalForce Apr 30, 2012 04:31 PM

                                          It was a pretty weak test. More for copy and less for informing serious pizza makers. Maybe that is the rub, though.

                                          1. re: tommy
                                            Mr Taster RE: tommy Apr 30, 2012 05:26 PM

                                            Agreed. It's one of my pet peeves that amateurs have the same sized spotlight as the pros these days. The Serious Eats piece is a series of enthusiastic blogger reviews, not a professional test kitchen review; there is a huge difference between the two.

                                            Now don't get me wrong-- there is a place for each type of writing on this World Wide Web. The problem is that when the stage for the pros is the same size as the stage for the amateurs, it is easy for newbies to confuse a confidently written amateur piece with the professionally written one. The result of this is that the inexperienced cooks disseminate the amateur blogger's confidently written effluvium, and the haystack gets bigger and more unwieldy.

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster
                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: Mr Taster Apr 30, 2012 05:36 PM

                                              <It's one of my pet peeves that amateurs have the same sized spotlight as the pros these days>

                                              One can say the same thing about democracy (one person, one vote).

                                              Anyway, I wrote a semi-lengthy response, and then deleted it because I figure many people here have made up their minds anyway.

                                              What I want to add is that I only take these reviews with a grain of salt. Some I agree, but some I disagree. Cook's Illustrated have an article on Western Japanese knives and another one on Chinese wok. I disagree with both a passion.

                                              <The problem is when the stage is the same size, it is easy to confuse the confidently written amateur piece with the professionally written one>

                                              It is not a problem if you believe people should ultimately make their own decisions even if they are the wrong ones.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                tommy RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 30, 2012 05:59 PM

                                                I've been an avid reader of CI and a viewer of its associated TV shows for years now, and it's interesting to watch how the "ultimate steak" in one episode will be trumped 2 seasons later by another "ultimate steak," with a totally different approach and "science." But that's, entertainment. And I do love it.

                                            2. re: tommy
                                              s
                                              scott123 RE: tommy Apr 30, 2012 06:07 PM

                                              Yes, it was an exceptionally weak test. Kenji has his heart in the right place and I value his contributions to other areas, but his pizzamaking skills aren't sufficient enough for judging the merit of a selection of stones.

                                              1. re: scott123
                                                v
                                                VitalForce RE: scott123 Apr 30, 2012 06:37 PM

                                                If there were 20 different pizza makers each making a single different type of pizza on the 12 different surfaces in their own home ovens, then it would be a little more scientific. But I think it was an interesting test, nevertheless. If several ‘pro’ posters to this thread were correct in their theories, the Emile Henry pan should have been an absolute dismal failure. That was clearly not the case, as the resulting EH pizza turned out to be one of the best. If the theories don’t match the results, then it may be time to revisit the theories. Otherwise it’s Galileo time for Flat-Earthers.

                                                I wouldn’t suggest that the EH pan must be the final destination for home-baking pizza nirvana. But I do think it’s absurd to hold that there is some sort of exclusive Ye Olde Tyme unshakeable traditional method for putting good home-baked pizzas together.

                                                It shouldn’t be unwavering dogma that pizza stones cannot be taken out of the oven. That can be seen as a weakness rather than a strength of traditional stones, which might break up as a result. Because the EH and iron pans can be taken out of the oven, after producing an excellent pizza, they can keep the pizza hot while maintaining a crispy crust. The finest pizza taken out of the oven and put on a plate is going to get soft, and then it’s going to get soggy. That is the great tragedy of pizza.

                                                1. re: VitalForce
                                                  tommy RE: VitalForce Apr 30, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                  Childrens' and guests' fingers can burn on a hot stone when grabbing that great homemade pizza from that hot stone. That's part of my dogma. And it should be. YMMV. LOL!

                                                  All of the great pizza I've had has not been served on a 500 degree stone. YMMV.

                                                  1. re: VitalForce
                                                    s
                                                    scott123 RE: VitalForce Apr 30, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                    "If several ‘pro’ posters to this thread were correct in their theories, the Emile Henry pan should have been an absolute dismal failure."

                                                    If the person making the pizza can't produce something great, then every stone produces a mediocre result. Mediocre pizza is incredibly easy to make, with or without a stone. It would be like someone who doesn't know how to use a rolling pin testing different pasta flours. Without the right skill set, an experiment like this has no baseline.

                                                    "But I do think it’s absurd to hold that there is some sort of exclusive Ye Olde Tyme unshakeable traditional method for putting good home-baked pizzas together."

                                                    Give me 2 years. Seriously. This is my goal in life.

                                                    1. re: scott123
                                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: scott123 Apr 30, 2012 10:22 PM

                                                      Based on your earlier comment: <1000s of people make mediocre pizza with a Walmart stone and are pleased as punch with their results. >

                                                      Let's put things in perspective.

                                                      I just want to share these with you. The Le Creuset enameled cast iron wok has some high reviews on Amazon. People who bought it, love it.

                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Le-Creuset-Enam...

                                                      This nested knife set has amazing reviews:

                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Deglon-Meeting-...

                                                      This marble cutting board:

                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Green-Marble-Pa...

                                                      I don't own a Le Creuset wok, Mia Schmallenbach nested knives, nor the marble cutting board, and have no plan to own any of them. Yet, the facts speak for themselves. Many people who own these products love them.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        tommy RE: Chemicalkinetics May 1, 2012 05:44 AM

                                                        1000's of people who own those products are as pleased as punch with their results.

                                                        1. re: tommy
                                                          Chemicalkinetics RE: tommy May 1, 2012 09:11 AM

                                                          <pleased as punch >

                                                          I just learned that it is a British phrase. :)
                                                          I guess you and Scott are Brits.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            sunshine842 RE: Chemicalkinetics May 1, 2012 09:18 AM

                                                            Really? I've heard that all my life -- Looong before I ever got near England.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: sunshine842 May 1, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                              Let's put it this way. I thought "Please as Punch" meant happy as drinking fruit punch. I looked it up and found out it has nothing to do with alcohol, but has to do with a puppet whose name is Punch.

                                                              :)

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                sunshine842 RE: Chemicalkinetics May 1, 2012 10:51 AM

                                                                ah, okay -- I did too, for a long time -- I thought you meant you'd never heard the saying.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: sunshine842 May 1, 2012 11:25 AM

                                                                  <I thought you meant you'd never heard the saying.>

                                                                  You are right. I did mean that too. I have never heard of it until this week, and when I did read it, I interpreted it as fruit punch.

                                          2. j
                                            josephnl RE: josephnl Apr 30, 2012 10:02 PM

                                            Wow! I am the op and am truly astounded by the divisive tone of the responses to my post. Indeed, I am wondering if I, as a non-professional but nevertheless (I think) decent home cook, belong on this site.

                                            Yes, we live in what I consider an attractive home, I like nice design, and yes, I enjoy cooking simple meals for my other half and for good friends. I do not profess to be, nor desire to cook like, a professional chef. I like good, easily prepared, simple food. We enjoy it ourselves at home, and friends who come for dinner always seem to enjoy the cocktails I prepare, the simple food I put on the table, and the nice wines we serve. We always have a good time!

                                            I asked a simple question...whether or not those persons who have an Emile Henry pizza stone like it, and if it performs as advertised. Obviously from this thread, those persons who own and have used the stone like it. Also, it's clear that in tests by the "serious eats" blog, it performed very well. From my perspective, that's all I need to know. I like the way it looks (sorry, if that offends some of you), and if it gets high marks from those of you who own it (which is really what I wanted to know when I posted this), I've had my questions answered. Thanks to those of you who own the stone, and have responded.

                                            I now realize that I perhaps should not have posted on this board, because I'm obviously not as serious a cook or pizza maker as many of you. This is clearly becoming a place for professionals to hang out...and not for the amateur who cooks for fun, such as me.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: josephnl
                                              t
                                              thimes RE: josephnl May 1, 2012 04:45 AM

                                              I was afraid you'd feel this way after I started reading the replys.

                                              I don't think you should take any of the replies all that seriously. I've posted a few threads that go down this road as well but most don't. Your post was perfectly fine and I have certainly purchased many things more for design than for practicality. I think you just hit a "pizza nerve" where some people just take the activity very seriously. Other such topics include any dish called "traditional French/Italian" ( carbonara and cassoulet come to mind immediately).

                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                tommy RE: josephnl May 1, 2012 05:56 AM

                                                If you already received a satisfying answer, there's probably no need to continue reading the thread (especially if it bothers you). The thread may very well come in handy for others besides yourself (and probably already has for many who haven't posted to it, but have read it), who have different requirements and expectations.

                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: josephnl May 1, 2012 07:06 AM

                                                  tommy is correct. One thing about CHOWHOUND is that conversations can expand and diverage, and that the original poster (you in this case) no longer own the post. It is not too different than real life discussions. People who are passionate and knowledgeable about various topics will discuss and share their opinions. None of the discussions have gone personal or nasty. There is no reason why other people cannot or should not continue to share their opinions really.

                                                  If you have gotten what you need, then you have gotten what you need. Particularly, if you pay close attention, a lot of the current discussions are between other posters, not directed to you. Sometime people will agree with you, and sometime people don't. As for the "divisive tone", it is part of life. If someone tells me that the best Chinese stir fry should be made from a Le Creuset wok, then you bet my butt that I will have a very spirited, and passionate response.

                                                  1. re: josephnl
                                                    Mr Taster RE: josephnl May 1, 2012 09:38 AM

                                                    Joseph,

                                                    For what it's worth, I am vehemently non-professional in my cooking. I have no desire whatsoever to become a professional chef; cooking is strictly my hobby. I wouldn't dream of ruining my joy by layering a business model on top of it.

                                                    As for whether or not you belong here, only you can answer that. I can tell you that the reason I stay (and what I see as the greatest value of Chowhound over other sites) is the deep knowledge base of the users, particularly from many of the old-timers who have been hanging out for a decade or more, and whose reputations and advice I have come to know and trust.

                                                    Many of us were initially drawn to the site by Jim Leff's original manifesto, which greeted every new visitor to Chowhound. Why not read it and decide for yourself whether or not it jives with your philosophy?

                                                    http://web.archive.org/web/2002060310...

                                                    In particular, note the line: "You needn't be an expert to participate." and "if you'd grow weak from hunger rather than willingly eat something less than delicious, this place is for you!"

                                                    This says to me "we are not about professional cooking. Our community is, first and foremost, about finding/making/eating the most delicious food we can."

                                                    That's why you're getting the responses you are. We are not Designhound, after all!

                                                    Having said that, there are very few people here who would argue against a newbie purchasing a gorgeous flame 7.5 quart Le Creuset French oven, but that's because that pot is a supreme example of it's type; a multi-functional piece of cookware that should last a lifetime or two. That it happens to be gorgeous as well is merely added value.

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                  2. h
                                                    happy meera RE: josephnl Aug 11, 2013 02:11 AM

                                                    I wonder if it has to do with the glazed surface but my intetion was to make tandoori rotis in the oven on a pizza stone.

                                                    But if anyone else has tried to, do tell me where I am going wrong, but the part of the bread that touches the stone, does not brown or become crisp...but the other side does....

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: happy meera
                                                      sunshine842 RE: happy meera Aug 11, 2013 06:59 AM

                                                      a pizza stone has to be blazing hot to work properly, and it must be preheated.

                                                    2. Lambowner RE: josephnl Aug 11, 2013 06:39 AM

                                                      I have one and like it very much. No issues with cutting damage. I haven't tried it on the grill yet, but that is next up.

                                                      1. j
                                                        josephnl RE: josephnl Aug 11, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                        I ultimately bought the EH pizza stone and am very pleased with it. The pizzas coming off it are crispy (which I like) and evenly baked. I cut directly on it with a pizza cutting wheel, and it doesn't scratch the surface. I do remove it from the oven when the pizza is done, and although I do not bring it to the table, slices remaining on the stone stay hot for quite a while. It's easy to clean, but some burnt on sauce (or cheese) has left a stain that I thus far have been unable to clean (but I haven't yet tried stronger cleansers). Any ideas?? I would certainly have no problem recommending the EH stone for those who want to spend a few extra bucks for something that looks nice and makes good pizzas.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: josephnl
                                                          w
                                                          wincountrygirl RE: josephnl Aug 11, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                          I love my EH stone and even reheated pizza comes out great. It goes stain though. I don't fond it easy to clean, especially when cheese drips on it.

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