It looks like and seems to cook much like a pizza stone. But newer versions are described as “the world’s best consumer cooking surface." We just had to do a little research to find out what all the hype is about, here's what we found.
The creator of the baking steel, Andris Lagsdin, is a culinary school graduate and all-around pizza lover who found himself searching for a way to make the perfect crust. He also happened to work for his faimly's manufacturing company, Stoughton Steel. It seems nothing short of destiny that the Original Baking Steel was born.
Steel is an extremely conductive material. Lagsdin soon put two and two together and found that using steel, as opposed to a standard aluminum baking pan, pizza stone, or brick oven, resulted in a perfectly crispy crust in less time and at a lower temperature. Evidence of the Original Baking Steel’s ability to make flawless pizza can be found on the company’s Instagram account, which is flooded with delicious photos of gorgeously golden crusts. (Be prepared to unconsciously salivate.)
Okay, so it cooks amazing pizza. While that is definitely an accomplishment worth mentioning, it may or may not be worth the extra cash, depending on how crazy you are about the 'za. We're talking $89-$200 here.
That said, since the release of the Original Baking Steel, there have been new products released called Baking Steel Griddles that are more versatile, but still pack the power of steel. Here’s how these steel slabs differ from the good ol’ baking sheet:
- They are 23-25 lbs and 3/8ths of an inch thick.
- They are virtually indestructible and pre-seasoned.
- One side of the griddle is designed to act as the Original Baking Steel would, while the other side acts as a stovetop griddle that can be used on all types of stovetops, an induction plate, or even a cold plate.
- Because it's a two-in-one of sorts, it has shown to make fabulous rustic breads, quick burgers, picturesque frizzled eggs, and more (and by more, I mean chocolate chip cookies!)
Our take away? These newer steel griddles may be heavier and pricier than a baking sheet or a pizza stone, but steel handles heat in a way that is hard to match. Steel can seriously help cut down on cook time, allowing a pizza to cook in just 6 minutes. However, keep in mind that steel can also brown the bottom of foods more quickly before the top catches up. If you're up for trying this cookware out, we recommend that you pay close attention and follow recipes so that the bottom doesn’t burn. Overall, it seems that the Baking Steel is a sucess story of culinary experimentation that can step up more than just your pizza game.