In my article Stone vs. Steel, I compared the two surfaces for baking bread and what do you know? Steel came out on top and for good reason.
That being said, The NerdChef Steel Baking Surface is the best product for the best price out there because of the following reasons:
- It size 14.5″x16″ x1/4″ ( available in 0.25 or 0.375″ thickness)
- The handles make for easy lifting
- Made in the USA with good quality steel
- The price point is fair ( you can check out the latest price on Amazon here )
A steel baking surface can achieve high temperatures, can stand up to any amount of heat you subject it to and there is no chance of wasting your hard-earned dollars for a product that can end up breaking on your kitchen floor or get cracked inside your oven
This size is perfect for your oven. It’s wide: 16″x 14.25″x.25″ meaning you can place a couple of loaves at the same time which for me, is a plus ( I almost never bake a single loaf at a time).
If, like me, you bake a few loaves at a time this surface needs minimal reheating between bakes so that’s your time saved right there.
FYI it also comes ina 0.375″ thick called the Pro Version.
I do suggest buying it only after you measure your oven to make sure it can fit comfortably into yours. It should be fine and fit almost all ovens but just to be on the safe side make sure to measure first if you have a small oven.
As for storage, you can fit this in almost any cupboard laid down or standing up on its side. It does not take up any space what so ever.
Safety is a major issue. Having these holes drilled right into the steel makes it for easy lifting and moving around in your kitchen.
You have to be aware that this steel surface is heavy (and when I say heavy I mean heavy: 16lbs ! ) you really don’t want it dropping on your foot by accident…
The holes allow for a better grip on the steel when moving from the oven to its storage space or vise versa. My wife, for example, finds it really necessary to use them, so this so-called trivial and sometimes overlooked feature has made this product more practical and easy to move around.
It becomes even more important because unlike what some people will tell you, I don’t recommend leaving it permanently inside the oven. It will only make you waste energy. once by heating up a big piece of steel and second by cooling it when you’re done.
Your fan will work overtime if you keep the steel surface inside your oven at all times so if you want to keep your energy bill reasonable use it only when you need to.
TIP: place the steel furface on the middle rack of your oven with the convection oven on 550F or 285C for best reaults. Pre heat it for at least 30 min.
This Steel Surface Is Made In The USA
Like the Boss used to sing, this fine product is “Born in the USA ” (or made in the USA if you’d like) with precision cut, low carbon steel & finished by hand. It is a solid unbreakable baking surface and comes with precise instructions on how to properly use it and maintain it.
The Price Of This Baking Steel Is Just Right
While not the cheapest it is also not the most expensive on the market. It is a very fair price point for this high-quality product that delivers everything it promises and lasts a lifetime (here’s a fine gift you can pass on to your grandchildren:)
You just can’t go wrong. Especially the fact that you can use if for many things besides baking.
This steel surface if very versatile and can be used for more than just baking pizza or bread on it.
Use it as a griddle. Yes, you can use this on your gas stovetop or on your BBQ / Grill and turn this into a griddle. Make anything on it from steak, eggs, crepe, fry up some bacon. You get the point, you can really get creative here just use your imagination.
Another great use for this is as a cold plate. Either put it in the freezer or place some ice under it or even some dry ice. Use it to serve frozen desserts or even make ice cream on it.
As you can see, this really ties into the value of the product as it not a one-trick pony and can be used in so many other ways.
Maintenance Is Minimal
Maintenance of this piece of metal requires so little of you it really is minimal.
The best way to clean your steel surface is to scrape any dough access left on it with a plastic scraper and then clean it with a dry or even paper towel (think of it as the equivalent of a dutch oven). It’s better not to rinse it with soap and water as you don’t want it to develop rust. Just scrape the remains of the dough and then apply a bit of oil on it and rub it again with a paper towel. let it fully dry before you put it back in storage.
A word of caution:
Although the steel surface is not sharp like a knife, it can still cause damage if not handled with proper care. Notice that this piece of steel does not accidentally crash into your kitchen cabinets or worse, your foot. Just make sure to be careful with it.
After checking the market and reviewing many products and actually testing some this is the one that I really like the best and find that is at the best price for what you get. As I mentioned earlier this does come in 0.25 or 0.375 inches thick. So if you want to splurge a little go for the Pro version. The thickness makes a slight difference but not much so if this is your first steel surface and you want to save a bit go for the 0.25 version. It will be just fine.