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I have a new gas kitchen stove. The oven seems to burn so easily. I have a thermometer in there and it is registering the temp that I have the oven set on. I have seen where people have used a pizza stone to even out the heat. I want to know if you place a rectangle pizza stone directly on the bottom of the oven or should it be placed on a rack on the lowest setting? I would appreciate replies from anyone who has used this and if it had helped the problem

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Is the thermometer in the same place that you're having food burn easily? –  Jefromi Dec 26 '11 at 14:00

2 Answers 2

We had an older (1950's) gas oven for a decade which had very uneven heating and used a large pizza stone ( 13" by 16" ) to even out the heat. We did this by putting the stone on an oven rack in the lowest position, and making sure to give the oven at least 25min of heat-up time so the stone would be as hot as the oven. This did, indeed, help even out hot spots in the oven and decrease its tendency to burn delicate foods like cookies. It also eliminated the requirement to remember to take the pizza stone in and out of the oven.

You do not want to put the pizza stone directly on the oven floor. Three reasons:

  1. It could block hot air vents from the flame into the oven chamber;
  2. The oven floor is generally not designed to support weight and could be damaged;
  3. The pizza stone is liable to crack or even explode from thermal shock due to rapid heating if it's in direct contact with the metal over the burner.

Also, do be aware that your pizza stone will accumulate crud from food dripping/dropping in the oven, which burns into a black carbon powder. We turned the stone upside down every few weeks limit accumulation.

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For years, I have used an unglazed natural-stone tile that I picked up from the local home-improvement store (avoid manufactured stone products, as you don't know what chemicals might get transferred into food). I do keep it on the bottom of my electric oven, but I know it can go there because there are no air vents for it to block. Moreover, the instructions for my oven say that doing so is safe. In a gas oven, which has air vents in the bottom of the oven, I would not dare put a stone directly on the bottom because it would substantially decrease heating and could pose a safety hazard.

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A baker friend of mine told me that one can purchase a set of stones to line your oven to mimic a traditional wood oven. I don't have exact references, however. –  Martha F. Dec 26 '11 at 18:05
    
It's possible you also could arrange a few small, solid stone pavers, but again, I would not do it in a gas oven if there was a reasonable chance it would interfere with airflow. Simply not worth the risk. –  Bruce Goldstein Dec 26 '11 at 21:12
    
There's actually a product for this which allows you to construct a tiny stoneware oven inside of your regular oven. Think of it as a pizza stone with sides and a top. Not particularly useful, but it does exist. –  FuzzyChef Dec 29 '11 at 6:06
    
@FuzzyChef, you reminded me of an episode of Good Eats in which Alton shows how to cook a beef rib roast in a nasty, crusted old oven by putting the roast underneath a large terra cotta plant pot. Clever, but also not exactly practical. Here's the link: youtube.com/watch?v=cmfaeWEjGpM –  Bruce Goldstein Dec 30 '11 at 13:28
    
I did buy a 14" X 16"rectangle pizza stone from Amazon. It fits nicely in my oven. I have used my oven several times since I have had it. It does take the oven longer to preheat but the payoff of it not burning is worth it to me. I placed it on the lowest rack setting which is about 1.5" from the bottom of the oven. It does not obstruct any of the vents in the oven floor. I am very pleased with the results and I thank those who answered my question and I hope this answer might help someone else. –  Mary Jan 7 '12 at 16:28

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