I am interested in baking on a baking steel. I was wondering if there is an inexpensive DIY way to make one out of steel plate purchased from a local metal retailer or if it would end up costing the same as purchasing a baking steel as a finished product? I found one DIY page on the web at https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/39939-diy-baking-steel/ but would want to know that the process yields a food-grade result. Any advice or suggestions that someone might share with me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • 1
    Lemme second the need to season the steel like the linked guide says; I made my own and didn't season it properly, and it was rusty by the 2nd use.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 30 '20 at 5:20

Steels are alloys of different compositions of iron carbon and other metals. Not all steels are considered safe for food as some contain metals or additives that could in some circumstances leach into food, so not just any steel will do.

Baking steels are usually made of A36 steel or stainless steel:

  • A36 is not stainless, it's commonly used for structural members but is also a popular choice for restaurant griddles. It isn't stainless so it will rust, so you will first have to get the rust off and then oil the steel after every use or season it. It's cheap and has good conductivity
  • Stainless steel (316 or 430, not 304 as that tends to pit) is more expensive and doesn't conduct heat as well as A36 steel, but it's a lot less maintenance as you don't have to worry about keeping up the seasoning. You can wash these to clean them

Depending on where you are you can get just about any steel cut and shipped to you at any size and thickness. If you ask the shop may soften the edges for you, which is important for safety, if they don't you can do it yourself with an angle grinder and a metal grinding disc. This sounds scary but it's actually pretty easy, just wear eye protection, gloves and old clothes. Whatever steel you buy will need to be cleaned to get any coatings or industrial by-products off before use.

  • Thank you very much for the information. If I didn’t want to go through the trouble of making one, what would you use for a baking steel?
    – Da Para
    Nov 28 '20 at 22:09
  • An alternative to an amgle grinder would be a hand file. Probably only 30-60 minutes work. It's not that much steal Nov 28 '20 at 22:22
  • @DaPara It's very limiting in size, but you could use a cast iron pan. Flip it if you dont want to deal with the sides.
    – JS Lavertu
    Nov 29 '20 at 13:52
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    I'd just buy a ready-made one @DaPara, there's many options out there and they aren't crazy money.
    – GdD
    Nov 29 '20 at 15:14
  • Also, depending on your access to metal wholesalers or not, you might find that you're not saving much money compared with a commercial one. The original is $90, knock-offs are around $50, and a steel plate that size set me back around $24 at a scrapyard, plus half a day with a angle grinder. If I decide I want one again, I'm getting a commercial one.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 30 '20 at 5:23

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