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Is unpolished granite more porous that polished granite?

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Old 01-12-2009, 03:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is unpolished granite more porous that polished granite?

I'm building a pizza oven and got a free slab of granite that I was going to use for the cooking surface. However, I'm told that this might not work because polished/sealed granite is not sufficiently porous to absorb steam during the cooking process. So, my thought is to just turn the slab over and use the unpolished/unsealed side. Looks plenty porous to me.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is unpolished granite more porous that polished granite?

yes its def more porous if unpolished
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is unpolished granite more porous that polished granite?

Aside from the minor filling of "pores" that would occur during polishing, the porosity of polished granite shouldn't be significantly different. The dust and polishing compound that remains in any pores would be porous itself (to air and moisture), and I wouldn't expect it to significantly change the stone's ability to absorb water. It would seem like the polished surface would be easier to clean, and less likely to build up charred fats, etc. I'm curious about the idea that the cooking surface needs to "absorb steam" - most pizza ovens I've seen have a steel or stainless steel cooking surface which are very impervious to water or steam.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is unpolished granite more porous that polished granite?

Because of the crystal structure of granite and the minute space between the crystals, it is actually very porous. Granite is actually more porous than most marble in its structure. But it is different in its heat absorption and release of heat. I think you will be fine if you use granite either polished or honed in your oven. With the expansion of the material during the baking process, you probably will notice no difference between the two sides in performance.

The real answer to this question is. What are others doing and what have others done to be successful?

You will probably find that answer on a pizza forum.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Is unpolished granite more porous that polished granite?

If you cooking on the granite no need to seal it just clean it after each use.



The lemon grass chicken, which was not nearly firm enough (think chicken burgers), was placed on the granite.


Knowing that any attempts to turn the chicken early would result in a mess prompted me to just let it cook and release itself from the granite. It worked well. I gave it one turn and there was no sticking.


The chicken had a nice hint of smoke and was very tasty, although a bit dry. I blame that on the extended cooking time on the first side along with the fact that this was a boneless, skinless breast recipe. Not a lot of moisture there. Next time I let the mixture set up in the fridge or freezer until it is nice and firm, and/or I do something to add a little moisture.

The granite cleaned up just fine, and now shows the signs of its first battle.


I wish they had a picture of the granite after the clean it but they did not. I think it is time that we run the same test and slow it all clean up.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Is unpolished granite more porous that polished granite?

I too acquired some beautiful flamed Santa Cecelia granite (100sq'!) and will soon be building a 42" pompeii oven. According to the experts at the Forno Bravo wood-fired oven site, granite is a no-no for the oven floor. The reason given was that over time heat causes the granite crystals to pop and flake off, which you would not like to get into your pizzas. The second reason given was that WFO's perform more efficiently when the floor and dome materials are the same and heat up at the same rate.

You can do a google search on granite floor discussions within the fornobravo.com site and hopefully get an answer before you start your build.

John
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