While both Biscotto and Cordierite are used to make the cooking floor of pizza ovens, the two materials are very different—in terms of how they are produced, their physical characteristics and in how they bake pizza. Let’s explore this a little further. Biscotto vs. Cordierite.

In terms of price and quality, cordierite is an inexpensive material typically used in smaller, and lower-cost pizza ovens. For example, high-end mid-size steel pizza ovens use firebrick cooking floors as standard, and Biscotto stones as a relatively expensive upgrade, while low-end ovens made in China will come with cordierite floors.

Cordierite itself is an inexpensive mineral commonly found in metamorphic rocks and igneous rocks, where it often occurs in association with other minerals. The extraction of cordierite is typically obtained as a byproduct of a larger mining or quarrying operation processing other minerals. Once it is mechanically extracted, the rocks containing cordierite are process through crushing, grinding, and sometimes chemical processing to separate the cordierite from other minerals present in the rocks.

Cordierite is relatively hard, ranking around 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, where talc is the softest mineral with a hardness of 1 and diamond is the hardest with a hardness of 10. The hardness of cordierite contributes to its durability and ability to withstand mechanical stress and thermal shock.

Cordierite is a relatively high conductivity material, where it can efficiently transfer heat it has absorbed into food that comes in contact with it. In general, cordierite is less conductive than stainless steel, and much more conductive than Biscotto.

Biscotto, on the other hand, is a high-end material used in premium pizza ovens, such as the famous ovens from Naples. It is also used to make Biscotto replacement stones for popular smaller pizza ovens, such as Ooni and Gozney.

Biscotto is a natural product comprised of the clays and volcanic ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius, which is processed using traditional methods and fired in a brick-lined, wood-fired kiln. Biscotto is much more porous than cordierite and Biscotto stones have a much rougher surface finish, which makes it a great material of extracting moisture from pizza dough and quickly converting it to steam to bake the pizza crust.

Biscotto is also very resistant to thermal shock, and it is an excellent material for absorbing high temperatures. Finally, Biscotto has a much lower thermal transfer rate, which means that it returns heat to the pizza dough that comes in contact with it at a much lower rate, allowing the top of the pizza to fully bake while the bottom reaches the perfect char—without the bottom of the pizza burning.