Steel is 4 times more conductive than cast iron, 18 times more conductive than ceramic; which itself is more conductive than stone.
Baking stones are hugely inefficient... They require long preheats at OVEN MAX and this consumes vast amount of electricity or gas, and time. They are also not indestructible but can technically last a very long time before all the hot / cold cycles cause them to crack. Your Le Creuset ceramic lining will also ultimately take a beating from being used this way.
Nothing else is more efficient and effective than a steel.
What does it mean that when we say more conductive? It mean that steel absorbs and releases energy much more easily. This means you can preheat your oven at a lower temperature (usually 45 min at 220 deg C with fan) The absorption and release of the heat means that you get stable oven temperatures, a hot energetic base under you bread for oven spring and more even baking. This is a huge help where your oven battles to reach the high temperatures needed to preheat stone and dutch ovens properly.
Combine the steel with a garden pressure spray to spray the sides of the oven with water every 5 minutes for the first 20 minutes and you have the closest thing you'll ever have to a commercial oven in the home kitchen. It will give you slightly better results than a dutch oven BUT you will be able to see your bread spring and bake.
For pizzas, you preheat to oven max and pizza night will become a whole new vibe.
Crispier bases, more delicately cooked toppings and you will be able to cook more pizza in less time to feed the hungry masses.
The steel can also be used on a gas stove top or the braai grid to create a flat griddle or teppanyaki.
The baking steel is heavy. Around 10kg. There are finger holes to move it around and you get a free workout every time you use it. You can also leave it on the bottom rung of your oven if it is not in the way.
It arrives a beautiful steel grey colour, but it will quickly darken and brown as you use it. It is pre-oiled for shipping and comes with instructions to get it ready to bake with.