How To Use A Pizza Stone: And Why You Need One
Doing everything right but still lacking the flair of a restaurant-style pizza? Then, we’ll let you in on a secret; pizza oven stones! Don’t know what that is? Don’t you worry; we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know from how to use a pizza stone to buying the right one – you’ll find it all here.
What is a pizza stone?
A baking or pizza stone is a flat stone like surface used in baking. The preheated stone helps mimic the high temperatures used in wood fired ovens to achieve a great crust and rise. It’s a piece of baking equipment that can make the difference between restaurant-quality pizza and typical homemade pizza.
How do they work?
A pizza stone effectively transfers heat to the pizza dough helping to maintain a consistent higher temperature so that it bakes more evenly.
They come in a variety of sizes with varying thicknesses. Generally a thicker stone is preferred over a thin one as it retains heat better.
Why use a pizza stone? Is it worth it?
A big, fat, doughy yes! Correctly using a pizza stone can improve your pizzas by cooking the dough to perfection. Pizza cooks best in woodfired or brick ovens because they provide the heat needed to cook pizzas well. While the ovens we use at our homes lack the ability to reach the temperatures of wood fired pizza ovens, using a pizza stone can be an excellent alternative.
How to use a pizza stone properly
It is not difficult to use a pizza stone at all. Just follow these easy steps and have restaurant-quality pizzas at home.
- Place your pizza stone in your cold oven.
- Preheat the oven to 500F (260 C), or if possible, to more than 500F. Preheating the oven means your stone gets heated too.
- Once you are sure the oven is ready, carefully place your pizza onto the stone. Be careful as it will be super hot, so it’s wise to use a pizza peel.
- Cook your pizza for up to 10 minutes or until the cheese is browned.
- Remove the pizza from the oven.
- Let the stone cool completely before you remove it from the oven.
- Once your pizza stone has cooled, don’t wash it. Brush it.
Are pizza stones worth buying?
If you want pizzas that taste good, it is definitely worth purchasing one of these. The heat transfer from pizza stones is impossible when using a regular pizza tray. Stone can heat up to 900F and retain high temperatures, making it possible to create a pizza base that mimics the ones we get from restaurants. Crispy, dry, and delicious.
Pizza stones are also multi purpose. Use it for baking bread, muffins, potato chips, cookies, crackers, quesadillas, or to cook frozen foods. In addition to all of these, they are very affordable with many available online for $30 to $50.
What kind of stone is best to cook pizza on?
Pizza stones come in various sizes and thicknesses and are made from different materials. The most common types are ceramic, cordierite, steel, and cast iron. Out of these, the best kind of stone for pizza is ceramic stone.
Most pizza oven stones are made from clay fired in a kiln, which means they can get up to really high temperatures and retain them. This effectively translates into a pizza that is baked perfectly. Along with that, ceramic is a durable material. So if you take good care of it, a ceramic pizza stone can last for a long time.
Should you season a pizza stone?
Oiling or seasoning a pizza stone is not recommended. In fact, most pizza stone manufacturers advise against it. Pizza stones do not require seasoning. Pizza stones are made so that you can start cooking with them immediately. They do not need any additional effort.
In addition, seasoning a pizza stone can ruin its performance. The layer of oil will close up the crevices of a pizza stone, reducing its porosity, leaving no room for the excess moisture to escape.
Additionally, seasoning can cause the stone to smoke when you heat it in the oven or give off a bad smell that could infuse into the pizza.
So it is generally advised to not season a pizza stone and to cook with it as is.
Cleaning a pizza stone
Never wash a pizza oven stone to clean it, especially with soap unless you want your next pizza to have a soapy flavor. Instead follow these instructions.
1. Allow your pizza stone to completely cool before cleaning to prevent cracking.
2. Using a spatula (not metal knife as this will scratch the stone) loosen any bits of dough, cheese or food from the stone.
3. Wipe the stone with a soft moist cloth to remove any remaining particles.
4. If some food remains on the stone, make a paste with Bi Carb Soda and water and scrub the area lightly with a brush in a circular motion and again wipe off any excess with a soft moist cloth.
5. Finally, let your pizza oven stone air dry completely before its next use.
Keep in mind that you pizza stone will develop stains over time which are mostly permanent due to the porous nature of the stone.
Now that you know all about pizza oven stones and are probably looking to buy one, let’s take a quick look at some good ones available online. Keep in mind that most of these are priced under $50 so that are not a huge outlay.
Cucina Pro Pizza Stone
This rectangular pizza stone measures 16″ x 14″ and costs around the $50 mark. Made out of clay, it has a highly porous surface that ensures all the excess moisture is absorbed, resulting in a pizza that looks and tastes like a brick oven pizza. In addition, the Cucina Pro Pizza Stone is easy to clean simply by brushing it and letting it dry. The 5/8 inch thickness of the pizza stone makes it a durable option.
Rocksheat Pizza Stone
This is a purchase you will not regret. This pizza stone doubles as a grilling and baking stone, making it usable in the oven, bbq, and grill. It comes in various shapes; square, round, and rectangle, with varying sizes.
Made out of cordierite, this Rocksheat Pizza Stone can withstand temperatures up to 1400 F (760 C), making it durable and resilient. The design is innovative, with double handles cut outs allowing for easy handling. In addition, the material used is safe even when heated to high temperatures. Starting at around the $30 mark, this stone is good value for money.
Unicook Cordierite Pizza and Baking Stone
The Unicook pizza stone is made from cordierite material and is heat resistant up to 1,450°F. It is primarily known for its heat distribution ability, ensuring your base is cooked evenly. Its micro-pores, absorb any excess moisture from pizza dough, making your pizza with a crispy, restaurant-style crust.
It comes as a 15 x 12 inches rectangular stone. You will also get a free multipurpose plastic dough scraper with your purchase.
Also priced at around the $30 mark, makes all these pizzas stones very affordable.
Learning how to use a pizzas stone can make a world of difference when trying to emulate pizzeria-style pizzas. We hope this article has been a helpful guide about pizza stones; what they are, how to use them, how to clean them, and links to buy some very affordable pizza stones options.