How to Clean a Pizza Stone Thoroughly

A baking stone certainly enhances the quality and flavor of any homemade pie. However, maintaining this level of culinary perfection over time requires that you know exactly how to clean a pizza stone. This earthenware product is somewhat delicate, requiring that you use some very specific techniques in order to get it as clean as possible without degrading its integrity over time. By engaging in the following cleaning procedure, you can ensure that every pizza will be cooked to perfection no matter how often your pizza stone is put to use.

Know Your Stone

The first thing to understand before you learn exactly how to clean a pizza stone relates to the properties which makes it such an effective culinary tool. This type of stoneware is extremely porous. This characteristic allows it to retain heat while also absorbing nearly all the moisture from the dough. The moisture absorption is what allows the stone to produce a crisp crust so consistently. With these things in mind, we can move on to the complete care and cleaning of it. Firstly, it is important to remember that it must always be slowly cooled in the oven after every use. Additionally, you must never use any form of soap on the stone. Soaps and products with fragrances will be immediately absorbed by it and released into any food cooked on it in the future.

Working with High Temperatures

Cleaning begins by heating the stone in a self-cleaning oven. The oven temperature should be set at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the oven to heat and maintain this temperature for approximately one hour with the pizza stone inside on the oven’s top rack. The setting should evenly heat it before you engage the self-cleaning cycle of the oven. It is important to heat the stone up to such extreme temperatures slowly in order to avoid the possibility of cracking. Before engaging the cleaning cycle, you should be able to observe the initial cleaning process as it takes place. The grease that has been trapped in the porous openings of the stone should begin to form bubbles and burst. Once the bubbling completely stops, it is safe to start the oven cycle.

Very Dirty Stones and What to Expect

Depending on the buildup on the stone, there may be a considerable amount of smoke that is produced. There is no need to worry because this smoking is completely normal. However, it may be a good idea to clean the oven before you proceed with cleaning due to the fact that a clean oven will reduce the amount of smoke that is produced by a baking stone that has seen plenty of action. It is important to resist opening the oven door despite the fact that you may observe smoke or a small amount of fire. In extreme cases, disengage the cleaning cycle, but keep the oven door closed. The stone must also be given a considerable amount of time to cool down as well. Do not open the oven door until the internal temperature has reached 300 degrees Fahrenheit in order to guard against cracking at this point.

Like Brand New

Once the cycle has completely finished and the appropriate temperature has been reached, carefully remove the stone from the oven’s top rack. You can then wipe it clean using a dry or slightly damp cloth. When learning how to clean a pizza stone, it is important to remember that a completely clean one should look quite similar to a new one. It must be re-seasoned, and there is the possibility of foods sticking until an appropriate layer of oil builds up again on its surface.