How to Season a Pizza Stone Properly

You may already know that pizza stones are known for baking foods evenly and in general is a more healthy way to bake, but proper seasoning is crucial. Initially, unglazed stoneware may cause food to stick. Over time, a patina is formed on the stone, and this special layer will retain the stone’s ability to wick away moisture while creating a non-stick surface. Through proper use and care, it will eventually become fully seasoned, but we can help the process along by learning how to season a pizza stone.

Before Seasoning

It is a good idea to review any manufacturer’s instruction, but be sure to use your own good judgment. For instance, a unglazed pizza stone may come with directions to wash with soap and water before its first use. Consideration should be given to the idea that many companies may add this as a general rule for all food preparation pieces, and that maybe the suggestion should be avoided.

Remember in the seasoning process, the stone is exposed to high enough heat to kill pathogens. If your concerns are for factory contaminants, perhaps a thorough rinsing with hot water will be sufficient. Remember that what you put on a porous surface will be hard to remove completely and has the potential to flavor your food. After washing with water, it’s essential to allow the baking stone to dry completely before seasoning.

Things to Do and Consider When Seasoning a Pizza Stone

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread cooking oil on the clean, dry stoneware. Be sure to wipe off extra oil. The idea is for the stone to look damp but not slick. Bake for half an hour and remove from heat and cool. Then repeat the process at least three more times.

Some users prefer flax oil for seasoning these types of stones because it is believed to create a harder, glossier finish while still maintaining its porosity. This oil may produce more smoke during this initial seasoning, so be sure to open windows or use your hood fans.

A minority of pizza stone makers and users choose not to use oil for seasoning, but feel the appropriate patina will develop with use. At first, there may be some slight sticking, but this can be remedied through the use of cornmeal.

Care

Because most pizza stones are porous, care must be taken never to wash them with soap. The detergent will penetrate and flavor food that is cooked on it. Much like a seasoned wok or cast iron cookware, these stones are usually scraped and if necessary washed in hot water. A plastic or wooden utensil is recommended so as not to damage the patina.

Glazed and Metal Baking Stones

There are some types of pizza stones that are glazed and will not require this type of special care. In this case, it is wise to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Any attempt to season this type of baking stone may damage it. In addition, there are pizza stone alternatives that are metal. Some of these may require the same seasoning a ceramic stone will require. Care instruction should come with your purchase.

Knowing how to season a pizza stone the right way will have your food tasting its best and that is one of the best reasons for having a stone in your kitchen in the first place.