How to Use a Pizza Stone Correctly

If you have wondered how to use a pizza stone and thought that it maybe the same as just using a plain metal pan in the oven, then you were mistaken. There are some things that you need to consider when using a baking stone for cooking pizza, such as how they should be cleaned and the fact that they should not be exposed to extreme temperature changes. It’s worth it, though, because baking a pizza on a stone really does produce a great flavor and the perfect crust.

General Guidelines

In the case of most pizza stones, they should be put into a cold oven rather than an already hot oven. If not, the rapid shift in temperature can cause the baking stone to crack. While separately preparing the pizza, preheat the oven with the stone already inside. Then, once the preheating is complete, place the prepared pizza on the preheated stone. It is highly recommended that this be done with a pizza paddle.

With most brands of stones, if the stone is cold and is placed into a hot oven, it can crack from thermal shock. Thermal shock can also happen by placing a really cold item, such as a frozen pizza, onto a hot pizza stone. You should read the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics because there are some pizza stones that do not have this restriction, such as the Old Stone brand of pizza stones. They are made of very high quality firebrick material, similar to what’s found in kilns and blast furnaces, and can withstand thermal shock and cracking when putting something like frozen pizza on a hot stone.

As for non-sticking, there is no need to grease a stone with any kind of oil, but cornmeal or flour can be added to the stone to help prevent sticking. After a while, the stone will become non-stick from regular use. The more it’s cooked on, the better seasoned it will become, as well.

Proper Care of a Stone

Just as important as knowing how to use a pizza stone is understanding how to care for a stone. First of all, the baking stone should be left in the oven until it cools down, especially before cleaning it.

When it’s time to clean the stone, it should be rinsed only with water. Many stones come with a plastic scraper and any remaining substances can just be scraped off with that tool. It is important to not use any kind of soaps when cleaning your baking stone for the same reason that the stone will be seasoned by the foods that are cooked over time. The stone will absorb the detergent and foods you cook down the road will have a bit of that soapy taste.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to use a pizza stone and how to care for it as well, it’s time to enjoy your baking stone. With a little basic care, such as letting it cool down before washing it, only washing it with water, preheating it and avoiding thermal shock, you’ll find yourself using your stone all of the time and ensuring that your foods end up tasting great.