Why a Ceramic Pizza Stone Works So Well

A baking stone can be made of anything as long as it is durable enough to withstand the extreme heat of an oven and it provides a porous surface that ensures food is cooked evenly. While there are stones made of granite and marble, the material of choice is without a doubt ceramic. There are many reasons why a ceramic pizza stone is ideal for baking.

Plenty of people who bake their own pizza swear that pizza stones make the most thoroughly and properly baked crust – there is no uncooked dough lurking in the middle, and the edges are much less likely to be burnt. When using this sort of stone, you can watch the crust bake evenly and uniformly as you wait for the cheese on top to brown. A stone-cooked pizza is likely the best one you’ve ever tasted.

Why Ceramic?

Essentially, ceramic pizza stones are shrouded in mystery for those who aren’t already familiar with how they work. The explanation is actually relatively simple. Think first about a regular metal baking sheet. One of the first things to know about metal is that it isn’t porous at all. Pizza dough contains moisture, and while that moisture is heated out during baking, it doesn’t leave uniformly. Thicker parts of the dough – especially those covered in tomato sauce, which also contain water – will dry out more slowly. The edges of the crust (which typically are not covered in sauce) however, may become burned or at the every least, a little too crispy.

Ceramic, by contrast is porous. When the pizza sits on the stone, moisture is drawn into the pores of the stoneware. This helps to ensure that the pizza is equally moist and that it will cook through evenly. Using a stone makes it much less likely that you’ll end up with a mouthful of wet dough when you’re halfway through a piece of pizza. Plus, many people who cook pizza on a stone believe that it has a better flavor, which might also be the result of it being thoroughly and evenly cooked.

There are a few other reasons why ceramic is the most commonly used source material. It is versatile and relatively inexpensive. Plus, it’s useful to know that pizza stones made of the same material will work equally well – an expensive ceramic stone is not always better than a cheaper stone made of the same material.

Does Ceramic Have any Flaws?

A pizza stone made of ceramic beats out metal pizza pans on almost every level. There are a few downsides however, that should be mentioned. One is that ceramic bakeware can break easily, at least when compared to metal pans. This can easily be prevented though, by following the care and use instructions that come with your stone. Instructions for preheating should especially be followed closely. In some cases baking stones are also more expensive than similar-sized pans made of metal, but the relatively small price difference is well worth it. If you do invest in a baking stone, it is very important that you store it away carefully to avoid breakage. Overall, there is a reason why ceramic is the preferred material so these flaws are really insignificant.

With some minimal extra care, your ceramic pizza stone will likely become a favorite for baking pizza, cookies, and more. The science behind it is simple, but the results can be amazing.