Most of us love a good slice of pizza–delivery, homemade or frozen pizza. But as much as we want our homemade pizza to taste just like delivery, it's pretty challenging. That challenge is usually with the crust.
One way to ensure a really great pizza crust is to use a wood-burning brick oven that reaches a temperature of at least 600°F. Most conventional ovens don't operate at such high heat, so you have to do some workarounds. Fortunately, we have a really good one: you can transform your regular oven into a pizza oven by baking directly on a hot pizza stone and removing it with a pizza peel. Here's how to do it.
Using a Pizza Stone
The unglazed clay surface absorbs and distributes heat evenly, producing a crispy crust, but this is how to do it correctly:
- Place a pizza stone in the oven on the lowest rack. Placing the stone in a cold oven is very important because if you put the cold stone into a hot oven, the stone will crack and break–it's called thermal shock.
- Allow at least 30 minutes for the stone to heat before you cook the pizza.
- Let the dough come to room temperature before baking. If cold dough is placed directly on a hot stone, the abrupt change in temperature may also cause the stone to crack.
Pro Tip: Because pizza stones are porous, they absorb odors. Avoid using soap to clean them. Wash with hot water and use baking soda to remove stubborn stains.
You can use our Pizza Stone to prepare and cook your homemade pizzas. Following our advice, you will produce pizzas with a beautifully golden, deliciously crisp crust.
Preparation and cooking
For best results and for a crispy crust, pre-heat your Pizza Stone in the oven at 240°C / 475°F / Gas Mark 9 for 10 minutes. Do not flour the Pizza Stone (as the flour might burn) and place it on the lowest shelf of the oven.
During this time, sprinkle flour or very fine couscous over your work surface. The couscous will help you remove your pizza easily afterwards. Roll out your dough, put the toppings on your pizza and, using a pizza peel, place it directly on your Pizza Stone in the oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes at 240°C / 475°F / Gas Mark 9.
The thinner the dough, the higher you should set the oven temperature: up to 250°C / 480°F / Gas Mark 9 for very thin dough.
You can also use it to cook thin-crust tarts, appetizers etc.
- Dishwasher safe
- On the barbeque
Instruction for use
Before using it for the first time, remove all the labels from the product, if necessary using a mild detergent, then clean carefully.
Never use your Pizza Stone directly on a source of heat (gas, electric etc.). You can, however, use it on the barbeque grill, which diffuses heat evenly all over the surface of the dish. For best results, make sure you close the barbeque lid during cooking.
You can cut directly onto the surface of your Pizza Stone, as the glaze is very resistant.
When you take it out of the oven, it will be extremely hot so do not place it in direct contact with anything cold, such as cold water or a cold surface. Place it on a neutral surface, such as a wooden board or cloth
If, when cleaning it, you find that some residue will not come off, soak it in hot water and white vinegar before placing in the dishwasher.
Our guarantee covers all product manufacturing or quality defects, when used under normal domestic conditions, and in accordance with the care and use instructions.
It does not cover thermal or mechanical shocks (if dropped or knocked).
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One of the easiest ways to improve your homemade pizza game is to use a pizza stone during cooking. A pizza stone holds heat from the oven and then transfers that heat into the crust of your pizza. The result? A beautifully crispy crust!
Using a pizza stone correctly isn’t rocket science, but there are a few tips and tricks to get the best performance out of your stone.
How to Cook with a Pizza Stone
Pizza stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are relatively cheap to buy – at least, compared to constructing a brick oven in your backyard! I like square or rectangle stones because they fit well in my oven and offer a bit of room on either side of my pizza. (I used to have a round pizza stone, but I would occasionally spill pizza toppings into my oven because there wasn’t a lot of extra room around the edges.)
There are a few best practices when cooking with your pizza stone.
- Always preheat a pizza stone: The stone sucks up heat, so the longer you can preheat it the better it will perform. I preheat my stone for at least 30 minutes at whatever temperature I’m shooting for (usually 500˚F for pizza).
- Use a pizza peel: Get a decent pizza peel so you can easily slide the pizza on and off the stone. (Using your hands with an oven mitt is an awful idea.)
- Watch the pizza as it cooks: Pizzas cook faster on a stone. You may find that you need to rotate your pizza once during cooking or pull it out a few minutes early to keep it from burning.
- Don’t forget about calzones and flatbreads! You can cook more than just pizza on a pizza stone.
How to Clean and Care for a Pizza Stone
I do not believe in super-cleaning a pizza stone, and here's why:
Pizza stones are porous, which means they will soak up water. If you submerge your pizza stone in water to try to get it sparkling clean you will essentially create a rock sponge and it will take forever to dry out.
There are only two ways I recommend cleaning a pizza stone.
- Use a scraper: If cheesy bits get stuck to your pizza stone while cooking, use a sturdy spatula to scrape them off once your pizza stone has cooled. Spray a little hot water on the stone to loosen things if you need to, but don’t stick the stone directly in or under water.
- Use a baking soda paste: If something odorous spills on your pizza stone and you notice a funky smell, clean the stone with a baking soda paste. Combine 2 tablespoons baking soda to 1 tablespoon water, apply to the board, and scrub with a dish brush. Wipe the excess with a damp cloth, then put the stone in a very low oven for a 1-2 hours until it is completely dry. (For what it’s worth, I’ve only had to do this once or twice in my pizza cooking career, which has been fairly exhaustive.)
Never spray a hot pizza stone with water! The temperature difference will almost certainly cause the stone to crack. Let the stone cool gently to room temperature before trying to clean it.
Ever wondered how pizzerias get their pizza to taste so good? One of the keys to amazing pizza is a super-hot oven, which the average person may not have at home. Another key is the right cooking surface. For perfectly cooked pizza every time, always place your pie atop a pizza stone for baking. If you haven’t used a pizza stone before, check out our tips for making a delicious pizza with one, along with care instructions and making the most of this kitchen essential.
What Is a Pizza Stone?
A pizza stone is a flat slab of ceramic or stone that you place directly on the rack of your oven. It’s one of a category of kitchen tools known as baking stones, which are designed to transfer heat to the bottom of what’s being cooked on them for slower, more even baking. Pizza stones come in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses. A thicker pizza stone generally works better than a thinner one, but the larger, thicker stones are also more expensive. The cost of your stone also depends on the material from which it’s made.
When you place a pizza stone on your oven rack, it absorbs the heat produced within the oven and transmits that heat to the raw pizza dough placed on top of it. Some people believe that pizza stones absorb excess moisture during the cooking process, but as the dough warms up, the natural process of evaporation actually causes the moisture to disappear.
The porous nature of a pizza stone does serve a purpose, which is to aid in the evaporation process or allow moisture to escape faster. A metal pizza pan may trap the steam as it tries to escape the dough, potentially resulting in a soggy crust. However, the heat transmitted from the stone to the dough is really what makes a pizza stone work so well.
Making Your Perfect Pizza
When you want to whip up an amazing pizza pie, the first step is prepping your pizza stone. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, and place the pizza stone inside as soon as you turn on the oven. As the oven heats up, the stone will also heat and become ready for baking. Next, grab your favorite dough and roll it out to be just smaller than the size of your stone. Place sauce and toppings on top of the dough, then carefully slide the uncooked pizza onto the stone. For safety, you may want to invest in a wooden pizza paddle, which is the perfect tool for sliding pizza on and off the stone.
The baking time for your pizza depends on the thickness of the crust, but keep an eye on it within the oven and pull it out when the crust starts to turn golden brown and the cheese is melted and lightly browned. You can use your handy paddle to remove the pizza from the oven and to avoid burns. Turn off the oven and allow the stone to cool down before removing it from the rack.
How To Care For a Pizza Stone
The manufacturer of each stone will have its own care recommendations, although you should generally keep the stone dry and store it in a place where it’s not susceptible to sharp changes in temperature. The material of a stone can experience thermal shock, which occurs when the stone goes from one temperature to another quickly. This temperature change can often cause the stone to crack. The risk of thermal shock is the reason it’s important to place your stone in a cold oven, rather than placing a cold stone in an already preheated oven.
Avoid seasoning your pizza stone, unless the manufacturer says otherwise. The material can absorb oil and other seasonings, resulting in smoking or unpleasant odors every time you bake a pie.
Many pizza stone owners keep them in the oven all the time, even when they’re not in use. Doing so can ensure that it never experiences rapid temperature changes. Another benefit of keeping your stone in the oven is the equalization of the heat of the oven, reducing hot spots that cause your food to cook too fast. If you do decide to store your pizza stone in the oven all the time, be aware that it will add some time to how long it takes to preheat the oven.
You should avoid submerging your pizza stone in water. The porous material can absorb the soap used to clean it, which means your next pie might have a soapy flavor. Instead, brush the crumbs off the stone after each use. If you have burned-on or crusty spots after baking a pizza, you can use food-safe cleaning materials, such as a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in some warm water. Wipe up any debris with a dry or damp cloth, and dry the stone for at least a few hours before you use it again.
Tips To Make the Most of a Pizza Stone
A pizza stone is great for making delicious pizza, but that’s not its only use. You can try making other tasty options on your stone to make the most of this kitchen must-have. Next time you roast fresh veggies in the oven, place them atop your stone instead of on a baking sheet. You can still coat them with oil and your favorite seasonings to get a good flavor. Make sure to stir them occasionally as they roast.
Ever enjoyed a giant cookie? You can make your own drool-worthy treat on a stone by scooping raw cookie dough onto the greased stone. Press it down to make it even and level, and bake at the temperature indicated in the recipe. You may need to keep the big cookie in the oven for a few extra minutes.
A pizza stone is also great for heating frozen foods, as it helps absorb any ice crystals that may have accumulated within the freezer. If you’re cooking frozen foods, this is the one time you shouldn’t preheat the stone, because placing cold food on a hot stone can damage your favorite eats.
Take advantage of the benefits of cooking on a pizza stone and whip up a delicious pie for dinner tonight. Not in the mood to cook? Keep your stone in the oven and order your favorite from Pequod’s Pizza.
A Pizza Stone is the perfect alternative if you do not have a pizza oven. Yet, many people who buy them either use them wrong or end up ruining their stone from trying to season it or clean it wrong. This blog will clear some things up and answer some common pizza stone questions.
This is how a pizza stone should look after many uses and correct care. This stone has been used to cook hundreds of pizzas.
Why use a pizza stone?
Unfortunately, conventional ovens and grills were not made to cook pizza correctly on their own. They both lack the high initial heat needed to make the crust crispy without overcooking the toppings. These heat sources cook too slow, making soggy dough pizzas that are no better than some cardboard crust takeout.
A pizza stone changes the game by acting as a point high heat transfer in an oven or on the grill. When used properly, the stone heats up and holds very high temperatures. When the pizza is placed on the stone the crust begins to cook immediately, mimicking the cooking style of a traditional brick oven.
Using a pizza stone will ultimately give you faster cook times and far better crust. Our ThermaBond® stones are manufactured with Pizzacraft’s exclusive ThermaBond® technology; specially formulated to eliminate thermal shock breakage, promote even heat distribution and retention, and stronger durability for consistent cooking on the oven or grill.
As useful as they are, there are some common mistakes people make when using pizza stones. We’re here to clear up those issues and get you making phenomenal pizzas in no time!
Seasoning a pizza stone
Never season a Pizzacraft pizza stone. This is a mistake we see many people make! While other stones may need to be oiled or seasoned, this will ruin the Pizzacraft stones and cause them to smoke or have a bad odor. The Pizzacraft Pizza Stones come ready to cook with! There is no need to put flour or semolina on the stone.
How to use a pizza stone in the oven or on the grill
- Preheat the stone until it reaches 550° F (Pizzacraft stones can withstand 900° F) The correct oven temp for a pizza stone should exceed 500° F if possible.
- Place room temperature pizza in the center of the stone (do not season stone).
- Cook for 5 min with grill lid/oven closed.
- Turn the pizza 180 degrees with a pizza peel and cook for another 5-7 min.
- Let the stone cool in the oven or grill before removing to clean.
How to clean a pizza stone
- Use a stone brush and hot water. Don’t soak your stone by fully submerging it underwater.
- Use a small stream of water to wet the surface followed by a thorough scrubbing with the brush. (Never use soap!)
- Air dry the stone instead of baking it dry because any absorbed water being forced out in the oven can potentially cause the stone to crack.
- To clean super tough baked on and burnt bits, we recommend our heavy-duty pizza stone scrubber.
- For a full guide on cleaning pizza stones visit our blog How To Clean A Pizza Stone
NEVER – Clean a Pizza Stone With Steel Wool or other metal abrasive cleaners
Pizza stone giveaway
As part of our monthly giveaways at Pizzacraft, we are giving away a free ThermaBond® pizza stone this Friday, March 16th! If you missed it – don’t worry! We do giveaways every month on our Instagram. For more details on how to win – check out Pizzacraft Instagram @_pizzacraft
There’s no question that homemade pizza is one of life’s sweeter things. But if you’ve ever wondered why it never tastes quite as good as a restaurant-quality pizza, then you might be interested in learning how to use a pizza stone properly.
The best pizza is produced in blisteringly hot oven conditions. But the heat of the air is not all that counts. The temperature of the surface below the pizza is what ensures you end up with a perfectly crispy crust rather than a soggy base.
A woodfired pizza oven is the best way to achieve these perfect pizza baking conditions. But for the vast majority of us home chefs, we’re not lucky enough to have a state-of-the-art woodfired oven in our kitchens. However, the good news is that a pizza stone can replicate a woodfired oven whilst being inexpensive and easy to use.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to use a pizza stone for the first time.
What Is A Pizza Stone?
It is a stone or ceramic slab that can be used in lieu of a baking tray for cooking pizza in your home oven. They are also commonly known as baking stones. The only thing that distinguishes a pizza stove from baking stones generally is its round shape.
The stone material takes a while to heat up but once it does, it holds onto its heat far better than a baking tray. This allows it to transmit heat directly to your pizza dough from underneath.
The thicker the pizza stone, the more effective and durable it is. However, when cared for or used improperly, even the thickest and best quality pizza stones can crack.
How Does A Pizza Stone Work?
You might be wondering what is it about a slab of stone that’s so different from a baking tray? The main advantage of a pizza stone is its tiny cracks and crevices that make it easier for the dough’s moisture to evaporate when cooking.
On the other hand, when cooked on a metal baking tray, moisture is more likely to remain trapped. Instead of producing a crisp and dry base, a pizza cooked on a baking tray is more likely to end up soggy.
How To Use A Pizza Stone Properly
Using a pizza stone the proper way to make delicious and healthy homemade pizza is very simple. This means producing restaurant-quality pizza at home is possible for anyone.
- Insert your pizza stone into an unheated oven.
- With the pizza stone inside, preheat the oven (and your stone) to 240°C.
- Using a pizza peel, place your ready-to-cook pizza directly onto your pizza stone.
- Cook your pizza for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned.
- Use your pizza peel to remove the pizza and don’t forget to switch off the oven.
- Leave the pizza stone in the oven to cool.
- Once it has cooled, brush the stone to clean it.
- How To Look After Your Pizza Stone
While advice varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, there are some typical Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to looking after your pizza stone.
- DON’T season your pizza stone. If you’re wondering should I oil my pizza stone, the answer is no. Your pizza stone is designed to be ready to cook with. There’s no need to sprinkle it with flour or any seasoning yourself either. Your pizza stone may absorb the seasoning, causing it to smoke when heated or give off a bad smell.
- DON’T wash your pizza stone. When your pizza stone absorbs too much moisture, this can cause it to crack. Since pizza cooked on top of the stone becomes completely dry, it is easy to clean the stone simply by brushing it. As well as increasing the risk of cracking, washing your pizza stone will mean it permanently absorbs the washing detergent through its miniature cracks.
- DON’T let your pizza stone change temperature fast. A key risk is cracking your pizza stone due to ‘thermal shock’. This happens when the stone undergoes a rapid change in temperature like going from a hot oven to a cold kitchen bench. Placing a frozen pizza on a searingly hot pizza stone can also cause cracking from thermal shock.
- DO store your pizza stone in your oven. The best way to avoid thermal shock, dropping your pizza stone or someone mistakenly washing it in the sink is to keep it in the oven at all times. The only downside to keeping a pizza stone in your oven is that your oven will generally take longer to preheat. However, the safety of your pizza stone is probably worth this small inconvenience.
- DO be careful when repurposing your pizza stone. You may be wondering what else you could cook on your pizza stone. The temptation is best resisted since pizza stone uses are more likely to cause cracking. For example, searing oily or fatty foods on your pizza stone leads to grease being absorbed into the cracks, increasing the risk of cracking. Searing a steak or roasting vegetables with your pizza stone may work but it is not worth damaging the stone. It is safe, however, to use your pizza stone to cook other kinds of dough, such as flatbreads or English muffins.
A pizza stone is an invaluable kitchen tool that delivers superb pizza on a crisp and evenly cooked base. It is worth taking the time to look after it and use it properly to ensure you don’t damage your key to the perfect pizza.
And of course, for days when you don’t feel like doing the cooking yourself, there’s always 11 Inch. With our extensive delivery options, a gourmet Italian pizza topped with high-quality ingredients could be at your door within the hour. Alternatively, you can make a reservation to dine in at our cosy Little Collins St pizza parlour.
We love Emile Henry’s FlameTop Pizza Baking Stones because they provide great performance for making bread, pizza, thin tarts and more, plus the cleanup is a breeze.
The smooth glazed surface can withstand temps up to 500°F and cleans up much better than unglazed porous pizza stones. And the glaze is tough enough that you can use a pizza cutter right on the stone. The Emile Henry Baking Stones also feature two built-in handles that help secure your grip when removing hot stones with bulky oven mitts from the oven or the grill.
Choose from three styles, classic round, large rectangle and deep-dish. These versatile French-made baking stones are great for making bread and thin tarts, or grilling fish, veggies and more! The possibilities are endless! All 3 are backed by Emile Henry’s 10 Year Guarantee.
Pizza Making Tips.
If you want a pizza with a nice crisp crust, pre-heat your Emile Henry Pizza Baking Stone to 475˚F. Do not flour the Pizza Stone (as the flour might burn) and place it on the lowest oven rack position, or on top of your grill grates. Works equally well with gas or charcoal grills.
Here’s 7 quick tips on how you can make great pizza at home.
Make your own dough. It only takes 20-25 minutes and has only three easy steps. The finished pizza is gonna be way better than anything you buy and cook! We promise. Don’t skip the tips below, but you’ll find an easy pizza dough recipe and more further on in this post.
Tip #1 — It doesn’t matter whether the baker’s yeast you use is dried or fresh (diluted in warm water), but it’s essential to use good quality yeast!
Tip #2 — Knead the dough for as long as necessary until it has a supple, elastic consistency, but knead slowly, so that you don’t “overheat” it.
Tip #3 — When the dough is resting, put a cloth over the top of it so that it doesn’t dry out, and leave it at room temperature, away from any drafts, to allow the yeast to act. The dough should double in volume.
Tip #4 — Use a sturdy Pizza Peel to transfer the pizza on and off the heat.
Now on to the toppings.
Tip #5 — To stop the tomatoes making the sauce too acidic, you can add sugar, honey or cream to balance out the flavors.
Tip #6 — Do not overload the pizza with toppings: 2 or 3 flavors are enough! Tomatoes, basil and mozzarella make a delicious Margherita pizza.
Tip #7 — To enhance the flavor, use herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme or marjoram. Shallots, garlic and hot peppers work to build flavor.
Quick & Easy Pizza Dough Recipe
This easy homemade pizza dough recipe courtesy of Emile Henry comes together quickly and is the perfect canvas for all your favorite pizza toppings. It works equally as well in the oven or on the grill. Now you can make any night pizza night with Emile Henry Pizza Stones.
3 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Envelope of fast rising yeast
1 Teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons cornmeal
1 Cup very warm water
2 Teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons of olive oils
DIRECTIONS FOR DOUGH:
1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt in mixing bowl. Whisk until ingredients are blended.
2. Stir in water and 2 tbsp olive oil until well blended.
3. Place dough on a lightly floured counter, baking mat or cutting board. Knead 10 minutes. Cover with towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
BAKE IN THE OVEN:
1. Preheat your oven with pizza stone inside to 425 degrees.
2. Sprinkle your pizza peel with 2 tbsp. corn meal. Place dough on Pizza Peel and press into a circle. Stretch and roll dough shaping a 14 inch circle and add all your favorite toppings.
3. Use the Pizza Peel to slide pizza onto your preheated Emile Henry Pizza Baking Stone.
4. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is crispy.
5. Use the peel to remove pizza from the hot pizza stone, then cut with a pizza cutter and serve. If you don’t plan on making more pizza right away you can remove the HOT stone (with oven mitts, of course) from the oven and place on a heat-proof trivet. Cut and serve your pizza right on this beautiful pizza stone. Be careful the pizza stone will remain very hot for some time.
COOK ON THE GRILL:
1. Preheat your grill:
CHARCOAL, NATURAL WOOD GRILLS: Light charcoal, dump coals on bottom grate, spread out coals, put top grill grate in place and place stone on top of grill grate. Let stone heat up to cooking temperature 500 – 700 degrees F, depending on your recipe instructions.
GAS GRILL: Light burners, put pizza stone on grill grate, let stone heat up to cooking temperature, 500-700 degrees F, depending upon your recipe instructions.
2. Meanwhile, rollout pizza dough onto a Pizza Peel. Add all your favorite toppings.
3. Just before cooking, sprinkle 2 tbsp. of corn meal on your Pizza Peel. Slide pizza directly onto the hot preheated Pizza Stone. Cover the grill and cook over high heat for 15-20 min., or until crust is lightly browned and the top is bubbly.
4. Use the peel to remove pizza from the hot pizza stone, then cut with a pizza cutter and serve. If you don’t plan on making more pizza right away you can remove the HOT stone (with oven mitts, of course) from the grill and place on a heat-proof trivet. Cut and serve your pizza right on this beautiful pizza stone. Be careful the pizza stone will remain very hot for some time.
Follow these tips and with a bit of practice, the slices will disappear faster than you can dial for delivery!
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Have you ever felt the horror of having your beloved stone crack while you’re cooking up your latest pie? You’re not alone. There are a ton of pizza stone owners looking for answers to this mystery. Our advice?
Just breathe slowly.
And then read on.
There are quite a few opinions out there about what makes a baking stone crack. Some make sense. Some make zero sense. So, we thought we’d sort out the good from the bad, and help try to explain why your stone cracked and how you can protect yourself from that traumatic experience ever happening to you again.
Okay, maybe we’re being a little dramatic. But we know you really want to make great pizza at home. So having your go-to tool fall apart on you can be a little unnerving.
Too Lazy to read it all? Buy a Baking Steel Now!
Top Reasons Why Pizza Stones Crack
1. PUTTING A COLD BAKING STONE INTO A HOT OVEN
When you throw a cold pizza stone into a hot oven, your stone experiences the dreaded “thermal shock,” which basically means your stone can’t handle large temperature changes. Since it’s usually made of ceramic, that can cause a fracture in the stone. Sometimes it’s evident immediately. Other times it lies dormant until your next baking session.
2. ALLOWING MOISTURE INTO THE BAKING STONE
You should never wash your baking stone, because if the stone isn’t allowed to dry appropriately before the next baking session, it can weaken the stone. Also, contrary to some old-wives’ advice out there on the interwebs, never oil your baking stone. That’s a one-way ticket to Cracksville.
3. PLACING COOL OR COLD FOOD ONTO THE BAKING STONE
Even if you’ve pre-heated your stone, you want to be careful about placing cool pizza dough onto it. And especially be cautious with placing frozen pizza dough on there. That’ll rock your stone quicker than you can say “thermal shock.’
4. HANDLING THE STONE TOO MUCH
Even though with a name like “stone,” you may expect your baking stone to be tough as nails, it’s really much more fragile than you may think. Repeated handling of the stone can weaken its internal integrity over time. And, of course, the results don’t show up until you’re in the middle of baking that perfect pizza with company on the way. It’s just how the world works, right?
5. REMOVING THE STONE TOO SOON FROM A HOT OVEN
Just like throwing a cold pizza stone into a hot oven can shock the senses out of it, pulling it out of a hot oven and setting it on the stove to cool can have a similar impact. It’s just not ready for that kind of sudden temperature change.
6. USING TOO MUCH HEAT
This is a really unfortunate one, because the hotter you can get your oven, the quicker your pizzas will bake. And, you’ll get that perfect crust. There’s a reason wood fire ovens get up to 800 degrees! You need heat to turn out the perfect pizza! The bad news for your baking stone, though, is when you start to crank up the heat, you run the risk of shattering it into a few interestingly-shaped pieces.
Instead of being so negative, though, let me spell it out for you in positive terms how you should treat your pizza stone.
How To Prevent Your Pizza Stone From Cracking In The Future
Keep your Pizza Stone in your oven all the time. If you like a pretty looking stone, cover with foil so drips from other things don’t stain it.
Always put a Pizza Stone into a cold oven and do a long pre-heat.
Minimize handling. Moving in and out of the oven can cause cracking.
Handle carefully. Any kind of drop will cause fractures.
Avoid washing or oiling a Pizza Stone. The moisture can cause it to crack.
Use only dough that is room temperature or warmer. (Some have even suggested warming it slightly on the stove top before placing it on the stone.)
Wait until the Pizza Stone is completely cold before removing it from oven.
Don’t put frozen pizzas on your pizza stone. Ever.
Use a folded towel and place on the counter before you take the stone out of the oven, so the counter won’t send your stone into “thermal shock.”
Don’t use high heat with it. (This one’s kind of a bummer, since high heat makes unbelievable pizza pies!)
If you leave your Pizza Stone in the oven, remove it for the self-cleaning cycle. With the drastic temperature changes, you’re asking for trouble.
Are Pizza Stones Worth This Kind Of Kid-Glove Treatment?
If you’ve made pizzas on your baking stone, you’d probably answer with a hearty, “yes.” You’re a die-hard fan. Let’s face it, pizza stones work pretty well. They have quite a bit more thermal mass than a baking sheet, so they store and distribute heat better than a flimsy metal pizza pan. (That “thermal mass” part is pretty important. That’s where the magic happens.) The stone gets about as close to the the results of cooking a pizza in a brick oven as you can reasonably get, and usually gives you a decent looking crust and a nice tasting pie.
Make Even Bake Better Pizzas And Never Face A Fractured Stone Again
So, here’s where the news goes from kind of bad to unbelievably good. Several years back, Modernist Cuisine published some findings from their research that if you wanted to make truly amazing New York Style pizza at home, you should skip the ever-present baking stone, and opt for baking your pizzas on a piece of steel. Steel has many times more thermal mass than a ceramic stone, which means it retains heat way better than a simple baking stone and does all the stuff that makes great pizza great. Plus, it’s practically indestructible. I mean, you could probably crack it with some sort of anti-aircraft missile or a near-proximity nuclear detonation, but you shouldn’t be cooking with that kind of stuff anyway.
Since we love making amazing pizzas, and we hate cracking pizza stones, we went looking for someone making a baking steel, and couldn’t find anyone. So, we made it ourselves. Now, we’re excited to help other pizza enthusiasts make the best pizzas of their lives at home with the Baking Steel. The Baking Steel is being snapped up all around the world by novices and pros alike, and the positive reviews for it have been truly overwhelming. You owe it to yourself to at least see what you may be missing by simply replacing that cracked pizza stone. We’re pretty sure you’ll never want to buy another stone again.
Pizza stones are made from raw ceramic, which heats up in the oven and provides a hot, absorbent base for the pizza to cook on. This helps to absorb any moisture from the dough, ensuring the perfect, crispy base. Handy, if you don’t have a pizza igloo in your garden.
Here’s a pizza dough recipe to get you well on your way to Napolitano delight.
Ingredients for dough (makes enough for 1 pizza):
250g plain flour (or doppio zero, if you can get hold of any)
10g fresh yeast
2 tbsp oil
Pinch of salt
Figs (either fresh or preserved)
Parma ham (or other cured ham)
1. Dissolve the yeast in a little water, to allow it to bloom. If yeast is old, it won’t fizz and you’ll need to start again.
2. You can make the dough by hand or in seconds in a food processor.
Place the flour, dissolved yeast, salt and oil into a bowl, mix together, then add the water and mix again. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until an elastic, non-sticky dough has formed. See this post for some more tips if you find this tricky.
Put the flour, dissolved yeast, salt and oil into the bowl of the food processor or stand mixer . Make sure you use the correct attachment for dough. Mix for 30 seconds, then add the water via the feed tube and continue mixing until a smooth, elastic dough has formed.
3. When your dough is ready, remove and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a warm, damp tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour.
Now would be a good time to put the pizza stone into the oven and turn the oven on to preheat. Pizza needs high temperatures to bake quickly, so heat your oven to the highest temperature it can take, usually around 250ºC. Bear in mind that pizza stones should be placed into a cool oven and allowed to heat up as the oven heats up, so don’t only add it once the oven is at its hottest.
4. When your dough has been given enough time to rise, or when it is more or less double in size, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Punch down (gently deflate the dough with your fist) and flatten the dough out a bit. Flour a rolling pin and roll out to about 5mm thick (or as thick as you like).
5. Cover with your desired toppings (we used tomato passata, mozzarella, chopped figs, parma ham and rocket). Fresh ingredients like rocket or avocado are best added just before serving. Cured meats, unless you specifically want them crispy, are also great added once your pizza has cooked.
6. Carefully remove the hot pizza stone from the oven and place onto a heat resistant surface. Transfer your base onto the pizza stone and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are crispy and the cheese has melted.
11. Remove from the oven, add your fresh ingredients like parma ham and rocket and enjoy with friends.
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to create more pizzas.
Tips and tricks
If the dough is resistant to keeping shape and bounces back to a smaller shape, cover it with a damp towel and leave it for 10-20 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to stretch.
Pizza ovens can easily reach 300-400°C , so heat your oven to the highest temperature and leave it there for a few minutes. Ideally, pizza should bake in just a few minutes.
When it comes to toppings, less is more (and by that we mean less variety, not scarce pickings)
A good tomato paste goes a long way and, if possible, make your own.
Roasted garlic does wonders with a drizzle of olive oil.
And have you ever heard the story of how pizza came to be?
Queen Margherita, of Italy, upon an inspection of the Kingdom one day, came across peasants enjoying a meal of flat bread with toppings. She summoned Raffaele Esposito, the owner of a little pizzeria, to the palace to make her this ‘pizza’. Raffaele created one with tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil, in the colours of the Italian flag, to honor her and it was forever known as the Pizza Margherita. Tada.
To launch your pizza, follow the checklist and steps below:
- Follow our Classic Pizza Dough recipe
- Let your dough come to room temperature – make sure to check for holes
When you’ve completed the above, move onto the steps below:
Step 1. Put a generous dusting of flour or semolina onto your peel
- For best results, use semolina.
Step 2. Place your pizza base onto your peel if it isn’t there already
Step 3. Do the ‘shoogle’
- Pick up your peel and give it a shake – your entire pizza base should move freely.
- If any edges are sticking, add more semolina underneath.
Step 4. Add your toppings
- Keep them light.
Step 5. Do the ‘hovercraft’
- Lift up one edge of your pizza base and give a gentle blow of air.
- This creates air pockets underneath your pizza and spreads excess flour to any areas that might be sticking.
Step 6. Launch your pizza
- Hold your peel inside your oven just above your baking stone.
- Shake your peel back and forth slightly while pulling it back out of the oven to slide your pizza onto the baking stone.
- Move fast, but don’t panic!
Step 7. Use a different peel to rotate and retrieve your pizza
- This step is only necessary if you’re making more than one pizza and if you’re not using an Ooni peel.
- Using two peels will prevent your next pizza bases from being in contact with a hot peel (hot peel = dough sticking = launching issues).
Use for turning and retrieving your pizzas (this peel will be hot from contact with the baking stone)
Summer’s nearly here, and it’s time to give your oven a break and fire up the grill. If you’ve never made grilled pizza, you’re seriously missing out. Cooking pizza on the grill is the perfect way speed up your summer dinner or cook for a crowd—plus, it’s also one of the best ways to get a crisp crust and super melty toppings. Here’s how to do it.
Use the right tools.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
When grilling pizza, you want to use the same tools you’d use to make a good pizza in your oven: a pizza stone (we love this pizza stone from Primo because it's ceramic and safe for the grill), and a pizza peel. “A stone works fantastic on the grill and really gives the crust a uniform crispness,” says chef Mario Scordato, who teaches grilling classes at recreational cooking school The Chopping Block in Chicago. Use a pizza peel to get the pizza on and off the stone.
Preheat the grill.
Light the grill, add the pizza stone, close the lid and allow the stone to heat up with the grill for about 30 minutes. A hot stone will give you a crisp crust once you add the dough from the peel.
Mind the temperature.
The best temperature for grilling pizza is between 425-450 degrees, says Kevin Kolman, grill master for Weber. “People think they need more heat, but they have a problem managing it,” he says. “When you’re using higher heat, then your margin of error becomes a little bit smaller.” This temperature will give you enough heat to cook your pizza thoroughly—and melt the cheese on top.
Bring your dough to room temperature.
Cold pizza dough is tight and tough to work with. Let your dough come to room temperature for two to three hours before you’re ready to make pizza, recommends Kolman, and it will be much easier to roll out. You can get premade pizza dough from grocery stores, and many pizzerias will also sell dough if you ask.
Cook your toppings.
If you’re working with certain toppings, pre-cooking them before grilling might be necessary (think: onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bacon, etc.). The grill won't completely cook most meats or tough-to-chew veggies, and no one wants to bite into their pizza to find a chunk of raw chicken. Conversely, certain toppings—like raw arugula or frisee—are a delicious last-minute, no-cook topping to grilled pizza.
Build the pizza before grilling.
Add a little coarse cornmeal or semolina flour to your pizza peel (this will allow the pizza to slide easily from the peel to the stone), then make your pizza directly on the peel—sauce, toppings, cheese and all. Alternatively, if you don’t have a peel, you can roll out just the crust on parchment paper drizzled with olive oil, then turn the pizza over directly onto the grill, says Kolman. If you’re using this method, grill just the crust for three or four minutes, remove from the grill and add toppings to the grilled side, and return to the grill for three or four more minutes to finish.
Use fresh cheese.
Many pre-shredded cheeses have anticoagulant added to prevent clumping (ever notice that weird white coating?). This can prevent that ooey, gooey melty factor that makes a pizza perfect. Instead, buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself.
Keep the lid closed after you put pizza on.
As tempting as it is to peek at your glorious creation, keep the lid closed to trap the heat inside the grill. Depending on the size and thickness of your pizza, you’ll want to cook it for 6-10 minutes. “That’s more than enough time to get a nice, crispy bottom and bubbly cheese on top,” says Kolman.
As tempting as it can be, resist cutting into your grilled pizza right away. “It’s molten hot, so let it sit a little bit first,” says Scordato. “This way, the crust will stay nice and crisp, and the toppings will start to firm so it won’t be as sloppy.”
Try new flavor combinations.
Bountiful summer produce means unlimited options for pizza toppings. One of Scordato’s favorite combinations is grilled artichokes or asparagus with goat cheese and prosciutto. When using vegetables on pizza, lightly grill or sauté them first to ensure they cook through. Kolman says pizza can be a vessel for any other grilled summer food your family enjoys, such as grilled chicken (add buffalo sauce, your favorite spicy cheese, and a bit of bleu cheese dressing to serve). He’s even topped pizza with grilled brat slices and onions.
Buy an extra ball of dough.
Just like you wouldn’t attempt a new extravagant recipe for a dinner party, you shouldn’t grill pizza for the first time when you have a lot of hungry people to feed. “Practice a little bit first to get acclimated with the process,” says Kolman, and buy an extra ball of dough just in case something happens.
A proper pizza-stone preheating period is essential to produce perfectly browned pizza crusts.
A hot pizza stone is key to producing pizza with a well-browned, crisp bottom crust. To ensure that your stone is hot, we recommend placing it in the oven, setting the oven dial to 500 degrees, and leaving it there for a full hour. And yet many folks (even a few here in the test kitchen) question whether this lengthy preheat is really necessary. So what happens if you try to shortcut the process and preheat for less time?
To find out, we preheated four baking stones in four separate 500-degree ovens for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and 1 hour, respectively. Once the stones were preheated, we baked pizzas for exactly 10 minutes on each stone and examined their undersides for browning and crisping.
To back up our browning observations, we also took infrared temperature readings of the stones’ surfaces right before sliding on each pizza. The results? Dramatically different. The pizza baked on the 1-hour preheated stone (which clocked in at 509 degrees) was well browned and crisp after 10 minutes, while the 45-minute preheated stone (451 degrees) produced only moderate browning in the same period of time. The pizza baked on the stone preheated for just 30 minutes (415 degrees) was anemic in color, and the one on the 15-minute preheated stone (291 degrees) was downright pale.
THE TAKEAWAY: While it may feel like overkill, it’s important to preheat a pizza stone for a full hour to ensure proper browning and crisping.
We are proud to offer products made from high quality ceramic, which pass rigorous quality control by our team. We are therefore pleased to offer a 10 year guarantee on all Emile Henry products. Warranty not valid for professional or commercial use.
Our pizza stone is a unique cooking stone made from high performance ceramic. It allows you to create delicious pizzas with a golden, crispy crust; ensuring your pizza will be perfectly cooked, just like in a traditional pizza oven. Re-create the delicious results of brick oven pizza baking with the Emile Henry pizza stone in the oven or on the grill. This stone also has a low side and a high side. The low side so the pizza peel can have easy access to the surface and a high back side that works as back stop so the pizza does not slide off the back of the stone in the oven. The sealed surface allows for easy release and no residual odors or stains. The Emile Pizza stone can also be used for grilling vegetables or fish over the grill.
Use with: Barbeque (gas or charcoal); Oven; Microwave; Dishwasher
We are proud to offer products made from very high quality ceramic, which pass very rigorous quality control by our team. We are therefore pleased to offer a 10 year guarantee on all Emile Henry products. Our warranty covers any production fault or quality problem with the product when used in a normal domestic environment, and respecting the care and use instructions. Any variation in the finish of the item is due to the handiwork carried out in our workshops and does not alter in any way the culinary qualities of our dishes. Warranty not valid for commercial and foodservice use.
A pizza stone helps your home oven mimic the effects of a brick oven but they require special care.
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A pizza stone helps your home oven mimic the effects of a brick oven. The porous stone absorbs and retains heat evenly and eliminates excess moisture in the pizza dough to create a superbly crisp crust. A pizza stone does, however, require some special care. Follow these guidelines to keep your stone in great shape:
• Never wash your pizza stone with soap. The pores will absorb it, and you’ll be able to taste it when you make your next pizza.
• Never submerge your stone in water. Instead, once the stone has cooled completely, scrape off any baked-on food with a stiff, dry brush or a plastic scraper, and then use a damp cloth to wipe it down. Don’t worry if your stone gets stained—that’s natural and will not affect the flavor of the next pizza you make.
• If your stone gets extremely dirty, you can use medium-grit sandpaper to sand down any raised bits.
• Some people keep their stones in their ovens to create more-even heat for other baking. If you do this, be aware that it will take the oven longer to heat. Also, never leave it in the oven during the self-cleaning cycle because it may break.
Leave a Comment
I always use parchment paper under my pizzaz. This way, nothing tastes funny.
To clean a soaked pizza stone, you need about 3 hours of 500°F heat.
First step: Leave the stone in the oven and let it smoke for 3 hours by itself at 500°F, or at least till it stops outgassing.
Second step: After you’ve vented the kitchen, make a large throw-away crust and bake for 10 mins on the stone at 500° again. Throw crust out after cooling it a while. Let oven cool and remove the stone.
You should be all set.
Me too. My stone came with absolutely no directions and there were none on the box, so after my husband used it, it was washed in the sink. Now what? Throw away, or is there a way to get the soap out?
unfortunately Ive already used washing up liquid. how can I make sure Ive removed it all and it wont taint pizzas with soapy taste?
Not just for pizza, Napoleon’s Pizza Stone series produces delicious food both on the grill and in the oven. The secret is knowing how to use and care for your stone so that you get the best results every time.
What Is A Pizza Stone And Why You Want One
Pizza stones are generally made of a ceramic composite material which is great for high heat grilling and baking. They’re great for just about anything you can think of because of their ability to retain and distribute heat evenly, similar to cast iron. One of the benefits of using a pizza stone on the grill or in the oven is that it will help to wick away moisture in baked goods so that your breads and pizza crust will have a light and crispy exterior. The natural surface of a pizza stone won’t retain food flavors, so last night’s garlicky pizza won’t flavor tonight’s home-style honey biscuits. Not just for baking, your pizza stone can be used to help evenly distribute heat while roasting. Place a roasting pan on top of a preheated pizza stone when cooking poultry. This will help brown the bottom of the bird, cooking the dark meat at a rate similar to the breast meat, so they will both be done at the same time.
Before Using Your Pizza Stone For The First Time
When you pull your brand new pizza stone out of the package for the first time, wipe it down with a damp cloth and allow it to dry overnight. This removes any possible manufacturer’s debris and allows the moisture to completely evaporate.
How To Use A Pizza Stone
Pizza stones are easy to use and the end results are amazing. Follow the tips and tricks below to get the best from your baking stone.
Place the cold stone on your cold grill or in a cold oven and preheat from there. You want the stone to reach a temperature of 425°F or more before cooking, which will require preheating for a little longer than it takes the grill or oven to reach this temperature – at least 30 minutes. This prevents the stone from cracking due to intense temperature changes. Also, the longer the stone has had to preheat, the better results on your bread or pizza dough.
When sufficiently preheated, sprinkle the stone with cornmeal before placing food on it. You can also use parchment paper, just make sure that the paper is trimmed to the same size as the stone, with very little overhang when using on the grill.
Transferring food to the stone is much easier when you use a pizza spatula. A little cornmeal or flour here will make picking up and transferring food much easier too.
When finished with the stone, leave it on the grill or in the oven to cool completely before handling. It is 400°F+ and dangerous to handle, even with heat resistant gloves.
Using a knife, pizza wheel, or rocking pizza cutter on the stone surface will damage your blades and the stone. Always transfer food to a cutting board before slicing.
How To Clean A Pizza Stone
Cleaning your pizza stone seems like a daunting task, however, it’s as simple as using it.
Once cooled completely, remove the stone from the grill or oven for cleaning.
Remove stuck on bits by gently scraping them with a wooden or stiff plastic spatula. You can also use a soft nylon dish scrubby.
Rinse, or wipe the pizza stone with warm water and a soft cloth. Allow the stone to dry for at least 24 hours before using again.
Store flat. You can store the stone in the oven or on the grill. Keeping it there can increase heat retention and convection of the appliance. Just remember that the stone is there before cooking.
Soap will absorb into the stone and leach into the food you cook. Do not clean the pizza stone with soap. Instead, gently scrub any stuck on foods and wipe with warm water.
Dry for 24 hours.
Help! My Pizza Stone Is Discoloring
Pizza stones develop a patina through use. This patina becomes more and more non-stick as it develops. This is a natural process that will happen faster the more you use the pizza stone. You cannot rush this by “seasoning” your stone with oil.
By following the tips above, you have become an expert in using your pizza stone. Great, not just for pizzas, but for baking delicious breads, pastries, cookies, and even frozen hors-d’oeuvres. There are so many things you can do with a pizza stone. What will you create? Tell us about your pizza stone adventures by using the hashtags #BBQPizzaStone and #NapoleonGrill when you post to our social media pages like Facebook and Instagram.
The secret of the baking stone is that the porous surface draws moisture out of the dough, resulting in a perfectly crisp and crunchy crust when baking pizza or bread on a red hot grill or in a very hot oven.
Of course, the new baking stone from Eva Solo can also be used to bake rolls or cookies, and it can even be used on both charcoal and gas grills and in the oven. We all love pizza, but surely this symbol of Italian food culture will become even more of a hot favourite when it tastes almost like a stone oven-baked pizza?
- Can be used on charcoal or gas grills as well as in the oven
- Also suitable for all kinds of baking, for example bread and cookies
- Clean with hot water
- Materials: Unglazed ceramic
- Size: Diameter: 35,5 cm
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Free shipping on all orders above 89€
Except orders containing tables and/or chairs
Orders are dispatched within 1-2 workdays. you will recieve track-and-trace info as soon as your order leaves our warehouse. Shipping time depends on receiver country.
Delivery cost depends on reciever country and shipping method. This will be shown in the checkout.
All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
We can see it on the horizon, coming clearer into focus as it trundles ever closer, a vision of fire and smoke: Grilling Season approaches. For many, summer means stocking up on classic barbecue mains and breaking out your best heat-resistant tongs, letting the neighborhood know what time it is by pumping the scent of flame-licked pork and chicken into the air. Likely you have a few favorite recipes that you return to every year: go-to marinades and proteins that have become synonymous with backyard cooking in your house because of their repeat appearances. This is good! Having a repertoire is good. But Grilling Season is long and should contain multitudes, so this year we’re advocating for switching things up. Expand your barbecue horizons—and the choices on the dinner table—by making pizza on the grill with the help of a trusty pizza stone.
Short of using a dedicated wood-fired pizza oven, placing a pizza stone (or baking steel, more on the difference below) on a hot grill is the best way to achieve a leopard-spotted and chewy crust at home—with lightning fast cook times to boot. Stone and steel are able to withstand extremely high temperatures and hold heat evenly, so the underside of your pie will cook perfectly all the way across in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven. Plus, by preheating the tool on the grill before you add your pizza, you’ll shock the dough with a blast of heat the second it comes into contact with the surface, which helps the crust puff up around the edges. Some recipes approximate this phenomenon by calling for you to slide your pizza onto an upturned sheet pan at the bottom of your oven, which is a great alternative, but the aluminum won’t get nearly as hot. Also, you’ll be missing out on the smoky outdoor grill flavor; imbuing your pie with those fiery notes takes the whole thing to the next level.
As opposed to pizza made directly on the grill (also extremely good, don’t get me wrong!), grilled pizza cooked on a stone or steel is slightly more forgiving. You don’t need a special dough recipe that’s stiff enough to hold its shape directly on top of the grate, so your favorite works just fine. It’s also a set-it-and-forget-it kind of deal, with no transferring your crust to different heat zones; after your gently place your pizza on the stone or steel, you can turn your attention to other things on the grill or refill your drink until your pie’s ready to move to a cutting board. Finally, pizza cooked on a surface gets to be fully topped before you grill it, as opposed to on-the-grate recipes, which are topped after the fact. You don’t get fun grill marks on the bottom of the crust, but you do get melty cheese, heated-through sauce, and wilty and crispy other ingredients. If you want to get meta about it, you can even top your ’za with chopped up things you’ve just grilled, like sweet peppers or sturdy greens.
For people who don’t eat meat or who, by the end of the season, are suffering from major grilled protein fatigue, pizza is the ideal alternative. Instead of being relegated to the side dishes or tasked with bringing their own alt-meat products to the party, the meat-avoiders in your life can make their own vegetable-forward main that doesn’t compromise on seasonal smokiness. Grilled pizza can even be vegan, with a slick of olive oil standing in for the cheese under your bevy of toppings. For maximum efficiency and personalization, let everyone build their own pizza from an array of summery toppings, then grill and slice one by one—you can keep the process going all day while the stone is hot on the grill. When the weather is cold again, just bring your pizza stone back inside to resume ’za production in the oven; it won’t be as good as the stuff you make outside, but it’ll be enough to tide you over until Grilling Season comes back to town.
The best tools for the task
The Original Baking Steel won our product review for pizza stones and baking steels by being durable, heavy-duty (it weighs 15 pounds!), and an absolute workhorse all around the kitchen. Aside from using it on the grill, you can use it in the oven for bread baking and on the stovetop as well, where it functions as a griddle. But for pizza specifically, steel is a great choice because of how quickly it conducts heat; you’ll get golden brown crusts with spots of char just like at your local pizzeria. Just make sure you get a size that allows you a little wiggle room around the edges (i.e., don’t buy a steel that covers your whole grill from end to end), so there’s space for air to circulate.
Original Baking Steel
Alternatively, the Emile Henry pizza stone offers about the same cooking surface area as the above steel but with a few different perks. Made of porous ceramic, it heats evenly and draws out any excess moisture from the crust, ensuring a crisp and chewy finished product. It also retains heat extremely well, making it a good option for all-day-long cookouts. It’s coated in the company’s “proprietary lead-free black Flame glaze,” which is chip-resistant and makes the stone safe for cutting on as well. But perhaps best of all are the handles, which makes it much easier to move on and off the grill even while hot than a totally flat steel or stone.
The quest for excellent homemade pizza can sometimes border on obsession. Pizza stones, pizza steels, pizza ovens, rigging your oven to act like a pizza oven, special flours, special blends of flour … it can all be a bit much — enough to prompt the more intimidated among us to just dial up delivery.
Get the full experience. Choose your plan ArrowRight
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
As long as you are okay with not expecting to re-create the pies you might find coming out of a wood-burning Neapolitan oven, you can make good pizza at home with normal home kitchen equipment, even more basic than you might think.
That is what I found with a crust recipe pulled from the reliable King Arthur Flour archives. You can mix the dough with your hands very easily. Instead of a pizza peel, the pies are topped on a rimless baking sheet or overturned baking sheet. No pizza stone? No problem. We still very much enjoyed the crust when the pizza was baked on an overturned baking sheet. Of course, if you have a peel or stone for baking and would rather knead the dough in a stand mixer or bread machine, by all means use those tools.
Like most people, I love pizza. Takeout pizza, homemade pizza, grilled pizza – you name it, I’ll take them all. While I do make pizza at home frequently, I didn’t own a pizza stone so I borrowed one to see if I prefer pizza on the stone or how I’d been cooking it all along (either in a sheet pan or directly on the grill grates). Given that I’d never used one before, I did some Googling. So now think I have some good tips for all of you out there who haven’t used one either.
In the Oven
First, I made a pizza on the stone in my oven while I let the dough rise. Once I was ready to start assembling the pizza, I placed the pizza stone in the cold oven and heated it to 450° Fahrenheit. You must ALWAYS place a pizza stone in a cold oven and slowly let it come up to temperature – if you place it in an oven that’s already preheated, it will crack and we don’t want that. I saw other sites suggest 500° or even to just put it at the highest your oven will allow, but the stone I have says 450° and it worked just fine.
You want the stone to preheat for at least 15 minutes before you try to cook the pizza to ensure the stone is good and hot and will cook the crust properly. I’ve seen sites that tell you it has to be in the oven for an hour and that just seems unnecessary. I found that the 15 minutes was plenty.
I do not own a pizza peel so I rolled out my dough on a heavily floured, large cutting board so I could sort of slide it off onto the stone when I was ready to pop it in the oven. Let me tell you, this method is challenging and a pizza peel would have been EXTREMELY handy. I think the hassle of getting the dough from the floured cutting board to the hot stone would be a cinch with this. Even without it, I managed to get it on there.
Another tip – the pizza stone I used is 12” and my dough went almost to the edges. This isn’t a huge deal, except the sauce leaked over the stone and onto my oven. Luckily, I had the foresight (thanks to my husband) to put a sheet pan underneath the stone to catch the drips so I would recommend either making sure you have a pan under it or trying not to have the sauce go anywhere near the edges. I did try to mound the crust part of the pizza up so to limit the run-off, but this apparently did not work the best so learn from my mistakes ?
The stone instructions said that it would take 10-12 minutes and to watch for the edges of the crust browning. This was right on the money as it took about 10 minutes in my oven.
On the Grill
The pizza stone instructions did say to not to cook over an open flame. But I’ve seen articles about how to use a pizza stone on the grill, so I gave it a try. I’m here to tell you that nothing broke and the pizza came out fabulous.
Just like when in the oven, you need to slowly get the stone up to temperature to prevent cracking. Place the stone on the cold grill grates, then turn on medium heat, close the grill cover and let preheat for at least 15 minutes. Assemble your pizza on a floured cutting board (or ideally use a pizza peel!!) and slide onto the pizza stone after the stone has preheated. Let cook with the grill cover closed for 10-15 minutes. You want the edges to brown. It took closer to 15 minutes to get my desired level of doneness.
I had less of an issue on the grill with toppings and sauce sliding off. I don’t know if this is because I learned from my mistakes, or if less dough rising happens on the grill.
Pizza stones are porous, so do not clean them with soap or your next pizza will taste like dish detergent! Cool the stone completely before you attempt to clean and scrape it with a stiff brush and hot water. It’s normal for the stone to become discolored so do not be concerned about that. It’s kind of like caring for a cast iron pan, you want it to be seasoned. Also, the more you use your stone, the easier pizzas will remove from the stone’s surface after cooking. Of course, these were my first two attempts and the oven one really got some sauce and cheese caked on. It will likely be a few more times before mine is really non-stick. But I am willing to continue testing this out ?
Overall, I had fun using the pizza stone and I really loved the grilled pizza flavor. I still prefer the taste of putting the dough directly on the grates, but I enjoyed these pizzas too. Of the pizza stone methods, I liked the grill better, but this is a matter of personal preference and taste. If you don’t have one stowed away in your kitchen, get one! And start making some homemade pizza stone pizza!