Best Pizza Stone
When it comes to baking something close to a wood-fired pizza in your oven back at home, the verdict is in, that a pizza stone makes everything fun and easy. People have been asking how to make their pizza as good as those baked in their favourite restaurant’s burning ovens, and the experts have spoken – put away your regular baking sheet and get a damn pizza stone!
Best Pizza Stone 2020
Table of Contents
What is a Pizza Stone?
A pizza stone is just a baking stone on which you put your pizza then place it on the oven for baking, though sometimes you have got to heat the stone first.
Pizza stones are used much like regular baking sheets but compared to the metal surface of your regular baking sheet, the pizza stones porous
surface allows more of the evaporating steam to leave the crust than a baking sheet helping avoid a soggy crust.
The ceramic surface is also good for even baking because it holds and distributes heat more evenly compared to a metal surface. There is also an advantage to pre-heating a pizza stone. It sends a strong burst of heat into the dough, puffing up the pizza crust before baking begins, and that is something that is not easily achievable with a pan.
Pizza stones are designed to reproduce the same mechanics of wood-fired ovens. These flat-slab ceramic or stone bad boys sit on the rack, soaking up heat evenly and holding it for distribution. The unbaked pizza sits directly on the stone which distributes heat evenly to the crust baking it to a perfect, blistered crispy bottom just like a wood fired-oven floor does
But not all pizza stones are created equal, though. Pizza stones are made in different thickness sizes, shapes, and materials. Types of pizza stones include stone, ceramic, cordierite, clay, and even cast iron. If you really want to have the best pizza baking experience using a pizza stone, here is how to select the right pizza stone.
Things to consider when buying a Pizza Stone
Choosing the right pizza stone is not difficult. Just follow this guide and, most importantly, make sure you get a stone that fits your oven: always know the size 9depth and width) of your oven cavity then if you are using gas, always allow at least an inch on each side of the pizza stone for air circulation.
Pizza stones are available in different thickness sizes, and the thicker stones work better. They are also generally more expensive and take longer to heat, but the advantage is they absorb and distribute heat better than thinner stone. The thickness of the size 0.75-1 inch is better.
Pizza stones can also be used for a lot, other purposes, just make sure yours can take it because the stone is not indestructible. Ensure it won’t crack easily when oils and fats get in the crevices during roasting vegetables or searing a steak. Also, avoid washing the stone as the porous surface absorbs, moisture which can cause cracking. Anyway, you can surely use a pizza stone to break bread and homemade crackers
3. Glazed Vs Non-Glazed
The primary purpose of a pizza stone is to allow more steam to escape. Most pizza stones, therefore, are sold ‘unglazed,’ but there are a few ‘glazed’ pizza stones out there advertised as easier to clean and sold for a bit more. Always check the manufacturer’s information. Also, you can make an ‘unglazed’ stone easier to clean by seasoning with cooking oil or non-stick spray before use.
Pizza stones are made of various materials. If you go for cast iron the advantage is it retains heat pretty well and is almost indestructible; no need to be gentle with it; cast iron pizza stones can be used on stovetop or campfire because they handle heat well; an example of best-cast iron pizza stone is Lodge 14-Inch Seasoned Cast Iron Pizza Plan
If you go with steel, the advantage is it transfers heat quickly and evenly for a superb crust. However, using a steel pizza stone on a grill is a bit technical. The best steel pizza stone is Pizzacraft PC0307 Round Steel Baking plate
Ceramic pizza stones are unique in that they can be used on open flames for high degree baking. They absorb more heat, hold and distribute heat evenly for consistent browning. Check out Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone.
Other pizza stone materials include cordierite. This is known to handle heat above 1000 degrees. It also absorbs moisture better. But it’s not as durable as steel or cast iron. The bottom line is always to choose the material that suits your pizza baking style
How To Use A Pizza Stone
Do you want to get the most service out of your pizza stone? Here is the quick guide to ensure better service:
1. Always Pre-heat first
Pre-heating the stone delivers a strong burst of initial heat into the dough, allowing it to puff up before baking. To pre-heat, place the pizza stone in a cold oven and pre-heat to 500F or depending on thickness 30 minutes for inch and 60 minutes for 0.75-1 inch. Don’t place in a hot oven; you risk breaking it, place in the cold oven, and then turn it on to pre-heat.
Once pizza stone is ready, just slide unbaked pizza dough on it, then bake till cheese turns light brown, finally remove pizza and turn off the oven. Later, when cool, simply brush stone surface to clean it; no washing!
2. Take Care of the Pizza Stone
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to prolong the life of your pizza stone. Most importantly, learn how to season it properly to prevent dough from sticking on the surface and making a mess. Use a small amount of olive oil and rub it on the surface in circular motions till it soaks into the stone surface. Please don’t leave the oil on the surface; this causes the stone to smoke the next time you use it.
Keep pizza stone dry and in the oven. Pizza stones can crack due to thermal shock e.g., placing it while cold in a hot oven or cooking a frozen pizza; avoid such. When cleaned and dry, store it in the oven.
Okay, there you go now, that blistered, superb crispy crust pie is not hard to prepare at home, even if you don’t have a wood-fire oven, don’t give up on making a pizza; a pizza stone is all you need. These stone bad boys come in various materials, shapes, and sizes and are designed to hold and distribute heat to the pizza crust just like the floor of the wood-fire oven. Have fun baking then, won’t you?
If you love Pizza as much as I do but want that traditional restaurant taste, you are going to need to get yourself a Pizza Stone. As I already said, there are so many options available and not all of them are as good as they claim to be. I do hope this guide has helped you find the best pizza stone for you, as well as what to look out for.