If you’re anything like me, you love pizza. And if you want to make the perfect pizza at home and you don’t have a pizza oven, you need a pizza stone. But how long should you preheat pizza stone?
When you preheat your stone, you’re essentially giving it a head start on heat absorption. This ensures that your pizza will cook evenly and prevents the dough from sticking.
For best results, aim to preheat your oven to its maximum temperature and then preheat your pizza stone for 45-60 minutes. This may seem like a lot of time, but trust me, it’s worth the wait!
Do You Even Need To Preheat Pizza Stone?
Its really important that you do preheat your pizza stone, if you don’t then there is no point having one in the first place.
A pizza stone is there to crisp up the pizza, it can only do this if its hot when the pizza is placed on it. If its cold then the pizza will end up cooking unevenly or uncooked and the base could become soggy.
A normal oven is not able to get as hot or mimic the effects of a pizza oven. A pizza stone is the next best thing, as it helps to simulate the environment of a pizza oven.
When baking a pizza in a pizza oven, the floor of the oven gets very hot, the heat and flames then roll over the top of the pizza. This is why the ovens are normally a dome shape to help this heat flow.
Since your home oven doesn’t have a hot floor for the pizza to go on, we replicate this by using a pizza stone.
If you want to create authentic pizzas like you get in some of the best pizzerias, you need to place the pizza on a hot surface. Placing a pizza on a cold pizza stone will help not help you get that crispy finish. This is why you need to preheat the pizza stone first.
There is another reason why you need to preheat your pizza stone…
Pizza stones are normally made from clay or ceramic. If these are cold and placed into a hot oven then they can have a thermal shock. This can result in it cracking and you will not be able to use it again.
Allowing the stone to heat up with the oven does help to prevent this. It should also be cooled down with the oven.
The Best Temperature To Preheat Pizza Stone
One of the most important things to get perfect pizza and something that many people get wrong is…it needs to be baked quickly.
This will give you a crispy and consistently cooked pizza crust. One of the reasons why Neapolitan pizza should be cooked in around 90 seconds.
The only way your going to be able to do this is with an oven that is hot. Wood-Fired pizza ovens get to around 900°F (485°C). There’s no way your home oven will get this hot. Which is why a pizza stone is used, as it can help to replicate that tasty pizza without needed a really hot oven.
When you preheat your pizza stone, you want to get it as hot as possible. Turn your oven up to its highest temperature and pop in the pizza stone.
The drawback to not getting your pizza stone to the right temperature is that it wont cook the pizza quick enough. You’ll probably end up with a soggy base or even a raw middle.
How Long To Preheat Pizza Stone?
There is always a bit of debate on how long you should preheat your pizza stone. Some claim as little as 15 minutes is enough, it really isn’t.
You should preheat your pizza stone for at least 45 minutes, ideally 1 hour.
Never just place the stone into a hot oven. I did this the first time and the stone cracked pretty quickly.
Step by Step On How to Preheat Pizza Stone
Many people get confused when it comes to preheating their pizza stone, but is very easy. All you need is a bit of preplanning and time to make sure its brought up to the right temperature.
Below you’ll find some step by step advise on whether you use an oven or a grill to heat up your pizza stone.
Preheat Pizza Stone in Oven
1. Make sure the oven is cold
The first thing you want to do is place the pizza stone into the oven. Just make sure the oven is cold first as this will stop it from thermal shock. It’ll also make it easier to place the stone where you want it in the oven. I’ve tried this after its got hot and its tough moving it. Some stones are not light and being hot is not a good combination.
Try to place it in the centre of the oven, this will help ensure that it gets an even temperature.
2. Get the oven as hot as possible
The pizza stone then needs to heat up gradually but it needs to get hot. (Get it as hot as possible).
Turn your oven to the hottest setting it can get to and allow it to reach that max temperature before putting the pizza on the stone.
3. The Pizza Stone Should Preheat for 45-60 minutes
You want your pizza stone to preheat to the right temperature, so leave it for at least 45 minutes. I prefer to let it heat up for a full 60 minutes. This has given me the best results. Leave it this long and the results will be a perfectly cooked pizza.
Preheat Pizza Stone on Grill or BBQ
It is possible to use a pizza stone on your grill and the time that you leave it to preheat is the same, although there are some differences that are important.
1. Put the Pizza Stone On The Grill
This should be done when the grill is cold. First of all if you place the stone on a hot grill then the thermal shock will cause it to break. Just like it does in the oven.
Second, its a lot harder to place something on a hot grill and not get your fingers burnt.
2. Place The Stone In Indirect Heat
If you’re using coal then place the stone on one side and heat it up with indirect heat. This basically means having one side of the grill heating with flames and the other side not. The heat will move around the Grill and heat up the stone slowly.
If your using a gas grill then you want to do the same. However since they don’t tend to get as hot, id have the burner under the stone be at around 25%. Any higher than this and you’ll burn the pizza base.
It’s all about testing as it does depend on the power of your grill.
3. Preheat the Pizza Stone
You now want to preheat the pizza stone on the grill for around an hour. If your in a hurry then you could give it a go after 45 minutes but I do like giving it a full 60 minutes.
That last 15 minutes can really help to give the crust a great colour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need To Preheat Pizza Stone When Baking Cold Pizzas?
Yes you still need preheat the pizza stone, not doing so will cause the pizza to not cook as well and could result in the stone breaking.
This is also why you should give it a full 60 minutes to preheat, as a cold pizza will reduce the temperature of the stone when its added.
Should You Reheat Pizza Stone When Baking Multiple Pizzas?
With each bake the pizza stone will drop in temperature. It’ll also drop each time you open the oven door.
I would recommend letting the pizza stone reheat for 10 minutes after each pizza, just to help it get back to the right temperature.
There are a few things to keep in mind when preheating your pizza stone. Whether you’re using an oven or a grill, make sure the stone is at room temperature before placing it in the heat source.
Ovens should be set to the highest possible temperature, while grills should use indirect heat.
The time required for preheating will vary depending on the type of heat source, but generally speaking you’ll want to leave the pizza stone heating for 45-60 minutes. After preheating, your pizza will cook perfectly!
Hopefully this guide has helped you learn how long to preheat pizza stone for. If you do have any questions please do post them below.