Anyone who loves homemade pizza knows the importance of owning a pizza stone. This flat stone is what you need to make pizza with a crispy crust.
Despite its usefulness, a pizza stone is exceptionally fragile. It can easily crack, discolor, and absorb soap. That’s why you need to be cautious when handling and cleaning pizza stones. Here’s a detailed guide on how to clean a pizza stone the right way.
How Often Should You Clean a Pizza Stone?
Surprisingly, you don’t have to clean your pizza stone regularly. Preparing pizza will season this stone. It isn’t unusual for it to get discolored or develop stains. You shouldn’t be worried about such changes.
Clean your pizza stone once you notice it has large chunks of food residue. Thorough cleaning might be necessary once in a while to maintain the stone’s natural finish. If the stone develops mold, cleaning it becomes mandatory.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Never use soap or detergents to wash your pizza stone. Soap might be the ideal ingredient to clean utensils, but it will ruin your stone. This happens because pizza stones are porous and will absorb any soap or detergents.
The stone’s pores will retain the soap even after thorough scrubbing and rinsing. In the end, you end up with appalling soapy flavors whenever you cook pizza.
Another thing to avoid is submerging your pizza stone into water. Its pores will retain moisture for a very long time. It’s also not advisable to try to get a clean pizza stone when it’s hot. A hot stone can burn your hands or skin.
Fast-cooling a hot pizza stone isn’t a good idea. Rapid temperature changes might cause the stone to crack or deform.
Never clean pizza stones on an unstable surface. Stones made from ceramic or clay can topple off and snap into pieces.
Methods of Cleaning a Pizza Stone
There are several ways to clean your pizza stone. The ideal method primarily depends on the available cleaning tools, your preferences, and the stone’s material. Below are some of these methods.
Hand Wipe Method
In this method, you use your hands for pizza stone cleaning.
Ingredients and Tools
Some of the cleaning tools and materials you will need include:
- A piece of cloth
- A blunt object like a spatula or plastic scraper
- Some water
Here’s what you should do.
Before washing pizza stones, assess whether they need any cleaning. The presence of significant food residues is the best indicator of a dirty stone. Proceed to the next step if your stone is dirty.
Cool the stone at room temperature and remove it from the oven. A hot stone will burn your hands.
Scrape the stone’s surface with a blunt object. The blunt tool can be a plastic scraper, spatula, or brush. Avoid using metallic and sharp objects as they can scratch and damage the pizza stone.
Sometimes, scraping won’t outrightly remove the food residues. If you persist, you might mess up with the stone’s pores.
A better alternative is to soak the food residues with tiny quantities of water before scraping. The water will help loosen the stuck food particles.
Avoid using water on iron pizza stones. Water may facilitate rusting in such stones.
Use a damp, clean cloth to wipe the pizza stone. The cloth/towel will gently remove any stubborn grime.
Allow the stone to dry before returning it to the oven. The oven should be at room temperature and not at a higher temperature.
Baking Soda Method
Are you still wondering how to clean a pizza stone? You could use baking soda to clean it. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help loosen food stuck on your pizza stone. If you have a moldy stone, consider mixing the baking soda with some vinegar.
Don’t scrub your pizza stone frequently using baking soda. It might damage clay pizza stones.
Ingredients and Tools
Below are the things you’ll need.
- Baking soda
- A stiff-bristled brush. It could be a stone brush, a repurposed toothbrush, or any plastic brush
- A soft, damp cloth
- Warm water
- A plastic spatula
Here’s how to get a clean pizza stone using baking soda.
The first step is mixing baking soda with warm water. The baking soda will dissolve quickly in water that’s about 50 ˚C.
The next step is scraping off food bits from the pizza stone. Gently scrape the stone’s surface using the plastic spatula or a blunt object. Be gentle enough to avoid scratching the pizza stone.
Dip the stone brush into the baking soda solution, then gently scrub the pizza stone. Brush slowly to avoid damaging the stone.
Alternatively, you can create baking soda paste then apply it to the stone. Afterward, brush the stone in a circular motion.
Wipe the stone using a clean cloth or towel.
Extreme Heat Method
Use this method to remove stubborn food bits that won’t come off after scraping or brushing. In this deep cleaning method, you overheat your oven. The excess heat will burn out all the food particles stuck on the pizza stone.
The tools you’ll need for this method include:
- An oven with self-clean mode
- A cloth
Here’s how to give your pizza a thorough cleaning in the oven.
Use a piece of cloth to wipe away any grease in the oven. Grease and oil are flammable at high temperatures, making them a fire hazard.
Carefully place the stone on the oven’s top rack.
Set the oven to about 500 ˚F. Temperatures above 500 ˚F might damage your pizza stone. Ceramic stones might crack while iron stones might deform.
Bake the stone for one hour. You might notice bubbles forming on the stone’s surface.
Enable the self-cleaning mode after the bubbles have stopped popping. All food particles in the stone will burn off.
Allow the oven to cool after the self-cleaning cycle ends.
Take out the stone from the oven and wipe it with a clean cloth.
Cleaning your pizza stone doesn’t have to be stressful. Learn how to clean a pizza stone using the above guide. Whatever method you pick, never use soap to clean your stone.