If you have tried to find out how to season a pizza stone, you may have come across some conflicting information. Some guides advise seasoning a pizza stone with oil, please don’t do this. (Its going to smell and cause smoke….read on to find out why)
Some equipment does need seasoning and I think this is where the confusion comes into it. You see most manufactures actually tell you that you do not need to season your pizza stone.
Many actually specifically tell you not to use oil
When it comes to a pizza stone, seasoning has no benefits.
What Is Seasoning?
Okay so before I fully answer how to season a pizza stone, lets go through what we mean by seasoning.
Seasoning is the technique of applying oil to heated cast iron cookware and baking it in. The goal of seasoning is to form a protective layer that will prevent sticking while also preventing cast iron from rusting.
So when this comes to a cast iron skillet, since it can rust it needs to be seasoned. This stops any water causing it to rust, since it has that extra layer or protection.
Now its really easy to season. You simply coat a thin layer of oil over the entire pan and then put it in the oven and bake for 30-60 minutes.
When the oil is heated, it polymerizes and carbonizes, forming a barrier on the pan.
Now…How to season a pizza stone….well, you don’t.
A pizza stone is very different.
Why You Don’t Need To Season A Pizza Stone
So you got your new pizza stone and like all of your other cookware, you’re wondering whether or not you need to season it. You can just go online and do a search and it’s not the most clear on whether you should or shouldn’t.
Now i’ve been using pizza stones for awhile and have continued to learn more about making my own pizza.
To get straight to the point…
Should you season a pizza stone? No, pizza stones don’t need to be seasoned. They don’t rust and that is generally the reason why you would season cookware.
I’ve looked at a few different brands of pizza stones, and I haven’t found any that recommend oiling them. Several caution you against it, or even claim that oil application may damage the pizza stone.
What do Manufactures say about seasoning pizza stones?
There are several manufactures of pizza stones that even advise against seasoning them.
California Pizza Stones for example, advise not to use any oil. They also advise not to use any type of soap to clean and simply use water. (http://www.californiapizzastones.com/pizza/files/Conditioning-A-Pizza-Stone.php)
Here is a guide, on how to clean your pizza stone that you might find useful.
And then we have PizzaCraft, who are a well-known manufacturer. They do advise that if you season a pizza stone (specifically theirs), you will ruin the stone and end up it smelling and causing a lot of smoke. (https://www.pizzacraft.com/blogs/pizzacraft-blog/how-to-properly-use-a-pizza-stone)
Seasoning a pizza stone will also cause the flavour of your pizza base to change. You see these stones are absorbent, so they take on the flavour of whats been on it.
This is why you shouldn’t use soap. If you also use a lot of oil, the base might become very oily in flavour.
A couple of manufactures have mentioned if your cooking foods that are high in fat, then you might want to season the pizza stone. They do only suggest it but do not say you need to.
Plus I don’t think many people will be cooking high fat food on a pizza stone, homemade pizza dough is pretty healthy in comparison.
So in conclusion, you could season your stone. Some can withstand it and wont get damaged, whether you should or not is a different story. (You should always check with the manufacture)
What Are The Reasons Not To Season A Pizza Stone?
Many people look to learn how to season a pizza stone, but do you even need to season it? More often than not, people look at getting their cookware seasoned for a couple of reasons. Lets look into them below;
Seasoning A Pizza Stone Wont Make It Last Longer
The first is to make their cookware last longer, so you do not have to replace it. This is NOT the case when it comes to pizza stones. Seasoning wont make it last longer, not removing it from your pizza oven or washing it with soap will help it last longer.
The only cookware you need to season to help it last longer is those that will rust, IE Cast Iron
Pizza Will NOT Stick To A Pizza Stone
The other reason we season things is to stop food from sticking to it. There is no reason why food will stick to the pizza stone, if you’re using it correctly.
You should be pre-heating your pizza stone in the oven, so when you put your pizza on top it will be hot. The dough will therefore start to crisp up straight away and you’ll find it easy to remove.
Some Pizza Stones Are Naturally Seasoned
You may also season the pizza stone whether you want to or not. When you cook meals that contain a lot of oil on your pizza stone, natural seasoning can develop.
This oil will be absorbed by the stone as it drips on it. Because of this, odors and tastes from those fats may seep into other food you’re baking on the stone.
This is more common with pizza stones constructed of clay, which absorb oil more readily than ceramic ones.
Why You Shouldn’t Oil Your Pizza Stone
As a result, I recommend you skip the oil and try something different. The majority of pizza stones do not need to be oiled, according to what I’ve discovered.
Some even advise against it since most pizza stones will retain oil, which might produce smoke and unpleasant smells.
Furthermore, I’ve never noticed any advantages to seasoning a pizza stone. Seasoning does not appear to extend the life of the stone or improve its nonstick properties.
As a result, I don’t season any of my pizza stones personally.
As mentioned there may be natural seasoning, this is nothing to worry about. I’ve not noticed it cause any major spells or extra smoke.
What If Im Using A Cast Iron Pizza Stone?
I’ve been looking at different types of pizza stones or sheets, testing different things out to see the impact they have on the cooking of the pizza.
There have been a number of cast iron dishes that could be used to cook a pizza on.
Whether you use them to make pizza or something else, you will want to season these.
This is because the cast iron can rust, seasoning them will help to protect the iron and keep it lasting longer.
There are a number of reasons why people season cookware, but it is not necessary for your pizza stone.
Before using the stone, you should pre-heat it in an oven to ensure that food doesn’t stick and also so that any fats from cooking with high fat content do not affect other foods on the same surface.
Seasoning your pizza stone with oil for example will simply cause it to smoke more and even cause a unpleasant smell. So theres no need to.
The only time I recommend seasoning a pizza stone is if its made out of cast iron as they can rust without proper care.
In conclusion, most stones don’t need to be seasoned before use!