The Ultimate Guide to Using a Pizza Stone in 2022

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We all strive to make the perfect homemade pizza, and learning how to use a pizza stone is a big part of this venture. Our guide addresses everything you need to know about pizza stones: what they are, the benefits of using one, and how to take care of your stone.

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What Is a Pizza Stone?

A pizza stone (or baking stone) is a flat, circular baking surface used for making pizza in a home oven. The stone is typically made of ceramic, clay, or cordierite—materials with porousness that allow for equal heat distribution and heat transmission, imitating the effect of a traditional wood-fired oven.

Pizza stones vary in size and thickness but are small enough to fit in a standard kitchen oven. It’s generally thought, however, that thicker stones are better. All these stones absorb and retain heat easily for a long time. So you need to be careful when removing them from the oven.

Why Is Baking on a Pizza Stone So Popular?

The taste of a pizza baked on a pizza stone is considerably different than one baked on a metal pan in your home oven. But why is this the case? The heat generated by the pizza stone is much higher than the heat provided by the oven itself. Baking a pizza at a high temperature enables the dough to bake appropriately and evenly, making the crust perfect. And who doesn’t love a crispy, delicious pizza crust?

Another feature that makes cooking pizza on a pizza stone a favourite household endeavour is that it reduces the baking time to approximately 10 minutes per pizza. So you could bake several pizzas in a short time.

DID YOU KNOW? The history of pizza goes back to ancient civilizations. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all ate flatbread with toppings—an early form of pizza. But pizza as we know it was created in Naples in the 1700s promoted as an inexpensive, fast food.

Benefits of Using a Pizza Stone

Besides the fact that a pizza stone is essential in making the perfect homemade pizza, there are many other benefits of using stones. If you’re not sure if getting a stone for your kitchen is the right thing to do, consider the following benefits.

  • Perfect crust: A stone absorbs moisture that allows the crust to become crispy.
  • Stays in the oven: You don’t need to find a different place for your stone; keep it in the oven.
  • Easy to clean: Taking care of a pizza stone is very simple.
  • Withstands high temperatures: The pizza stone temperature can reach 1,000 °C.
  • Distributes heat evenly: The heat is evenly dispersed across the stone’s surface.
  • Quick baking: Baking time is reduced significantly with a pizza stone.
  • Other uses: You can make barbecue, defrost foods, bake cookies, etc., with a stone.
DID YOU KNOW? Pizza stones have been used for thousands of years, traced as far back as the Palaeolithic Period (11,000 to 47,000 years ago). People used stones to bake food in fire pits, making this one of the earliest cooking techniques.

How to Use a Pizza Stone

Once you have all the right ingredients for your favourite pizza, and you’ve managed to make the dough, add the sauce, cheese, and toppings, the only thing left to do is bake it with your stone. To know how to use your stone, follow these simple steps below.

Step #1: Preheat the Stone

If you keep your stone in the oven, you only need to turn the oven on and wait for the temperature to reach at least 240°C. Remember, however, never insert the stone in an already heated oven because the stone could start cracking from thermal shock. The stone should be preheated simultaneously with the oven.

Step #2: Place the Pizza on the Stone

When learning about pizza stones and how to use them, remember that you need to use a pizza peel or plate without a rim to place the pizza on the stone. But always first sprinkle the peel or plate with cornmeal to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. The dough should also be kept at room temperature.

Step #3: Bake the Pizza for Approximately 10 Minutes

Depending on the oven, you should bake your pizza for 10 to 12 minutes. When the cheese starts to brown, it means that your pizza is baked. And don’t worry if you see steam—this is just moisture evaporating from the dough.

Step #4: Remove the Pizza From the Oven

One of the most important aspects of a pizza stone and how to use it is that it becomes extremely hot. You need to be very careful when removing the pizza from the stone. Wear kitchen mitts and use a pizza peel or similar utensil to slide the pizza from the stone.

Step #5: Let the Stone Cool

Before cleaning the stone, you must let the stone cool off completely. Otherwise, you could burn your hands cleaning it. You can leave it in the oven while it’s cooling off to avoid breaking it. And that’s all you need to know about how to use a pizza stone in the oven.

DID YOU KNOW? You shouldn’t season your pizza stone. The materials used for pizza stones will absorb the seasoning and affect everything you bake on the stone.

Key Takeaways

A pizza stone is a baking surface used for baking pizzas in a kitchen oven.
The pizza stone allows for even heat transmission and distribution in baking.
There are many benefits to a pizza stone: crispy crust, quick baking, easy cleaning, etc.
Pizza stones must be preheated before baking and completely cooled off before cleaning.
You can use pizza stones for other food, such as barbecue, vegetables, cookies, etc.

What Else Can You Bake on a Pizza Stone?

How to use a pizza stone for the first time for something other than pizza is a good question. Pizza stones are a great help in perfecting your pizza recipes, but you can use plenty of other baking ideas with them.

We’ve listed some of the following foods and recipes you can prepare with the help of your pizza stone.

  • Bread: Besides pizza, you can bake all sorts of dough recipes on your stone, but we highly recommend baking homemade bread.
  • Giant cookies: You can always bake standard-sized cookies, but why not bake a giant one when given the opportunity?
  • Barbecue: If you wish to know how to use a pizza stone on a BBQ grill, you could place the stone atop your barbecue or on a rack above the coals and cook the meat. (You can also bake your pizza using a stone and grill.)
  • Roast chicken: Pizza stones are large enough for a whole chicken. So instead of using a pan, use the stone to roast your chicken in the oven.
  • Fresh vegetables: A pizza stone is excellent for baking fresh vegetables. You can add salt and other spices to your veggies and have yourself a healthy meal.
  • Potato crisps: You can make extra crispy potato crisps and chips with your stone.
  • Frozen foods: Pizza stones are excellent for defrosting or preparing frozen food. You can even bake a frozen pizza.
  • Reheating food: One of the best tips on how to use a pizza stone in the UK is to reheat your leftover food. Leftovers taste better when reheated on a stone rather than in a microwave.
DID YOU KNOW? The first patent for frozen pizza was submitted in 1950 in the US, titled ‘Method for Making Frozen Pizza’. In the early 1950s, Massachusetts newspapers and stores began marketing 33¢ frozen pizzas and have remained a market staple ever since.

How to Preserve Your Pizza Stone

Once you’ve bought a stone for your kitchen, you also need to learn how to take care of it. Preserving a pizza stone is straightforward; all you need to do is follow these simple pizza stone instructions below.

  • Don’t season: Seasonings can seep into the slab and become impossible to clean. So it’s a good idea to avoid seasoning the stone.
  • Don’t expose to extreme temperatures: Putting a cold stone into a hot oven can cause cracking of your stone. And putting cold dough on the stone can have the same effect.
  • Don’t remove hot spots: Over time, stains and splotches will appear on your stone, which doesn’t mean that the stone is dirty. So don’t try to remove the stains by force.
  • Store in a safe place: It’s essential to store your stone in a safe place to avoid accidentally breaking it. (And be careful when using a pizza stone on a BBQ grill.) The best place for it is in the oven.
  • Don’t submerge in water: Even if your stone has completely cooled off, you should never submerge it into water since this can cause erosion.

If you wish to conduct a more in-depth cleaning of your stone, you can read about it here.

DID YOU KNOW? The Margherita pizza is one of the world’s most popular pizzas, named after Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889, who enjoyed it with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.

Conclusion

This guide has aimed to give you all the essentials on how to cook pizza on a pizza stone. Get yourself a stone, make your dough, and put your favourite toppings on it. And following our simple steps, you can make the perfect homemade pizza.

FAQ

Do you put pizza directly on pizza stone?

If you want to have a perfectly baked pizza, place the dough directly on a preheated pizza stone, which will provide an even heat distribution on the entire pizza.

How do you keep pizza from sticking to a pizza stone?

If you don’t want your pizza dough to stick to the stone, sprinkle the dough and pizza peel with cornmeal, semolina, or fine polenta—which are more granular than standard flour and won’t let the dough stick to the surface.

Do you season a pizza stone?

When learning how to use a pizza stone, it’s crucial to remember that you should never season the stone. The seasoning seeps into the stone and can alter the flavour of foods prepared on it.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I am a curiosity-driven creature searching for answers — and questions — in the digital realm. From marketing through online business creation to software tools — I am fascinated by everything that can make life easier. When not looking for meaning, yoga and good food keep me grounded.

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