A pizza stone is a flat, heavy piece of stone, wood, or ceramic that you can use to cook pizza, bread, or other foods in your oven. Often used by professional chefs, pizza stones are now available for home cooks who want to up their baking skills.
Here's everything you need to know about how to use a pizza stone.
Stone Baked Pizzas
Stone baked pizzas are said to have a better flavor and texture than those cooked on a metal baking sheet. If you're looking for a crispy crust, a pizza stone is the way to go.
Pizza Stone Types
There are 3 main types of stone: ceramic, stone, and wood.
- Ceramic stones are made from clay that has been fired in a kiln, while stone sheets are made from materials like granite, slate, or soapstone.
- Ceramic stones take longer to heat up than the stone ones, but they're less likely to crack. The stones conduct heat more evenly, so they're better for making thin-crust pizzas.
- Wooden pizza boards can also be used, but they need to be seasoned before each use (more on that later).
No matter what type of pizza stone you choose, make sure it's big enough to fit your oven and the size of pizza you want to make.
Prepping Your Pizza Stone
Before you use your pizza stone for the first time, you'll need to season it.
- Seasoning a pizza stone helps to create a non-stick surface and prevents the stone from absorbing moisture from the dough.
- To season your pizza stone, simply rub it with a light layer of oil and bake it in a hot oven for 30 minutes.
- Once your pizza stone is seasoned, you're ready to use it.
How To Use A Pizza Stone
When you're ready to bake your pizza, preheat your oven to the temperature specified in your recipe.
- If you're using a stone pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack in the oven.
- If you're using a ceramic pizza stone, place it on the middle rack.
- If you're using a wooden pizza paddle, make sure to flour it generously so the dough doesn't stick.
- To transfer the dough to the stone, gently roll it out onto the paddle and then carefully transfer it to the hot stone.
- Or, if you're feeling confident, you can simply pick up the dough and drape it over the stone.
Pizza Stone Use Step-by-Step
Preheat & place the stone in the oven:
- Preheat your oven and place the stone on the middle rack before you start working on your pizza dough.
- This will give the stone time to heat up so that it's nice and hot when the pizza hits it.
- Aim for a temperature of around 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare your dough:
- Once your oven is preheated and your stone is in place, it's time to get started on the dough.
- If you're making a traditional Neapolitan pizza, you'll want a thin, pliable dough that you can stretch out into a 12-inch circle.
- If you're making a thick-crust pizza, you can use a pre-made dough or make your own using this recipe.
- Once your dough is ready, dust it with cornmeal and transfer it to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Top your pizza:
- Now it's time to add your toppings! Get creative and use whatever ingredients you like
- Just remember not to go overboard or your pizza will be too heavy and might stick to the stone.
- Once you've added your toppings, transfer the pizza (still on the parchment paper) onto the hot stone in the oven.
Bake your pizza:
- Depending on how thick your crust is and how many toppings you've added, your pizza will need to bake for anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
- Keep an eye on it and rotate it halfway through so that all sides get evenly cooked.
- You'll know it's done when the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is nice and golden brown. Slice and serve immediately!
Tips & Tricks
- If you're using a frozen pizza, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the package.
- To clean your stone, simply wait until it has cooled and then scrub it with a stiff brush and warm water. Avoid using soap, as this can leave a residue.
- If your stone is starting to look stained or discolored, you can try soaking it in a vinegar solution overnight to help clean it.
- Cooking with pizza stones: these can be used for more than just pizza! Try baking bread or cookies on one for a crispy, delicious result.
- With a pizza stone, you can make all sorts of delicious dishes like dessert pizza, chocolate chip cookies, roasted potatoes, loaded fries and chicken quesadillas. Check out the video below for some inspiration on cooking these 5 tasty dishes and more.
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By following these simple tips, you'll be able to achieve perfect results every time. Bon appetit!