Pizza stones are infamously fragile. What’s the best way to clean one? Here’s how to clean a pizza stone without cracking it.
A pizza stone is key to first-rate homemade pizza. Over the past 10 years, Alex and I have been researching how to make the best homemade pizza: and a pizza stone is absolutely key. Why? It’s what makes the pizza crust perfectly crispy on the bottom and chewy in the inside. But how to clean a pizza stone? Pizza stones are infamously fragile and can easily crack. Here’s how to clean a pizza stone…the right way!
How to clean a pizza stone?
First things first. As a rule, you shouldn’t need to clean your pizza stone. What? Yes, it’s actually better NOT to clean a pizza stone. Cooking pizza on it will season it. Over the course of use, you’ll notice black spots and stains. These are totally okay. Expect that a pizza stone will become discolored as you use it: a seasoned pizza stone is a good thing! But if you have a pizza accident and end up with large chunks of food on your pizza stone, this might be the right time to consider how to clean a pizza stone. If it becomes necessary, here’s how to clean a pizza stone:
- Assess whether the stone needs to be cleaned. Stains and discoloration will occur over time: a properly seasoned pizza stone has both. If there are large chunks of food you’d like to remove, go to Step 2.
- Let the stone cool to room temperature. Then carefully remove it from the oven.
- Use a blunt object to scrape off burned pieces of food. Use a spatula or plastic scraper that will be gentle on the pizza stone.
- If necessary, wipe it down with a damp cloth. Do NOT use soap or oil, or submerge it in water. The pizza stone is porous, so if you use soap it is absorbed into the stone. And, moisture can cause it to crack.
- Let the stone dry completely before using it again. Then place it gently in a room temperature oven; do NOT place a cold stone directly in a hot oven, or it could crack.
What’s the best pizza stone?
Looking for a pizza stone? Confession: Alex and I have gone through a few pizza stones in our day; we’ve cracked a few! So, we’ve now invested in one that’s a little more heavy duty. It’s more durable than most inexpensive stones, but still moderately priced. Here’s the one we think is the best: Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone.
ORDER IT! Round pizza stone $36
Why did my pizza stone crack?
It’s not uncommon that a pizza stone can crack! Since it’s made of ceramic, drastic changes in temperature can cause a fracture. Also, submerging the stone in water can weaken it if its not allowed to dry properly. Putting oil on a stone can also cause it to crack. How to avoid cracking your pizza stone? Here are a few tips:
- Keep your stone in the oven at all times. This way it will be in the oven for the preheat and won’t undergo drastic temperature changes.
- Minimize handling. Moving the stone in and out of the oven can cause cracks. So do this as minimally as possible.
- Avoid submerging the stone in water or oiling it. Refer to “How to clean a pizza stone” above.
Some cheaper pizza stones aren’t designed to withstand very high temperatures. Check the specifications before you buy your stone (this pizza stone can withstand up to 2000 degrees!).
What if you follow all these directions and your stone still cracks? Don’t worry about it — you can actually still use a cracked stone! All you have to do is keep the two halves of the stone next to each other in the oven. Since you don’t need to ever take the stone out of the oven, it works the same whether it’s whole or broken!
Looking for more pizza recipes?
Now that you’ve learned how to clean a pizza stone, you’re ready to roll! Here are some of our favorite pizza recipes:
- Best Margherita Pizza Recipe
- Pesto Pizza
- Mushroom Pizza with Fresh Herbs
- Best Ever Taco Pizza
- Veggie Supreme Pizza
- Breakfast Pizza
- Perfect Neapolitan Pizza
- Spicy Vegetarian Diavola Pizza
- Loaded Mexican Pizza
- Artichoke & Cherry Tomato Pizza
- Best Anchovy Pizza
- Our Best Vegan Pizza
- Egg Pizza with Pecorino
- Easy Calzone Recipe
- Homemade Easy Pizza Sauce
- How to Make Thin Crust Pizza Dough
- KitchenAid Pizza Dough Recipe
- Best Pizza Stone & Best Pizza Oven
- All Homemade Pizza Recipes!
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.