Looking for a pizza stone? Here’s the best pizza stone we’ve found, and care tips on how to clean it and what to do if it cracks.
A pizza stone is key to first-rate homemade pizza. Alex and I know from experience! Over the past 10 years, we’ve been researching how to make the best homemade pizza. The key to a great pizza is cooking it at very, very high heat. Since a standard oven can only reach temperatures of 550 degrees, if you’re making homemade pizza in your home oven it’s important to have have a pizza stone. This makes the pizza crust perfectly crispy on the bottom and chewy in the inside. Here’s the pizza stone we use!
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! (For the reasons why pizza stones crack, see the section below on Why did it crack?) 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
How to clean a pizza stone?
You shouldn’t need to clean your pizza stone, since cooking pizza on it will season it. Expect that it will become discolored as you use it: a seasoned stone is a good thing!
If you do want to clean it however, do not use soap or oil, and do not 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. Instead, let the stone cool to room temperature before cleaning it. Then use a blunt object like a spatula or plastic scraper to scrape off any burned pieces of food. If necessary, wipe it down with a damp cloth. Let your stone dry completely before using it again.
How to use a pizza stone
You might be wondering: do you preheat a pizza stone? How long to heat the pizza stone in the oven? Here’s how to use a pizza stone:
- Place the stone in the oven right when you preheat it for making the pizza. This way, it’s blazing hot when you go to make your pizza. It doesn’t really matter how long to heat the pizza stone in the oven: simply make sure it’s there during the preheating time.
- When you’re ready to make the pizza, stretch the pizza dough and place it onto a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal or semolina flour. The pizza peel is essential for sliding pizza onto the stone: there’s nothing like it!
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 to occur. 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.
- Avoid submerging the stone in water or oiling it. Refer to the washing instructions 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 pizza recipes?
Here are a few of our favorite pizza recipes so you can use your stone:
- Homemade Pizza Sauce
- Best Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe
- Food Processor Pizza Dough
- Veggie Supreme Pizza
- Best Ever Taco Pizza
- Best Margherita Pizza Recipe
- Egg Pizza with Scallions
- Breakfast Pizza
- California Veggie Pizza
- Best Mexican Pizza
- Kale & Pistachio Pizza
- Our Best Vegan Pizza
- How to Clean a Pizza Stone
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.