Do you know how to use a pizza stone correctly? A lot of people don’t and the reasons why are varied. But when used the right way, pizza stones provide an evenly heated surface for just about anything you want to bake. Another bonus is that pizza stones are so versatile, they are often used in professional kitchens, home kitchens and even on the grill.
Make sure you know how to use a pizza stone the right way with these easy tips.
Seasoning a Pizza Stone
Although some home bakers may recommend seasoning a pizza stone, experts advise against it. Pizza stones are made of porous materials that absorb moisture easily. This is what helps your dough bake up nice and crispy. Seasoning a pizza stone will result in oil seeping into your stone, which can make your pizza stone smoke when used. Most importantly, seasoning your pizza stone will not result in a non-stick glaze as it does with non-porous cast iron pans. If you want to make sure that your pizza stone has a non-stick surface, simply dust it with cornmeal or flour prior to use.
Preheating Your Pizza Stone
A pizza stone can act as a replacement for a wood-fired oven. When you use a wood-fired oven, you heat it up, let it get nice and toasty, and then place your pizza inside. The same goes for a pizza stone. Place it into the oven, on its own (without pizza) before you turn it on. Set the oven to the desired temperature and allow the oven and the pizza stone to heat up together. This creates an evenly heated pizza stone that is ready to bake pizza efficiently.
Once the pizza stone and oven are heated and ready to go, follow these next steps to safely get your assembled pizza onto the stone.
How to Put Pizza onto a Hot Pizza Stone
To get the pizza into the oven and onto the hot pizza stone, you’ll need to use a pizza peel, sometimes called a pizza paddle. A large flat cookie sheet or a big piece of sturdy cardboard can work too, but a pizza peel is much easier. Many chefs also find it easier to assemble the pizza on the pizza peel. If you plan to follow this method, make the surface of your pizza peel non-stick with the following steps:
- Spread flour or cornmeal onto the peel before putting the rolled out dough down.
- Place the dough on the peel and assemble your pizza toppings.
- Use a long handled spoon and sprinkle some of the cornmeal onto the pizza stone inside the oven.
- Slide the pizza peel into the oven and angle the peel to slide the pizza off and onto the pizza stone.
- Set your kitchen timer and bake your pizza according to your recipe’s instructions.
A Word of Caution:
When it’s time to take the pizza out, keep in mind that the pizza stone will be extremely hot and should not be handled at all. Do not attempt to remove the pizza stone with a conventional oven mitt or kitchen towel! Instead, use the same tools you used to safely put the pizza onto the stone.
How to Remove the Pizza from the Oven
Slide the pizza paddle into the oven and under the cooked pizza. The cooked dough should not stick to the stone. The crust may be a little baked on if this is one of the first few times you have used the stone, but it should release as the paddle slides between the crust and the stone. Make sure the pizza paddle is all the way under the pizza before gently balancing the pizza on the paddle and sliding it out of the oven.
Leave the pizza stone in the oven to cool. Simply turn off the oven, and leave the stone for an hour or more, until it is completely cooled. Wash your pizza stone and return it back to the oven for future use or store it in a safe and secure place in your kitchen.