Pizza stones are a great investment for home pizza chefs, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro. Why should you invest in a pizza stone, and how can you find the best one for you? We’re here to help! Keep reading for our tips and product recommendations.
Why buy a pizza stone?
Pizza stones offer an excellent way to cook your pizza, especially if you like a crispy crust. When the pizza is put on a preheated pizza stone, the cooking process is similar to using a traditional pizza oven. The crust starts to cook immediately to develop a nice crisp instead of a doughy texture, and cook times are quicker as a result. Pizza stones provide a more consistent temperature and distribute heat evenly across the surface of your pizza. Additionally, the porosity of pizza stones also allows the excess moisture from your toppings to evaporate, which helps prevent sogginess.
What should you look for in pizza stones?
- Material: Stone, ceramic, cordierite, and cast iron are all common materials used to make pizza stones. Stone is strong and produces a nicely browned crust. Ceramic is a good option, especially for beginners—it’s lighter than stone and can be used at higher temperatures, but it may not be as durable. Although cast iron holds heat effectively, it can be heavy. Cordierite is a hard, durable material that can withstand high temperatures but is sometimes not the most low-cost option.
- Size: When choosing a pizza stone, be sure it’s not too big to fit in your oven. On the other hand, you’ll also want to ensure that it’s large enough to accommodate the pizzas you’ll be making. You should be able to find round pizza stones anywhere from 10 inches to 16 inches in diameter. Rectangular stones may be larger, even up to 20 inches.
- Shape: Pizza stones are usually round, square, or rectangular. Some round stones feature handles intended to be used for easy removal and serving. Square and rectangular stones usually offer a larger surface area, making them ideal for making large pizzas or a variety of other foods.
How should you care for a pizza stone?
Because different pizza stone materials require different cleaning methods, it is essential to consult the instruction booklet for your stone for specific cleaning and maintenance recommendations. Some may be washed with water and a mild (ideally unscented) detergent, whereas others cannot be cleaned with any soaps. Before cleaning your stone, ensure it has fully cooled down to avoid burning yourself or causing the stone to crack from rapid temperature changes. The most important aspect of cleaning your pizza stone is removing any baked-on food, so you’ll want to use a non-metal scraper or a brush to scrape off any stuck-on bits of food.
Pizza Stone by Hans Grill
Get delicious homemade pizza at a great value with this pizza stone set.
Pros: With this Hans Grill pizza stone and wooden peel set, you can be sure you have two important tools you need for pizza making in the oven or on the grill. The set features a rectangular stone and a wooden paddle for transferring your creation on and off the stone. The 15-centimeter thick cordierite material absorbs excess moisture from the dough and cooks the pizza base evenly for crispy, crusty pizza that’s sure to be a hit.
Cons: While the pizza stone is a generous 14.9 x 11.8 inches in size, the included peel is a bit smaller than many users expected, at about 10 inches in diameter.
Bottom Line: This pizza stone and paddle set is a good value for those who want to try their hand at making restaurant-style pizza at home. While the peel is likely to work out well for small or medium pies, those who want to make large pizzas may want to purchase a larger peel separately.
Weber Gourmet BBQ System Pizza Stone with Carry Rack
Transport, cook, and serve your pizza creations easily with this gourmet BBQ pizza stone that includes a carrying rack.
Pros: Enjoy great pizza on your grill in the convenience of your backyard with the Weber Gourmet BBQ System Pizza Stone. This 16.7-inch cordierite stone absorbs moisture during cooking, producing light and crispy thin crust pizza. The carry rack handles make transporting the pizza quick and easy. While the stone is designed for use with the Weber Gourmet BBQ System charcoal grate, users have had good results on various grills and even fire pits.
Cons: Some users may notice the pizza crust sticking to this stone. While the instructions prohibit the use of oil to prevent sticking, you may have good results by dusting the stone with cornmeal or cornstarch before placing the pizza on it.
Bottom Line: This pizza stone is a great choice for those who want a tool with handles for easier carrying. It’s also ideal for giving your BBQ a break from burgers and hot dogs to grill up a taste of Italy instead!
Cast Elegance Durable Thermal Shock Resistant Thermarite Pizza and Baking Stone
This pizza stone set includes a cleaning scraper and a 30-page recipe book.
Pros: This stone is made from Thermarite, a cordierite material that is food safe and durable, so you can make pizzeria-quality pizzas in your grill or oven. The stone’s 5/8th-inch thickness allows it to be oven safe up to 500°F for a perfectly crisp crust. Cleanup is simple using the included scraper to remove debris and a damp cloth to wipe clean. A recipe book with 30 pages of recipe ideas is included.
Cons: Although this stone is listed as odorless, some users may detect a smell the first times it’s heated. To avoid this, be careful not to introduce soap or submerge the stone in water, as the instructions recommend.
Bottom Line: Consider this stone if you’re serious about pizza making and want a product that’s suitable for use both in your oven and on the grill. With the 30-page recipe book included, you won’t have to worry about running out of ideas for gourmet pizzas made right at home.
Unicook Heavy Duty Cordierite Pizza Stone
This cordierite pizza stone can take the heat---up to 1,450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pros: Whether you’re cooking a homemade pizza, baking bread, or making cookies in your oven or on the grill, this stone from Unicook is perfect for the job. The heavy-duty natural stone distributes heat evenly while removing excess moisture from the dough to create a crisp crust. This pizza stone measures 14.9 x 11.8 inches with a thickness of 0.6 inches and weight of about 6.6 pounds. It comes with a multipurpose plastic dough scraper for use as a dough cutter before baking and a scraper for removing stuck-on debris during cleanup.
Cons: Some users may find this stone heavy and a bit cumbersome since it doesn’t have handles.
Bottom Line: This stone is an excellent selection for crunchy crust lovers who want the option of baking in the oven, grill, or smoker. Its heavy-duty quality and moisture-wicking porosity offer even cooking for pizza, calzones, crisp flatbreads, and much more.
Pizzacraft Rectangular ThermaBond Baking and Pizza Stone
You don't have to be shy about your pizza size with this 20- x 13.5-inch pizza stone.
Pros: This 20- x 13.5-inch Pizzacraft pizza stone provides plenty of space for your large pizzas, homemade breads, pastries, and more. Made from a 100% all-natural FDA-safe ThermaBond stone product, it is thermal shock-resistant and can withstand temperatures of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This pizza stone doesn’t require seasoning and cleans up with water, so you can focus less on maintenance and more on what extra-large baked creations you’ll try next!
Cons: Some users may notice a smell and smokiness with the first few uses. One possible remedy is to preheat the stone in the oven for several minutes, even up to an hour, before placing the food on it. As usual, be sure not to use soap when cleaning, as that can contribute to producing an odor during heating.
Bottom Line: If you have a sizeable oven or grilling space and love making large pizzas for gatherings or having leftovers, this may be an excellent pizza stone for you.
Pizza stones can help you impress your family, friends, and, most importantly, your taste buds with a crisp, evenly baked pizza crust! Whether you’re cooking up pizzas, bread, cookies, or calzones, one of these stones can suit your needs for great results in the oven or on the grill.