Pizza stones are an invaluable asset to any oven, yet some individuals remain confused on how best to care for it. Some believe oiling should be applied frequently to reduce stickiness; others consider this step unnecessary.
Pizza stones don’t require special treatment to work effectively; here are a few tips for using and cleaning them:
Table of Contents
Don’t Oil It
Pizza stones are essential tools for anyone wanting to produce restaurant-quality pizza at home, from creating crispy crusts to keeping cheese from melting away too quickly. While oiling your stone might seem like an appealing solution, doing so could actually damage it and compromise its functionality!
Most pizza stone manufacturers recommend against oiling your pizza stone as this could cause it to absorb too much oil, leading to smoking or emitting bad odors when baking pizza. A better solution may be using non-stick coating for pizza baking instead of oil.
If your pizza stone has become stained with grease, an easy way to clean it up without changing its flavor is creating a paste from water and baking soda. Simply apply this mixture directly onto any affected areas before leaving it sit for several minutes before wiping clean with a damp cloth.
Many pizza stones suffer from sticking at the bottom of their ovens. To minimize this inconvenience, it’s essential that your stone be properly cleaned after each use – this will reduce its chance of sticking in future uses and will decrease any chance of future sticky situations.
People also often have issues with their pizza stone smoking, typically caused by it absorbing liquid from previous pizzas. To stop this from happening, it’s best to use non-stick coatings such as cornmeal or flour on your pizza instead of oil.
Some individuals experience issues with their pizza stone cracking. This may occur if you place a cold pizza stone into an oven that experiences rapid temperature changes and experiences thermal shock, causing it to crack as soon as it comes in contact with heat. To avoid this scenario, store it inside your oven when not being used for optimal temperature regulation and rapid temperature changes.
Don’t Pre-Season It
Pre-seasoned pizza stones may appear counterintuitive, yet can actually be harmful. That is because too much oil could build up on them and stop heat from traveling evenly throughout the oven – leading to uneven cooking or even burning of your pizza!
Pre-seasoning with oil can also result in water seeping into its pores, creating an unpleasant soapy flavor which may be difficult or impossible to eliminate. Washing the stone presents another issue as its water and oil come into direct contact, potentially creating an unusual taste in your pizza.
How can you maintain the condition of your pizza stone? One way is to skip pre-seasoning it altogether and use it only as needed – although your pizza may take slightly longer to cook as a result, but still produce results more similar to those of a brick oven than on an ordinary metal baking sheet.
Scrubbing away stains from your pizza stone using a paste made up of equal parts water and baking soda may help. Rub gently against the surface of your stone to scrub out stains before allowing it to fully dry before placing back in your oven – this may require time, since you must allow your stone to heat up sufficiently prior to baking on it as this helps avoid sogginess or experiencing large thermal shocks that cause it to crack and make your pizza stick!
If you opt to pre-season your pizza stone, lightweight oils like flaxseed or rapeseed oil should be used as these won’t damage the stone when coming into contact with it, plus won’t have a strong aroma that could transfer onto your pizza.
Don’t Clean It
Pizza stones are typically composed of porous materials that absorb oil from food being cooked on them, which helps improve pizza flavor while preventing sticking. Unfortunately, though, using soap and water for cleaning purposes could damage them and leave behind residue that’s difficult to get rid of.
Soaking the pizza stone in hot water will do more harm than good. The hot water can seep into its pores, creating wet spots on your stone that could ruin its taste – and ultimately destroy its useability!
Of course, using soap with harsh chemicals could damage your pizza stone. To keep the stone safe while cleaning it off properly and safely after each use, use a non-toxic solution of equal parts water and baking soda – make sure that after use you rinse thoroughly with clean water and let dry completely before returning it to use!
If your pizza stone has a persistent odor or stain, it could be time for you to clean it. Before doing so, however, make sure it has reached room temperature before proceeding – this process may take time since heat retains in pizza stones so much of their energy stays inside until finally dissipating into the atmosphere.
Once your pizza stone is cool, use a plastic spatula to scrape its surface using light but firm strokes. Be wary not to overdo this step or you risk scratching its surface! Alternatively, any kind of nonabrasive cloth should do just as well for wiping down.
Once you’ve cleaned off as much food as possible from your pizza stone, allow it to sit for at least an hour so it can dry out a bit and make future food removal simpler.
If there are stubborn stains on your pizza stone that won’t come off with gentle rubbing, consider placing it in the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit and baking for one hour to break down any oil or grease that has adhered to its surface. This should help break up oil build-up while helping break down grease that’s stuck to it.
Don’t Put It in the Oven
As it’s difficult to keep a pizza stone completely hygienic, even experienced pizza chefs may end up accidentally spilling some oils and fats onto it during use, leading to pizza that sticks. Applying oil directly can also prevent proper baking of your pizza; try dusting it instead with flour or cornmeal; this can reduce moisture while helping prevent sticking.
Avoid washing your pizza stone with soap as this can contaminate it and leave behind an unpleasant taste in your next pie. If necessary, line it with parchment paper as this will prevent food from getting stuck between its fibers while protecting both it and your pizza stone from damage.
If you have been using a pizza stone for some time, you may notice it turning darker and crustier over time as the stone absorbs fats from your meals. If this occurs to you, it might be beneficial to invest in a replacement pizza stone immediately.
Salt can also help your pizza stone stay grease-free by acting similarly to what salt scrubbers would do on cast-iron pans – just make sure that when using this method you use either a metal spatula or brush so as not to damage its surface!
Another great way to make sure your pizza stone lasts longer is to preheat it before each use in the oven, which will help clean off any residue and ensure that it reaches the appropriate temperature for baking – and ensure your pizza gets evenly baked!
Do not place a cold pizza stone into the oven as this could result in cracking and shattering, as well as setting off your fire alarm system. Instead, preheat for 30 minutes prior to placing in oven; also be mindful to place away from items like oven racks that can easily catch on fire.