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How to Use a Pizza Stone

Four Parts:Using a Pizza StoneCleaning Your Pizza StoneGetting a Makeshift Pizza StoneIf the Pizza Keeps Sliding Off the Peel

A pizza stone cooks great pizza, and a whole lot more! Not only is it a great cooking surface, it can help your whole oven cook more evenly. Here's a quick and easy guide on how to get the most from this wonderful cooking tool.

Part 1
Using a Pizza Stone

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    Place the pizza stone in conventional oven. For cooking pizza and cookies, the top rack in the center is the ideal location. For cooking bread, biscuits, and other items, the middle rack in the center is the better choice.
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    Start with a cold oven. Never put a cold pizza stone in a hot oven, as it can shatter due to thermal shock.[1]
    • In fact, make sure never to expose the pizza stone to rapid temperature shifts. Placing a frozen pizza on a pizza stone is almost as likely to result in a shattered stone as placing a cold stone in a hot oven. You're better off cooking your frozen pizza straight on the rack.
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    Pre-heat the oven (if necessary) with the pizza stone in it.
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    Place the food item on the pizza stone with a pizza paddle. Do not grease or oil. For breads and pizza crust, you may want to add a little cornmeal to aid removal.
    • It can take a little finessing to get used to, but a pizza paddle is a useful instrument, especially for transferring uncooked pizza dough onto the stone. There are three different kinds of peels — short-handled wooden peels, long-handled wooden peels, and metal peels. For the average person cooking at home, the short-handled wooden peel will probably work best.
    • If you don't want to use cornmeal under your dough, you can also use flour. Rice flour is a great way to ensure the dough doesn't stick to your paddle.[2]
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    Leave the pizza stone in the oven, at least until it is entirely cool. You do not have to remove it at all, as it can add to a "brick oven effect" that actually helps your oven retain and spread heat more evenly. You can put cooking dishes, pots, pans, cookie trays, and so on right on the stone.

Part 2
Cleaning Your Pizza Stone

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    Use an implement like a metal spatula to take off any food that is stuck to the stone's surface. Of course, only do this once you're sure the pizza stone is cool enough to handle.
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    Never use dish soap on a pizza stone. The pizza stone can be cleaned and rinsed entirely with water. With a clean sponge, wipe away any remaining food or grime using only water. Do not try to remove oils that build up — it is fully unnecessary. Leaving the oils on the stone actually helps season the stone, turning it into a slicker, more easy-to-use item.
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    Don't let the pizza stone soak in water for too long. A simple once-over is probably more than enough. If you pizza stone happens to absorb too much moisture when it's soaking in the sink, it can crack the next time you heat it in the oven.[3]
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    Don't worry about the pizza stone getting stained. Stains on your pizza stone are normal and almost unavoidable. Moreover, they're like a badge of honor, or experience points — something that you point to as a vindication of your cooking skills.
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    Place your stone back in the oven when cleaned, or store it in a safe place with very little traffic. You can house your pizza stone in the oven even as you bake other items. Just bake them on top of the stone itself. For heavier items, like a roast, move the pizza stone to the bottom rack before cooking.

Part 3
Getting a Makeshift Pizza Stone

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    Measure the inside of your oven carefully. You should know how much space you have to work with before you select your stone. You'll be kicking yourself if you buy a stone and then realize that your oven isn't large enough for it.
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    Look for unglazed quarry stone for your makeshift pizza stone.[4] Commercial pizza stones can be quite pricey. If you're a bottom line sort of person and only worried about the taste of your pizza, not the look of your stone, you can purchase a quarry stone for around $5 to $10. You can start your search at any home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe's.
    • Look for clay or shale tiles, specifically, when you search for your stone. Terracotta tile works really well, as does most any stone that is labeled "all natural clay and shale."
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    When looking for quarry stone, choose unglazed quarry stone. Glazed quarry stones contain lead, which is poisonous and generally to be avoided in all cooking items.[5]
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    Decide whether you want to purchase one large stone or several smaller stones. Although one larger stone may be more aesthetically pleasing, several smaller stones may be more versatile in the end. You can position several smaller stones on various racks on your oven; they'll absorb heat, meaning that you can turn off your oven and let the heat emanate from the stones without burning extra energy. With several smaller stones, the heat gets more evenly dispersed.
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    Use the makeshift pizza stone as you would any commercial pizza stone. Enjoy pizza, French bread, cookies, bagels, and much more.

Part 4
If the Pizza Keeps Sliding Off the Peel

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    Shape the pizza on the peel the way you like it.
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    Be sure to stab the dough with a fork so it doesn't bubble up in the oven.
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    Don't put toppings on it.
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    Slide the dough alone onto the stone. Cook for about five minutes.
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    Pull out of the oven using the peel.
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    Load the ingredients onto the half cooked dough. The half cooked crust should be much easier to slide off the peel and back into the oven despite the extra weight.


  • If you choose to store your pizza stone outside of the stove, be aware it is fragile. Store flat in an area it is unlikely to fall.


  • Do not use a knife or pizza cutter on the stone. Always transfer item to cooling surface before cutting. The cutting implement will be damaged by being used on the pizza stone, although it won't hurt the pizza stone.

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