Frozen pizza on a pizza stone is a go-to option for most time-sensitive people.
From working parents running late from work and with hungry kids waiting for dinner, to the group of friends looking for a good partner for their ice-cold beers, frozen pizza has been a part of the nation's food culture.
Moreover, why would it not be? It is relatively cheap and available in the frozen aisle of most groceries.
It is also straightforward to prepare. You only need to heat that oven, pop the frozen pizza in, wait a few minutes, and dinner is served.
However, most people know that this type of dinner will not always be a happy ending.
As with most easy to prepare and frozen dishes, the convenience it provides comes with a hefty price.
The taste, texture and overall quality of the pie from the frozen aisle is miles apart from what one would expect from a homemade – and to an extent, restaurant delivery – pizza.
Soggy crusts and lackluster toppings are some of the chief complaints people have when it comes to frozen pizza.
However, do we have to continue suffering that frozen fate, or is there a better option?
Thankfully, that's where the pizza stone comes in. Not only useful for cooking the fresh kind, but you can also cook a frozen pizza on a pizza stone with very positive results.
Pizza stones are usually made with ceramic or some heat-absorbent material that does two critical things.
It takes in both the heat of the oven (or grill, if you are using it on one) and the moisture from the food item on top of it.
This translates to a hotter and better cooking surface for the frozen pizza, producing a crisper, well-cooked crust that is void of any sogginess.
However, before hastily cooking a frozen pizza on a pizza stone expecting a perfect result, hold your horses.
There are some important things to look at to get the expected outcome, as well as some tricks to learn for getting better results.
How to use a pizza stone for frozen pizza is probably not on the top three things anyone has on his or her mind when it comes to this topic.
Preparing your frozen pizza on a pizza stone seems like a done deal, but one wrong move can wreck the process. Worse, you might need to throw the stone out.
Placing your frozen pie carelessly on the hot stone will cause a thermal shock, breaking the stone.
This happens because of the sudden change of temperatures on the pizza stone. The difference stresses the material, in this case, the stone, which results to cracks on the surface, or breakage.
To prevent thermal shock from happening, there are two options. The first option is to have the frozen pie thaw out, then place it on the heated stone.
Using a microwave to bring the pie up to temperature will be the fastest way to do this.
Stones and Pizza provides a viable alternative to this method. According to the site, start cooking the frozen pizza on top of the oven rack.
Once it is partially cooked, move it on the stone. Doing it this way lets you stick to the general cooking instructions while getting the best possible result.
The other is to place the frozen pizza on the stone before heating the oven. This way, both items will warm up in the oven at the same time and taking out any possibility of a thermal shock.
The said method may be a bit trickier though, as the cook time may be shorter as a result of entering the oven while it is preheating.
As we previously discussed, being mindful of the temperature between the pizza stone and the frozen pie is the first key to getting a better pie. Another thing to consider is the temperature of your oven while cooking.
Commercial ovens are set to high temperatures, ranging from 700 to 1,000 degrees. The high heat allows the pies to cook faster, resulting in a beautiful, crispy crust and cooked tasty toppings.
While we may not own a restaurant-quality commercial oven, we may get a similar result using what we have at home.
Home ovens usually hit the ceiling at 500 degrees, a significant difference from the commercial kind.
Having a pizza stone in the oven, however, helps increase the internal temperature, closing the gap.
Now place the thawed frozen pie on a stone and keep a close eye, as the bake time will only be between 5-8 minutes.
Leaving it for a minute or so more can turn your pie from crispy crusted to black as ash, and almost no one wants that.
A Reddit user by the name of numbahtwelve shared this Life Pro Tip, calling it the most critical trick in upgrading frozen pies.
The post even claims that when cooking a frozen pizza on a pizza stone with this method, instructions can be thrown out of the window.
Along with cooking the frozen pie on high heat, the aforementioned Reddit post also suggests adding some stuff to your pie.
Before placing the pie in the oven, brush the right amount of olive oil on the crust. The addition of the olive oil helps the crust have its delicious crispy finish.
You can also elevate the flavor of the frozen pie by adding toppings to it. Placing freshly crushed garlic on top of the frozen pizza can even out the pie’s flavor profile that usually ranges from bland to super sweet. Garlic powder can also work if fresh garlic is not available.
Additional meats like pepperoni, bacon or ham can also be added to give the pie more meaty weight.
Having vegetables and herbs combined can also provide the once boring pie brighter color and a more fragrant scent. Then there’s cheese. Who does not want more cheese on their pie?
If desired, grab your preferred cheese and add a generous amount on top of the pie before baking. Nothing will be better for a cheese lover than a cheese-loaded pizza.
However, before loading up that pie, be reminded that additional toppings mean more cook time in the oven.
Now that we have covered some of the basics when it comes to cooking a frozen pizza on a pizza stone, it's time to step up on the cooking game. Here are additional things you can try when cooking.
Knowing how to use a pizza stone for frozen pizza is a fun and rewarding experience. However, properly keeping and cleaning the stone is also a big part of the learning process.
Remember that your pizza stone will continue working with you to get the best out of frozen pizza, but only if you take care of it.
Avoid cutting the pizza directly on the stone. As recommended by Leaf TV, cutting the cooked pie directly on the pizza stone surface may cause some damage to the stone. These marks may affect its performance in the long run.
As for cleaning the stone, make sure that it has cooled down entirely for easier handling. A dry, stiff brush can be used to remove burnt cheese or pie crusts that are stuck on the surface.
Wiping the surface off with a damp cloth after scrubbing is an excellent way to finish cleaning.
Also, do not submerge the stone in water, or use any soap for cleaning. The attractive property of the pizza stone may take in the soap and may affect the taste of your dish upon next use.
With these tips added to your arsenal, frozen pizza will never be a boring, last-choice dinner option for anyone anymore.
Just keep practicing the tips on how to use a pizza stone for frozen pizza. Who knows, given time, pizza nights may be the best nights you will have with either your family or friends.