Choose The Perfect Pizza Stone To Make The Perfect Pizza

Choose The Perfect Pizza Stone To Make The Perfect Pizza

A pizza stone is a baking stone specifically designed to make professional quality pizzas.

In fact, baking a pizza on these type of products mimics the same effects as if you were cooking one in a masonry oven.

Most people wonder why using this type of product makes such a massive difference in regards to baking pies. 

When making pies in a home oven, you need the extra tools that elevate the pizza’s quality. Since you don’t have the oven that most pizza restaurants utilize.

The problem with most home ovens is that it can't reach the temperature needed for pies to bake properly. 

A pizza stone can retain high temperatures of heat that your home oven can't reach, so the pie is baked at the right temperature.

Pizza Stone Types: A Breakdown

Keep in mind that there are four different types of model types to choose from.

Therefore, depending on the kind of pie you want to bake, you should buy the model type that can properly cook your pizza.

Clay Or Stone Made style

A stone or clay made type is the classic model that you’ll most commonly see in people’s kitchens.

Specifically, these product types are so popular because they mimic the conditions of a brick oven. Which is the best type of oven to bake your pie in.

Moreover, stone made models work to absorb the heat from your oven.

Therefore, your pie bakes right on top of a heat source that’s emitting the proper temperature. 

This means there is a direct heat transfer that ensures your pie's crust bakes evenly.

Stone made pizza stone.

Most clay versions can withhold a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Which makes all the difference when you are making these type of dishes. 

Clay models are also the ones with a porous nature that works to pull the moisture off from the pizza dough, which leaves your pie with a professional crispy crust.

Most stone made type models contain a fired-clay material that feels similar to brick, which makes sense as to why this type of model mimics a brick oven.

There are also clay type models made with a more durable synthetic material called cordierite.

Models made out of cordierite can withstand extremely high temperatures and resist thermal shock. 

Cordierite models tend to be thicker than standard fired-clay ones. Hence, they produce a crispy crust in a shorter time span.

Which is something to keep in mind when it’s your first time making an in-home pie.

Pros

  • Wide variety of clay or stone made product types available at varying prices
  • Achieves a crispy pizza crust

Cons

  • You have to preheat a stone made model in your oven for a minimum time of 30 minutes before baking your pie
  • Can be difficult to maintain and clean
  • Overuse can cause it to break or crack

Cast Iron Made models

For those who value convenience and easy to use kitchen tools, the cast iron made model will work better for you than a stone made model.

The only thing you’ll need when you use a cast iron pizza stone is heat resistant gloves to remove the pie from the oven.

Most cast iron made models are designed with handles placed on each side, so the process of removing your pie from the oven just got easier. 

The handles are especially convenient when you want to turn the pie around while it's baking, so it receives uniform heating.

Cast iron made model take a fraction of the time it takes for a stone made model to heat up.

A clay model type typically takes 30 minutes to heat up while a cast iron model takes only 15 minutes and shortens the overall pizza baking time as well.

Cast iron made pizza stone.

Since cast iron models are extremely durable, they won’t break or crack when there is a drastic temperature change.

A cast iron made pizza stone will also stay consistently hot once it reaches its desired temperature, which results in a uniformly baked pie.

Some people prefer cast iron made models over any other type because of how versatile they are.

It is, in fact, one of the most multi-functional kitchen items you could buy for your kitchen when compared to other model's materials.

You can use a cast iron made model on various heat sources that involve more than just your home oven.

A cast iron made pizza stone could be used on a grill, stovetop, over a campfire, and can even function as a griddle.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly
  • Easier to maintain and clean when compared to stone made models
  • Will last decades
  • Won’t crack or break
  • Handles for easy maneuverability

Cons

  • Heavy to carry
  • Some can only retain heat at a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which is lower than the recommended temperature for baking pies

Steel Made model

Steel made pizza stones has just recently entered the kitchen supply industry, and people are satisfied with the results it provides.

This model functions similarly to cast iron ones, but it contains unique features that separate it from its competing material.

Steel made product type lovers all rave about how steel works to heat up quickly and bake your pie more evenly than clay or stone ever can. 

In fact, most users claim that steel made models create a pie that has a crispy, wood fired restaurant quality crust in the comfort of your home.

Steel made pizza stone.

Since steel models are made purely of steel, it has extremely high thermal conductivity.

This means the heat from the steel’s surface can quickly move to whatever is placed on it.

When compared to ceramic models, the thermal conductivity of steel measures to be 18 times greater, which comes in handy when you’re baking pies.

You can bake more than pies on this type of model so that you can master baking pastries, bread and more.

Pros

  • Can combine them with stone made models
  • Extremely durable
  • Pizza cooks quickly & evenly
  • Can function at lower temperatures than stone made & ceramic models

Cons

  • Constant maintenance to prevent rust buildup
  • Very expensive
  • Extremely heavy with no handles

Ceramic Made Pizza Stone

For those who prefer fluffy pies without a thin crispy crust, ceramic pizza stones will get the job done. 

Out of all the models available, ceramic models are the easiest to use and maintain.

Hence, they are a great beginner kitchen tool for those who don’t have experience making pies at home.

The other models pale in comparison to ceramic made models since these come in a variety of shapes and colors so you can make any pizza possible.

Maintaining ceramic models doesn't involve much work since it can be easily cleaned with just soap and water.

These don't rust over time, which commonly happens to steel made models.

Keep in mind that with a ceramic made model, you'll be trading its ability to make professional quality pies with its capacity to be easily cleaned.

Ceramic made pizza stone.

Ceramic models are typically lightweight, so you can easily maneuver your way around the kitchen with it.

You can also cut the pizza start on the ceramic pizza stone without ever damaging or scratching the model type. 

In fact, ceramic is proven to less likely crack than clay made models.

Since ceramic doesn't have high thermal conductivity, the temperature you can heat it up to is a smaller number when compared to steel made models.

High-quality ceramic made models are safe to heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Which isn't the ideal temperature to bake pies in, but it explains why ceramic types result in a less crispy crust.

With ceramic, you want to heat it up in the oven for at least 30 minutes before you can add the raw dough for the pie. 

It’s safe to say that ceramic and stone made models share many similar features while the only main difference between the two would be price.

Pros

  • Makes the pie making process easy
  • Variety of shapes, sizes, & colors
  • Lightweight
  • Distributes heat evenly

Cons

  • Can crack after long time usage
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t hold heat as well as the other models

Specs You Should Look Out For

When it comes to finding the ideal model type that best suits your needs, you need to familiarize yourself with the specs relevant to these type of products.

There is a huge market for these type of products, which means there are a lot of models to choose from that have different features that work together to make a particular type of pies.

Where Can You Use It?

People are unaware that the oven isn’t the only place where you can use these type of products to make pies. 

These products work by absorbing extreme heat, and your oven isn’t the only place the emits high temperatures of heat.

In fact, you can use them on ovens, grills or both to make your perfect pie. 

Pies made on a grill result with a pizza that has a healthier and crispier crust that is unachievable in a home oven.

Before you buy one of these products, you should read its label to figure out the model’s maximum temperature capacity.

Not many type of models are suitable for grills because it depends on the model's material since each one emits varying temperatures.

This means you should also find out whether your particular model is grill or broiler safe, so you can maximize the places in which you can use your particular product.

Stone Type

As you read earlier, there are various kinds of model materials that work differently to make your vision of a perfect pie a reality. 

You can choose between a stone, cast iron, steel, or ceramic made models.

If you expect heavy use out of your model, you should go with a steel or cast iron made model since it's nearly impossible to break or crack one of those.

You can even throw it on the floor and observe how the floor is more fragile than these type of products.

Small round pizza stone.

People who expect moderate to light use out of their model type will find that a ceramic or stone made models will suffice for their baking needs.

The traditional model type is made out of clay or ceramic, while the new steel and cast iron models are modern attempts to innovate the original model.

If you’re looking to make an authentic pie, a product model made out of ceramic or clay is the route you should take.

For those who have all the time in the world to make their pies, a ceramic or clay made models would be the prime option since they take at least 30 minutes to heat up to the correct temperature.

Steel made models work faster and emit more heat than your traditional models, so they are ideal when you’re making pizza in bulk.

Cast iron made models work similarly to steel made ones, while price is their only difference.

Ultimately, the amount of money you want to drop on one of these products dictates the type of model you can purchase.

Size & Weight

These type of products come in various sizes and weights, and the material it’s made out of is responsible for both its size and weight.

Keep in mind that all models have diameters that measure anywhere between 10 inches to 16 inches, so you can make single sized to a large sized pie.

Pizza Stone Type

General Size Specs

General Weight Specs

Steel Made 

Ranges from .25 inches to 3/4 inches deep

.25 inches will weigh around 15 pounds with every quarter inch being 15 pounds extra

Stone Made

1/2 inch to 1 inch deep

Height: 1 inch

Around 10 pounds

Ceramic Made

No depth to measure

Ranging from 5 to 7 pounds

Cast Iron Made

.25 inches to 1/2 inch deep

Around 7 to 10 pounds

Shape

These models aren’t only designed to be round, but this shape is the most popular version of a pizza stone.

This is because the most iconic form to make a pizza is in a round shape.

Common types of shapes

  • Round
  • Square
  • Rectangular

If you plan on making more than just pies on your particular model, a rectangular model would be your best fit. 

Rectangular models provide more surface area than other shapes, which gives you room to bake more than just pizza.

Rectangular shaped pizza stone.

For those looking to make just standard sized pies and nothing else, a square or round model is an ideal option. 

All you have to do is specify the product size in regards to its diameter or length. If you want to bake a large pie, you want a round model that has a diameter of at least 16 inches.

Additional Feature To Make A Note of

There are some other features you should be aware of when buying these type of products..

Handles

A pizza stone with handles makes the process of removing the particular model from the oven incredibly easy and puts less strain on your arms and back.

For those who value their product being easy to use and carry, handles are the optimal feature to look for.

Typically, the only model type to come with handles is the cast iron made model while the other type of models lack this feature.

If you're buying a particular version without handles, you need to make sure you can carry the product without any issues. 

People typically purchase a steel made model not realizing that it lacks handles, so they end up having a difficult time carrying a 30-pound steel model.

How To Use A Pizza Stone

  • 1. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature setting which is usually 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Then place the model on its designated rack.
    a. For steel made product types, place on the bottom rack
    b. For stone made product types, place on the top rack
  • 2. Once your 30 minutes are up, you need to remove the model from the oven. Then turn the oven dial over to Broil and transfer the dough with all the pie toppings onto the surface of the particular model.
  • 3. Put the product back in the oven and check in on it when five minutes pass by. It usually takes between 2 to 10 minutes for a pizza to thoroughly bake since cooking time depends entirely on the size and type used.
  • 4. Once your pie looks fully baked, you should remove it from the oven wearing heat resistant gloves to avoid burning yourself. Make sure to give both the pie and the model at least 30 seconds to cool down so the cheese coagulates.
  • 5. After everything cools down, you can go ahead and cut your pizza.
    a. Keep in mind that depending on the product type, you may need to remove the pie from the stone before you continue with cutting it. Some types may crack or break if you apply too much pressure with a blade.

Noteworthy Manufacturers

There are several well-known manufacturers which we recommend you consider when buying your particular model.

Old Stone Oven

Around 40 years ago, a pizza enthusiast who was also a restaurant critic had the idea to produce stone oven pizza stones meant for in-home oven use.

In fact, Old Stone Oven models are the original home oven stones that revolutionized the kitchen supply industry.

Old Stone Oven models are thicker than most stones and constrain a multi-layered interior build that retains more heat than your standard clay made product types.

Old Stone Oven utilizes a unique mix of lead-free clay which they kiln-fire during the production process to produce a product type that is superior to other competing models.

Heating the clay with a kiln causes the stones to withstand temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Namely, this means you can use Old Stone Oven models in both ovens and grills.

Old Stone Oven Rectangular Pizza Stone with pizza.

Old Stone Oven
(source: spinadeal.com)

Weber pizza stone.

Weber pizza stone

Weber

They are(Weber) another pizza stone manufacturer that has been around for about 50 years. But, they didn’t make their mark by producing these type of products.

In fact, Weber is responsible for the creation of the dome-shaped grill.  That comes with a lid to protect the food from outside elements.

As well as seal in the tasty “off the grill” BBQ flavor.

The founder, George Stephen, basically cut a buoy in half and added legs and air vents. To invent a grill that revolutionized the American backyard cook out.

Weber went on to manufacture accessories that would prove to be useful on the grill, which is why they also include these type of products as part of those accessories.

This means Weber models of these products can be used on both oven or grill, which gives you unlimited options in regards to where you want to make your pie.

The Pampered Chef

Pampered Chef came into existence around the 1980's. When its founder, Doris Christopher, made it her mission to provide powerful kitchen tools.

Tools that create a quick, hassle-free cooking experience so everyone can enjoy creating delicious food in the kitchen.

The Pampered Chef supplies most of the equipment for cooking shows, so you know their pizza stones are going to be professional grade.

The company also has consultants that give tips and advice on ways to improve your cooking technique while using The Pampered Chef products.

While The Pampered Chef’s most popular product isn’t its pizza stone, you can rest easy knowing that it will exceed your standards.

Since the company only manufactures products that can be used in a professional setting.

The Pampered Chef Large Round Stone

The Pampered Chef
(source: pamperedchef.com)

Emile Henry Made in France Flame Top Pizza Stone.

Emile Henry
(source: kitchenkapers.com)

Emile Henry

Out of all the manufacturers mentioned above, Emile Henry is the oldest one. Since it was founded in 1850 in a small town in France.

Emile Henry now has the international reputation of producing the best quality ceramic cooking products, ovenware, and baking products in the kitchen supply market.

The Henry family surprisingly still owns and operates Emile Henry and to this day manufacture the kitchen tools in the very same town it was found in.

The clay comes from Burgandy, France, which is where Emile Henry's headquarters are. Emile Henry shapes using its "High Resistance Oven Ceramic state-of-the-art manufacturing process."

Emile Henry didn’t originally make pizza stones, but as times changed, so did the company’s production techniques.

For those looking to buy a high quality ceramic or clay made type of these products. Emile Henry is the expert you want to go to.

How To Clean A Pizza Stone

The cleaning process differs for each type with some requiring a more thorough cleaning than others.

  • 1. Before you start cleaning, you should let the model cool down to room temperature. To prevent it from cracking or breaking.
  • 2. Make sure to remove any excess food stuck on the model before you begin the cleaning process.
  • 3. Mix baking soda and water together. To make a paste that you can scrub onto the model using a brush. It’s recommended to wipe it down with a damp cloth once the scrubbing is complete.
  • 4. You’ll need to air dry the model for one to two hours before you can use it again. This is to avoid any moisture buildup that can damage the product.

Tips

  • Never wash stone made models with soap. Since it has a porous quality that sucks in soap, which results in a pie crust with a soap aftertaste.
  • You can soak the model in water to remove any food that’s stuck on the surface.
  • Avoid spilling oils of any kind onto the product.

Conclusion

A pizza stone gives you the opportunity to dapple into making restaurant quality piess in the comfort of your home.

The biggest limiting factor buyers experience is the varying prices of each different type of model.

This causes people to buy a product type that wouldn't have been their first choice.

So make sure you have money set aside for a proper model type that will last you forever.

Check out the pizza stone buying guide that contains brief reviews of models you'll want to check out.

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