There has been an ongoing debate on the best choice for homemade pizza: Pizza Stone vs Steel. Just the thought of being able to have pizza at home without having to order it from another place is bliss.
Not to mention, the feeling of accomplishment after cooking your homemade pizza that's filled with your favorite toppings.
However, whether you choose from pizza stone vs steel to make your pizza, it's best to do thorough research to know what suits you best.
An important part in cooking pizza is the ability of a plate to conduct heat in a way that it doesn't take up too much of the cooking time.
So, the faster it holds heat, the better. Also, another critical factor is being able to distribute heat evenly for the dish to cook evenly.
A pizza stone is an essential tool that has been proven to be able to conduct heat evenly. When used for cooking, this will give you a very crispy crust which something that most people prefer. However, to get this result, it will take more than 8 minutes to cook.
Baking steel, on the other hand, is a versatile tool that can not only be used to make pizza but also other dishes.
With its ability to conduct heat faster and distribute that heat more evenly, you can have a super crispy crust that can rival the ones in famous restaurants in the convenience of your own home. Since it uses lesser cooking time, it saves you from waiting too long.
Another thing you'd want to consider is if the plate you're buying suits your budget. Whether it is stone or steel, you will want to invest in a dish that can give you the things you are looking for.
May it be cooking time, portability, or ease of usage, you will want something that has it all. Stone plates usually cost lesser since you can make your own using unglazed tiles.
However, a ready-made stone can cost around $30. Prices vary with the size and shape, so if you can't find any of your likings, you can always craft up one.
In contrast to stones, baking steels are much more expensive. With its various shapes and sizes, you'll find yourself spending up to $90 or more for just a 16" x 14" rectangular plate.
However, with the baking steel's versatility, you get more than your money's worth.
To get your money's worth, you will want to opt for a tool that can last long. Sustainability plays a vital role in cooking.
No matter how high the quality of your plate is, if it isn't strong enough to withstand long-term cooking, then it's as good as nothing.
Pizza stones are easy to use. You need to pre-heat it for at least half an hour, and then you're good to go.
The downside of choosing stones is that there is a high probability of it breaking. May it be a collision with a hard object or accidentally dropping it in the process of moving it to another place, it is not indestructible.
You always have to handle it with care since it is fragile. However, stones plates come in 2 different types: Ceramic and Cordierite. Cordierite stones are generally more durable but a bit more expensive than ceramic rocks.
It is a type of stone plate is not affected by thermal shocks since cordierite is known to be able to handle very high and very low temperatures.
Baking steels hold an advantage in this characteristic. This tool is said to be virtually indestructible. So, unless you pound it with a mallet, it is doubtful for it to produce cracks or breakages.
The only drawback of this tool is that it does not come with handles. With its lack of handles, moving it around would be difficult since it is heavy. If running it usually is hard, what more if it was hot?
For tools to survive long-term usage, support is necessary. For sanitary reasons, you will also want to make sure that your stone or steel plates are free from dirt, rust, or whatsoever.
Baking steels require much care since you will want to prevent it from producing rust. The best preventive remedy for this is seasoning the steel plates from time to time (at least once a week if you're meticulous). Make sure also to clean the steel plates after every usage.
Pizza stones also require a bit of your particular treatment. To clean your stone, you have to scrape the food bits and use a damp washcloth to wipe it down.
Always remember that using soap is not a good idea since its porous texture will absorb the solvent. So not unless you want your pizza to be soap-flavored, then it's best to avoid soap.
In the discussion on which is the best choice of pizza stone vs steel, the decision is yours. It would ultimately depend on your set budget, a way of cooking and what is most comfortable for you to use.
If you are a beginner and just starting your pizza-making journey, a pizza stone would be a good start. However, if you want to have a more challenging tool, then baking steel would be the way to go.
Both surfaces can offer you a very crispy and tasty crust as well as the pizza as a whole. So, whichever you end up choosing, you will still be able to get good results.
Also, there are instances wherein these two can be used together. As individual tools, both give good results; but as one unit, it'll give you a better one.