How to cook with (and clean) a pizza stone

Don't toss your homemade pizza in the bin because of a dirty pizza stone! Learn how to use a pizza stone and clean it after.

Updated

Pepperoni pizza

Key steps

  • Heat pizza stones to 225°C and 240°C when cooking with them.
  • Slide your pizza onto the pizza stone using a paddle.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until crispy.
  • Clean the pizza stone only once it is cool.
  • Scrape off food debris to prevent it baking on.
  • Never use soap to clean pizza stones.
  Ever tried using a pizza stone to make a pizza? Many who have used a pizza stone swear by it to achieve that perfect, crispy base. This article covers everything you need to know from how to use a pizza stone and tips for cleaning a pizza stone to keep it in great shape between pizza feasts.
Take care when cleaning your pizza stone. Ensure it is fully cool before you wash it as hot pizza stones may crack when put in a bowl of water.

What is a pizza stone?

A pizza stone is a method of cooking pizza which has been used for hundreds of years and certainly gives you the best pizza results. This is because it can hold more heat than a regular oven tray. It also distributes that heat more evenly, leading to a better, crispier pizza base and more even cooking.

What is a pizza stone made of?

A pizza stone can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as being made from a number of different materials. They are usually made from natural materials including:

  • Clay
  • Marble
  • Tile
  • Firebrick
Don’t forget to wear oven gloves when handling a hot pizza stone or cooking with an oven. Never let children or pets into the kitchen unattended when you're cooking.

How to cook with a pizza stone

When it comes to using a pizza stone, and getting the best results, follow these quick dos and don'ts:

  • DO allow it to heat up before use.
  • DO NOT preheat the oven when doing so. Your pizza stone should start in a cold oven as a hot oven may cause the stone to crack.
  • DO set the over to a high heat of between 225°C and 240°C once the pizza stone is inside.
  • DO use a paddle to place your raw pizza on the stone.
  • DO NOT touch a hot pizza stone without safety equipment.

How to use a pizza stone in the oven to make a pizza at home

Making pizza at home using a pizza stone is really easy with these steps:

Dough ingredients

  • 350ml of warm water
  • 600g of plain flour
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 7g packet of dried yeast
  • 50-60ml olive oil

Method

  1. Combine your ingredients to create a dough.
  2. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  3. Cover a bowl in oil and leave your dough inside until it doubles in size.
  4. Make a tomato sauce by mixing together tomato puree, canned tomatoes and flavours such as onions, garlic, basil, and oregano. Alternatively, cheat with a pre-made sauce.
  5. Gather up some toppings. There are so many favourites to choose from like mozzarella, pepperoni, mushrooms and (controversially) pineapple!
  6. Once your dough doubles in size, roll it out.
  7. Add the sauce and your chosen toppings.
  8. Slide the raw pizza onto your preheated pizza stone in the oven.
  9. Cook for around 10 minutes or until crisp.

How to clean a pizza stone

To make sure your pizza stone continues working its best it’s important to keep it clean after every use.

  • DO wait for it to cool before handling it.
  • DO scrape off as much food debris as you can to prevent it from becoming baked on. A plastic or wooden utensil is best for this.
  • DO NOT clean it when the stone is hot - not only might this cause burns or injuries but it may also crack the pizza stone.
  • DO rinse a cool pizza stone with warm water.
  • DO NOT use soap. Pizza stones are porous which means they will absorb the soap which could affect the taste of your next pizza.
  • DO use a cleaning solution of equal parts warm water and baking soda to gently scrub burnt pizza dough and sauce from your pizza stone if needed. 
  • DO wipe your pizza stone with a clean, dry cloth once washed.

With this guide to hot stone cooking and cleaning you now have everything you need to start cooking pizza on a pizza stone with ease (and clean up afterwards).

Originally published