Are you a “pizzaholic” who loves a homemade, perfectly-baked pizza? Then it is time to go to the next level and start preparing it yourself. Apart from best quality ingredients, you will also need a pizza stone which will help you obtain the crunchy crust you absolutely love. It is not enough to just buy it if you do not know how to use it properly.
So, be ready to become a pizza maestro and learn with this article how to season a pizza stone. You will not discover rocket science here, but you will understand how easy it is to care for your pizza stone and use it over and over again without problems. Plus, there is a little secret you should know. As long as you season it correctly from the first time you use it, your pizza stone will become even better as it ages.
How cool is that?
Let’s start with the beginning! You bought your first pizza stone, now what? How do you learn what are the best techniques for seasoning pizza stones? Is there a special technique? Will you be able to do it by yourself?
These are some of the many questions you have when you decide to prepare a homemade pizza using a pizza stone. The good news is that things are not as complicated as they seem.
For those of you who are not sure if they bought the right product, the pizza stone is an oval disc which is usually made of stone, ceramic, or salt.
Why are the pizza stones so special?
Thanks to the porous surface, a pizza stone absorbs the excess moisture and thus leaves the dough crispy, just as you like it.
What is even better about pizza stones is that they can be used to prepare bread, cookies or fresh biscuits. So, when you buy your next pizza stone, think of all these goodies you can prepare with just one kitchen tool.
How to use a pizza stone for the first time
A pizza stone will not do an excellent job unless you preheat it to the correct temperature. One important aspect you should consider is that the glazed stones are not recommended because they contain lead.
When exposed to high temperatures, lead becomes dangerous for the health. So, it is always better to choose an unglazed, porous pizza stone. Another golden rule is that a pizza stone should never be washed with detergent. Even though you want to clean it before you first use it, you can use cool water and leave it to dry before you pre-heat it. Enough with the talking!
Let’s see what steps you should follow when you use the pizza stone for the first time:
- Both your oven and pizza stone should be at the room temperature. Therefore, if you rinsed it with cold water before using, it is better to leave it reach the room temperature. Otherwise, when you will expose it to high temperatures, the stone might crack.
- Put your pizza stone in the oven and pre-heat it to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, it is important that the pizza stone will warm up gradually at the same time with the stove to prevent possible cracks. What is more, this procedure will help your pizza stone absorb and distribute the heat evenly.
- While you wait for the oven to heat up, you can master your chef skills and prepare the pizza dough and ingredients. If you want to make sure that your pizza will not stick to the stone, you can use some cornmeal and sprinkle it on the stone right before you insert the pizza. Cornmeal will help you obtain the perfect crust.
- As soon as your pizza is ready, use a pizza peel to take it out. Never use an oven glove to handle the stone and take the pizza out. The stone’s temperature is extremely high, and it can burn you even if you wear the glove.
- For safety reasons it is better to turn off the oven and leave the pizza stone inside until both cool down completely. You should not try to force it cool down by exposing it to cold water because it will most probably crack.
How to care for a pizza stone
When it comes to pizza stone care, things are quite simple. You do not need to spend hours cleaning it or use any special products. As mentioned above, because of the porous surface, it is not recommended to use detergent or other chemical cleaning products as it will absorb them immediately. So, how do you clean and care for a pizza stone?
- After it is completely cooled down, you can take it out of the oven and remove any food stuck on the surface. For instance, you can use a metal spatula to take off the food.
- You only need cold water and a sponge to clean your pizza stone. Even though you see that your pizza stone is a bit greasy, it is better to not insist removing these oils. They will help seasoning your pizza stone for the future use and less food will stick on it next time.
- If you feel that your pizza stone needs a deeper cleaning, you should not leave it soak in the water too much. Otherwise, it might suck in too much moisture which will make it crack the next time you pre-heat it.
- Your pizza stone will get stained and there is nothing you can do about it. These stains are perfectly normal, and you can consider them as a time patina and as an evidence that you have a great pizza stone. Again, do not try using any chemicals and insist on removing them.
- Once you have cleaned your pizza stone, you can store it in a moisture-free, clean place. If you want to prevent any accidents, better put it in a place with less traffic.
In conclusion, do not be afraid of creating your own “at home pizzeria”. Try to stick to the above recommendations and you will see that you will not fail in cooking the best pizza ever. What is more, a pizza stone is not even that expensive. So, could you ask for more? Simple rules and easy cleaning, this is what we are talking about when it comes to seasoning a pizza stone like a pro.