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Pizza Stones

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Pizza stone with handlesHomemade pizza tastes much better when baked on a pizza stone. These terra cotta tiles help keep the bottom crust crisp rather than the soggy crust one gets from a pizza pan. They're available at better cookware stores in a variety of price ranges. The cheap ones work just as well as the more expensive ones, so save your money.

They are made of either ceramic, compressed sand, or earthenware. The porous nature of them helps remove moisture, making dough crisp.

Advantages of using a pizza stone

Before Using

Wash pizza stone in plain water. Do not use detergent since it would be soaked up in the stone.

Using the Pizza Stone

The idea behind a pizza stone is to replicate the ovens used in pizzerias: hot, hot, hot. Place stone in middle of cold oven and heat to 400 degrees for 15 minutes (I use 30 minutes from a cold oven). Sprinkle stone with corn meal. Sprinkle paddle generously with corn meal and place pizza dough on paddle before adding toppings. Add pizza toppings. Use quick jerking motions to transport pizza from paddle to stone. If you are not careful at this point or you can end up with your pizza at bottom of the oven or on the floor. Use paddle to remove pizza when crust is browned and cheese is bubbly.
Another method is to put your pizza dough on parchment paper and slide it onto the pizza stone.

After Use

Let the stone cool down naturally; do not put water on it when it is hot or it might crack.


I always let my stone cool down before cleaning it. For every day cleaning, I just wipe the stone, with a slightly damp cloth. This will remove all of the corn meal or flour that has stuck to the stone. If I have something baked on the stone, like cheese or a piece of dough, I will gently scrape all the residue I can get off  with a spatula. If I am unable to get it clean, I will heat the stone in the oven for at 500 degrees for an hour or more, let the stone cool and then try again to gently scrape the stone. Heating up the stone will burn off anything that has stuck to it. Then just wipe down with a cloth.

Think of your pizza baking stone as a sponge; it will soak up everything put on it. These "stones" are actually molded sand, tightly compacted under high pressure. Like sand on the beach, they will suck in any liquid exposed to the surface. Anything else in the water -- including soap -- goes right into the stone. Manufacturers warn you to use only clear, plain water to clean a baking stone.

Stone Care

Since the stones are made of sand, they are porous and soak up everything.

Pizza Stone Tips

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