Have you ever wondered why pizza tastes so good? Two things that contribute to its amazing taste are a super-hot oven and the type of cooking surface. For the pizza to cook well, you need to place the dough on top of a pizza baking stone.
What is a pizza stone?
A pizza stone is simply a portable surface made of stone or ceramic usually used for baking pizza. It transfers heat to the cooking pizza and achieves a slower and even baking. Pizza stones are available in different thicknesses and sizes. Thick pizza stones are more effective than the thinner options. They are also more expensive.
How do pizza stones work?
Once the pizza baking stone is in the oven, it absorbs and transmits heat to the pizza dough. Pizza stones are porous, which allows for evaporation of the moisture produced by the dough. Regular baking sheets made of metal may trap moisture as it tries to escape the raw pizza and this can result in a soggy crust. A pizza stone on the other hand transmits heat evenly and results in a crisp, chewy crust every time.
How to use a pizza stone
When planning to make pizza, the first thing to do is prepare the pizza stone for oven use. Place the stone in a cool oven and then set the temperature to 500F. As the oven continues to heat up, the pizza stone absorbs the heat and gets ready for baking. The stone will be extremely hot, so you may want to consider investing in a wooden pizza paddle for safety purposes.
Taking care of your pizza stone
Getting a pizza stone for oven use is an investment that you will want to protect. Be sure to clean and wipe the pizza stone dry before storing it. You also should not store the pizza stone in areas where there are drastic temperature changes. The stone can easily experience thermal shock, which can lead to cracking. This is the reason why it is advised to place the pizza stone in a cold oven rather than an already preheated oven. Other ways to take care of your pizza stone include:
- Do not season the pizza stone unless recommended by the manufacturer. The stone can easily absorb oil resulting in unpleasant odors or smoking when you bake.
- Do not submerge the pizza baking stone in water when cleaning. Since the material is porous, it can absorb the soap and water giving your pizza a soapy flavor. The best way to clean the pizza stone is to brush the crumbs off the stone surface after use.
How to make the most out of your pizza stone
A pizza stone for oven baking can deliver you delicious pizza at home. This however is not the only use. There are many other things that a pizza stone can do. For instance, you can use it to roast vegetables or make a giant cookie. Others use the stone to heat frozen foods since the surface is perfect for absorbing ice crystals.
There are a number of delicious recipes available for pizza stones out there that can take your home cooked meals to the next level.