Put the pizza stone in the oven and preheat it to 260 degrees C. Place the pizza on the stone and bake it till it is cooked. Remove the pizza and let the stone cool down outside the oven. Brush it down to remove food residue.
It’s called a stone oven pizza, but you don’t actually need a stone oven to make it. What you need is a pizza stone or a baking stone. This is the thing that makes your pizza crispy and delicious.
It absorbs the heat in the oven and works its magic on the bread. That’s how the crust becomes crispy, and the even better news is that the middle part is never left soggy. Here’s what you need to know about using this magic tool correctly.
- How To Use A Pizza Stone For Homemade Pizza
- How To Care For The Pizza Stone If You Can’t Wash It?
- Want To Take Your Pizza Game To The Next Level? Check Out Our Pizza Oven Reviews …
How To Use A Pizza Stone For Homemade Pizza
A pizza stone is not the same as a baking stone. It is used exclusively for pizzas and is made of porous materials like stone, ceramic or cast iron. It’s typically round in shape and is a slab meant to be put in a regular oven. And it's one of the best pizza oven accessories you'll ever own!
This slab is the item that works like a brick oven which is also often used to make terrific pizzas. It has the capacity to aerate the dough when it’s in the vicinity of high temperatures. The stone bakes the bread from below, so this never becomes a hit-or-miss situation.
Step 1: Preheat The Oven along with the Stone
The first thing to note here is that you don’t preheat the oven without the stone. You are supposed to get the oven up to 260 degrees C for homemade pizza. And you shouldn’t do that before you put in the pizza stone.
You need the stone to have the same high heat traits as a brick oven when you’re using it to cook pizza. So, the stone and the oven should have the same heat conditions.
The oven is typically cold when you put the pizza stone in. And it will take about 60 minutes for the oven to heat up and for the stone to absorb all that heat to the best of its abilities.
Step 2: Put Your Pizza Together
While the oven and the pizza stone are heating up, you can use the time to assemble your pizza. This doesn’t mean you can start from scratch at this point. You should have your base and toppings ready.
Sprinkle some cornmeal or semolina flour on top of it. This will give the surface of the dough some nonstick properties that it needs to have. You will use a pizza peel (that's the technical term!) or a huge spatula to place the pizza in the oven. You need it to slide off the surface, so you need the nonstick traits.
You can also use any dish without a rim or a cutting board made of wood to do the same.
Step 3: Slide Your Pizza On Top Of The Stone
The next step is to actually slide the pizza smoothly on top of the pizza stone. At this point, the stone and the oven are nicely heated. You want to slide the pizza carefully using a paddle or the peel so that it sits right on top of the stone and gets cooked brilliantly.
If you’re confident, you can also use oven mitts to ensure the pizza is in sync with the stone. Just be very careful not to hurt yourselves.
Step 4: Bake For As Long As You Need To
I can’t be specific with cooking time here because that depends on many things. But I can tell you that the thumb rule is to bake until the cheese turns brown. The actual baking time of a pizza depends on the base's thickness and the pizza's total size.
But I can tell you this. When you use a pizza stone, cooking the whole thing should take about 6-10 minutes. Time yourself and check to see if the cheese is turning into a light brown colour while the crust is in a golden brown colour.
That means you’re getting warmer to your dream pizza.
Step 5: Switch Off The Oven, Get Your Pizza Out
Once it gets there, turn the oven off and remove your pizza!
Step 6: Brush The Pizza Stone after It Cools Down
Lastly, remove the pizza stone from the oven and let it cool. Once it is back to room temperature, you should brush it using a scouring pad that is stone safe.
If you’re particular about cleaning and feeling like this is inadequate, I’ve got you covered.
How To Care For The Pizza Stone If You Can’t Wash It?
Let me tell you a little open secret. Many people don’t take their pizza stones out of the oven because it’s not something to clean like every other kitchen tool.
Using soap and water to keep it spick and span is a terrible idea when it comes to cleaning a pizza stone. As mentioned in the beginning, this item is made of a porous material which means it is very good at absorbing stuff. That’s why soap and water are out of the question.
But what you can do is this. Let the pizza stone come to room temperature. Keep it outside so that the surface dries up nice and good. Then, scrape its surface using a stone brush, bench scraper or spatula. Whichever tool you use to clean it, move it in a circular style to unstick any grime that may be on the surface. This includes burnt food as well.
Then you should get a damp cloth and wipe the surface well. Ensure the cloth is soft and the water you use is hot. This will eliminate any loose pieces of food, like little bits of cheese, that you may have missed with the brush.
Finally, make a paste with baking soda and water. Use an old toothbrush or a cloth to remove stubborn stains on the pizza stone. Wipe it down, and you’re done.