A pizza stone is an ideal alternative to a pizza oven if you do not own one. However, several people who buy pizza stone either do not know how to use it properly or end up ruining it by cleaning/seasoning it wrong. If you learned the proper way of using a pizza stone, it would be one of the keys to making a perfect pizza.
The method behind a pizza stone is quite effortless: the stone manages and holds the head and keeps the temperature stable even when you introduce a cold ingredient in it. It makes the bottom of the pizza crispy and helps it cook more evenly.
But the usage of pizza stone is not restricted to pizzas only; there are many more uses. The piping hot cooking surface and balanced temperature work on several dishes. Here, we have come up with a few reasons for using a pizza stone and what makes it so significant.
Why Use a Pizza Stone
Unfortunately, both grills and conventional ovens are not designed to make a pizza since they lack the high initial heat needed to give crust its crispiness without overcooking the toppings. The conventional ovens and grills cook too slow and make soggy dough pizzas.
A pizza stone acts as a point of high heat transfer on the grill or in an oven. But to benefit from it, you need to know how to use it properly. This is because it heats up and holds a high temperature when used correctly.
When you place the pizza on the pizza stone, the crust starts to cook immediately, mimicking a traditional brick oven style. Using a pizza stone will not only give you a far better crust but a faster cooking time as well.
Following are some more uses of a pizza stone besides making pizzas:
Roots and Veggies
Vegetables and roots cooked on a pizza stone are a spectacular compromise between grilling and pan-roasting. Just like a baking sheet or pan, you can cook all types of vegetables and roots on a pizza stone. The only thing to make sure is that before adding your ingredients, check if the stone has come to the temperature or not. You can even do the complete meal on a pizza stone.
A Giant Cookie
The number of baked goods you can make using a pizza stone is virtually endless; a giant cookie is one of those things. All you have to do is spread the entire cookie dough batch across a hot pizza stone and place it in the oven. Using a free-handed globe of vegetable oil makes it easier to get off the cookie at the end.
If you are the one who adores roasting whole chickens, then utilization of a pizza stone is the best way of achieving a perfectly crispy skin. For this, crank up your oven, truss the chicken, season it, and put it directly on the hot pizza stone for 45 to 60 minutes. And that is it; within an hour, you will have a deliciously crispy roast chicken.
Preheating and Reheating Foods
Pizza stones can be extraordinarily reliable for warming ingredients since they hold heat steadily. Using a pizza stone, you can reheat your food and make it taste as fresh as it was out of the fire. The steady heat distribution brings food back to its original crispy state instead of the unappealing, soggy version of the original.
The ideal candidates for reheating on a pizza stone include roasted veggies, fried foods, quesadillas, and several other foods you want to be crisp.
Since the crust is the favorite part of bread for most people, this makes pizza stones more crucial in bread baking. With a piece as large as a loaf of bread, a pizza stone plays a vital role in ensuring that the bread bakes thoroughly and the crust is crunchy and thick.
However, this is not vital for certain breaks, such as bagels and rolls.
A perfectly toasted bun is one of the best parts about ordering a burger or a sandwich at a restaurant. It adds that extra little touch that makes your meal more delicious and flavorsome. In a 350° F preheated oven, place the buns (cut sides) on a hot pizza stone, and in a few minutes, they will start toasting.
But keep your eyes on them so that they do not burn. To complete the meal, top the toasted buns with your signature sandwich or burger fillings.
Refrigerator Rolls and Biscuits
If you have a pizza stone, you do not need to make rolls or biscuits from scratch. All you need is a can of your favorite refrigerator rolls or biscuits, and you can cook them on your pizza stone. The trick works for cinnamon rolls, biscuits, rolls, and all other favorite refrigerated dough products you can find in the market.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Getting a little help from pizza stone can give you a new way of making grilled cheese better and tastier. Melt the butter in a skillet and use it to lightly brown one side of each piece of bread. Assemble the sandwich with cheese, and this is where you can get all innovative.
Test different varieties of cheese, and you can add other fillings with it as well, such as veggies or deli meat. To let the cheese filing melt, pop the sandwiches on a heated pizza stone in your oven. Bake them for 5 to 7 minutes at 400° F, and you will get an unburned crispy bread.
How to Use a Pizza Stone
You can use the pizza stone on the grill or in the oven. First, preheat your pizza stone and wait until it reaches 550° F. A pizza stone can stand up to 900° F. The correct temperature of the oven for pizza stone must exceed 550° F.
Place the pizza (must be at room temperature) in the pizza stone’s center and cook for five minutes with the oven or grill’s lid closed. With the help of pizza’s peel, turn it 180° and cook for five to seven minutes. Before removing the stone to clean, let it cool in the grill or oven.
How to Clean a Pizza Stone
Always use a stone brush and hot water to clean your pizza stone. Avoid soaking it by completely submerging it underwater. Start the cleaning by wetting the surface with a small stream of water followed by a detailed scrubbing with the brush, and avoid using the soap in the process.
Instead of baking dry your pizza stone, air dry it because it can potentially cause the stone to crack. To clean the burnt bits and super tough baked-on, use a superior quality pizza stone scrubber.
Be Creative with Your Pizza Stone
Be creative, and try out different ways to use a pizza stone, including those mentioned above. You can cook almost all your favorite meals on a pizza stone – from refrigerated rolls to the roasted veggies and roots. Moreover, it is quite easy to use and saves a lot of time. Just learn the right techniques, and you can surely master it.