If you are an enthusiastic amateur cook, you must have tried at least a dozen cookbook recipes in an endeavor to master that Chicago-style crispy crust you savor in restaurants.
However, only pizza connoisseurs and pizzaiolos know that the end-result of your pizza depends as much on the recipe as it does on the surface you select for baking it. It is imperative, therefore, to use the right baking surface for your pizza to enjoy the full range of its flavors.
Professionals recommend the use of a pizza stone for baking pizza as it is best suited to the requirements of a thin-crust pizza. Pizza stones are available in the market in a plethora of shapes and sizes. Such diversity makes it difficult for culinary arts’ novices to select the right pizza stone. We have prepared this guide for equipping you with the necessary information that will help you choose the right pizza stone for your use. From shapes to sizes, we have addressed everything.
Different Pizza Stone Shapes
Since pizza comes in different shapes and sizes, so do pizza stones. The most traditionally accepted pizza shape is a round flat pie. However, this does not imply that a round pizza is the only pizza you can bake! You can let your creative juices flow and experiment with different shapes until you find the one that suits your purpose the best.
Although there are a wide array of differently shaped pizza stones displayed in the market, the most popular ones are square and round pizza stones. Both square and round pizza stones are ideal for baking a thin-crust pizza.
As the difference in shapes affects their functionality, we have articulated the different types and given our recommendations.
Round Pizza Stone
You might wonder at times why our Italian forefathers decided to bake pizza in a round stone? The truth is they did not randomly choose one round pan; in fact, they put a lot of thought behind choosing the right stone. Round pizza stones are compatible with the shape of the bottom of the pizza, allowing the stone to thoroughly and evenly heat the crust. Moreover, they also provide targeted heating, which minimizes your chance of burning your pizza on a round pizza stone. However, you have to be precise and careful when placing your pizza on the pizza stone.
Though round pizza stones are a great baking surface for pizzas, their lack of flexibility limits their use: you can not cook other foods on this stone.
Our Top Round Pizza Stone Recommendations:
- K ROCKSHEAT Round Cordierite Pizza Stone
- Jamie Oliver Pizza Stone and Serving Rack
- CastElegance Round Pizza Stone & Scraper
Square or Rectangle Pizza Stone
Square pizza stones not only enhance the appeal of your pizza but are also highly functional for baking a super crispy pizza. Thanks to its depth and width, a square pizza stone has a greater surface area than a circular one. The greater the surface area of it, the more heat it can absorb and retain. Therefore, a square pizza stone can quickly absorb heat and use that heat to prepare your pizza faster than a round stone of the same size. This feature results in a crispier and crunchier crust rivaling the Italian ones!
Moreover, it is also easier to place your pizza on a square pizza stone than a round one. Due to its versatile shape, you can use a square pizza stone for a wide variety of foods, cutting your kitchen expenses.
Our Top Square or Rectangle Pizza Stone Recommendations:
Different Pizza Stone Sizes
You must be thinking, does the size of a pizza stone have any effect on its function? The answer is yes. Therefore, once you have decided on a shape for your pizza stone, the next step is determining its dimensions. There are three lengths you need to look at when buying a pizza stone: length, width, and thickness. The surface area of a pizza stone is dependent on its length and width, while the weight of the stone relies heavily on its thickness. Keep reading to understand how each dimension affects the functionality of your pizza stone.
Length and Width
The length and width of the pizza stone determine its surface area; the greater the length and width, the larger the surface area of the pizza stone. A large surface area is necessary as it ensures faster and even cooking of the pizza.
Moreover, to allow your pizza stone to achieve high temperatures, it should fit into the oven taking as much space as possible. If your pizza stone is in contact with the sides of the conventional oven, it will heat up much faster and retain that heat for long periods. However, make sure there is some space in the pizza oven for the air to circulate the stone. It should not be too tight a fit that you end up having difficulty removing the pizza stone from the oven.
A thick pizza stone will have better heat retention though it will take longer to heat up to the same temperature than a thinner stone. A slimmer pizza stone will heat up much faster, but the cooking time for the pizza will be longer. Also, if your pizza stone is too thin, it will not be able to withstand high temperatures and will very likely break or crack. Therefore, most chefs recommend a pizza stone of at least ⅝-inches thickness to eliminate any chances of breaking or cracking at high temperatures.
Larger pizza stones also remain hot for long periods and cook your pizza faster than small ones.
The performance difference between round and square pizza stones is almost negligible: round pizza stones ensure even cooking while rectangular stones are better equipped to retain heat for longer. Therefore, it all comes down to your preference and cooking style. If you want to keep it classic, opt for a round pizza stone but if you wish to spice it up, choose a rectangular one. Dimensions, on the other hand, have a massive impact on the performance of your pizza stone.
There are other factors you need to consider as well when choosing a pizza stone, such as the material of it and the level of maintenance it requires. We also recommend getting the right electric pizza oven for yourself. All these factors, when considered carefully, allow you to choose a pizza stone that will elevate your cooking and let you enjoy mouth-watering homemade pizzas!