Pizza is one of the most scrumptious and endlessly customizable foods worldwide. Everyone has tried recreating the perfect pizza at home at some point in their life. But unfortunately, despite following all the steps, you couldn’t animate it and are left with a less-desirable crust to the cooked toppings ratio.
After every try, you end up thinking about how your local pizzeria makes this simple dish so effortlessly, without any pitfalls. Well, the answer is right in front of you – the equipment. Pizzerias often use a wood-fired oven and pizza stone to achieve a delicious and perfectly balanced result every time. Let’s be real; not all of us have a wood-fired oven in our back yards.
But by getting the hang of a pizza stone, you achieve the same taste with your conventional oven. This article will help you learn more about pizza stones and identify the best one for your potential pizza needs.
Before buying, you should know what a pizza stone is. A pizza stone is created from a flat piece of natural rock or stone, which can conduct heat evenly. Pizza stones help remove moisture and ensure even cooking of the dough throughout. It has a high heat transfer, which guarantees that crispy crust.
It works better than your regular baking sheet or pan because these oven-safe dishes do not retain the optimal temperature. Conventional ovens do not reach the initial high temperature needed to crisp-up the pizza and cook it quickly.
Benefits of Pizza Stones
- A pizza stone holds heat evenly on all surfaces, be it an oven or an outside grill. It is very versatile and can be used for multiple purposes if you are creative with it.
- A pizza stone can be used for grilling vegetables, baking bread, or homemade chips, etc.
- The crust is the most important part of a pizza and is the hardest to get right. A pizza stone provides enough heat to make a thin and crispy crust and well-cooked toppings.
- It cooks the pizza very quickly and consistently makes great pizzas.
- It is available in a variety of types and fits even the slimmest budgets.
- The varying sizes help choose the perfect one for your oven.
Things You Should Look For In Pizza Stones
The Shape of Stone
Pizza stones are available in different shapes and sizes, most of which are circular or rectangular. A round pizza stone is mostly preferred by many people, as a classic pizza is round. But many people have confirmed that rectangular stones are better. A rectangular stone has more surface area, which means more heat distribution and more space to cook on.
If you are a beginner, go with a round stone. But for pizza-pros and enthusiasts, we recommend getting the rectangular one. It will retain more heat and give you versatility while using it.
The Texture of Stone
Pizza stones must have a lot of texture, and the surface should not be entirely smooth. The tiny cracks and crevices present in a pizza stone allow for easy evaporation of moisture. The perforated crevices on the pizza stone help excess steam escape, resulting in a non-soggy and crispy exterior.
The Type of Stone
A pizza stone can be made of different materials, but often the natural stone is not used. It is best to recognize and compare your options before deciding to buy one. The different types of pizza stones include:
Cordierite is a type of mineral ore, which is refinished into a popularly used pizza stone. It is available in different shapes and is utilized by professionals all over the world. Cordierite can easily handle high temperatures and resist thermal shock up to a great extent.
Moreover, it can be easily switched between hot and cool temperatures without worrying about breakage.
These stones absorb heat from the surrounding atmosphere and continuously radiate it out. Cordierite stones can easily absorb excess moisture and have a textured surface. These qualities ensure even cooking.
Ceramic stones are made from non-metallic minerals like clay. The clay is shaped and baked in an oven or kiln until it hardens. Ceramic has various properties, such as good heat resistance and corrosion resistance. It absorbs heat efficiently and radiates it evenly – qualities that are perfect for a great pizza. Ceramic stones are circular with varying thicknesses and are very long-lasting.
When compared to cordierite, the ceramic stone is fragile and needs proper care. The high-maintenance of ceramic stones come with a low price. Therefore, we can say that it is the best low-budget pizza stone.
Stone or clay pizza stones are best for beginners. These budget-friendly stones absorb a lot of excess moisture and reach a fairly high temperature when heated, which are all the things you need for a great pie. The only set back of this stone is that it takes a lot of time to reach the optimal temperature. If you want to try out a pizza stone, we recommend using this one.
The large and thick slabs of food-grade steel have recently gained a lot of attention. Steel is a good conductor of heat, which is why steel pizza stones can reach intensely high temperatures in a short period. It does not crack or break but is avoided for home use because of its weight and cost. The heavyweight can make it difficult to maneuver.
Pizzerias often put a pre-heated stone on a slab of pre-heated steel; this truly takes our regular pizza to a whole another level.
Our Top Picks
Note: The list is in no particular order.
Cordierite is the optimal material for pizza stones. This stoneware pizza stone comes in various sizes and is the best buy in the market, hands down. The pizza stone is multipurpose and works with all kinds of food materials. It does not have a pre-seasoned bad odor, and the texture on the surface is very fine. It helps pull off a thin, crispy, and beautifully charred pizza crust no matter when.
Stoneware provides clear cleaning instructions and a scraper for effortless cleaning after each use. A great tip is to use parchment paper on the stone for easier cleaning and transferring. This stone is also very durable and impeccable for long-term use.
COYMOS ceramic pizza stone is an excellent choice for all baking and grilling purposes. It cooks everything evenly and repeatedly delivers remarkable quality pizza. This pizza stone comes in various sizes, giving you a lot of options to choose from. It has a textured surface and a relatively good thickness. The stone is ceramic and needs proper care and washing.
However, the only drawback of ceramic stones is that they are not durable, which justifies the low price. This is why you shouldn't use soap or detergent to clean it and never season it using oils as they may absorb in the stone and leave a certain flavor behind. These stones need a lot of care and maintenance for long-term use.
This NerdCheft steel pizza stone is for the pros and pizza-fanatics. If you want to invest in a fine-quality pizza stone, we suggest looking no further and going for this one. It is made up of a fairly thick rectangular steel piece and has 20x higher heat conductivity than ceramic. The pizza cooked on this stone is sublime; from the blistering charred crust to the faster cooking time, you can't go wrong with this.
The surface of this stone is textured and low-friction; it is also pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil. If you feel like it's too heavy for you, go for the less thick version. The cleaning is also easy, and overall it is an excellent product.
If you want to venture into the world of marvelous pizza and don't want to spend a fortune on one pizza stone, try this one out. This branded Jamie Oliver pizza stone is made up of clay, which means that the only drawback you'll be facing is more pre-heating time. This stone will help you re-create the crunchy crust with minimal effort and time.
It comes with all the amazing clay properties, with added handles that make it unchallenging to hold. You can use it for multiple baking and grilling purposes as well. The cleaning is hassle-free. Just submerge the stone in warm water for a couple of minutes and scrape the bits off, wipe with a clean cloth and it's ready for use again.
To ensure long-term usage, follow the heating instructions that the stones come with.
The Pizza Stone Sum Up
All in all, recreating your favorite pizza is unchallenging with a pizza stone. Pizza stones possess the heat control properties necessary to make a good pizza. There are quite a few types of pizza stones available on the market. No matter the type, one thing that every pizza stone guarantees are good quality, crunchy-crust pizza. The multipurpose use of a pizza stone is enough for us to persuade you to try one out.