Pizza is as American as French fries. Cooking pizza at home is simple if you have the right tools. Cooking with a pizza stone is one of those essential tools. In this post we’ll run down the steps to cooking with a pizza stone for best results, other tools you need, and tips to make sure you maximize the benefits of using a pizza stone for cooking your pizza.
The temperature required for cooking on a pizza stone varies depending on the thickness of the crust. Thinner crust pizzas should be baked at temperatures close to 500 degrees. Thick crust pizzas should be baked at 400 degrees. Medium thickness pizzas should be cooked at around 450 degrees. These are a general guideline and you should refer to your recipe instructions for best results.
The main purpose of a pizza stone is to help the crust crisp up. The stone is very porous and allows moisture to escape from the crust much more easily than if it were resting on a non porous surface. This is much closer to the conditions of a true masonry pizza oven.
Absolutely not! You should use cornmeal on your pizza stone instead of oil if you’re trying to prevent it from sticking to the pizza stone surface. Using oil would defeat the purpose of the pizza stone. Oil would clog the pores of the stone and restrict its ability to allow moisture to escape from the crust. Cornmeal will prevent sticking and not adversely affect the stones ability to allow the crust to breathe.
Time will vary greatly depending on the thickness of the crust and amount of toppings on your pizza. Thicker pizzas will obviously take longer to bake than thin crust pizza. This is compounded by the fact that thicker crusts need to be cooked at lower temperatures. Follow the instructions of the recipe you’re following.
A good quality pizza stone should be very porous but should still have a smooth surface. The stone needs to be porous so that moisture can escape from the crust. The surface should be smooth so that the pizza crust will easily release from the stone. Clay-like materials make excellent pizza stones assuming they haven’t been sealed or coated in some way. This is why the best pizza ovens are brick ovens.
Sprinkling cornmeal on the surface of your pizza stone is the best method for preventing your pizza crust from sticking to your pizza stone. Never use oil. Oil will prevent the pizza stone from doing its job of allowing moisture to escape the crust. Not only that but some oils have very low smoke points and can begin to smoke quite a bit which will not only create a lot of smoke in your home, but also ruin the flavor of your pizza.
Never put a cold pizza stone in a hot oven because it could crack from temperature shock. Place your stone in the oven when you turn your oven on to preheat. The stone will heat up more slowly along with the oven and you’ll know it’s ready when the oven has finished preheating.
It’s a bad idea to cut your pizza on your pizza stone. It won’t harm the pizza but it will quickly dull your pizza cutter or knife. The hard surface of the stone is terrible for the sharp edge of the blade. Transfer your pizza from the stone with a pizza paddle to a cutting board for cutting instead.
It’s a wooden tool for sliding pizza in or out of an oven. A pizza paddle is an essential tool. Due to the size of most pizzas there really isn’t another tool that will easily allow you to scoop the pizza up off the pizza stone without making a mess. It also makes it easy to slide the pizza onto the stone to start baking. While you don’t want to cut your pizza on a pizza stone, you also shouldn’t cut your pizza on your pizza peel as to not damage it. Need a pizza peel? Check out what we think is the best pizza peel for the money.
The dream of cooking gourmet quality pizza is easily within your grasp. Just make sure you have the proper tools for the job and you’ll be sure to succeed. Cooking with a pizza stone will help ensure that your crust is crispy and well cooked. You’ll also want to find a good wooden pizza paddle. A good paddle is really the only way to remove the pizza from the stone without it flopping around and likely creating a huge mess. Now that you’re prepared, impress your family with the gourmet homemade pizza of your dreams.
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