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Pizza Stone And Oven – How To Use It?

The pizza stone is the ultimate tool for making gourmet pizzas at home. This stone absorbs the heat of your oven, and allows pizzas to cook more evenly, perfectly crusting the outside while leaving the center soft.

A pizza stone is a perfect alternative when you’re craving that perfect, wood-fired pizza flavor but don’t have the time or resources to set up your own pizza oven. However, by using a conventional oven and a pizza stone, you can cook up a delicious pizza from the comfort of your home. 

To use a pizza stone in the oven, you will need to place the stone on the lowest rack and preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). Once preheated, place the pizza on the stone and cook for 12-15 minutes. After you have removed the pizza, allow the stone to cool completely before cleaning. 

The rest of this article will provide detailed directions on how to use your pizza stone in an oven.  I will also share some helpful tips for cleaning and storing your pizza stone when you’re finished using it. 

1. Place the Stone Inside the Oven on the Lowest Rack

The first step is to place the pizza stone inside of the oven. You will want to use the lowest rack, so the stone isn’t too close to the broiler. 

The goal is to create a cooking surface with even heat distribution. Placing it too close to the broiler can expose one side of the stone to more heat, creating an uneven stone temperature. 

A pizza being cooked on the bricked oven.
Position the stone at a safe distance to prevent any damage that flame exposure can cause. 

Additionally, if your oven has a gas broiler, you will want to ensure that the flames are not close enough to come in contact with your pizza stone. Position the stone at a safe distance to prevent any damage that flame exposure can cause. 

2. Preheat the Oven to 500° F (260°C)

Pizza ovens achieve their quick cooking time and spot-on flavor by cooking at an extremely high temperature. While it is not safe for your conventional oven to reach temperatures quite as high as a pizza oven, you can still achieve a high heat cooking experience. 

Preheating the oven to 500°F (260°C) will give your pizza stone time to heat up before the pizza enters the oven. You want your pizza stone fully preheated before you begin cooking. 

It is important to remember that the pizza stone should be in the oven before you start the preheating process. If you wait until the oven is preheated to put the pizza stone in, you can cause the stone to crack or produce irreversible damage that could cause cracking later on. 

A bricked oven being preheated.
Pizza ovens achieve their quick cooking time and spot-on flavor by cooking at an extremely high temperature.

Once the oven has indicated that it has completed preheating, you will also need to check the temperature of the stone. Both the oven and the stone must reach the same temperature.

The Etekcity Infrared Thermometer available on Amazon.com is an excellent resource for checking your pizza stone’s temperature. This temperature gun is highly accurate and can be used up to 14.17 inches (36 cm) away, making it easy to check your pizza stone’s temperature with absolutely zero physical contact. 

Once the oven has preheated, it can take about 30 minutes to an hour to get the pizza stone up to temperature, so be sure to start the preheating process well ahead of dinnertime. 

3. Place Pizza on the Stone

Before placing the pizza on the stone, make sure that it has reached room temperature. Cold pizza dough can cause thermal shock (much like putting a cold pizza stone in a hot oven), which leads to cracking or completely breaking your stone. 

Once the pizza dough has reached room temperature, carefully place it on the pizza stone using a pizza paddle. A pizza paddle is a must-have if you are cooking with a pizza stone, as it allows you to transfer the pizza to and from the stone without getting too close. 

The New Star Foodservice Wooden Pizza Peel from Amazon.com is a great choice because it is durable yet lightweight, making it easy to use. The edges are tapered ½”, creating the perfect shape for easily slipping under pizzas and avoiding disastrous drops. 

When using a pizza paddle (also called a pizza peel), you’ll want to make sure to sprinkle it with flour or cornmeal before the dough to prevent sticking and optimize a smooth slip onto the stone.

4. Cook the Pizza for 12–15 Minutes

One of the best parts of using a pizza stone is just how quickly the pizza can cook! The preheating process is a little more lengthy, but it is worth it if you prepare ahead of time. 

Once you have placed the pizza on the stone, it only takes about 12-15 minutes to cook. Be sure to keep a close eye on it, though, as oven temperatures vary. If your pizza begins to look like it’s getting a little too crispy, you might want to remove it sooner than the timer indicates. 

Pizza on an oven.
A thin, crispy crust will cook far faster than a thicker crust.

Cook time will also vary depending on the thickness of your pizza crust. A thin, crispy crust will cook far faster than a thicker crust – so don’t stray too far when the pizza is in the oven. 

5. Remove Pizza from the Oven

When it’s time to remove the pizza, the stone stays in the oven. You should use your pizza paddle to remove the pizza without taking the stone out.

Slide the pizza paddle under the pizza, taking care not to push the pizza off the back side. If you wish, you can use a metal spatula to slide the pizza off the stone and onto your paddle to avoid unfortunate slips of the stone. 

A pizza being removed from the oven.
You should use your pizza paddle to remove the pizza without taking the stone out.

Using the paddle, slide your pizza onto a plate or serving board to let it cool, then cut it. You should never cut the pizza on the stone or the paddle, as this could cause damage to both devices. A large cutting board is an excellent option for both cooling and slicing. 

6. Allow Stone to Cool Completely Before Cleaning

After you have cooled, sliced, and served your delicious pizza, it’s time to clean up the kitchen! But wait – is your pizza stone completely cooled yet? You must wait until the stone has cooled all the way down before you take it out of the oven and begin cleaning it. 

The stone will naturally cool as the oven does, so be sure to give it sufficient time to return to room temperature. 

Cleaning your stone is actually quite simple if you can easily remove any food particles that may have stuck to the surface. Once you have removed them, wipe the stone gently with a damp cloth.

If you have food particles that are stuck more closely to the stone, you can introduce a small amount of warm water and a damp rag to scrub them off. If necessary, you can use a stone brush or a metal spatula to scrape away hard-to-get food bits. 

Because pizza stones are porous, you should never use any type of soap or cleaning agent to clean them. Only plain, warm water should be used to clean your stone.  

Pizza
The stone will naturally cool as the oven does, so be sure to give it sufficient time to return to room temperature. 

You will want to store your pizza stone on a cooling rack in a room-temperature location. One of the best and most convenient places to keep your pizza stone is inside your oven! You can even leave it in there when cooking other foods, as heating up and cooling down can improve the stone’s surface, making it easier to place and remove your pizzas from the stone in the future. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to use your pizza stone, you are ready to serve up a delicious pizza – right from the comfort of your home! 

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