If your favorite type of pizza crust is thin and crispy, then you need a pizza stone to get that perfect crust at home. Whether you are making the crust from scratch, baking a pre-made or frozen pizza, or simply reheating slices from your favorite restaurant, a pizza stone will always give you the best results. Since most stones are made from a composite ceramic material, they will help wick away moisture from the crust leaving it crispy.
There are pizza stones made from stainless steel, cast iron, and natural soapstone, as well as glazed and unglazed stoneware.
How Often to Clean a Pizza Stone
A pizza stone should be cleaned after every use to remove food residue. A more thorough cleaning after several uses can help it maintain its natural finish. It is not unusual for light-colored stones to change color after many uses. If you want to keep the stone in pristine condition, use a sheet of baking parchment under the pizza crust each time you bake.
What You Need
- Baking soda
- Rubber or plastic spatula
- Soft microfiber cloth
- Dish rack
- Stiff-bristled nylon brush
- Self-cleaning oven (optional)
Instructions for Cleaning a Stoneware Pizza Stone
Allow the Stone to Cool
Whether you serve the pizza right from the stone or move it to a different board, the pizza stone should be allowed to cool completely before cleaning. Never submerge a hot stone in a sink of dishwater or it may crack.
Always hand clean any type of pizza stone. Dishwasher detergents and the excessive amount of water used during a cycle will damage the stone.
Scrape Away Food Bits
Use a rubber or plastic spatula to scrape away any bits of cheese or topping that are stuck to the stone.
Do not use metal utensils when cutting a pizza on the stone or to scrape away burned-on bits. The metal will scratch the surface and can even cause the pizza to begin sticking to the stone.
Tackle Stuck-On Food
If the food is stuck on and doesn't budge after scraping, make a paste of one tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of water. Dip a nylon-bristled brush into the paste and gently scrub the problem areas.
Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away the baking soda and food residue.
Wipe Down the Stone
Once obvious bits of food are removed, wipe down the stone with a clean, slightly dampened microfiber cloth.
Allow the Stone to Dry
Always allow the stone to air dry completely in a dishrack before using it again or storing it.
Instructions for Deep Cleaning a Stoneware Pizza Stone
If the stone has food stains that won't come off after many uses, it can be deep cleaned by baking at extremely high heat or by using an oven's self-cleaning cycle. This should only be done once or twice in the life of the stone as the processes can cause some stones to crack.
Clean With High-Temperature Baking
Place the pizza stone on the center rack of your oven. Set the temperature for 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the stone and oven to reach the high temperature together. Once the oven reaches the correct temperature, allow the stone to bake for one hour. Turn off the oven and allow the stone to cool before gently scraping away the food with a plastic spatula. Complete the cleaning by wiping down with a damp microfiber cloth.
If you decide to use the self-cleaning function on your oven to clean the pizza stone, be prepared for lots of smoke as the grease burns away. There is a danger of fire. Should the stone catch fire, turn off the oven and call the fire department. Do not attempt to open the door to extinguish the fire.
Instructions for Cleaning Other Types of Pizza Stones
Stainless Steel Pizza Stones
Stainless steel pizza stones should be allowed to cool and then washed using hot water, dishwashing liquid, and non-abrasive pot and pan scrubbers.
Cast Iron Pizza Stones
Cast iron stones should not be soaked in water for extended periods. Scrape away any food bits and, if needed, wash quickly in hot soapy water. Rinse well and immediately dry with a cloth or paper towel. Most cast irons stones should be treated by wiping the surface with a light coating of vegetable oil after every cleaning.
Natural soapstone is extremely dense and able to withstand extremes in temperatures. Since it is not porous, allow the stone to cool completely after use and then wash in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.