Pizza isn’t just a food. Pizza is a religion for those of us who have sustained our entire college life on this.
If you have never eaten a cold pizza for breakfast, are you even a true American?
If you have never thought about preparing this divine delicacy with your hands, right from the scratch, are you even a true pizza lover?
If the answers to both are a definite yes, it’s high time you invest in a pizza stone. After all, pizza making is all about paying attention to the details. And therefore, finding the best pizza stone for oven is totally worth your time and energy.
It’s not that you can’t make a pizza without a stone but those extra few bucks you are hesitating to spend can take your homemade pizza to a whole new level of awesomeness. Pizza stones are made from various materials such as cordierite, clay, steel and cast iron. Each material has a unique set of pros and well as cons. Heat retention, heat distribution, and maximum achievable temperature are a few factors to take into consideration while selecting a suitable pizza stone for your oven.
The best pizza stones make loading and unloading the raw pizza into the oven a breeze. In fact, some pizza stones are so next-level that they even allow you to cut and serve the pizza right on the stone. Some, if not all, pizza stones are dishwasher safe as well. But we strongly recommend against washing a stone in a dishwasher. Any kind of soap or detergent will be absorbed into the pores of the stone and eventually make your pizza detergent-flavored.
We are pretty sure this is the last thing you would want in your life. To make your work easy, we have carefully picked 10 products from the market that have met all the requirements one should look for in a pizza stone. But before we dive into the reviews, why not learn a thing or two about pizza stones? Learning is fun, especially when it’s related to pizza, isn’t it?
What Are Pizza Stones Made of?
Knowing what pizza stones actually are and how they work is the very first step to select the best pizza stone for oven. The term “stone” is kind of misleading as these slabs are made of a variety of materials. Clay, ceramic, steel, cast iron are most commonly used materials to build customer-oriented pizza stones.
While some materials can reach a high temperature in minutes, some are more durable than the others. Pizza stones also come in various shapes and sizes which also affect the quality of pizza and other items baked on the stone. Here’s a quick look at the materials generally used for building pizza stones and what their respective advantages are.
• Ceramic Pizza Stones: Ceramic stones are usually fired in a kiln, some are made from clay as well. This is the lightest of all pizza stone materials. These stones have an excellent heat distribution capacity and can last for years if maintained properly. However, make it a point to preheat the stone properly to avoid cracking due to high heat.
• Cordierite: Cordierite is known for handling extreme shifts in temperature exceedingly well. This means you can expose this bad to a very low heat from a very high heat without the fear of getting it cracked in the process. This material is used for making kiln shelves as well. Cordierite is the most expensive of all pizza stone materials but it is totally worth the steep price tag it carries.
• Clay: Clay or lead-free clay is a classic pizza stone material, aptly mimicking the baking style of brick fire ovens. These baking wares result in a golden, crispy crust with charred marks which has just the right amount of chewiness. On the downside, these are harder to clean and tend to crack easily when exposed to extreme temperature.
Also, you need to preheat the stone for about 30 minutes to get the temperature high enough to bake a Neapolitan style pizza or Chicago deep dish.
• Cast Iron- Although cast iron pans are easier to handle while handling the pizza in the oven, most cast iron skillets can’t reach more than 400 degrees which is 100 degrees less than what most pizza recipes demand. However, on the plus side, these won’t crack easily and fuss-free to clean-up.
• Steel: Steel stones are a great conductor of heat and they also distribute the heat evenly all over the cooking surface. It is very much possible to quickly bake pizzas even at low temperature or steel baking stones.
However, these are also high-maintenance cooking wares, heavy and come for a hefty price. Baking steel is highly recommended if you are a professional baker.
Why Should You Buy the Best Pizza Stone for Oven?
Pizza stones basically serve as an additional layer of cooking surface on top of the oven floor, preventing the food from burning at high heat. You must have wondered why your homemade pizzas do not taste anywhere close to the pizzas ordered from your favorite pizzeria.
Despite using the right cheese, the perfect pizza sauce and using the freshest toppings, it lacks something. That “something” is the absence of a pizza stone.
- The best pizza stone for oven ensures that the pizzas are cooked thoroughly, both the crust and the center.
- Pizza stones have a porous surface which helps you suck out water from the wet areas of the pizza dough. Preheating the stone initially blasts extreme heat into the dough, thus puffing it up, resulting in a crispy crust.
- It is easy to cook a Neapolitan style pizza with bubbles in the crust at 500 degrees on a stone slab than on a baking sheet.
- Pizza stones are can be used on stovetop, OTG, BBQ grill apart from just ovens.
- Using a pizza stone closely resembles the baking of a pizza in a wood-fire or masonry oven.
10 Benefits of Using Pizza Stone for Oven
If you are still unsure whether investing in a pizza stone is worth it, here are the 10 core benefits of using a pizza stone explained for you.
1. Heat Balancing-
One of the key reasons why you should get a pizza stone is its ability to evenly distribute the heat all over the crust. Nothing is worse that a freshly baked pizza that is undercooked in the middle.
Proper heat distribution ensures that the pizza and other baked goods are cooked thoroughly without any hotspots.
Pizza stones aren’t just meant for baking pizza. You can bake cookies, bread, calzones and even roast a whole chicken, fry up bacon, ham and veggies to perfection.
3. Cooks Quickly-
A preheated pizza stone takes only a few minutes to reach the ideal temperature for baking pizzas. It means you can bake pizzas with a perfectly golden and crispy crust in minutes. This will drastically reduce the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen.
4. Handles Extreme Heat-
Pizza stones are made of materials that have an excellent tolerance to extreme heat. This aspect alone makes pizza stones a far better option than pizza pans for ovens.
5. Easy to Handle Food-
With a layer of stone slab between the oven floor and the raw dough, there’d be no risk of the dough sticking to the oven. Pizza stones also have long handles which makes loading and unloading the pizza in and off the oven convenient.
6. Easy to Maintain-
Pizza stones are incredibly fuss-free to maintain. All you need is regular water and a sponge. Some top-notch products are dishwasher safe as well.
Point to note here is that you should never use any detergent to wash the stone. Pizza stones are porous and therefore, will absorb the detergent.
7. Heat Sink-
Pizza stones, even kept on the bottom rack of an oven throughout the cooking session, double up as a heat sink. To simplify, it will help you even out the temperature of the oven for cooking other dishes.
8. Glazed Stones-
Glazed pizza stones are not only dishwasher safe but the surface also allows you to cut pizzas right on top of it without damaging the stone.
9. Heat Retention-
Some people find cold pizza a delicacy but most don’t. Not just pizza, no baked savory tastes good when cold. A pizza stone can retain high temp for about 15-20 minutes. Therefore, you can serve piping hot pizzas, fresh from the oven, every single time.
10. Pizza Size-
Want a medium 12” pizza to snack on while Netflixing or a 16” family-size pizza for the Saturday night party? Choose a pizza stone size that’ll neatly fit the size of the pizza you want, just like the professionals do.
Reviews of the Best Pizza Stones for oven in 2018
1. Old Stone Oven Rectangular Pizza Stone-
Old Stone is a brand you can hardly go wrong with. The thickness of the material helps the stone to retain heat for quite some time. Therefore, you can keep your pizza and pastries hot and fresh for several minutes before serving. Also, cleaning this bad boy is super easy. All you need is some cold water and a regular scrubber to clean it up.
2. Pizzacraft PC9899 20 x 13.5 Rectangular ThermaBond Baking/Pizza Stone-
This pizza stone can be configured for baking large pizzas, perfect for parties and get-together with friends. You can also use it for preparing baked desserts and different types of bread. You don’t have to worry about the safety of material as Pizzacraft PC9899 is made from FDA approved materials.
3. Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone-
The firebrick material used as the base material in this pizza stone clones the baking of pizzas in a traditional masonry oven. The crust has the right amount of bite and a golden color with few glorious brown spots. The material is thick enough to tolerate temp up to 2000 degrees. The heat core directs maximum heat to the center to cook the middle of the pizza to perfection.
4. Heritage, Black Ceramic Pizza Stone-
This highly versatile pizza stone can be used both in ovens and on an open flame. The crème de la crème of this stone is its ability to preheat nearly two times faster than most of its similar-priced counterparts. The material used here is lead-free ceramic which is completely food-safe.
5. Cuisinart CPS-445 Pizza Grilling Set
This complete set includes a pizza peel along with an okay-ish pizza cutter. The 13” pizza stone is best suited for medium Neapolitan style pizza. It has a decent heat retention capacity and won’t damage even at 800 degrees. However, the metal on which the stone is set on is thinner than we would have liked it to be.
6. Culinary Expertise Cordierite Pizza Stone-
Cordierite pizza stones such as this are particularly noted for its high resistance to thermal shock. The stone will not crack or show any signs of damage even being used at 1000 degrees. It also comes with a razor-sharp pizza cutter and removable chrome racks to facilitate oven-to-table delivery.
7. The Ultimate Rectangular Pizza Stone, 14" x 16"-
Neither too heavy to maneuver or too light, this well-built pizza stone can bake pizzas to perfection in minutes. The crusts come out light brown and the center of the pizza too is properly cooked. The best part of this stone is the stopper at the back that keeps the toppings from falling off while loading the dough on the peel.
8. Pizzacraft 16.5" Round ThermaBond Baking/Pizza Stone-
This Pizzacraft pizza stone is made from a premium quality material that meets the FDA food safety standard. The stone is fairly heavy and therefore, user discretion is advised while handling it. You don’t need to season the stone for baking thin-crust pizzas. Moreover, you can also use it safely on an open flame.
9. Good Cook 14.75 Inch Pizza Stone with Rack-
This is one of the best pizza stones for beginners who are not yet sure about investing in a more expensive pizza stone. It handles high temperature with ease and washing the surface off after a baking session is not a chore per se. A sponge and some cold water are all you need for the job.
10. Wilton 2105-0244 Perfect Results Ceramic Pizza Stone-
Wilton ceramic pizza stone finds its strength in its ability to retain high heat for several minutes. It’s a huge advantage when you are cooking for a party where you definitely don’t want to serve cold food. We also loved the chrome rack cradles that make unloading the pizza off the oven a breeze.
Things To Consider Before Buying Best Pizza Stone For Oven
1. Size- As we discussed just now, pizza stones come in various sizes (and shapes). Choosing the appropriate size is critical because if you choose a size that doesn’t fit into your oven, you are in trouble.
Alternatively, if you buy a stone smaller than the desired size of the pizza, you will be in despair. To figure out the proper size, consider the type of oven you use. If it is a gas oven, choose a stone size that leaves at least 1 inch of breathing space inside the oven to aid air circulation. The same rule applies to other types of oven as well.
2. Thickness- Pizza stones are great for retaining the heat for a long time. The greater the thickness, the longer it will be able to hold the heat. Consequently, high heat absorption will also facilitate a uniform distribution of heat all over the cooking surface.
Hence, a thick pizza stone is an ideal tool for making a perfectly crispy and crunchy crust with no hotspots.
The thickness of the material also determines how immune the product is against thermal shock. However, don’t forget the heavier stones are also tougher to handle. So, if you are purchasing a stone for home use only, it’s best not to opt for a heavy-duty pizza stone.
3. Material- We have already dedicated a section to the various types of materials used for building pizza stones. Ceramics are the best option for home cooks as they are both lightweight and light on the pocket. If you are an intermediate-level baker, cordierite is a strong suit for you. For commercial bakers, we would recommend steel stones.
4. Shape- Most pizza stones come in three shapes- round, rectangular and square. Round shaped pizza stones are capable of absorbing the heat much quicker than other shapes.
If you prefer square shaped pizzas, go for a square pizza stone. The overall performance is more or less the same.
For those who intend to bake bulk quantity bread rolls, cookies, and other items, a rectangular stone would be the best as it allows more surface area.
5. Glazed vs. Unglazed- A glazed surface simply indicates that the pizza stone is non-absorbent. They are pretty easy to clean, you can even cut the pizzas on it without damaging the stone surface.
However, these are costly as well. Also, note that most pizza stones sold in the market are micro-glazed. So they are going to have fine cracks that will absorb some moisture.
Non-glazed pizza stones absorb grease and moisture. They might be a bit more hassle to clean but on the plus side, these stones result in a crispier crust.
That’s all folks for this segment. Pizzas aren’t just about kneading the dough, throwing some cheese and toppings at it and bake. It requires precision and skill. Pizza stones are a stable baking ware if you are serious about baking.
Most of all, their use isn’t restricted to just baking pizzas. You can roast, braise and bake almost anything on it. We have put tremendous effort to compile a list of the best pizza stones for oven for you. We sincerely hope you find out the right product for your specific baking needs. Happy baking!