We get it that you are an ardent pizza lover. The waiters at all the famous pizzerias in your town are your bros.
But, still, you are missing out on the fun of making pizzas at home. They are not only tastier but also a healthier and cost-effective alternative to what you get in pizzerias.
Even though you can cook pizzas on a pan, pizzas baked on an actual stone are far superior in terms of taste and texture.
The material used in making the stone plays a pivotal role in their heat conduction ability. Ceramic stones are a highly effective conductor of heat. If you own a ceramic stone or planning to buy one, this article is for you. We have come up with 8 useful ceramic pizza stone instructions to help you keep your stone in optimal condition for years to come.
Ceramic Pizza Stones Instructions (Broken Down Into Detail)
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Okay, Now lets start what instructions do we need to get for these ceramic pizza stones.
1. Importance of Preheating- The preheating period of a pizza stone, be it ceramic or cordierite, determines the quality of the crust. The ideal preheating temp varies from stone to stone as well as oven to oven.
Most manufacturers will provide instructions on the preheating temperature and timing. There’s a fool-proof method to figure out the ideal preheating time for baking stones.
We had tested 4 ceramic pizza stones in four different ovens. Each oven was set at 500 degrees but the timings differed. We set the alarm for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes and 60 minutes, respectively.
Conclusion? Well, the stone preheated for 60 minutes gave the best output. The pizza was chewy in the middle with a golden, crispy, wafer-thin crust. Pro tip: the thinner your dough is, the higher the oven temp should be.
2. Baking Hack- If you wish you bake your pizza or bread or brownies on a pizza stone, make sure the oven is cold. Preheat the stone in the oven, always. Ceramic is susceptible to thermal shock and this method will safeguard material against thermal shock.
Put the stone at the bottom rack of the oven and set it to at least 500 degrees (or higher if both your oven and stone allow for it) for an hour. Use a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal to prevent the dough from sticking.
When the stone is nice and hot, load the pizza on to it and bake for maximum 10 minutes. And, tada!
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3. Grilling Hack- Most ceramic pizza stones are safe to be used on a grill as well. For best results, put the stone on a cold grill and then preheat.
Use medium flame. You can experiment with your toppings, cheese, dough- customize it whichever way you like. Do make sure to use pizza peel as it makes loading and unloading the pizzas a breeze.
4. Seasoning- Many ceramic pizzas come pre-seasoned but not all. The crispiness of the crust is determined by the quality of seasoning. Seasoning also makes sure the dough doesn’t stick to the cooking surface.
For a brand new pizza stone, the first thing you should do is washing it with a wet cloth. Do not use soap as the porous surface will absorb it. After washing, let the stone dry in the oven on low heat.
Then use a dry towel or cloth to apply a coat of vegetable oil on the stone. If your stone is already seasoned as most stones are these days, baking itself adds seasoning to it.
The grease released by the food is absorbed by the surface unless it is glazed. For the first time, you just have to give the stone a quick clean-up with plain water to remove residue produced during the manufacturing process.
5. Position in the rack- For baking pizzas in a traditional oven, we have already mentioned that the bottom rack ideal.
But a pizza stone isn’t meant for just pizzas only, right? If you wish to try out baking desserts, opt for the middle rack of the oven. For cookies, go for the top shelf in the center.
6. Precautions- Ceramic stones can crack when exposed to extreme temperature shifts. That’s why you need to be extra cautious while cooking a frozen pizza on it.
It’s best that you bake the frozen pizza directly on the rack. You can also half-bake on the rack and half on the pizza stone. Always use a pizza peel to load the raw pizza on the stone and remove it.
There are various kinds of pizza peel or paddles available in the market. For home cooks, we would suggest using a short-handled wooden peel.
You can use fine couscous or cornmeal to dust the peel to be able to easily transfer the dough to the stone.
7. Clean-up- Never wash the smoking hot stone in cold water. This is just another way of killing a perfectly fine pizza stone with thermal shock. To clean the stone, let it cool down first in the oven.
Then scrape off the residue with a metal spatula. Then use a sponge soaked in cold water to gently rub the stone.
Ceramic Pizza stone instructions, in general, advise against using detergent on the stone. Washing it rigorously is completely unnecessary. The oil buildup on the stone after cooking will actually keep the stone seasoned and will also double as a flavor enhancing agent.
8. Use it as a heat-sink- It’s totally fine to keep a ceramic pizza stone in the oven while cooking other dishes. Leave it on the bottom rack and it will even out the heat for baking other dishes as well.
This little trick will help you maintain your desired temperature throughout the entire cooking session. This is also known as the heat sink effect.
The Bottom Line
Ceramic pizza stone instructions are pretty straightforward. You just have to keep in mind the factors that may cause harm to the stone and never do them. Ceramic is not only the most low-maintenance pizza stone material but the most durable as well.
We hope we have managed to put down all the necessary instructions you might require to use and maintain a ceramic pizza stone. That’ll be all for this segment. Toodles!