Three best pizza stones
It's so easy to pick up the phone and have a pizza delivered to your door in under an hour, but many delivery pies are unhealthy and expensive. Making pizza from scratch is a rewarding way to satisfy that nagging craving for dough, sauce, and cheese, but without the right tools, you can end up with a soggy mess. A pizza stone helps create that coveted crunchy crust without sacrificing the soft, bready interior. Make pizza the right way and you'll seldom pick up a delivery menu again.
Considerations when choosing pizza stones
Material: Pizza stones are made of clay, ceramic, cast iron, or cordierite. Clay is best for achieving a crispy exterior, but it takes a while to preheat. Cordierite is incredibly heat resistant and unlikely to crack like some other materials. Ceramic heats evenly but cracks easily if not properly preheated.
Size: Are you feeding a hungry family of five, or do you intend to bake mini pizzas just for yourself? Check that the diameter or dimensions are appropriate for your needs. The larger the pizza stone, the more expensive it will be.
Pizza stone features
Handles: Not such a coordinated cook? Choose a stone with handles to make it easy to get out of the oven and bring to the table to serve your family or guests.
Accessories: Some stones come packaged with accessories, such as a recipe book, pizza peel to slide the pizza on and off the stone, and cutter for slicing up your pie for serving. (Be careful not to cut the pizza directly on the stone's surface, though, because the blade could damage the stone). A pizza stone that's sold with these products will usually be more expensive than one sold on its own.
Durability: Certain pizza stones are designed to withstand a bit of rough handling. Some features to look for if you want an incredibly durable stone are rust proofing and thick enamel. Stones with these features fall in the premium price range.
The importance of preheating: Preheating is a critical step when baking pizza with a stone. Skipping it can cause your product to crack irreparably. To preheat your stone, put it on the lowest rack of your oven and then preheat the oven. Avoid using cold ingredients on a preheated stone because this can also cause it to crack.
Q. Can I use a pizza stone to bake anything else?
A. Yes. Any number of baked goods can be prepared on a pizza stone. Just be careful when baking anything that's cold, such as frozen appetizers or chilled cookie dough. Placing cold items on a hot stone could cause it to crack.
Q. How do I wash my pizza stone?
A. Soap and other cleaners should be avoided. Instead, wipe down your pizza stone with warm water. If in doubt, check the manufacturer's instructions. Pizza stones should not be placed in the dishwasher.
Q. Can I use my pizza stone on the barbecue grill?
A. Absolutely! Pizza stones are designed to withstand high temperatures, and the grill is the perfect place to cook up a gourmet pie. A grill gets extremely hot, though, so make sure you have a long peel to slide your pie onto and off your stone. You might also want to invest in some heat-proof gloves.
Pizza stones we recommend
Best of the best: Old Stone Oven Rectangular Baking Stone
Our take: A foolproof pizza stone for the novice and veteran chef alike.
What we like: Sticking frozen foods on this stone won't cause cracks, and it's made of the same stuff you'd find in a regular pizza oven.
What we dislike: Big, heavy, and a little cumbersome.
Best bang for your buck: Cuisinart Alfrescamore Pizza Grilling Stone
Our take: A reasonably priced pizza stone from a reliable brand.
What we like: Super-durable cordierite construction is thermal and shock resistant, quick heating, and not overly heavy.
What we dislike: Scattered reports of food sticking to the surface.
Choice 3: Wilton Perfect Results Ceramic Stone
Our take: Low-cost option with high-heat tolerance.
What we like: The ceramic can withstand up to 550°F, and the stone has convenient handles.
What we dislike: Prone to thermal shock. Not the best choice for cooking frozen foods.
Steph Coelho is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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