If you love pizza, you have probably invested in a decent pizza stone by now. These specialized baking stones heat evenly, which helps deliver the just-right baking temperature for your homemade pizza dough, but you need to know how to clean a pizza stone properly if you want it to last.
The permeable surface draws moisture out of the dough as it bakes, leaving you a much crispier pizza crust than if you were to use a traditional baking sheet or cast iron skillet. A pizza stone is an excellent tool for baking a perfectly crispy crust, but you have to be careful when cleaning pizza stone because its porous nature will absorb anything that you use to clean it.
Here is how to clean a pizza stone without damaging it, so you can enjoy your next pizza and not worrying about how you will clean it afterward.
Cleaning a Pizza Stone
In general, you don’t need to clean your pizza baking stone regularly, because cooking pizza on it helps with seasoning a pizza stone to improve the taste of your pizzas. However, when it comes time to wash a pizza stone, it is crucial that you do it the right way to keep from damaging it.
Some traditional cleaning methods, like soaking it in water or using soap on the pizza stone, can ruin your stone forever. If you need to wash a baking stone, here are some simple ways to care for a pizza stone that won’t end up ruining it.
How to Clean a Pizza Stone by Hand
It is inevitable that the more you use your Pampered Chef baking stone that you will, at some point, end up with some burnt bits stuck to your stone. Before you can start the process of cleaning the cooked food from your pizza stone, you have to let the stone cool completely.
You can do this by leaving it in the oven for an hour or more. Allow the stone cool completely to keep it from cracking. The stone must be cooled down to room temperature before you even attempt to clean it.
Once the stone has cooled, you can use a blunt tool, a stone brush, or plastic scraper to remove stuck on food as the best way to care for a pizza stone. Gently scrape the surface of the pizza stone with the plastic spatula or brush to remove excess pieces of burnt food.
Avoid using a metal spatula because it could scratch the stone. You also never want to use soap or vinegar for cleaning your pizza stone. The porous nature of baking stones absorbs the solvent into the material and leaves your pizzas tasting like soap.
After you remove any burnt-on food from the surface of the pizza stone, wipe down the surface of the stone with a damp cloth. Wet a washcloth with warm water and wipe off any food that was loosened during the scraping process.
If you aren’t able to remove the baked-on gunk when cleaning a pizza stone, you may have to soak the pizza stone in hot water to soften the material. Soak the stone overnight and try scraping it again. Unfortunately soaking the stone in water causes it to absorb quite a bit of water, so you will have to let it air-dry for about a week or so to get all the moisture out.
Allow the pizza stone to dry completely before you use it again. If it hasn’t thoroughly dried before use, you risk it cracking. Make sure that you store your pizza stone at room temperature before you heat it again. When you wash your pizza stone in water, the water can get stuck in the pores and will ultimately reduce the integrity of the stone when you place it in a hot oven.
Finally, avoid putting any oil on the stone, olive or otherwise. You may think that placing oil on your pizza stone helps to season it, but unfortunately, the only thing that it does is cause your stone to smoke when you cook on it.
The pores in the stone soak up the oil rather than creating a non-stick surface. If you want to create a non-stick coating, use cornmeal on top of your stone.
Wash a Baking Stone with Baking Soda
Stains will develop on your pizza stone after continued use and won’t affect the pizza stone’s function. However, if you need to get rid of stains, use baking soda on the stone without damaging it.
To wash a baking stone with baking soda, mix equal parts of warm water and baking soda in a bowl to form a semi-thick paste. This allows you to remove deeper stains from your pizza stone that can’t be accomplished with regular wiping.
Before you apply the baking soda paste to your pizza stone, use a plastic spatula to remove any significant burnt on chunks of food. Use a toothbrush to scrub the paste into the stone. Start by cleaning the problem areas of your stone, using small circular motions.
Focus on the dark or discolored areas on the stone and work your way around the rest of the surface. If you have areas that have deep, baked-on stains, you might need to come back to them after you’ve wiped the stone.
Take a damp cloth and wipe the pizza stone to remove the baking soda layer. Repeat the process on deeper stains until the stain is lighter or it has disappeared.
Baking soda is also ideal for rack cleaning. Take the racks out of the oven, slather them with a paste of baking soda and water and let them sit. Scrub away the grime and rinse clean before replacing in the oven.
When you clean the racks, it’s a good idea to take care of the rest of the oven, too. Turn on your self-cleaning oven and use this feature or mix up your own DIY cleaner. Either way, it’s wise to clean everything at the same time.
Once you’ve removed as many of the stains as possible, allow your pizza stone to dry thoroughly. This method of cleaning pizza stone allows more moisture to absorb into the stone; wait at least a day before using it again. Store your baking stone in the oven so that it stays at room temperature, make sure that you remember to take it out when you cook other things.
Clean a Pizza Stone with a Self-Cleaning Oven
This method should only be used once to avoid cracking your pizza stone, and only as a last resort if the other two ways don’t work. If there is an abundance of grease on the stone, it can start a grease fire which can be incredibly dangerous, so wipe down the pizza stone with a paper towel before placing the pizza stone in the oven.
Make sure to wipe down the inside of your oven, too, to remove grease or dried on food to help reduce the amount of smoke that is created during this method. Place a cold baking stone in the oven and set it to 500°F. Gradually increase the heat in your oven to prevent the stone from cracking because of the change in temperature.
Allow the preheat function of the oven to gradually increase the temperature of the stone and leave the stone in the oven for at least an hour after it has reached 500°F. Next, turn on the self-cleaning function of your oven.
The self-cleaning cycle will super-heat the stove and burn away excess dirt or grease. Allow the full period to run, only interrupting it if there is a fire.
Keep an eye on the pizza stone and make sure that it doesn’t catch on fire. You should see grease bubbling on the surface of the pizza stone. Make sure you leave the oven door shut during this process to keep the smoke from filling your kitchen.
If a fire breaks out inside the oven, turn off the self-cleaning oven and call the fire department. The last thing you should do is open the oven door because when a fire is exposed to the oxygen in the room, it can create a dangerous backdraft.
Allow the stone to cool overnight. This method should have removed any remaining spots or dirt on your stone. If the heat doesn’t completely clean your stone, you can sand down the crumbs with a small piece of medium-grit sandpaper.
How to Clean a Marble or Granite Pizza Stone
While a marble or granite baking stone isn’t necessarily the favorite choice among pizza aficionados, they can do a decent job of making a delectable pizza at home, plus marble and granite stones are ideal materials for rolling out pizza dough. Like the ceramic pizza stones, both marble and granite baking stones are incredibly porous, so you need to make sure that you clean them properly.
Follow the same procedures as outlined above to clean your granite or clean marble stone. You can also use a homemade marble cleaner, like those you would use to clean other marble surfaces in your home to gently clean your marble pizza stone. If you have a granite baking stone, try a DIY granite cleaner to safely clean the surface of your stone, without worrying that the ingredients will change the flavor of your pizza.
How to Use a Pizza Stone
You never want to try to season a brand new pizza stone, because it will create a ton of smoke and possibly even cause your stone to emit a foul odor. When you’re ready to make a delicious pizza at home, place the pizza stone on the lowest rack of your oven. Turn on the oven to 500°F and allow the oven and stone to heat for 30 minutes.
While the stone is heating, make your pizza dough and assemble your pizza with your favorite toppings. After the oven is heated, slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven using a pizza peel dusted with flour. Allow the pizza to cook for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven.
When the pizza is done, use the pizza peel to remove the pizza from the stone. Keep the stone in the oven for another five minutes to allow any residue to burn off. Turn off the oven, keeping the pizza stone in it to cool.
Pizza stones are a must-have in any kitchen if you love to make and eat delicious homemade pizza. A pizza stone allows you to turn your kitchen into a pizzeria with little effort, whether you live in a cabin or a studio apartment. To ensure you can continue to enjoy homemade pizzas, follow these simple steps on how to clean a pizza stone, to keep your baking stone ready to go.
We hope you found this guide on ways to care for a pizza stone helpful. If you enjoyed the tips on using a baking stone and the cleaning pizza stone techniques, please be sure to share these tips on how to clean a pizza stone on Facebook and Pinterest.