Category Archives: Using Pizza Stones

Pizza Stone Hacks

What is a hack?  How can you “hack” a pizza stone? Well for those not familiar with the word and its current use, a hack means doing something other than what it was intended for. But no, it doesn’t mean using it for a heavy Frisbee or shooting clay.  For us it means what else can you cook on your pizza stone other than pizza?  Remember, the whole reason that a pizza stone performs so well is that it disperses heat evenly across the surface of the food.  So we went searching for other types of food to be cooked on your pizza stone, because you really shouldn’t eat pizza everyday.

The first obvious choice is anything with dough.  This includes bread, scones, calzones and pita pockets! But also, don’t forget muffins, rolls, biscuits and cookies. All of these items

homemade calzones on a pizza stone

can take advantage of the pizza stone’s thermal properties and provide food that is cooked throughout and much less likely to burn. One thing to consider when using your pizza stone for other purposes is the cleanup.  You might like your chocolate chip cookies with a hint of oregano, but probably not.  Use a sheet of parchment paper to separate, or a light dusting of cornmeal to absorb the oil from the pizza. Remember from our earlier care and use discussions, never use a cleaner or detergent on your pizza stone.  If it is especially greasy you could use some very hot water before anything else.

Besides dough type foods we found a lot of people making baked french fries and onion rings on their pizza stone.  This is a great healthy alternative that is so easy to prepare and even easier to clean up.  Heat your oven to 350, remember to include your pizza stone so that it gets preheated too.  Put your fries or onion rings right onto the stone or parchment and cook fro about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. You could also try the same thing with potato wedges and seasoned vegetables in general. I saw an article on Food Republics “Hack of the Day” feature with detailed instruction for cooking vegetables on your pizza stone.

Hopefully this will give you some new and innovative ways to use your pizza stone more often.  Don’t forget about general reheating of leftovers, or frozen fish sticks too.  Everything generally will cook better on your pizza stone and most importantly, it will probably be healthier for you.  Some things may take a little longer to cook this way, so experiment.  With a little creative planning you could use your pizza stone every night of the week and only have pizza once!

Does a Pizza Stone Really Make a Better Crust?

So the number one question we hear is “Does pizza crust actually taste better when you use a pizza stone?”  Of course, the answer is subjective, but most people will agree that pizza dough cooked on a pizza stone will be “better” tasting than the same dough cooked on a sheet.  When we say “sheet”, we mean a thin cookie sheet, not a steel pizza stone. We are guilty of being fairly loose with that claim as are many others.  So what makes one crust better than the other? Just like with all baking, most people prefer a dough that is light and has risen properly, along with a dough of consistent texture and moisture throughout. There is nothing worse than a heavy flat crust that is not fully cooked and just looks bad.

So what makes the crust rise anyway? It all starts with the recipe and to get started, take a look at the large selection of recipes at Recipe-Select. One of the most popular pizza crusts uses honey and makes a great example of why dough rises.  I think everyone knows that the crucial ingredient in all recipes is yeast, more exactly  Bakers Yeast. Bakers Yeast is a live microorganism that can even be found on the human body.  There are a wide range of types of yeast used in baking, and the specific yeast is what gives much of the flavor and texture.  Consider sourdough bread, a very specific yeast is used, and the resulting dough Slice of breadhas a distinct taste and texture, especially when compared to regular bread.  Early microbiologists learned to always save some  yeast so that they could reproduce a specific type of dough over and over.  For one brand, the yeast for their sourdough bread was a valuable, closely guarded trade secret, using the same batch of yeast for over 100 years. The yeast, being alive, eats (consumes) available sugars in the dough.  The sugars can come from a variety of sources including honey or other carbohydrates like potatoes. as they consume the food, they naturally have to release something and that is carbon dioxide gas.  As the gas is released, the dough rises and that creates the bubbles and pockets of a good pizza crust. Other additives like salt or sugar effect the rate at which this process occurs as do other variables like temperature, elevation and time allowed to “rise” before cooking.  Finally, the amount of kneading is another variable that can effect the crust due to the gluten starting to get stronger, which changes the consistency of the dough. Placing the dough in the oven exacerbates all of these activities and is why the dough can be light and fluffy, or flat and heavy. By experimenting and controlling these variables, you can fine tune the perfect yeast to make the perfect pizza dough from scratch.

As we covered earlier, the pizza stone has several advantages over a pan.  The biggest of these is the ability of the stone to hold heat at a constant temperature across the entire surface.  If the pizza stone is preheated properly, that initial burst of heat as you place the pizza on the stone causes a rapid jump start to kick the last bit of the reaction into high gear. Lastly, the porous stone will draw any excess water away from the dough, ensuring that the pizza is thoroughly cooked and has a very consistent texture.

A metal pan just can’t do that.  Hence, a better pizza is made with the pizza stone.  Of course if you like thick, heavy crusts with pockets of raw dough along with pockets of overcooked dough, then the pizza stone isn’t for you.

If you are convinced that the pizza stone will help you cook the best pizza ever, take the next step and try it.  Be sure to report back and share what you found that worked or didn’t work. If you haven’t yet got your pizza stone, order one today! We have a great selection of pizza stones available through our Amazon store.  If you order now you can have it in time for this weekend.

Your New Pizza Stone

So you went ahead and bought your first pizza stone. You read through the care and studied the types. Now comes the fun part..Making Pizza! Before you get to cooking, there are a couple of things to do to ensure your new pizza stone will give you years of service.

Square Pizza Stone
Pizza Stone

First  pizza stones and baking stones are very porous. You may be tempted to wash it first, but don’t use any soap or detergent. Simply wash it with hot water and it will be fine. If you use soap it will seep into the stone and may affect the taste of the food.

Next, coat the pizza stone with a generous amount of olive oil. You want to use enough to cover thoroughly, but not so much it is dripping off. Let it sit and “dry, then repeat. Then let it sit overnight if possible.

Now you are ready to start cooking with you new Pizza Stone!