Cleaning a pizza stone is a little different from cleaning all the pizza peel or the pizza oven itself.
The pizza stone is made up of porous material and hence it absorbs heat and retains the heat for a long time that helps it cook better.
This porous nature is a problem when it comes to cleaning the pizza stone.
Most of the users try to clean the stone once in a while especially with water.
If you are going to for a basic cleaning then all you can do is scrape off anything that is stuck to the pizza stone and then wipes it with a wet cloth.
If you are worried about marks on the pizza stone even after cleaning then you can be assured that it is very common for pizza stones to have such marks.
Some actually like the fact that it has some marks and claims that it enhances the taste of the pizza. It is also known as the seasoning of the pizza stone.
Now let’s get into detail on how you can clean your pizza stone.
1. Once you are done using your pizza stone, let it cool down completely. Once it has cooled, you can take out the pizza stone and then take a brush and remove any crust that might be stuck to the pizza stone.
2. Once you have scraped off anything that is on the stone, take a damp cloth and clean the stone with it.
3. If you want to thoroughly clean the stone with water then you can do so, however, you might want to dry it by keeping it inside the oven at 200-degree Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
This way the entire pizza stone would be dry and it would be ready the next time you want to get started with cooking pizzas.
Why you should not use Dish soap to clean the pizza stone?
Since the pizza stone is very porous it will absorb the soap and the next time you cook in it, you would get a soapy taste.
So, try to stay away from using soap or any other kind of detergent on the pizza stone.
If you want to clean the pizza stone, you can do so by making a paste of baking soda with water. This should help with the spot treatment.
Overall, a pizza stone is a low maintenance accessory and if you want the perfect pizza crust then you should definitely invest in one.
The pizza stones can help you cook a perfect pizza and if you haven’t tried it out yet then you should go ahead and check out some options on Amazon.
Never Submerge The Pizza Stone In Water
While this can be ideal to soften the residuals left on the pizza stone, it can also damage the integrity of the stone itself. It absorbs a lot of moisture which can break it in the long run.
See, since the pizza stone is porous, water will seep into the holes. That is why we recommend that you only use a damp cloth in cleaning with water to keep the moisture out of the pizza stone.
Pizza stones are usually molded and shaped with wet clay or cordierite. This means that it has water components when it was first made and so it can absorb water easily.
However, when the pizza stone is already in use and you submerge it in water, the clay or the material will start to soften and the insides of the pizza stone will start to crack.
As much as possible, keep the cleaning process dry. Scraping off the dirt that has remained on the pizza stone will most likely be enough and it will not need water to wash it off.
If you chose to use water by scrubbing the pizza stone with a damp cloth, you should always remember to completely dry it off before putting it back into the storage area.
Cleaning by fire is one of the best ways to maintain the integrity of the pizza stone and clean it at the same time. This is a process of burning off the food residuals on the pizza stone.
Remember that this is not the self-cleaning mode of the oven that you are going to use. It is applicable in high temperatures but you need to be careful not applying moisture.
Pyrolyzing is a process that is perfect when you are using wood-fired ovens or gas ovens that can reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit to burn the food residuals on the pizza stone.
So if you want to do this, just brush off the big chunks of food that have remained on the pizza stone and then put it back into the oven, preheat the oven, and let it burn.
Letting the oven climb up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit will take a while but once it has reached that temperature, you can let the pizza stone burn for at least 30 minutes.
This will harden the food residuals left on the pizza stone. After the residues have been burned, get the pizza stone and once again, scrub off the residues to make the pizza stone clean.
This process does not need water. In fact, when pyrolyzing is done, you can store the pizza stone right away and it will be clean and ready for the next baking session.
There are a lot of ways that you can do in order to keep the integrity of the pizza stone. Just remember to always clean it so that it does not apply to other tastes in other foods.
Should I Oil My Pizza Stone?
As much as possible, keep any kind of moisture away from the pizza stone. Yes, when you cook pizza in it, you cannot avoid moisture seeping into the pizza stone.
However, that should be the most moisture that you should allow to go into the pizza stone. Do not use oil when baking or else the pizza stone will develop a lasting taste and it may crack.
The oil absorbs flavor from other recipes that might seep into the pizza stone. So the next time that you use it, there might be some flavors that you do not want to be getting into your food.
Oil is also considered as moisture and if you let it settle inside the pizza stone, it will damage it by softening the insides and destroying it from there.
It also contracts and expands when oil is exposed to a certain temperature. When oil contracts and expands, it pushes and pulls the parts of the pizza stone from the inside.
Therefore, the pizza stone will break if the heat gets too much. Oil can be essential to the pizza itself but do not ever put it on the pizza stone directly.
If you do not want your pizza sticking on the pizza stone, you can just dust it with extra flour before placing the pizza on the stone and once it is cooked, the pizza will not stick on it.
Use The Pizza Stone Frequently
Contrary to popular belief, using the pizza stone more often will not reduce its quality. In fact, it is the exact opposite and it will become better if you use it more frequently.
By following the cleaning method and maintenance tips that we have mentioned above, the pizza stone will go better when you use it every week or even every day.
Using the pizza stone frequently will season it properly. Do not worry if you see browning on the stone as it is a sign of well-seasoned pizza stone and it usually means that it is stronger.
Seasoning a pizza stone may involve using oil. However, when we say that you should use it sparingly, we mean that you only apply enough to cover the surface.
Do not put too much oil or else it will seep into the pizza stone and damage it. To apply oil on a paper towel and then wipe the pizza stone with it, just enough oil to cover the pizza stone.
Then, put it back inside the oven and let it season by turning up the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and letting the pizza stone season for at least 10 minutes.
This will make the pizza stone create a somewhat non-stick surface. From there, you can use it, again and again, to keep the pizza stone more familiar with the heat and weight above it.
This will improve the integrity of the pizza stone and the more frequent you use it, the stronger it will become, so you can cook even heavier foods on the pizza stone when needed.
Use Parchment Paper
If the pizza stone is yet to be seasoned but you want to use it already, it is best to put parchment paper on top of it before placing the dough or bread on it to keep it from sticking.
This is applicable when you use the pizza stone for the first time. It will keep producing intense heat while also preventing the dough from sticking on the pizza stone.
Once you have seasoned the pizza stone, you can refrain from using parchment paper. The stone will be good enough to hold the wet dough without letting it stick.
If you want to know more about this check out our post on how to cook pizza on a parchment paper.
Pizza stones are helpful cookware that will let you bake any type of food that you want. They produce immense heat that can help even out the baking.
They are also sensitive to thermal shock and other factors and that is why you always need to take care of them. Wash them properly and maintain their integrity for as long as possible.
Pizza stones can even out the overall temperature of an oven just by absorbing the heat and distributing it from its surface. Which is very helpful for baking and cooking in general.
Never use the pizza stone inside the oven with moisture. Avoid steaming in the oven while the pizza stone is inside it to prevent cracks and breakage on the stone.
Use warm water when cleaning the pizza stone so you avoid damaging it through thermal shock. Do not get overwhelmed by the tips as pizza stones require less maintenance.
They do not need to be looked after every now and then, just use them the right way and clean them properly to keep them helping in your food adventures for a long time.
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