Pizza stones help make great pizzas. Along with a good oven, pizza stones mimic the power of a brick oven to give you that authentic Neapolitan pizza so if you are using one it is important to know how to season a pizza stone to get the best results.
You will find most of the pizza stones in the market now do not need seasoning or at least that is what they tell you. But you can never go wrong when you season a pizza stone.
Seasoning pizza stones is still a great way to maintain it so you can still use it in the future. You also get benefits from doing so.
If you are having trouble on how to season your stone, then you have come to the right place.
Continue reading this article and you will find how you can properly season your pizza stone and what you can get when you do so.
See, the main problems that customers complain about pizza stones is that the food they cook in it often stick at first
But if you properly season a pizza stone, then it will gradually become a non-stick surface.
This issue often appears especially when your stone is a new one. Luckily, you can speed up the process by what’s called a pre-seasoning process.
Pizza stones owners often use the phrase “The worse it looks, the better it cooks.” This means that you do not have to worry about the stains on your stone.
It is a natural process of burning food on a surface. It retains some of the oil and it continues burning while you continue using your stone so it would not be a bad thing.
So before you cook anything with your pizza stone, here are some instructions on how to pre-season it.
Seasoning a Pizza Stone
If your pizza stone is unglazed, then this process is perfect. Do not risk pre-seasoning a glazed stone as you might destroy it.
Here are the things you are going to need:
1. The Pizza Stone
2. Oil (any type of natural oil or flaxseed oil for a better result)
3. Lint-free cotton cloth
Here’s what you need to do:
First Step: Preheat your oven up to 450 degrees
Second Step: Wipe a thin layer of oil on the pizza stone
Make sure that the pizza stone is clean and dry before starting. Get the oil and spread a thin layer using a brush. Wipe the oil on the side where food will be out and let the oil sit for a few minutes.
Third Step: Wipe off as much oil as you can
This process is to remove the excess oil on the stone that may cause unnecessary amounts of smoke. The pizza stone should look a little wet but not too shiny.
Make sure you use a cloth that does not leave any lint. Any remaining dust can fuse to the stone so make sure you use a solid cloth and never use paper towels.
Fourth Step: Bake the pizza stone
Leave the stone baking in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After that, do not immediately take the stone out. Just turn the oven off and then leave the stone inside it to cool down, this will make the coating hardened.
Fifth Step: Get the stone out of the oven
You will notice an immediate change on the color of your stone
It should have an even brown color and having some darker spots is not a problem.
By this time, the oil has been polymerized and has formed a thin, hardened layer.
Sixth Step: Repeat the process for at least 3 times
This will further add a layer of coating every time you season the stone.
By the time you make your third seasoning process, your stone should be a non-stick stone and it will not feel oily as well.
After doing this process, you can start cooking in your baking stone. You might need to do some procedures before cooking a certain type of food but your stone is seasoned well already.
If you are cooking a wet food, like cupcakes or muffins on the pizza stone, then you can add a layer of butter or oil on the stone before baking.
If you are trying to make pizza in the stone, then a decent amount of flouring will do the trick and you would not need additional oil on it.
Cleaning the Pizza Stone
Part of seasoning and maintaining a Pizza Stone is cleaning it. This is to prevent odors and excess food from combining with the stone.
The most important rule in cleaning a pizza stone is to NEVER USE SOAP. using soap may lead to an odor or taste of soap that got stuck in the pizza stone
So here are some tips on how to properly clean your pizza stone after every use.
1. Do not use soap
Again, do not use soap because pizza stones are porous and the soap will leave odor and taste to the stone which can add a disgusting feel to a great pizza.
Wait for the stone to cool down.
Since baking stones are made from materials prone to thermal shock, you should wait for the pizza stone to cool down before cleaning
2. Scrape off excess food
Use a plastic spatula to remove big chunks of burnt food from the pizza stone. If there are still smaller pieces of food on the stone, use a scrub or a brush to dust them off.
Do not use a metal spatula or a metal scrubber as it may leave dents or marks on the stone which can cause uneven surfaces when cooking.
3. Do not use sealers
Even food-grade sealants do not taste good when it gets mixed with food. So avoid using a sealant on your stone.
Furthermore, sealants tend to react to high temperatures. Sealants often expand when they are exposed to high heat so avoid using them on your stone to prevent breakage.
4. Cover your pizza stone
As long as you have properly cleaned the excess food on your pizza stone, then covering it would not be an issue.
There might be stains left on the stone but it will not affect the flavor of your next recipe
Benefits of a well-seasoned Pizza Stone
Having a well-seasoned pizza stone is such a great addition to your kitchen. You get to cook with less worrying about damages that might happen.
Seasoning a pizza stone is basically making it stronger and more functional. Aside from the aesthetic that a dark, well-seasoned stone looks, it comes with other great benefits such as:
A well-seasoned pizza stone means that the surface has been used a lot of times that it has become non-stick.
Originally, stones are porous so some food gets stuck on the pores. When a pizza stone is regularly coated with a thin layer of oil, it covers the pores making it harder for food to stick on it.
When you have a non-stick stone, you get the ease of cleaning that you want. The more you use the stone, the easier it gets to remove the excess food from the surface.
2. Easy to use
When you get to season your pizza stone properly, you can use it with ease. You do not have to clean it very often as it only requires a minimal process to prevent food from sticking on it
A well-seasoned pizza stone can let you cook almost anything on it and you do not have to worry about damages as pizza stones get more sturdy with constant use.
3. Heat Retention
Since you have seasoned your pizza stone properly, the heat retention goes higher. The stone will be less likely to break with heat.
Oftentimes, stones that are not seasoned break so easily because of the shock from transferring it to a surface with different temperatures.
Cooking pizzas require high heat to get that amazing crispy and somehow chewy crust. A well-seasoned pizza stone can stand high heats so you really need to season them well.
4. Preventing damage on your Pizza Stone
Aside from proper seasoning of a pizza stone, there are other factors that can potentially damage them or even worse, break them.
From the start, you need to be careful about handling your pizza stones. There are basics on how to properly use a pizza stone in order for it to last long.
Here are some tips:
1. Always put a stone in a cold oven
- Putting a cold pizza stone in a hot oven is a big no-no. This will damage the stone almost instantly.
- You see, as said above, pizza stones are prone to thermal shock. This means that the sudden change in temperature will potentially crack or break the stone.
2. Keep your stone in the oven
- This is to keep it seasoned even when you are using the oven for other food that does not need the use of a pizza stone
- If you are cooking something that smells and you do not want your pizza stone to acquire the smell, you can put a foil on top of it and then cook the food.
- Keeping it in the oven will also prevent it from cracking. See, moving and handling pizza stones often will tend to break it.
3. Do not put heavy, cold food on the stone.
- Dense foods can break your pizza stone.
- See, the weight will be on one part of the pizza stone making it heat up on that part only and that is dangerous for the stone.
- Make sure to put raw, warm (room temperature) food on the stone to prevent thermal shock
4. Use a folded towel or a placemat
- When placing the stone on your counter, make sure to lay down a folded towel on the surface before putting your pizza stone on it.
- This will again, prevent thermal shock since most counters are made out of stone which can be too cold for a pizza stone.
5. Avoid pouring water on your pizza stone
- When you are cleaning the pizza stone, do not put it under running water. This can cause breakage and the excess food on it will not really come off.
- You can use a damp towel with warm water to wipe off extra bits of food but never in running water.
Having a well-seasoned pizza stone in your kitchen is a blessing in so many forms. You can cook whatever you want in a pizza stone – you are not limited to pizza alone.
Seasoning a pizza stone will make it dark brown or even make it look like a burnt pile of food but do not worry. A great pizza stone does not have to look good.
In fact, if your stone looks burnt, then it means that it is stronger and well-seasoned. Just remember the proper procedures and the things you should prevent so your stone doesn’t break
Seasoning a pizza stone is a must and the hassle that you go through will be worth it. A well-seasoned pizza is far better than a metal pizza pan.
Pizza stones have a greater thermal mass which means that they do not let your food cook unevenly. They produce the nice heat that you need to cook an amazing pizza.
A great pizza stone removes the moisture on your pizza and it makes that crispy crust on your dough. That brown crust that you want with a chewy inside.
It retains heat which is great for cooking because the bottom of the food does not get left unevenly cooked.
The thing is, you let the stone cook the food from the bottom up as it meets with the heat from the oven’s interior.
There are a lot of great pizza stones in the market today that when you look at them, they might all seem the same but if you look closer, you will see the differences.
Make sure to look for the pizza stone that fits you best. Since you have learned how to take care of a pizza stone, you are now ready to cook that great pizza and share it with your family!
Let us know if you found these tips helpful and if you have any tips to add then leave them in the comments below as it would definitely help our readers.
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