If you don’t own a pizza oven in your house, one of the alternatives that you could opt for purchasing is a pizza stone. Although the concept behind it is relatively simple, a lot of individuals still use it in the wrong way, or even worse, they end up completely ruining it by maintaining it improperly.
So, what exactly is this stone? How do you utilize it in a proper way? Are there any tips for maintaining it? Luckily for all individuals that are thinking about purchasing this kitchen accessory, we’ve prepared a list of things that you need to know. Here is our 2023 guide on how can you use this interesting cooking surface correctly:
Pizza Stone For Oven: Explained
Before we take a look at how you should utilize it properly, it’s important for you to understand what it actually is. To put it as simple as possible, it’s basically a movable cooking surface that has a single goal – to imitate the entire baking process of a masonry furnace. The method is plain, the stone will take in all the heat from the furnace and absorb it. Once it does, it’ll gradually and steadily discharge it into the container, which will result in even cooking, an airy crust, and it’ll also eliminate dampness from the dough.
It’s worth mentioning that they come in a wide range of forms and sizes, and they can also be manufactured from various materials. Keep in mind, they are most commonly circular and approximately 15 to 16 inches in width. Of course, the option you choose to purchase will entirely rely on your preferences, nonetheless, ensure that you opt for a reliable and well-reviewed manufacturer before purchasing it.
So, How Can I Utilize it Properly?
Since you now understand what it is and how it works, it’s time for you to learn how to utilize it properly. Naturally, before you could use it, you’ll have to prepare the mixture, place the sauce on it, as well as the cheese, any toppings that you like. Once you’ve done this, you should follow the next steps:
Step 01: Place it While The Oven is Still Cold
The initial step that you’ll have to take is to put the stone in a cold oven. Now, you can either place it at the bottom or middle rack, but this will depend on the condition of your appliance. Keep in mind, you should never, I repeat never place a cool stone in a heated oven, mostly because it’ll experience a radical change in the heat, thus, it can cause the surface to crack after a few times you’ve used it.
Step 02: Heat The Furnace to 400o to 500oF
You should know, the temperature you set will again rely on the oven you have, but it’ll rely on the size of the pie as well. If you’re preparing a big, fuller pie, you should set it to 400oF, mostly because the crust will be prepared before the toppings start to burn. If it’s flatter, you can set it to 500oF. When you’re furnace is preheated, you should wait for another 3 to 5 minutes so that it gets hot enough for the dough.
Step 03: Place The Pie on The Surface
To put the pie on the surface, there are two methods that you could choose – you could either purchase a peel, lay some flour on it, create the pie, and then slide it from the peel to the stone, or you could take it out, delicately place the pie on it, and then return it to the oven. Keep in mind, it’ll begin cooking as soon as you put it on the surface, hence, act fast while it’s outside. Either of the options is suitable, so, choose what is easier for you.
Step 04: Remove The Pie And Enjoy it!
According to Beyond The Embrace, a pizza stone for oven should take approximately ten to twelve minutes to prepare your pie. However, if you aren’t sure if it’s baked, you could use a fork or spatula to raise it from the surface and check whether or not the base is golden brown. If it is, you could use 2 mitts for removing the cooking surface from the appliance. Keep in mind, before you actually cut it, lift it from it since you could end up damaging it or your knife.
Ensure That You Maintain it Properly!
Before we conclude this article, there are several things worth mentioning about cleaning and maintaining the pizza stone. For starters, you should know that it’s relatively simple and that it won’t take too much of your time, nonetheless, whenever you use it for preparing pizza, ensure that you clean it afterward. In order to clean it properly, the first step is to let it cool off after you’ve used it. Once it does, you should use a sponge and some lukewarm water for washing it.
Now, keep in mind, you shouldn’t use any soap or other products for cleaning it. Won’t it remain dirty? Well, it won’t if you take some time to wash the surface. After all, the surface is porous, hence, if you use liquid soap on it, it’ll probably absorb it, which can result in your pies tasting really bad, not to mention that it can be harmful to your health. Additionally, if there is any food residue on the surface, you should use a spatula to remove it. To make it extra clean, you can soak it in hot water for 30 minutes and give it another scrub.
Although most people think that they don’t need a pizza stone in their kitchen, it’s actually quite beneficial, especially since it can completely mimic the baking process in a brick oven. Because of this, your pies will end up tasting really good, and more importantly, the crust will be perfectly prepared.
Since you now know everything there is about using these cooking surfaces, don’t waste your free time. Instead, start browsing online or brick-and-mortar stores in order to find a pizza stone that’ll suit your cooking requirements, and that’ll help you make some delicious pies!