There are several different types of materials that we can use to make a pizza stone, including cast iron, steel, clay, cordierite, granite, and ceramic.
You may be asking how steel, cast iron, and ceramic are all involved in the equation. To be clear, the phrase “stone” is generic and refers to any of a variety of slabs utilized in the production of the perfect pizza crust.
Depending on the type of cooking gadget or recipe, all of these substances can provide a distinct outcome. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of the various pizza stone materials before beginning your quest for the ideal pizza stone.
1. Clay Pizza Stone
A form of bakeware that is used to hold pizzas as they bake in an oven. The Pizza Stone, which is made of natural clay, stoneware clay, or ceramic clay, is great kitchen equipment for baking pizzas.
To ensure that the stone is absorbent, the material used to make it should be porous and not glazed or sealed. As a means of simulating the golden-brown crust of a brick oven-baked pizza, the Pizza Stone helps to cook the dough and crust uniformly to achieve this firm golden-brown crust.
During the baking process, the stone absorbs moisture from the dough and the heat from the oven to ensure that the pizza bakes evenly. Pizzas of various sizes can be made with stones of varying diameters.
To ensure a long-lasting piece of bakeware, the stone should be at least half an inch thick. If you don’t want to wash the Pizza Stone because it will eventually “season” and get brown and dark, you can simply scrape off any residue, brush it clean and wipe off any excess.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions for seasoning the stone if it is to be used in baking to prevent it from breaking apart when heated to high temperatures.
Pizza should be baked on the lowest shelf of a preheated oven set to 400oF for 30 minutes or longer before placing the stone on the lowest shelf. For this reason, the Pizza Stone must be warmed before placing food on it for baking.
- At various pricing points, there is a large selection of stones to pick from.
- Makes a crisp and nice pizza crust.
- The oven must be warmed for at least 30 minutes before using (longer for thicker stones).
- It’s a pain to clean.
- Can be broken or cracked.
2. Granite Pizza Stone
It’s a long-lasting and easy-to-maintain product. Due to its non-absorption of rain or snow, it’s perfect for outdoor applications. In addition, it can withstand a wide range of temperatures.
Granite, on the other hand, is porous and must be sealed before being used as a pizza stone. A small layer of silicone caulk is used to seal the stone’s edges. The stone is now ready for you to use once it’s sealed.
- Because granite is so hard, it can be heated to 1,200 degrees F and cooled to minus 32 degrees F. Grit cooking stones can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including grilling, baking, and just warming food. Granite can be used as serving platters for chilled foods when it is frozen.
- Granite stones can be used for more than just baking or cooking. They can also be used for food prep and serving platters. Warming stones for other foods can be utilized as well.
- Retains Heat: Granite is excellent at retaining heat for an extended period.
- Extremely long-lasting resistance to extreme temperatures.
- Doesn’t Stain: Pizza stones made of ceramic or clay stain quite easily. When baking pizzas, granite is less likely to discolor and is extremely easy to clean.
- Granite is scratch-resistant because of its high hardness level. Increasing the difficulty of scratching. Granite stones may be cleaned without causing damage by scraping them.
- Longer life expectancy: Frequent handling shortens the lifespan of many pizza stones. A granite pizza stone will last a lot longer than a standard ceramic one.
- Slow to heat: Granite takes a little longer to heat up than other stones.
- Smoother and Stickier: Granite that has been polished can be much smoother and stickier than porcelain. Pizzas may stick to the surface because of this.
- This pizza stone is more expensive than others that are made of clay or ceramic. For the most part, granite baking stones are more pricey.
- Granite stones are heavier than other pizza stones because of their density. A person may have a tougher time getting in and out of an oven or onto a grill because of this. Over time, it may also cause damage to an oven rack or grill grate.
3. Cordierite Pizza Stones
Cordierite stones, despite being more expensive, are built to survive far longer than any other stone. When it comes to handling extreme temperatures, cordierite is one of the best minerals out there. Kiln shelves are made of the same material, which is heat shock resistant.
A cordierite stone may be taken from a low temperature to a very high temperature without breaking, because of this ability. When it comes to making pizza, these stones can take the heat from the oven and still produce delicious results year after year.
A half-hour of preheating is required to make these stones heat-resistant. They produce a crispy crust on a pizza baked in the oven or grill.
- Does not crack easily
- Has greater strength and durability than its clay and ceramic counterparts
- Handles very high temperatures well
- Makes a crispy crust
- Ideal for either grill or oven
- Quite durable
- Preheat time is long
- Takes a very long to cool down
- Not easy to clean
- More expensive than ceramic and clay
4. Ceramic Pizza Stone
Right? A pizza stone is a pizza stone, no questions asked. Wrong! In addition to a variety of forms and sizes, pizza stones are also fashioned from a variety of materials. In terms of price, ceramic pizza stones are probably the best bet.
Stones made of clay and kiln-fired are excellent for evenly distributing high heat, making them ideal for baking pizza. Ceramic stones can last for a long time if they are properly cared for. There are many advantages to using a dishwasher-safe ceramic pizza stone instead of a cordierite one.
In addition, it can be used on any grill, including wood-burning ones, giving your pizza a delicious, smoky flavor. A temperature range of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit can be sustained by this device. Ceramic is generally the least expensive. However, cordierite pizza stones of acceptable quality may easily be purchased for the same price.
There’s no denying that metal serving racks make transporting pizza from the oven to the table much easier than ceramic pizza stones. Ceramic pizza stones take the longest to heat up and are more prone to cracking or chipping.
- They are excellent heat transfer materials.
- Pizza is cooked evenly while using this method.
- Incredibly low cost
- Breakage is more likely to occur.
- Slows down the cooking process
5. The Baking Steel or Pizza Steel
The pizza baking steel is the newest tool in the home baker’s toolbox. As a result, the terms pizza, bread, and pastries are synonymous. Pizza steels may reach higher temperatures than ceramic or cordierite stones, although radiating heat less uniformly.
You can create a pizza that rivals the best in your neighborhood artisan joint with the simple trick of employing the broiler on your oven. For those of you who don’t have a top-mounted broiler in your oven, you can utilize steel in conjunction with pizza stones.
- Baking steels are practically indestructible, making them an excellent choice
- In addition to being able to withstand any amount of heat, they can also withstand being dropped on the ground
- It cooks pizza more quickly and evenly
- It takes less time for it to become stable than stone
- It won’t splinter or split
- When using baking steel, you’ll need to season it more frequently than when using a stone because of the risk of rust
- Having no handles, it’s difficult to move once it’s heated up
6. Cast Iron Pizza Stone
With handles on either side, you can easily pull the pan in and out of the oven, even if your pie creations are huge (unlike classic pizza stones). You can use it right away because it’s pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, and the cast iron just becomes better as you use it.
As opposed to stone, it’s easier to clean with steel chain mail or salt and brush because sticky materials like olive oil won’t go inside.
- Quickly warms up
- Cleaning is a breeze compared to that stone
- It’s easy to go in and out of the oven using the handles
- It won’t splinter or split
- Many varieties
- Multiple price points
- It’s a little on the heavy side.
- Not easy to clean
- Requires half an hour of preheating
What’s the Difference Between a Pizza Steel and a Pizza Stone?
This type of pizza stone is made of either clay, ceramic, or cordierite and is sometimes referred to as “baking stone.” The primary difference between pizza steels and pizza stones is how well it conducts heat, and this is because they are built of different materials. In addition to the price difference, there is a distinct difference in quality.
Pizza Steels Overview
Pizza steels are particularly effective heat conductors due to their steel construction. As a result, heat is transferred from the steel to the pizza’s crust more quickly (or whatever happens to rest on its surface).
Pizza steels are better at maintaining heat than pizza stones because they transfer heat more quickly. Because of these characteristics, a pizza baked on baking steel will cook more quickly.
Even though pizza steels are nearly unbreakable and may last a lifetime, they do require some tender, loving care and benefit from regular seasoning (kind of like your favorite cast iron skillet).
When exposed to heat, steels don’t fracture or break, unlike pizza stones, which do. The versatility of pizza steels means they may also be used as griddles on the stovetop.
Pizza Stones: What You Need to Know
Pizza stones, on the other hand, are excellent heat conductors, but they do not transfer heat as quickly as pizza steels. Foods baked on a pizza stone will cook evenly, but they will take longer to finish cooking.
Pizza stones have the disadvantage of being more easily cracked or broken over time (or if dropped). Thermal shock can cause them to shatter if the stone is exposed to a sudden change in temperature.
Pizza Steel vs Ceramic Pizza Stones
Ceramic pizza stones heat up just as quickly as steel ones. However, because they don’t transfer heat as effectively as steel pans do, cooking time maybe a little longer. It’s still possible that they’ll cook unevenly. When utilizing one, all you have to do is be patient.
Ceramic pizza stones, on the other hand, are not as long-lasting as steel pizza stones. When they’re allowed to cool, they’re more prone to breaking and shattering. Dropping one can potentially cause it to break.
How Do I Choose the Right Pizza Stone?
Ceramic, steel, and clay are among the greatest pizza stone materials. Consider a pizza stone made of cast iron as an illustration. Based on the material used to make it, this is the most popular pizza stone. This is because cast iron is a particularly malleable material.
Additionally, cast iron heats more quickly than pottery and clay, making it ideal for cooking. Additionally, because it is made of stone, it is more resistant to harm.
Steel is also a very good conductor of heat, making it a solid material. As a result, before investing in a pizza stone, think about the type of material that’s right for you.
Type of Stone
A lot of this is going to be reliant on what you cook. You should use cast iron or steel stones if you plan to bake a lot of food. On the other hand, you can use a lighter for light baking at home. Making real pies with these two is also quite easy and quick to do.
The Stone’s Size and Weight
When it comes to pizza stones, there are a variety of sizes and shapes to choose from. From 10 to 16 inches in diameter, you may find these at your local hardware store. A steel stone weighs about 25 pounds, a ceramic stone weighs 5 to 7 pounds, while cast iron stones weigh about 7 to 10 pounds. For example
The shape of the Stone
Even though circular pizza stones are the most common, numerous shapes are available. Shapes such as rectangles and squares are included here. Pizzas will be smaller or larger depending on what form of stone you use to bake them. Pizza making using round and square baking stones are quite efficient.
You can make a huge pizza on a round stone, depending on its diameter. Finally, you can use a rectangular stone to create a distinctive pizza. If you wish to bake a particular type of pizza, you’ll need to select a stone with the right shape.
When taking the stone from the oven, having handles will make the process much easier. It’s also easier to carry a stone with handles. Therefore, you must purchase a pizza stone with grips.