A pizza stone is a flat cooking surface used in cooking pizza. They may be made of ceramic, stone, or more recently, salt. Using a pizza stone more or less mimicks the effects of cooking a pizza in a masonry oven. The porous nature of the stone used also helps absorb moisture, resulting in a crispy crust. Small pizza stones can be purchased to fit in any conventional cooking oven or an enclosed barbecue-style grill. High-end ovens sometimes offer optional pizza stones that are specifically designed for each oven model and may include a specialized heating element.
To prevent fracturing of the stone by thermal shock, the pizza stone should be placed on a cold oven and heated over at least 45 minutes, and it should be allowed to cool down slowly inside the oven after switching it off. Because of the possibility of rapid temperature change, pizza stones should not be left in an oven while it is in self cleaning mode. Some cooks recommend sprinkling cornmeal, semolina]] or bread crumbs on the pizza stone to prevent the crust from sticking, although any sticking is usually the result of not enough stone preheating. Because it is porous, a pizza stone will absorb any fluid with which it comes into contact, including detergent. They should be cleaned with a dry brush and then plain water.
When designed for baking, a pizza stone is often referred to as a baking stone. Food is put on the baking stone, which is then placed in the oven, though sometimes the stone is heated first. Baking stones are used much like cookie sheets, but may absorb additional moisture for crispier food. Due to the thermal mass of baking stones, food is less likely to burn when using a baking stone than when using metal or glass bakeware. Baking stones are a variation on hot stone cooking which is one of the oldest cooking techniques known. Baking "stones" may be purchased as unglazed ceramic tiles, unglazed fired clay tiles and quarried tiles, very cheaply from tile shops and hardware stores.
Use in BrojectsEdit
A round pizza stone is utilized in the project, Ultimate Pizza Oven, seen in the Season 1 episode of the same name. The stone is placed inside of a modified kettle-style barbecue and Kevin explains that they will use lump charcoal to preheat the stone. Once the pizza stone reaches temperature, the brothers place hardwood on top of the pizza stone to cook the pizza.