How to Season a Pizza Stone
Some things get better with age, and among the list of things that do are pizza stones! A large and important part of using a pizza stone is seasoning it. This offers excellent flavour, and when you know how to use one properly, it will last you a lifetime.
A lot of individuals think they have ruined their stone after using it for the first time. This is because it darkens and stains after each use. This is actually normal and necessary when you’re a pizza chef. It helps pizzas achieve that crispy crust and gooey, stringy cheese.
In this guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about seasoning pizza stones like a pro.
What is a Pizza Stone?
Also known as baking stones, pizza stones are kitchen tools essential in creating the perfect pizza. They are an oval disc made from stone, ceramic, or salt. Because of their porous surface, these tools absorb excess moisture, therefore leaving dough crispy. Along with pizza, they can be used to make delicious bread and cookies.
What Does It Mean to Season a Baking Stone?
Seasoning a pizza stone is the same as seasoning a cast iron pan. The oils and grease from the food burn off and leave behind a non-stick surface. The more you use the stone, the better seasoned it will become.
Keep in mind that your stone will get the best seasoning once it’s being used for real cooking. However, if you want to pre-seasons yours, you can. I personally prefer to pre-season a brand-new stone just to speed up the natural process.
How to Season a Pizza Stone: Step-By-Step
Now let’s jump onto how to season a baking stone. First things, first, you need oil. Our top choices are olive, vegetable, canola, or coconut. Once you have your oil, follow these steps:
- Place a thin layer of oil using a washcloth
- Place your stone in the oven
- Preheat your oven to 218℃
- Bake your stone for an hour
Note: You want your stone to preheat along with your oven. Otherwise, it may crack.
The process of seasoning pizza stones is actually quite easy. The more you use it, the better seasoned it will be. You’ll notice that it will get darker with age and change a shade or two after seasoning. Follow these steps every time you bake with it, and it will only get better with age.
Your baking stone will naturally season itself through the pizza-making process. The oils that it gives off continue to season the stone. An alternative method to start the seasoning process is cooking bread or cookies on it. The oils within these foods will begin the seasoning process.
If you’re baking pizza, allow the pizza stone to heat up along with your oven and then slide your pizza onto it. Always refrain from baking something smelly like fish. This will only leave behind a weird smell and flavour. And you’ll find that getting these odours out can be difficult.
Caring for Your Pizza Stone
Another great feature of pizza stones is that you don’t need to spend hours cleaning them. Because it has a porous surface, I never recommend using detergent or cleaning products. Your pizza stone will absorb them immediately, consequently ruining your stone.
So, how do you clean it after using?
For starters, you want to wait until it’s completely cooled down before taking it out of the oven. Next, remove any food stuck on the surface using a metal spatula. Once stuck ingredients are removed, grab a sponge and clean it using cold water. Even if you feel like your stone is a bit greasy, remember that these oils help season it, so don’t insist on removing the oils too much.
Finally, your pizza stone needs to dry completely. Moisture within it will cause it to crack the next time it is in the oven. Simply set it out to dry in a moisture-free space.
Are Stains on my Pizza Stone Normal?
Yes, they are. These stains are part of the seasoning process, and unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it. Again, don’t try to remove these stains using chemicals. This will only ruin your stone and make it unsafe to cook with.
Stains are completely normal, and usually, the more stains it has, the better seasoned it will be. Again, after using, clean it like described above, and store away in a clean, moisture-free space. This will help your stone last for many years to come.
Pizza stone seasoning is an integral part of the pizza-making process. This is one of our favourite tools when making pizza from scratch. The final taste is unlike any other, especially when you’re using an aged or seasoned baking stone.
Do your best to stick to the above recommendations, and you’ll see what a game-changer seasoning your pizza stone is.