A pizza stone is a handy kitchen tool that helps make restaurant-quality pizzas with a home oven. You get a deliciously evenly cooked and crispy base when you cook a pizza on a stone.
So, if a pizza stone makes a much better pizza, why isn’t everyone using it?
One of the most common misconceptions about pizza stones is that they are almost impossible to clean. But that’s just not true. Sure, there are basic rules to follow when cleaning a pizza stone, but it’s straightforward. Here, we’ll divulge all the tips when you read this guide on how to clean a pizza stone.
What Are Pizza Stones Made From?
Knowing the characteristics of the substance you’re dealing with can help you understand how to clean a pizza stone. A pizza stone is made from a thick, heavy sheet of stone, ceramic, or other dense and porous material.
The magic of a pizza stone is that when you heat your oven and the pizza stone to a high temperature, it stores heat and transfers it to your pizza base evenly and consistently. With that, the pizza stone mimics a classic brick pizza oven, and your pizza will have a crispy, brown, and delicious base.
Additionally, food sticks to pizza stones readily since it is absorbent. But there are a few steps to avoid this, like seasoning your pizza stone with oil. But even a well-seasoned pizza stone gets dirty. Since pizzas cook at very high temperatures (around 500°F), it’s common for pizza stones to become covered with difficult-to-clean burnt dough and other materials.
A Note On Glazed Pizza Stones
One of the most common misconceptions about pizza stones is that they are almost impossible to clean. But that’s just not true. Sure! There are some basic rules to follow when cleaning a pizza stone, but it’s pretty straightforward. All techniques unfold when you read this guide on how to clean a pizza stone.
What Tools Do You Need To Clean A Pizza Stone?
There are seven home tools you need to keep your stone refreshed. Check the following before you start:
Okay, so you don’t clean a pizza stone with oven gloves. But it’s a great idea to obey the golden rule of never taking a pizza stone out of the oven without using oven gloves. Pizza stones retain heat well, so you should allow the oven and the pizza stone to cool before removal. However, it’s easy to forget this rule. It’s always better to use oven gloves to avoid getting burned.
Metal scrapers are excellent tools for the first stage of the cleaning process. A flat thin scraper will easily remove all but the most stubborn material from a pizza stone.
You can buy special pizza brushes designed specifically for cleaning pizza stones. These brushes come from stiff wire, perfect for scraping blackened debris from the stone. But a pizza brush is an expensive specialist utensil, so if you can’t find one or justify the expense, don’t worry; you can do fine without one.
Scouring pads are handy abrasive tools that help remove surface debris from a pizza stone. It works like a stone brush but is much cheaper. But remember not to add soap—make a baking soda paste instead.
While a nylon brush isn’t as effective as a wire brush at cleaning a pizza stone, it can still remove plenty of burnt crust.
Using water to clean a pizza stone is controversial because many suggest it’s a bad idea because water permeates its pores and can damage it when it heats and cools. If you clean your pizza stone with water, use a lightly dampened cloth than running the stone under a tap.
As we’ll see shortly, putting your pizza stone back in the oven is an excellent effort-free way to clean it.
How To Clean A Pizza Stone By Hand
Step 1. Make Sure The Pizza Stone Has Cooled Down
Pizza stones are highly efficient at holding heat. Make absolutely sure that you give your pizza stone enough time to cool down properly, and this will prevent you from burning your hands and also from damaging the stone.
Step 2. Scrape Off The Surface Of The Pizza Stone
Your pizza stone likely has some burnt material stuck to its surface. First, use a scraper to take off the worst of this material.
Step 3. Use A Scouring Pad or Nylon Brush
For the next cleaning stage, use a dry scouring pad or nylon brush to scrape the stubborn debris from the pizza stone.
Step 4. Use A Little Water
Now, this is where the controversy comes in. Some people are adamant that you should never use water when cleaning a pizza stone. I haven’t found this to be the case, however. Sure! I agree that you should never place your pizza stone under running water, but I’ve never had a problem with using a damp cloth or a little water with scouring pads and brushes.
Many say you shouldn’t use water to clean a pizza stone because they’re porous, and the water can get into the stone. This can negatively affect the stone as it prevents it from being non-stick and can cause damage as the stone heats in the oven due to the stress of the water boiling away.
However, as long as the pizza stone is well seasoned with oil, there should be no problem using a bit of water during the cleaning process. A damp brush or pad effectively abrades those last bits of dirt from the pizza stone.
By now, your pizza stone should be smooth and clean again. If you plan to wash it with water, then make sure you give it plenty of time to dry before using it again.
Don’t worry about those black markings; they are part and parcel of a well-used pizza stone and add to its character. If, for some reason, you’re not happy with the results of your cleaning, then you can also clean the pizza stone in your oven (which we’ll show later).
Note: Never use soap or other detergents to clean a pizza stone. Pizza stones are absorbent—if you wash them with soap, they will go into the crevices. And the next time you cook, you’ll have a soap-flavored pizza—not a good idea!
How To Clean A Pizza Stone In The Oven
I guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised by the result of cleaning your pizza stone in the oven. Here’s how you do it.
Step 1. Scrape Off The Surface Of The Pizza Stone
Firstly use a metal scraper or a pizza brush to scrape away any burnt dough or pizza topping from the pizza stone.
Step 2. Pre-Heat The Pizza Stone In The Oven
Next, we place our pizza stone in a cold oven and turn it on. Set the temperature to 500°F and let it heat up. To avoid damaging the stone, never put a cold pizza stone into a hot oven.
Step 3. “Cook” The Pizza Stone
Once the oven and the stone are heated, leave it there for 15 minutes to burn any debris and blacken off the surface.
Step 4. Allow The Oven To Cool, And Then Remove The Stone
Next, turn off the heat, allowing the overland stone to cool down. Remove the stone with oven gloves and look at the surface. You should see that many of the black markings have burnt away. If there are any stubborn materials, adhere to the surface scraper again with a metal scraper or pizza brush.
Step 5. Repeat As Necessary
If this first oven cleaning hasn’t given you the result you’re looking for, then repeat the process as many times as you want until your stone is clean.
Always bear in mind, though, that it is perfectly normal for your pizza stone to be deeply discolored and darkened. It is to be expected and doesn’t mean that your pizza stone isn’t clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you clean a hot pizza stone between batches?
There are situations wherein we need to bake two or more pizzas for a big celebration. And sometimes the pizza stone gets dirty after baking the first one. Luckily, the cleaning is similar (in some ways) to when you use the oven’s heat to remove the debris.
Once you see lifted burn marks, you can use a wire brush wrapped with a damp cloth to remove them. Then, preheat the pizza stone again before you place the next pizza on it.
2. Is it okay to use blackened pizza stones?
Consider those marks as the battle scars of your favorite pizza tools. Not because it is bruised and discolored means it’s no good to use. Those blackened marks develop from the fat and oils left by previously cooked pies. And don’t worry, it won’t affect its performance or flavor in a way.
3. Can you use a dishwasher to clean a pizza stone?
As mentioned earlier in this article, it’s important to remember that pizza stones should not be overly exposed to water. So the answer is a big NO! A dishwasher can soak up the stone and can weaken its tensile properties. Again, don’t get lazy when cleaning if you don’t want to spend another buck on a brand-new one.
4. How long does a pizza stone last before it loses its properties?
It can last more than a year if it is well cared for and cleaned correctly. Some users boasted of using theirs for ten years and more. Indeed, it is a resilient tool you can carry on even after generations and generations.
Now you know it’s very straightforward to clean a pizza stone. As an expert pizza stone chef, you now know that a well-used pizza stone has a characteristic blackened appearance that doesn’t detract from all the finished pizza.
Pizza stones should never be cleaned with soap or chemicals, although a bit of water is okay.
This guide has presented two highly effective techniques for cleaning pizza stones, both inside and outside the oven. If my pizza stone is dirty, I usually run it through the oven cleaning process once or twice and then move on to cleaning by hand.
Using these two pizza stone cleaning techniques has never let me down. And I’m sure it will work for you too!
Barbara is an enthusiastic food-exploring person that goes through different culinary experiences. She got inspired by creating a pizza blog post after she tasted one of the best-selling pizzas in Toledo.