There’s nothing better than a pizza night with your friends and family, but the best method to cook homemade pizza is still a contentious debate.
Some people swear by them as a kitchen essential, others might think they’re an unnecessary expense, but whether you believe the hype or not - we’re here to discuss whether you need a pizza stone at your disposal to make delicious homemade pizza.
Do you really need a pizza stone?
There are pros and cons to owning a pizza stone, so do pizza lovers really need one in their kitchen? Pizza stones are a great option for making crispy bases, but we want to know if they really are an essential. We’re going to break it down so you don’t have to!
Although a pizza stone is great to experiment with, can help your hot oven retain heat and produces a crisp pizza crust, it isn't the only kitchen tool to get similar, if not better results!
There’s no denying, a pizza stone helps to regulate temperature and conducts heat well. Generally speaking, pizza stones are used to mimic the effect of baking a pizza in a masonry oven.
The porous nature of the stone can also allow the moisture in the dough to be soaked in, which results in the crispy crust that pizza stones are famous for and that everyone loves to eat!
However, pizza stones are usually made of stones, clay, ceramic or cordierite. This means that pizza stones are more prone to thermal shock, which means that they can actually shatter if put under too much heat.
A big con of conventional clay or ceramic pizza stones, then, is that they are thin and brittle, and can easily crack being heated to high temperatures frequently. As a result, pizza stones can be unreliable, and somewhat inferior to their baking steel counterpart.
You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you do want a method to cook your pizza that you can consistently rely on for perfect results, every time. You don’t necessarily need a pizza stone to make a delicious, crispy homemade pizza that will please the whole family!
Why not try one of the following options instead?
So what are the 8 best pizza stone alternatives on the market?
My Favorite Stone Alternative
OUR TOP PICK
A baking steel is an excellent alternative to pizza stones. A baking steel is designed to work similarly to pizza stones, however, the main difference is that it is made out of steel instead of ceramic or clay.
As a result, it is virtually impossible to break as a pizza stone as it won’t crack or shatter like pizza stones have a tendency to, meaning you can use it as much as you like without worry. You also don’t have to stress about dropping it and smashing it like you would a pizza stone.
Pizza steels are also easier to clean than a pizza stone, as their smoother surface and durable steel can handle a little rougher cleaning. Although pizza steels are usually more expensive than pizza stones, if you properly maintain it, a pizza steel can last you a lifetime.
OUR TOP PICK
The Nerdchef Steel Stone creates gorgeous crusts with better blistering at faster cook times than pizza stones!
This baking steel has 20x higher conductivity than ceramic baking stones and twice the heat capacity, saving you so much time in the kitchen!
The heat capacity sends more heat energy to your crust so you can get the great performance of a 1000F oven in a home oven at 450 Fahrenheit.
- This baking steel will stand the test of time as it is virtually indestructible!
- Low-friction surface: textured, sanded smooth, seasoned with flaxseed oil.
- Durable for generations to come! Unlike pizza stones that can crack easily, this will be a family favorite you can pass down to your children!
- A few customers claimed that this steel became hotter than they were expecting, meaning that their pizzas were done sooner.
Inverted Baking Sheet
An effective and cheap pizza alternative is something we are all like to have in the house already: A baking sheet.
All you have to do is place a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest shelf of your oven and turn it upside down before preheating your oven. This will allow the sheet to reach temperature, and will ensure a crispy crust on your pizza!
It couldn’t be easier.
The Nordic Ware Natural Aluminium Commercial Baker’s Big Sheet is made of pure aluminum that will never rust for a lifetime of durability.
This baking sheet is multifunctional! As well as pizzas, bake a variety of sweet and savory treats on this extra-large sheet.
The extra-large capacity pan holds more food than a standard sheet, allowing you to bake more in each batch.
- This baking sheet is compatible with parchment paper or silicone baking mats if desired.
- Easy to clean and maintain! The whole family can use this for years to come.
- Proudly made in the USA by Nordic Ware.
- One customer claimed that this sheet can become discolored after frequent use.
A pizza pan is an excellent pizza stone alternative. Pizza pans are a relatively inexpensive alternative to pizza stones and work just as well!
You don’t need to spend a fortune to make delicious pizza, but be sure to look out for heavy aluminium pans as they’ll give you the best results!
The American Metalcraft Pizza Pan is made out of aluminium and offers one of the best heat distributions for perfectly cooked pizza.
Heavy duty 18-gauge aluminum construction for even heating and durability - a sturdy, durable kitchen essential for daily use by professionals or homemade pizza recipes.
These pans heat up quickly and are a durable option.
- This pizza pan is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 6” to 20” pans.
- Great for any home or restaurant to make consistently delicious pizzas!
- Raised edges to help keep pizza in place.
- A few customers noted that these pizza pans were smaller than they were expecting.
Cast Iron Skillet
A cast iron skillet is another effective alternative to a pizza stone, and is a great multifunctional pan to have at your disposal, too.
You can either cook pizza on the stove, or alternatively cast iron skillets are also safe to put in the oven.
The Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is designed for durability and made with versatility in mind.
This cast iron’s superior heat retention will keep your mouth-watering pizza warm for a long time!
Iron deficiency is a common problem worldwide, especially among women, so cooking food in a cast iron skillet can increase iron content by as much as 20%.
- This cast iron comes pre-seasoned for your convenience, so all you need to worry about is the cooking!
- Cast irons are such a versatile pan to have in your kitchen. Whether it is searing, sautéing, simmering, braising, baking, roasting, or frying, this skillet has it all.
- Can easily replicate a pizza stone when preheated in the oven!
- A few customers noted that the surface of this cast iron skillet was rougher than they were expecting.
Similar to an iron skillet, a dutch oven is also a great method of cooking pizza without a pizza stone.
Dutch ovens conduct heat excellently, and thus offer an even, crispy cook for a pizza.
The Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven is an enameled cast iron classic that's great for preparing and serving your favorite meals.
Can be baked at temperatures between 1200 and 1400° Fahrenheit for crispy pizza recipes.
Make every meal a memorable experience!
- The smooth glass surface won’t react to ingredients.
- Broil, braise, bake or roast in the oven up to 500°Fahrenheit.
- Superior heat retention produces a perfect, consistent cook every time!
- A couple of customers struggled in maintaining this dutch oven.
Fire bricks are a very traditional way of cooking pizza, as they essentially mimic a pizza stone and are great at retaining heat without burning your pizza.
However, they are significantly heavier to transport, so take this into consideration before choosing your pizza stone alternative.
The Executive Deals Insulating Fire Brick for Ovens and is made out of alumina and silica and is built for durability.
These bricks can withstand up to 2300°F/1260°C!
These bricks are multifunctional! Use them to cook, blacksmithing, oven construction, stove insulation, glass making, fire places, clay pottery firing, smelting, and furnaces.
- These bricks can withstand high temperatures, meaning you don’t have to stress about them cracking due to heat as they’re designed to withstand up to 2300°F degrees!
- These fire bricks retain heat better and release it slowly, meaning your pizza is less likely to burn.
- Using fire bricks is a more traditional method to cook pizzas, especially in pizza ovens. Get consistent and delicious results every time!
- One customer claimed that the packaging of these bricks.
Grills are another great alternative to pizza stones, and are incredibly versatile too, especially when it comes to hosting bbqs in the summer!
Grilled pizza is always a crowd pleaser, so why not give it a try?
The Sunkorto Charcoal BBQ Grill Set is compact and made of premium stainless steel.
This durable grill is designed with a maximum melting point of 1500°C/2732°F.
The charcoal container is built with air vents for ensuring airflow and distributing the heat, which speeds up the burning and gives you a perfect BBQ experience.
- Make crispy, charred-crust pizzas in a matter of minutes!
- This complete set comes with a charcoal net and stainless-steel grill net for all your grilling needs.
- The perfect addition for every occasion! Especially if you’re hosting.
- One customer said they had trouble controlling the temperature of this grill.
Although pizza is not its primary purpose, a cake tin is similar to a pizza pan, and can be a great option if you don’t have a pizza stone. You’re bound to have one lying around at home, and if you don’t, they’re inexpensive to buy and do an excellent job of cooking pizza!
Just place it upside down for the maximum surface area! Why not give it a try?
The Wilton Square Cake Pan is made of durable aluminium that is built to last.
Aluminum's uniform heat conduction makes for an even, light golden finish, while being warp and rust resistant for commercial-level performance.
The heavy gauge aluminum construction ensures even heating and long wear.
- This cake pan is versatile! Great for making square layer cakes and tiered cakes, baking pizzas, and using as a baking sheet.
- Great for baking medium sized pizzas!
- Made out of durable material that is built to last and stand the test of time.
- A couple of customers experienced discoloration after frequently using this cake pan.