If you are a pizza lover, then you will want to invest in a pizza stone. These are some of the most useful tools to bake your own perfect pizzas right at home. However, you will want to know exactly what they are, and how you should use them.
If you want to have the best, crispy crust with a soft center, then you will want to use and preheat a pizza stone!
What is a Pizza Stone?
Pizza stones are made to change the way you cook pizzas forever. The traditionally made Italian pizza is generally baked in a specific, high heat pizza oven.
This bakes the pizza at the optimal temperature in a matter of seconds for the perfect texture and taste. As most conventional kitchens do not have a pizza oven, pizza stones act as an additional thermal, heating source when cooking your pizzas.
When used properly, a pizza stone will warm up and conduct heat at a very high temperature, and placing the pizza on top to cook will create the perfectly crispy edges, with the soft toppings in the middle.
This works to replicate the traditional cooking style of brick pizza ovens, for a faster cooking time and even bake.
Where can I get a Pizza Stone?
Pizza stones are growing increasingly popular across the globe. This means that they are readily available for purchase online.
We recommend trying the Pizza Stone for the Best Crispy Crust Pizza from CastElegance. This pizza stone is durable, comes in multiple sizes, and has superior heat retention for the best pizza!
If you are worried about thermal shock or cracking, why not try this ceramic, heavy duty Pizza Grilling Stone from Unicook:
Some pizza stones can even withstand up to 1500 degrees for that perfect, crispy crust, like this one from LoveThisKitchen!
Worried about your pizza sticking to your stone? Try this one, with a wooden pizza peel included!
Preheat Pizza Stone or Not- Does it Matter?
The purpose of using a pizza stone is to improve how your pizza is baked. Without properly preheating your pizza stone, the whole process will seem pointless. Preheating your pizza stone is essential if you want to achieve that crispy crust, with the soft bubbling center that makes Italian pizza so good.
If you use the pizza stone when it is not hot, then you will most likely end up with an uncooked, raw, soggy pizza with a soft crust. This completely defeats the point of eating a delicious pizza, and would have great Italian chefs turning in their graves!
In addition, exposing a cold or not a preheated pizza stone to a hot oven will run the risk of the pizza stone cracking, as drastic temperature changes can damage the integrity of the stone.
The purpose of a pizza stone is to simulate the environment of an authentic pizza oven, but this will only work if it is conducting and creating that extra heat. This is why you will need to preheat it fully before using it for your pizzas.
Traditional pizza ovens come into direct contact with the bottom of the pizza, baking at the perfect temperature to crisp up the crust. This cannot be achieved when using a normal kitchen oven. However, with the addition of a hot surface to place your pizza on, such as the preheated stone, you can create the effect of a Neapolitan pizza oven!
What Temperature Should I Preheat My Pizza Stone?
If you want that exceptional, perfect pizza crust, you will need to ensure that your pizza stone is preheated properly. This means using the right temperature to preheat it. To get the soft inside, with the crisped crust, you will need an extremely hot oven.
Traditional Neapolitan pizza ovens are wood fired, and can reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees fahrenheit, whereas normal ovens cannot go as high. With this in mind, you will want to get your oven as hot as it will go.
The perfect temperature to preheat your pizza stone should be at least 500 degrees fahrenheit, so that you do not end up with cold, soggy or wet pizzas. If your stone is not preheated properly, you could even end up with the pizza stuck to it, and you will not be able to serve it up...which would be a tragedy!
It is important to note that when you add the pizza to the stone, it will obviously be colder than the pizza stone. This will in turn reduce the temperature of your pizza stone, and so if you are cooking more than one pizza, you will have to let the stone reheat to the right temperature before adding another one, or each one will be less cooked than the last.
How Long Should I Preheat My Pizza Stone?
How long it takes to preheat your pizza stone will generally depend on the oven you are using and the particular pizza stone. Typically speaking, it will take around 45 minutes to an hour to preheat the pizza stone fully.
Some may argue that you do not have to preheat your pizza stone for long in order for it to make a difference to your pizzas, however, we recommend that you preheat for at least an hour to get that delicious crispiness that we all love.
How to Preheat your Pizza Stone for Perfect Pizza
Ready to make the perfect pizza every time? Then you will have to preheat your pizza stone. Follow this simple and easy guide and you will have that crispy, delicious, Naples style pizza that you have always dreamed of!
There are two ways to preheat your pizza stone, either on the oven or on the grill. The first way is to preheat in the oven.
Preheating a Pizza Stone In The Oven
First, you will want to place the pizza stone in the oven. This will ensure that it warms up slowly to prevent thermal shock or cracking. Your pizza stone will slowly come to the desired temperature safely.
If your oven has a broiler function, then place the stone closer to the broiler to get the extra hot temperature that you need.
The next step is to turn your oven on, and set it to the hottest temperature that you can.
This will ensure that your pizza stone gets to the hottest temperature possible.
The final step is to leave the pizza stone to preheat as much as you can. The best way to do this is to leave the pizza stone in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
This will ensure that you get the perfectly cooked pizza with a crispy edge and a soft, gooey center instead of a raw, cold pizza.
Preheating a Pizza Stone On The Grill
The first step is to place the pizza on the cold grill. This will help it rise to the right temperature gradually, and avoid any damage.
You are best off placing the pizza stone on just one end of the grill, and heat it up with indirect heat, otherwise your pizza may cook a little unevenly, and we do not want that.
The next step is to heat up the grill. If you are using a gas grill, then it is best to heat all of the other burners on full, and leave the burner directly under the pizza stone on 50%, so that the pizza stone does not get too hot.
The same goes for using a coal grill, and try not to use direct heat.
Lastly, you will want to leave your pizza stone to heat up for about an hour, and make sure that it is fully preheated before placing your pizza on top to cook.
How to Avoid Damaging Your Pizza Stone
You may have had some of the best pizzas of your life with your pizza stones, which is why it can be so devastating if your pizza stone cracks. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can avoid this.
The best way to prevent damage to your pizza stone is to keep it from extreme temperature changes. This means never putting a cold stone into a hot oven, as the drastic temperature change can cause cracking, or fracture the stone.
In a similar way, you should not place cold or cool food on a preheated stone, as again there will be two drastic temperatures mixing together. This can cause thermal shock, and in turn, damage or crack the pizza stone.
You should also avoid placing the pizza stone in very, very high temperatures, as this could shatter the stone. Although your pizza will cook a lot faster, you may not have a pizza stone to use the next time!
You will also want to avoid washing your baking stone, as it may not dry out properly before its next use, which can also cause cracking or damage. You will never want to submerge the stone in water, instead wet the surface and wash with a scrubbing brush, and leave to air dry fully.
Despite being called a stone, your pizza stone will not be as tough as you may think. Repeated use, handling and general wear and tear can cause the stone to break down or lose its integrity over time. If this is the case, then it might just be time to get a new one.
If you want to make the most delicious, perfectly crispy and flavorful pizzas, just like the pizza chefs of Naples, then you will need to use pizza stone. However, the pizza stone will not do all of the work for you, and you will have to preheat the pizza stone first!
With a properly preheated pizza stone, you can achieve that soft, melted center with perfectly cooked toppings, and the crispy, crunchy crust that we all love. To achieve this result, you will want to preheat your oven and your pizza stone to the hottest temperature possible, and cook it evenly.
With a pizza stone, you will make the most authentic, traditional, Naples-style pizza that will rival the real Italian thing!
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