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This is a short overview of what baking stone is and how to use it.
A baking stone is a type of pizza stone used in some ovens. It is generally thicker and heavier than a typical oven brick. It has a dark, non-stick finish on the top surface.
The bottom side of a baking stone is made of ceramic or cast iron. The top side is usually made from soapstone or marble, which heats up faster than brick or clay but cools down slower than metal.
Baking stones are famous for cooking pizzas because they heat evenly and can take more abuse in the oven, such as being dropped on the floor. They also do not crack or break as easily.
While on breaking, please do not try to push your luck and always handle your baking stone with care. They are firm, but they will shatter if you drop them from a meter on a floor.
It is a kind of a cheat for a conventional oven. With a straightforward slab of stone, you can turn it into a pizza oven.
Some baking stones also include different-sized oven racks to facilitate a flat cooking surface. Another example is a preheated baking stone with two levels and can support the weight of a large pizza.
The best part is that it does not require any tools, yet it is very effective and cheap for home baking. You can choose the kind of stone that suits the type of oven you have at home. If you have a regular size oven, a baking stone will suffice.
Most of all, using a baking stone is a healthy alternative to greasing or baking-spraying a pan because it will stick less. It will also save you the trouble of washing and preheating a frying pan.
If you want to use a baking stone, here are some helpful things to remember:
- Do not overheat the oven before you put the baking stone in.
- Make sure to heat the stone for at least 10 minutes before cooking.
- Do not overbake the crust.
- Do not place frozen things on top of baking stones, as the reaction between hot and cold can easily break the baking stone.
- Clean it with mild soap and water. Do not submerge in water or leave it unattended before completely cooling.
- Avoid scrubbing it with abrasive items, as it will destroy the non-stick surface.
- Never leave the oven door open for a long time after putting in the baking stone because it will lose its heat.
- Never use aluminum foil or other metal substances on top of your baking stone, as it will scratch the stone’s surface.
- Make sure that the oven is cool before removing the baking stone.
- If you want to stay safe, place a baking sheet underneath your baking stone, as it will keep it from cracking or breaking when moving.
- If you want to re-season your baking stone, do it for several days before using it again to give time for it to dry correctly.
How to use a baking stone
On a large baking sheet, apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the surface. This will prevent the baking stone from sticking to the sheet.
Depending on the size and shape of your oven, you may need up to two baking stones per rack.
Place the baking stones on the oven shelf with the millimeter markings facing down.
If you are using a stone with a cast metal bottom, you may want to place 2 of the stones, with their flat sides facing each other, to form a grooved rack.
Depending on your oven’s size, the stones may or may not fit. If they do not, place a baking sheet underneath them.
If you are baking directly on a stone, be sure to preheat the stone for at least 10 minutes.
We need an example so let’s go with pizza, as it is the most obvious choice for the first baking on stone.
Preheat the oven to the pizza-baking temperature.
While you are waiting for the oven to heat up, set out your pizza ingredients on a large baking sheet.
Before you put your pizza in the oven, sprinkle some cornmeal on the pizza pan, then place it in the oven. The cornmeal will prevent sticking.
If you are using an oven with no bottom heating element, you may want to place a baking sheet on the oven rack before putting your pizza in.
The pizza will take about 10-15 minutes to bake.
How to season a baking stone
To season your baking stone:
- Start by first wetting a cloth or paper towel with water and gently rubbing the stone’s surface.
- After a few minutes, use another cloth or paper to dry it.
- Repeat this process about 3-4 times total.
After about one hour, the stone can be scrubbed with a soft brush or a natural bristle brush to remove excess oil.
Each time you use your baking stone, make sure to dry it off before using it again thoroughly.
A baking stone should never be greased or sprayed: such treatments will only make the surface slick and increase the amount of oil needed to prevent sticking.
Do not use any polishing substances on your stone, as this will destroy the non-stick surface.
How to clean a baking stone
There are many different ways to clean a baking stone. However, here are the easiest and most common ways to do it.
- To clean the oven rack, soak in soapy water for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly, then dry with a towel or paper cloth.
- Wipe the baking stone with water and scrub it with a soft brush. It can also be cleaned with a damp cloth. After cleaning, dry it thoroughly with another cloth or paper towel.
- Clean a rectangular baking stone by placing it in a sink or bathtub and cover it with warm soapy water. Next, scrub the surface with a soft brush. Cleaning like this will keep the stone from cracking.
What are baking stones made out of
Baking stones are often made of porous stones, making them great for cooking and giving food a crispy crust. They also absorb the liquid and fat from foods more readily than metal does.
A baking stone is typically a piece of natural stone, like quarried marble or granite, that is large enough to place in an oven or on top of an oven rack. The surface should have dimples that grip the pizza dough to prevent it from sticking. The type and size of the stone will depend on your oven size.
Baking stone history
The earliest known oven-top baking stones were made of mica. This natural mineral was used for cooking and baking by the ancient Romans. In 1530, the Venetians used a thin layer of steel to facilitate heat distribution.
The steel was replaced by a layer of porcelain and then later by an enamel coating to prevent food from sticking.
What can I use instead of a baking stone?
There are many alternatives to baking stones, with the most popular ones being baking sheets. If you are not looking to buy a new kitchen appliance, that’s fine.
To make simple pizza, you can use an old newspaper or two pieces of parchment paper. A parchment sheet is also good if you do not have access to a baking stone. If you are a fan of baking bread, you can use a long sheet or half sheet of parchment paper.
You can also use tin foil instead of a baking stone to bake flatbreads. Another option is a cast-iron skillet or an oven-safe cast iron griddle. Both of them are inexpensive, and you can use them over and over again.
Other alternatives include ceramic tile bakeware and non-stick cookie sheets.
How often do I need to replace a baking stone?
Depending on how often you use your stone will depend on how many times you will need to replace it. For example, if you use it daily, then you may need to replace it every two months, if not more.
If you are using it for baking, then you may only need to replace it annually. If you are not sure when your baking stone needs replacing, then inspect the surface. If it becomes very worn out and rough, then it is time to get a new one.
A baking stone is an excellent choice for anyone who is just starting to bake. The advantages of baking stones are that they are non-stick and last a long time. They can also be reused for a long time, as they are easy to clean and store.
A baking stone is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to bake crisp, flavorful crusts and doesn’t want to waste money on a new kitchen appliance. In addition, the easy-to-clean surface makes it easy to keep your stone clean and in good shape. I hope that this guide has helped you decide how to use and care for your baking stone.
If you are interested in a more general overview of baking, check out my article here.
Did I cover everything about baking stones? Is there something else you would like to see here? If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.
Until next time I wish you happy and crispy stone baking.