Here is everything you need to know about pizza stones showcasing how they are used, how to maximize its use, how to maintain it, how to wash it and make sure it is clean.
Cleaning your pizza stone in the right way will help make each of your pies crispy and delicious. These stones deliver you special pies; they also require special care. You can’t clean them with anything you use for other cleaning purposes as pizza stones are porous and absorb things you put over them.
As a rule of thumb, keep the soap far away from your pizza stone. Use as less amount of water as you can. Don’t use detergent or things like that to clean your pizza. You can use baking soda or vinegar instead. Simply, never clean it with anything you might not be comfortable eating, just like soap.
So, without using soap and water, how can you clean a pizza stone? Won’t it still be germy and smelly without having an occasional bath? Well, pizza stones are really unlike people.
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What to Use for Cleaning
The pizza stone absorbs whatever substance you use to clean it with as it is made up of porous materials like ceramic, stone, or cast iron. This can possibly impact the flavor of the food. Moreover, too much moisture will also affect the texture of pizza crust.
To make the pizza crust crispier, the pizza stone absorbs the moisture from the dough during heating. So, if the pizza stone already has water trapped in it, it won’t cook the crust crispy.
Always make sure that the pizza stone has cooled down before you start cleaning. Heat might be trapped in the stone, and you don’t want to burn your hand or drop the pizza stone like a hot potato.
Most often, the tools needed to clean your pizza stone are already present in your kitchen. You may need a tool that is abrasive to scrub away or thin and can slide under stuck leftover grime. These tools can be used to clean your pizza stone:
- Bench scraper
- Metal spatula
- Blunt table knife
- Plastic spatula
- Stone brush
- Scouring pads
No matter what, never ever use dish wash soap or any cleaning chemicals or detergent to clean your pizza stone unless you like the taste of a soapy pizza. Water should be the only cleaning liquid to be used for pizza stone — even that should also be used in moderation.
Step-By-Step Process of Cleaning Pizza Stone
Here’s how you can clean your pizza stone without using soap and a sink full of water:
- Wet the surface with the help of hot water steam. Use as less amount of water as you can because ultimately, you will have to completely dry the pizza stone to store or use it again.
- Use a scrubber or a stone brush to scrub it thoroughly.
- Wipe away the food particles using a damp rag.
- Allow the stone to dry itself (air dry) or use a clean towel to dry it.
You may not even need to use water at all if the food can be scraped away easily with the brush. Water can help loosen the food particle stuck, but it’s not always necessary.
Clean Pizza Stone Stains
Stains on a pizza stone show your love and attention. There might be no need for stain removal unless you can’t stand the sight of them. Here’s what to do to remove the stains:
- Scrap away the pieces of food on the stone using a brush or a spatula.
- Mix equal quantity of water and baking soda to make a paste. For instance, mix one tablespoon of water and one tablespoon of baking soda together.
- Scrub the paste onto the stains. Work the paste in circles with the help of a brush until the stains are removed.
- Wipe it off with a damp cloth.
- Let the stone completely dry.
To clean grease stains, cover the stain with the paste of baking soda, leave it for a bit and scrub it off with a brush. Wipe the stone using a damp rag. Unlike soap, baking soda will just clean the stains off without affecting the flavor of your pizzas.
You don’t need to be worried about over-cleaning because it’s natural for pizza stone to have a bit darker stains. More darkened pizza stone means more seasoning and better non-stick power. Be proud of your stains!
Clean a Burned Pizza Stone
If your pizza stone has pieces of food that are hard to scrape off with a scraper or brush, give your pizza stone a deep clean in the oven. Here’s how:
- Set your oven to 500°F.
- Place your pizza stone in the oven.
- Bake it for about an hour.
- Check it out. There would be grease bubbles forming and popping up.
- When the bubbling stops, the auto-clean cycle will be started. The stone might produce smoke if it is very dirty.
- Pieces of food would be burnt off.
- Wait a bit to allow the oven to cool down after the cycle has finished.
- After cooling, take the pizza stone out and wipe it down with a clean cloth and it’s done.
Clean a Moldy Pizza Stone
If you notice mold on your pizza, it means the stone has been exposed to too much moisture. Moisture is the utmost need for mold to grow. It can happen if you forget to dry your pizza stone completely before storing it.
So, what should be done to get rid of it?
Try vinegar and baking soda paste to remove the mold.
- Mix a splash of vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda until the mixture attains a paste-like consistency.
- Scrub the moldy area with the help of a brush and paste.
- Clean it using a damp cloth.
This paste can also be used to remove stains. There are some other substances like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, detergent, and tea tree oil that can kill mold, but I won’t recommend using any of these on pizza stone as the pizza stone is porous and it may absorb chemicals placed on it, and some of the mold killing chemicals are toxic to humans.
What Can You If You Wash Your Pizza Stone With Soap?
You just came home from work and saw all the dishes are done and drying in the rack — how nice! Except, you noticed your pizza stone kept on the kitchen counter, sparkling clean and, your heart drops. Nightmarish thought of a soapy-infused pizza rushed through your head. Who is responsible for this tragedy?
Before accusing anybody, take a deep breath. It can be okay. In fact, if your pizza stone is already seasoned so heavily, you might not notice a soapy taste. But on the safer side, here’s what you can try:
- Spread some crescent rolls or pieces of bread on the pizza stone covering its surface.
- Bake it until the bread is toasted. It would absorb the soapy flavor.
- Feed the crescents to the person who used soap on the pizza stone. Just kidding — just toss them in the garbage
Giordano’s: How to Clean a Pizza Stone
The Kitchn: How to Clean a Pizza Stone