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With three million pies sold in the U.S. each year, our love of pizza knows no bounds.
Millions of pizza lovers take to the internet to profess their love of Chicago deep dish, New York thin slice, and New Haven coal-fired pie.
We occupy Instagram with photos, recipes, and videos of our favorite toppings.
Sadly, though, we can’t always be near our favorite pizzeria when the mood strikes. That is when we must take to the oven to do it ourselves.
Even if you don’t have years of training in Naples or New York’s Lower East Side, it’s fairly easy to replicate a professional pie without a giant wood or coal-burning oven and dough-tossing skills.
By placing a ceramic or stone slab known as a pizza stone on the bottom of the oven, expert cooks and amateur diners can create delicious, evenly baked pizzas with crisp crusts that fill the hearts and stomachs of pizza lovers.
At BestReviews, we base our product recommendations and shopping guides on careful investigation of a given product category. It is our policy to never accept free samples from manufacturers which could bias our opinions.
If you’re interested in purchasing a pizza stone, we invite you to look at the five top products in our matrix, above. Our selections reflect quality as well as value for your money.
If you’d like to learn more about how to navigate the world of pizza stones, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Born and raised in Paris, the land of unapologetic butter, Francois has spent the last 20 years shaping the American culinary world behind the scenes. He was a buyer at Williams-Sonoma, built the Food Network online store, managed product assortments for Rachael Ray's site, started two meal delivery businesses and runs a successful baking blog. When he's not baking a cake or eating his way through Europe, Francois enjoys sharing cooking skills with cooks of all levels. Rules he lives by: "Use real butter" and "Nothing beats a sharp knife."
A pizza stone provides a simple, inexpensive way to improve the taste of a fresh or frozen pie. It also somewhat replicates the cooking method used in restaurants.
Although smaller in size, the pizza stone acts like the floor of a large, commercial pizza oven which radiates heat around the pie while it bakes.
You can use a pizza stone for more than just fresh or frozen pizza prep. A good pizza stone can be used to bake bread, cookies, and muffins. And it’s an ideal platform for defrosting and/or warming up frozen appetizers.
You can use a pizza stone to make healthy French fries. Cut a potato into wedges, season, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F.
The word “stone” is somewhat of a misnomer. Pizza stones are made from a wide variety of materials, stone and otherwise. These materials tolerate the high heat required to bake pizza without cracking.
Stones come in a variety of shapes: round, rectangular, square, and in sets that assemble like a jigsaw puzzle.
A number of consumer-oriented pizza stone packages include racks that can be used to hold the stone after it comes out of the oven.
Don't let your stone soak in water. Because stone is porous, it will absorb a lot of moisture. With moisture trapped inside, the stone could crack the next time you use it. Instead, clean it by wiping it with a damp cloth after it cools.
A pizza stone is often accompanied by a pizza peel, which resembles a flat shovel with a long handle.
Often made of wood, the peel provides a safe, easy way for you to place your pie on top of the heated stone.
You can also use the peel to remove the pie after it has been cooked.
Using a pizza peel, a cook can safely open the oven during baking and lift up the pie to determine whether the crust is cooked to satisfaction.
Pizza pans are made of various materials; some are natural and others are man-made.
We suggest that you base your purchase on the stone’s material, as variances in the material will cause your pizza to cook differently. In addition, some materials are far more durable than others.
Some chefs find a rimless, stainless steel pan makes the same crispy crust as a pizza stone. In a pinch, flip over a baking sheet — air circulating underneath will make it crispy.
Here are some tips for making the most of your pizza stone purchase:
If you love kitchen products with multiple functions, select a durable, heat-conducive stone that will also allow you to roast vegetables, finish off the perfect grilled cheese, bake potato chips, and create falafels without deep frying.
Pizza stones can also be used on grills. The stone achieves high heat quickly — an advantage over many commercial ovens.
Allow your dough to come to room temperature before baking it. Cold dough placed directly on a hot pizza stone may cause the stone to crack from the sudden temperature change.
Most pizza stones don’t require seasoning. For the ones that do, wipe the stone with a wet, soap-free cloth. Then, warm the wet stone in the oven on low heat. When it’s dry, apply a light coat of vegetable oil with an old towel. After applying the oil, bake at 400°F for one hour. Leave it in the oven to cool off.
An unglazed tile that is 6″ x 6″ and 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick makes an ideal pizza stone for a DIYer. Clean the tile before you use it with a damp cloth.
You can find highly rated pizza stones in this price range from the likes of reputable brands like Wilton and Good Cook.
For the zealous DIYer: an unglazed tile (which can serve as a pizza stone substitute) can cost as little as $5.
You can find some great pizza stones hovering around the $50 mark, including products by the popular Dough Joe and Old Stone Oven brands. The Old Stone Oven brand was created by Chicago pizza enthusiast and all-around food expert Pasquale “Pat” Bruno more than 40 years ago.
If you’re willing to bust your budget for the authentic taste of Napoli, you can find some deluxe pizza stones for sale in this price range. Some high-end pizza stones feature multiple layers of enamel, a forever-seasoned cooking surface, and rust-proof qualities.
Q. Can a cracked pizza stone be repaired?
A. While most people would just throw away a cracked stone, an oven-safe epoxy could potentially be used to repair it (depending on how clean the crack is).
Q. Can you cut a pizza directly on the pizza stone?
A. User opinion is divided on this. Some say it’s fine to cut a pizza on the stone; others advise that you should never cut a pizza on the stone, as it could cause the cheese to run all over the stone’s surface. Since washing a stone with soap is a no no, this could become problematic.
Q. What do I do if my pizza stone turns black after years of use?
A. Some cooks claim that medium-grit sandpaper will take the gunk off. Use light, even pressure until the black disappears.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.