Pizza Stones – which creates the best crust?
I’ve been collecting pizza stones in order to recommend the best ones to you and because I have never met a piece of kitchen equipment I could resist. I have been surprised by some and disappointed by others. Here is my review…the stones are in random order.
1. Here is the workhorse of the group, 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone. I’ve owned it for well over 8 years and it always produces a great crust, as long as it is properly preheated. Because this stone is thicker than any of the rest it requires a 30-40 minute preheat to get a nice crisp crust on my breads and pizzas. (If I let it preheat for just 20 minutes it produces a pale and lackluster crust.) It is heavy weight so it is not prone to cracking and retains heat well and holds-up to temperatures of 550 degrees.
I also love the size since I tend to bake lots of loaves at once. I can fit about 3 boules or baguettes on here at the same time.
2. This is not a stone at all, but a disk of iron, Lodge Cast-Iron 14-Inch Pizza Pan. I was introduced to this pan by my mother, who bought it after her thin round stone cracked. She decided to try the Lodge because it was indestructible. She loved it and now that I have one I love it too.
It is thinner than my heavy duty stone (above) so it preheats in 20 minutes and still creates a very crispy, caramel colored bottom crust. Because iron conducts heat well, but doesn’t retain heat for long, it cools off quicker. You can also stick this into a super hot oven, which is a NO NO for stone and ceramic pizza pans.
The only thing I don’t like about this pan is that it has a lip on it, which makes it more challenging to clean. With all my other stones I use a bench scraper to clean off any extra cornmeal or flour (see bottom of post for more info.) With the Lodge I have to carefully take it out of the oven and use a brush to clean it, which is a pain in the butt when I want to bake multiple breads or pizzas. But, this doesn’t stop me from using it often.
3. The PizzaQue is a stone made specifically for the grill, as long as your grill is large enough to handle the stone and base. I thought it was clever to have the stone sit up above the grates so that the flames wouldn’t hit it and the toppings would have a chance to cook before the bottom crust burned. It also has a built in thermometer, which I figured would be more accurate than the one on the outside of my grill. My assumptions were mostly wrong.
The stone, which sits on a thin metal frame, is so thick that it takes 30+ minutes to preheat in my grill. The built in thermometer is attached to the thin metal frame so it reads 700 degrees after just 10 minutes, which is not long enough for the actual stone to reach that temperature. I highly doubt this stone ever got to 700 degrees or the pizza would have been baked in less than 10 minutes.
This stone is wonderful when used in my home oven, but the frame is useless since it won’t fit in my oven. Wanted to love this, but don’t!
Update: I just read the glowing reviews on Amazon and decided to give it another shot. After a 35 minute preheat…I baked a pizza and it came out much better than I remembered from the first attempt. The bottom crust was crispy and the toppings were just caramelizing after 10 minutes, this is the benefit of having it sit up higher on the metal frame. Still not in love, since my Lodge (see above) does a nicer job and takes less time to preheat.
4. For those of you who are just getting started and want to try the bread/pizzas without investing in a pizza stone, I suggest using a heavy gauge baking pan. I like the industrial strength version, 18-by-13-by-1-Inch Jelly-Roll Pan or this non-stick dark sheet 12-by-17-Inch Rectangular Nonstick Jelly Roll Pan. You will not get as crisp a crust, but it is a great way to start out. Just preheat the pan and put the bread or pizza directly on the pan, no parchment or silpat to get the crispest crust. If you want to use parchment or Silpat (11-5/8-by-16-1/2-Inch Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat) be sure to remove it for the last few minutes of baking to crisp up the bottom crust. You can even remove the pan from the oven and crisp up the crust directly on the oven rack.
5. This was the most surprising to me of the bunch. I suspected that this Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone was too pretty to be useful. I stand corrected, it produced a gorgeous crust and is really easy to clean. It also comes in several colors (This one is Figue). One thing that made me nervous was that this stone was glazed, which we have always avoided because we suspected that the porosity of the stone (its ability to absorb moisture away from the dough) was a key factor in a crisp crust. It turns out the intense, even heat is what seems to drive away the moisture in the bread, producing a great crust. I tested it at both 450 and 550 degrees.
This is the only stone I wash with water (see below for washing advice).
6. Here is my traveling Pizza Stone. It was about $10 (a few years ago) and I bought it to take with me when I taught classes where there was no stone. I also used it on the grill, just in case the intense flames would crack my more expensive stone. I’ve had this stone for a few years and so far it is holding up well to all temperatures. My mother on the other hand had the same one and it cracked after 2 years. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it drove her to the Lodge (see above).
To clean the flat stones: I use a Bench Scraper and just scrape off any excess flour, cornmeal or cheese that escapes the pizza. I don’t wash them with anything, but if you have to AVOID SOAP or your stone will taste of soap, just hot water and let it dry slowly in a very cool oven to avoid cracking.
7. I didn’t review Unglazed Terra Cotta Garden Tiles because I don’t own any, but I have baked on them successfully. They are very inexpensive, but thin and small. You will want to push several together in your oven. You tend to get much more flour or cornmeal on the bottom of your oven as a result, which can mean smoke when baking pizzas. You can find these at most Garden or Hardware stores.
8. I just have to mention that the only stone we have had numerous complaints about it cracking is the one made by Pampered Chef. I have never personally tried this stone, but it seems it is fragile from what I hear–given that, we don’t recommend this company’s products.
Which stone do you use and do you love it?
347 thoughts on “Pizza Stones – which creates the best crust?”
I just broke my second stone in less than a year. While searching for a replacement, I came across some claims that stainless steel is the new thing for pizza. I’d like to get something for bread and pizza making. Have you ever tried it? The one I was looking at was at bakingsteel.com
I have heard the same claims, but I haven’t tried it yet. The lodge cast iron is wonderful, so I am thinking it has the same effect. If you try it, please let us know what you think.
The first pizza stone you recommended, the workhorse, didn’t mention what type of material it was (clay, ceramic or cordierite
All we have to go on is the manufacturer’s statement. The link in this post, to the Old Stone brand stone on Amazon, states that it’s “crafted from a blend of lead-free clays.”
I have a baking steel and I absolutely love it. Below I’ve listed some links to Seriouseats.com where they do some over the top testing of baking surfaces. Good luck.
Thanks Bruce, those articles were very helpful, especially the comparison of the 1/4 and 1/2 inch steel.
The 1/2 is plenty heavy and seems to do the job. The 1″ must be an absolute beast. Seriouseats is a great website to learn about pizza.
Tonight I broke my second stone this year. It was a well seasoned, well loved Pampered Chef stone this time around, and I’m so disappointed, as I’ve used it often for bread baking. I suspect that it broke because the oven was too hot when I put it in–I usually start with it in the cold oven so it heats up with the oven, and then leave it in the oven to cool off, removing only the bread when baking is over.
The last stone that broke may also have been PC–I can’t remember–but I’m sure that one broke because I took the stone out of the oven with the bread–it cracked on the cooling rack.
Guess I’ll be looking into some alternatives, as I don’t want to lose another PC stone.
I bought a pampered chef pizza stone which is rectangular and it works fine. It lives in my oven and I heat it from cold every time I put the oven on so it is well seasoned as well.
You should try a california pizza stone
So glazed pizza stone ok for bread, too? Can’t wait to try your recipe. Have been successful with Lahey no-knead and love it, but working makes it tough to do!
Yes, the glazed pizza stones seem to work just as well for bread. I have the Emile Henry and I love it for bread.
Thanks and enjoy! Zoë
I have a thin, round stone that I bought many years ago in a local dept store. It came with its own cooling rack & cost about $20. It is beautifully seasoned to dark brown. I always put it in a cold oven, let it cool until it I can take it out bare-handed & let it cool completely before wiping off crumbs & then rinsing it. Then let it dry on its rack. No thermal shock.I have both artisan bread in 5 min a day & healthy bread in… Love them both!
Off subject of baking stones… From Artisan bread in 5 min a day, I regularly make light whole wheat bread,page 74,1/2 recipe, sometimes adding 1/2 cup dried cranberries, always as free form. Looking at KAF catalog,I have seen an ingredient called Hi-maize natural fiber. It increases the fiber content of baked goods.this seems like a great idea. Do you know anything about using this in your recipes? I haven’t purchased it yet.
haven’t used it but I bet it will work; may have to compensate for the extra “hydrophilic” substance with a little extra water or it’ll be drier than you’re used to.
Thank you,Jeff. I bake by weight & have been using 4 3/4 oz for 1 cup of flour. Have since read here that I should have been using 5 oz. My bread came out fine! The only recipe in the book I ever had trouble with was the chocolate bread. It was a mess.I tried it twice & the second time was worse than the first, wet & under done. That may have been where flour amt mattered although my book says 1 3/4 cups water. That’s the only problem I’ve ever had. The rest of the recipes I’ve tried have been wonderful & consistent!
I’m going to order the Hi-maize natural fiber from KAF to try! I will def take your advice & add extra water to compensate.I guess I will see what KAF reccomends & increase slowly & take notes. Thank you!
Hmm. I bet you’re just not going to be crazy about that recipe. There are some corrections that apply to certain printings of that 2007 book, at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2008/01/01/errors-in-the-first-printings-of-artisan-bread-in-five-all-were-corrected-in-later-printings …
… but I don’t think this is going to help the problem you reference. You’d use 5 oz/cup, but the water’s a little higher. And the honey will have more liquid, not less, so you see the problem.
If you committed to trying this recipe, you could decrease the liquids…
I might try it again & ignore my previous notes. Start from scratch. The idea of chocolate bread intrigues me. The choc that I used is labeled cocoa solids 54% min.Could that impact the outcome? Thank you!
Well… a higher cocoa solids product might (and I mean might) create a more solid dough. Try decreasing the water, and consider something cupcake sized– easier to bake through.
The dog story is funny!
On an unrelated note, my dog,a miniature schnauzer named Shayna comes running when she smells or hears bread dough mixing. When it’s in the oven she naps, then wakes up when it’s out of the oven & sits in kitchen “talking” until the bread is cool enough to cut.She doesn’t react this strongly to chicken cooking.
My husband also loves the bread. My brother-in-law stops by to pick up bread when I text him that I’m baking cranberry bread.I bake 2 loaves at once.( dog only gets plain, not cranberry). Thanks again for this wonderful method. I’ve used others & sometimes I don’t feel like baking the day after I make the dough & your method offers that flexibility.
Has anyone tried using (and pre-heating) the Old Stone Oven pizza stone under a broiler?
Haven’t done that– I know the manufacturers don’t tell you to do it that way. We’re always at our own risk with these stones if they crack! Though I’ve had good experience with the Old Stone product.
Help. I’ve tried 3 times making bread only for it to come out dense, too moist and it doesn’t rise very much. I’ve followed the directions HB in 5 Minutes a Day.. It looks good on the outside but too dense inside.
Here are some posts that may help you achieve a less dense loaf: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/10/26/our-new-book-healthy-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day-is-released-tomorrow-get-yourself-some-vital-wheat-gluten-and-make-our-whole-grain-master-recipe and https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2008/02/10/qa-dense-crumb, let me know if this makes a difference.
The cast iron pizza pan–Lodge Pro–seems to be oven-proof to 400 degrees, officially. Do you find that it works fine at 450+ for the bread recipes?
Really, that is so interesting. I bake with it at 550°F all the time for pizzas with fantastic results. I bake bread on it at 450°F almost daily. I’m curious why they suggest such a low temp for cast iron?
This is what was listed on the mass marketing site where I first viewed it. I did purchase this pan and the included materials from Lodge seem to indicate that much higher temps can be sustained.
Yep, that’s what I’d think too.
It’s 400 degrees for the seasoning. Otherwise the cast iron can withstand much higher temps; I regularly use mine at 500 degrees+ and then under the broiler to give the pizza a quick char.
I use a well seasoned cast-iron griddle that I have had around for years. Absolutely no problems. I set an oven thermometer on it, because the oven reaches the desired temp silghtly ahead of the griddle surface. I remove the loaf and leave the griddle in the oven to cool slowly, then wipe away the excess meal and store.
I was wondering if you could use a cast iron frying pan instead of cast iron pizza pan?
What kind of stone is it you are using I have been looking for a baking stone but nobody here know what kind of stone to make it out of.I want to biuld a stone pizza oven but i want to fire the oven from under the stone not from in the oven but under it so i need a stone that will not brake from the heat. Can you help me with any ideas thanks Chris
None of the ceramic stones we’ve used can be said to be “unbreakable.” The most durable one I’ve seen is the Old Stone Brand (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000E1FDA?ie=UTF8&tag=arbrinfimiada-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0000E1FDA), but my guess is that it’ll break eventually. Whatever you do, build this thing so that the stone can be replaced easily if needed. Have you seen this book: The Bread Builders (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1890132055/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1890132055&linkCode=as2&tag=arbrinfimiada-20“>The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens
I have used a Pampered Chef stone for a couple of years in the oven in my house but the first time I used it in the oven in my RV it broke in half.
Unfortunately we do hear that again and again so we can’t recommend the product.
Please excuse me for commenting so late. We have two 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stones. One lasted for eons before breaking into three pieces (we store it propped against the wall in the kitchen and it fell). The second slightly thinner stone snapped in half when we made the mistake of using it in the gas barbecue and then removing it to rest on the slightly damp patio. We heard the crack.
But. We still use the broken stones. We simply shove the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle on the rack before preheating the oven. The two piece stone is fractionally easier to use than the 3 piece stone.
We LOVE our round $10 pizza stone for the barbecue. It works brilliantly.
Excuse me for commenting twice in succession. We have a cast-iron flat griddle. It never occurred to me to use it in place of a stone. What a great idea!
Your griddle will work perfectly, enjoy!
I have been using the Emile Henry stones for year (I own 3) and they are wonderful for baking bread and pizzas. Easy to clean….my workhorse in the oven! I’ve owned other stones but they always break after a couple of years. I was wondering if I could bake two loaves in one oven on two different stones but would I have to add more water to the pan for steam? Thanks!
I often bake two loaves on the same stone, as long as they have plenty of room to rise. You don’t need any additional water for steam.
Great article on stones……I have 4 pampered chef stones and find them fabulous!! I heat my oven to 450, keep the stone on the bottom and they work well. I have had them for years and use them all the time. I have 2 “jelly Roll” with the lip pans, which are harder to clean and tend to have pizza crust come out a bit thicker. I have a round one with built in handles, may not fit in so e ovens. I recommend the rectangular one with no lip. I love your first large square and the iron pan plan to buy both now!! And yes guilty of washing my stones in soap and water, forgive me I am a nurse…germ avoider and I sometimes I give them a light olive oil wipe…I think I am breaking all the RULES and my pizza comes out crispy and delicious!!!!
Great to hear the stones are working so well for you! If it works, then by all means break the rules!
My electric oven’s heating element exploded, and we think my steam baking may have been a factor. My husband replaced the element and the melted wire, and the oven works again. My new 14″×16″ stone (Old Stone brand) came with instructions to use it on the bottom rack of the oven, but your HBin5 Whole Grain Rye Bread recipe instructs us to place the stone on the middle rack. I’m planning to try the inverted roasting pan method for trapping the steam for my oven’s sake. Which stone placement instructions should I try first to minimize the chance of my bread riding a jet propelled stone magic carpet through the oven door?
The steam from the bread itself, trapped inside the roasting pan, isn’t any different than if the steam escaped into the oven air– it’s the same amount of water escaping into the larger space by the end of the baking time. I’d go near the middle of the oven– only because the breads seem to bake more easily that way in most ovens. Pizzas seem to do better near the bottom though (those don’t get the steam treatment).
I’ve been baking with steam in the same electric oven since 1993 and haven’t had any problems with the heating element or the wiring supplying it. I wonder if it was something else, but yes–you’ll get good steaming results this way too.
I wonder if a large cast iron skillet could substitute for a stone?
I have another one (not so large) that is entirely dedicated to cornbread. It’s over 60 years old, well seasoned. I won’t risk it on an experiment!
Yes, it definitely works nicely.
I actually used my well seasoned big cast iron skillet before my friend gave me a stone. I used parchment paper sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal for resting the shaped loaf while the skillet preheated in the oven. I then grabbed the corners of the parchment paper to lift the prepared loaf and put the whole thing in the skillet. Make sure the bottom of the skillet is kept well seasoned with regular oiling to prevent rust from the steamer pan below. Also, there is a reason why Ray Bradbury named his sci-fi novel “Fahrenheit 451.” Read the temperature limit advice on the parchment paper’s box.
Yes– they can really blacken. I’ve used cast-iron without parchment; so long as its well-seasoned, a nicely dusted or cornmealed loaf won’t stick to it.
Love the book—but I never thought o it as cooking advice until now 😉
Thanks! Baking, cooking, we’ll give advice about anything!
I posted a comment here over a year ago lamenting the fact that no one seemed to be making a large rectangular cast iron “stone”, without a lip…this was shortly after my expensive, very thick, and relatively new cement stone (which was supposed to be the stone to end all stones)cracked right down the middle.
Well about 10 months ago I found out about the bakingsteel.com!
They have standard sizes but I decided to spend a bit extra for a *custom* sized steel 20″ x 14″ x 1/4″ thick. I LOVE the large size and no annoying lip to get in the way either! It is heavy, but not excessively so…I am an average woman who has not been to the gym in years but I can easily move it from one rack to another if I need to.
It heats up in 20 min or less in my 550F oven, and makes fabulously baked (top and bottom) thin crust pizzas in about 4 min.
The 1/4″ thick steel retains the heat perfectly well between pizzas IMO, so I don’t think there is much to be gained from going with a thicker, heavier one.
There are no complicated seasoning requirements like a cast-iron frying pan. The steel comes pre-seasoned and I give it a very thin coating of lard or similar every once in a while, just to ensure it is protected from moisture in the oven.
The thing is bullet proof…I will never need to buy another stone again!
Zoe and Jeff, you have just got to try one! I know you will love it!
I have recently tried the steel and I have to agree with you, it is a fantastic option!
Someone gave me a Fibrament stone which is working very well. Have you or anyone had any experience with this?
Have not heard of this…
The Emile Henri instructions say to prepare the pizza ON the stone and place it in the preheated oven. Why would that be different that other stones where the stone needs to be preheated ?
In all the years I’ve been using my Emile Henry stones I have never noticed that instruction. It is not what I would recommend, but may be worth a try just for curiosity sake. If you get to it before me, let me know what you think of the results. This approach does work with the Cloche for bread baking, but that is a much longer bake time.
I got a burnt crust. I will try it next time without preheating it. I did see a demo somewhere where the cook did not preheat it and it looked good. But I think she used a pre-cooked crust. I sent an email to Emile Henri asking about this. EVERYBODY says it must be preheated. Maybe I had too much topping on my pizza……
How long did you bake the pizza? At what temperature?
My BBQ thermometer said 400 and it was in there 12 minutes.
I didn’t realize you were baking on the grill. Go light with the toppings and the pizza should bake in under 5 minutes with the stone preheated on the grill. I just did this for a big party and the pizzas were done in a flash.
I do have 3 burners in the BBQ and next time, I will not light the middle one and use indirect heat.
Just wanted to say that I also reviewed some stones and found that the glazed pizza stones work the best.
Interesting. Traditional bakers used to say that the moisture-absorptive properties of unglazed ceramic were the key to success– but that’s obviously not true, since we’ve had great results on cast-iron and on glazed stones, as you have. It’s just the thermal mass that’s important.
I have been baking my pizzas on the floor of the roasting oven on my cast iron Aga, this oven operates at 220 celsius (425 F) they are ok, but whilst talking to an italian Pizza chef recently he told me to get a Pizza stone and preheat it in the oven for a better crispier base. Thats all very well but now I realise of course, my oven is on 24/7, its never gets turned off so any stone would go onto a very hot metal oven floor, surely this would crack it!!! Are there any stones out there which would cope with being put directly into a very hot oven?
The floor of your oven is acting like a pizza stone, so adding a stone isn’t going to make the difference. The issue is the temperature. To get a nice crust on the pizza you need to bake it in a very hot oven. We recommend in the book to set the oven to 550°F, but it sounds like your oven won’t go that high.
If you’d like to try a baking “stone,” I recommend you get a baking steel or one that is made of cast iron. The stone will only get as hot as the oven, so it won’t change the situation with your pizza, but it will keep the bottom of your oven cleaner.
My second question of the day, sorry but I am so excited since finding your blog whilst looking for a Pizza stone. I am in the UK and have just found your British version of Artisan Bread in five, Does this book have many gluten free recipes in it? I am not coeliac but I am Wheat intolerant so I use Gluten free recipes a lot. Would your Gluten free book be ok for me?
The UK version of our first book doesn’t have any GF recipes. The new Gluten-Free Artisan Bread book has all the recipes in grams, so it will be easier for you to use. I am not sure if you can find all the same GF flours in the UK?
Thanks Zoe, it woulds like I should just save the money and carry on using the oven floor as its cast iron and you have found stones made of cast iron work well. The oven just needs sweeping out now and then, any residue just burns off as its on all day every day.
I will buy the Gluten free book and experiment.
I have a Pampered Chef rectangle stone from upteen years ago. Love it, no problems. I heat it from a cold oven and the put my food on it. I was going to get my son one and on the PC site it says “do not preheat”
Now I’m wondering because so many people have complained about the stone that perhaps it is being made differently? I shall cherish mine and find my son another brand.
That is a shame if they changed it to something that doesn’t work as well, but I’m glad you’ve had such great success with yours!
Coming late to the party but have been researching cleaning stones for a friend who asked. Anyway, mine is a Pampered Chef (a friend sold them and I was helping out, otherwise being a cheapskate my oven bottom would be lined with unglazed terra cotta).
I’ve never had problems with it, but it never leaves the oven aside from the few times it gets scraped. It sits on the bottom, not on a rack (gas oven) and so is seldom handled and doesn’t risk a thermal shock. I leave it in for convenience, and to provide a thermal buffer helping to maintain even heat in the oven.
This is how I use my stone as well and haven’t had an issue.
Folks, I have cooked a lot of pizzas on my BBQ, look no further, the Cadillac, no, the Bugatti of stones is #5 on this list, the Emile Henry. That thing is built for abuse. I laugh when I hear people talking about cracked stones, this thing can go from the freezer at -20 to the oven to the BBQ with no issues in temp variation. I have taken the stone up to 700 degrees with no issues. Nice even heat, crispy golden thin crust, with a nice soft top. This stone is hand made in France and I bought mine from a high end kitchen supply store. Worth every penny, and it is not cheap, probably the most expensive of the bunch. I paid $70 + tax in Canada. If you want even heat, high temp handling, crack proof build, look no further, Emile Henry is the one. Just wish they made more sizes, they have the 14″ round and a rectangular model too.
Hi, can someone help me? I have been making pizza for over 25 years. Both on the stone and in the pan. I make my own dough. I have tried everything! i can not get the crust to come out golden brown. And I know in is not my oven because I had 3 different ovens, and I even baked in friends ovens. Still comes out white. I tried brown sugar, malt syrup, oil, and one guy even told me to try a little crisco in the mix. Still comes out white. Even tried top rack and bottom rack. I always back at 500 or more. The pizza comes good just can’t get that color. Help!
Are you using our pizza dough? If so, which one? The results you are describing sounds like the pizza stone needs to preheat longer. If you have a thick stone, then it can take up to an hour to fully preheat. If the stone is not hot enough the dough will never bake fully.
I use a heavy gauge pizza pan and spray it with pam olive oil spray and I get a golden brown crispy crust. Stone isn’t the only way to attain great results 😉
I enjoyed this post. Thank you.
My Pampered Chef round pizza stone recently shattered while baking bread (with a pan of hot water on the rack below). It was at least a decade old, well loved and well cared for.
Have spent hours researching what stone to buy, a rectangular one this time. Oven is shy of 20″ wide. Somewhat limited by living in Canada (fewer choices and way more expensive).
Wondering: Can one leave the stone on the bottom rack of an electric?
Until I find something, will try my 10 inch cast pancake pan for pizza – great tip, thank you. Mine has barely any lip compared to your Lodge.
For bread I may have to stick to round loaves, one at a time.
I leave my stone on the lowest shelf of my electric, absolutely. And we’ve found that this method is very forgiving… anything with a high thermal mass will work. Stone, iron, steel. And a cast-iron pan works!
Have been baking pizzas and boules on 2 cast iron pans: one almost rimless tortilla/pancake pan and the other a fry pan. As I STILL haven’t settled on what my replacement “stone” will be (definitely rectangular, but will it be stone, cast, or the Emile Henry? sigh), I may just get a second flat round cast iron to tide me over.
I own a Pampered Chef stone given to me in 1997. The one Pampered Chef carries today is no comparison, much thinner and cheaply made. My stone has done it all…. Had never left the oven…. Maybe a trip or two to the grill. It has been very dark for 10 plus years and consistently puts out the best of everything that lies on it. Every food you can name at temps from 0-700 ish..
Came here looking for advice on getting flaking buildup off. I’ve always used just nylon scraper. Buildup is now flaking…will try large scraper above. Peace.
Interesting–the more recent entries from that company have generated a lot of complaints (cracking).
I’ve had my 16″ round Pampered Chef stone for over 10 years. We use it weekly to make pizza from scratch. No cracking or any other issues. I was looking here to get advise on a stone for baking bread- wondered if I needed a bigger surface. I think I’ll stick with my current stone.
Interesting about the variability with PC brand, can’t explain it. The bigger surface is mainly a convenience factor, it keeps cornmeal/flour from going overboard and burning on the bottom.
I have a PC stone from the same year (’97) and it also started this weird flaking thing 6 months ago or so. It’s a little disconcerting (as in, “Is this stuff gonna kill us?”) I hate to part with it so have just set it on the shelf hoping to wander across some advice on what to do one day on the net. Hey Tim – found any answers yet? 🙂 Peace to you too -Janine
Well, flaking is a new one for us with that product. Tough to recommend it, given what we’ve heard.
There are people that sand their cast iron so it has a smoother surface. I would think that you would be able to cut the lip down flush using an angle grinder and metal cutting wheel. Then finish it off with some sanding and reseason. Just an idea.
Well, we’re no experts on machine-shop tools, but it sounds like you know what you’re doing!
So I’m having to bake bread during holiday For my family. I will be traveling but my family doesn’t have a pizza stone but they have a glazed stone pie pan. Do I need to make any adjustments to baking time or
Do anything additional?
Hi. As long as you can preheat the pie pan and it is sturdy enough to not crack when you add the dough.
You can also use a cookie sheet or a cast iron pan.
Thanks….. i expected a list of pizza stones…….at least you said stay away from Pampered Chef
I’m researching pizza stone options as a Christmas gift for my sister, whose last (somewhat cheaper, thin ceramic one) cracked in the oven. I have the All-Clad soapstone pizza stone, which I love – it’s quite heavy and feels indestructible, and we get great crusts on all pizzas (whether we make from scratch or heat from frozen). I was going to get this one for her, but am wondering if there’s any comments regarding using a soapstone stone vs. the Lodge cast iron stone and which would make a better ‘overall’ stone for a casual pizza maker? I’m not 100% sold on the baking steel, mainly because there aren’t handles (and we both have very small ovens to try and maneuver in).
Well… can’t say that I’ve heard anything about the soapstone stones, so just don’t know. All I know is that the Lodge is much lighter, and it gives as good a result as the traditional ceramic stones.
I use my Lodge black cast iron dutch oven for baking artisan bread and it does a great job. It leaves a nice crispy crust. I like it a lot better than my baking stone.
The Dutch Oven is a wonderful alternative. The only constraint is the shape. If you’re not getting great results with your stone, let us know and we can help you improve your results.
Hello. I’m looking to buy my first stone and was considering purchasing the Old Stone version you recommended.
I was about to buy on Amazon when I noticed many bad reviews on the chemical smell. Many reported it being so intense that they returned the stone and went for something else.
The stone looks great and within budget, but could you speak to why so many people report a chemical odor?
I don’t recall my stone having that odor when I first used it, but it could just be that the stone is burning off dust from the packaging? I’ve never heard this complaint, but if you are concerned, you should contact the manufacturer and see if they have a better explanation.
I used the Old Stone 14×16 a few times and didn’t notice any odor. I just sniffed it up close and still don’t. The reason for “only a few times” is that it’s 1/2 inch thick. It has integral feet on the bottom that makes it taller than 1/2 inch, but the bulk of the area is 1/2 inch thick. I decided thicker was better; thicker stones are hard to find, but I found a 15″ round one that is 3/4 inch thick (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AFOIO3K/). It has less surface area than the 14×16, so it doesn’t work well for multiple loaves. But I have a small oven, and the 14×16 provided less than an inch of clearance to the walls, so that was another reason to switch.
What’s the advantage/disadvantage to using a baking stone if you’re baking in a loaf pan?
The stone doesn’t add much in this situation, unless your oven is very unevenly heating. And if you skip the stone, the pre-heat is just 5 to 10 minutes.
I have already made the master recipe Hello 26 of the Artesian bread in five minutes a day book.. can I add olive oil and a little sugar to the dodo to transform it to pizza dough?
Turn to page 134, that’s the recipe you’re looking for…
Thanks for the quick reply! However, I wanted to know if I could alter the dough I already have in the fridge by working olive oil and sugar into it.
Ah. Yes, but it is a bit challenging. Add a little water 1st. Then work in your additions plus a little flour to normalize moisture level.
After less than 1 month of maybe 7 or 8 uses my Pampeted Chef stone broke. I am hoping for a free replacement.
We’ve been concerned about that product for years, which is why this post mentions the cracking problem. I don’t know whether that company offers any warranty against breakage, you’d have to contact them (I doubt that they do–we don’t know of any company that guarantees against breakage).