How do you Clean a Pizza Stone?
Pizza lovers know that the perfect pizza crust can make or break a pizza. Using a baking sheet is the number one mistake that home cooks make when trying to achieve the perfect crust. However, the solution is simple: use a pizza stone. With its unique ability to reach high temperatures, it is the only cookware that can achieve the crispy crust you want. But what about the care and cleaning of a pizza stone? Don't worry; it's easier than you might think, and it's well worth the effort to make the best pizza you've ever had at home.
What is a pizza stone made of?
In order to take care of a pizza stone properly, it helps to know what it is made of. The stone that comes with this Deco Gear 2-in-1 Pizza Oven and Grill is made of ceramic, but other types of pizza stones can be made from a range of materials like cast iron, porous stone, and carbon steel. The commonality between all pizza stones, and what makes them able to create the crispy crust you want, is that the material has a porous surface, meaning that there are tiny spaces which allow for hot air to pass through the hot pizza stone’s surface.
What makes cleaning different?
Much like a cast-iron skillet, a pizza stone is not meant to be cleaned in the same way you would clean your average stovetop cookware. Because of the porous material, you won’t want to use soap and water because the cookware will absorb the dish soap which may affect the taste of your homemade pizza. Also, most pizza stones are not dishwasher safe for the same reason. As difficult as it may sound, it is easy to get your pizza stone clean after regular use with some simple tips.
Cleaning a Pizza Stone After Regular Use
No matter what you do, you likely will have bits of food left on your pizza stone after usage. Here are the steps to follow for everyday cleaning:
Step 1: Allow the pizza stone to cool completely
Your pizza stone is designed to withstand high heat from a hot oven, grill, or stovetop. Once you've finished cooking your pizza, you will want to let your stone cool completely. This step is crucial to avoid thermal shock, which can cause the stone to crack if temperature changes occur too quickly.
Step 2: Remove any remaining debris
Once the pizza stone has cooled, use a metal spatula, a stainless steel scraper, or a stone brush to remove any remaining food debris or excess flour. You don’t want to scrub too hard or you could scratch the surface; Remember to go gentle with your cleaning tool. The purpose is not to use it like sandpaper! If there is any stubborn burnt food left on the stone, you can use a damp cloth to wipe it off, but this step is not necessary—the patina on your stone should be a source of pride! Besides, stains are likely only be cosmetic and won’t affect the flavor of your pizza or cleanliness of your cookware.
Step 3: Store the pizza stone in a dry place
After cleaning the pizza stone, make sure it is completely dry before storing it. Store it in a dry place to prevent any moisture from accumulating, which can cause the stone to crack.
How to deep clean a pizza stone
If your pizza stone has developed excessive pizza dough buildup or an unpleasant odor, it's time to give it a deep clean. While it’s not recommended that you deep clean your pizza stone after every use, this baking soda trick has plenty of subscribers who swear it’s among the best hacks for the stuck-on food and grime that accumulate over time. Here's how to do it:
Step 1: Mix a cleaning solution
Mix a solution of equal parts hot water and baking soda in a bowl.
Step 2: Apply the cleaning solution to the pizza stone
Using a plastic spatula or cloth, apply the cleaning solution to the pizza stone. Make sure to cover the entire surface, including the edges.
Step 3: Scrub the pizza stone
For this step you want to be sure you are not using something too abrasive like a toothbrush or scouring pads. A soft washcloth should be a fine tool to use. With it, gently scrub the stone in circular motions to remove any stains or odor. Be careful not to use too much pressure, as this can scratch the surface of the stone.
Step 4: Rinse the pizza stone
Once you've finished scrubbing the stone, rinse it thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining residue.
Step 5: Dry the pizza stone
Using a dry cloth or paper towel, wipe the pizza stone dry. Let it air dry for a few hours to ensure it is completely dry before storing it.
Using a pizza stone is the key to achieving the perfect pizza crust. While some may shy away from using one due to the care and cleaning involved, it is easier than you may think. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your pizza stone lasts for years and continues to produce the most delicious, crispy crusts. Check out this Deco Gear 2-in-1 Pizza Oven and Grill which comes complete with a pizza stone to put your summer cooking skills to the test.