The recommended cleaning method for a pizza stone depends on the material your stone is made out of. The directions for cleaning also differ for glazed and unglazed stones. Unglazed pizza stones shouldn’t be cleaned with water and soap. In fact, some manufacturers recommend cleaning the stone without the use of water. Make sure to read the instructions for use and care that comes with your purchase.
In this post, you will find some general tips on how to clean your pizza stone.
Before First Use
Before first use, rinse your stone with cool water to remove manufacturing residue and let it dry overnight. Place the stone in a cold oven and gradually increase the temperature until it reaches 500 F. Let the stone cool inside the oven. This will remove any excess moisture and prepare your stone for baking foods.
You don’t need to season your new pizza stone. It will develop a non-stick seasoning with regular use.
Stone absorbs oils and sauces and gradually becomes darker over time. It is normal for a pizza stone to get stained from grease and toppings, especially at higher temperatures. Discoloration that occurs over time will not affect the performance of your stone and can even give you better cooking results. However, baking high-fat items on the stone may produce smoke and unpleasant smells.
Don’t use a non-stick spray to treat your stone, as this can cause a sticky buildup which prevents seasoning and can be hard to remove.
Cleaning Pizza Stone
Once seasoned, your pizza stone only requires regular basic cleaning. To do the job, you just need a scraper and a pizza stone brush.
A pizza stone can be easily cleaned without water. Once the stone is cooled to room temperature, use a metal spatula or a plastic scraper to remove any stuck-on bits from the surface. Do not scrape the stone vigorously or use abrasives because this can remove the non-stick seasoning.
To keep the surface of your pizza stone clean, use the pizza stone brushes with natural brush bristles. Make sure the stone has cooled enough to be safe to the touch before using the brush on it. Pizza brushes usually have a built-in scraper for removing baked-on cheese and toppings stuck to the pizza stone.
Wipe the stone surface with damp paper towels to collect any remaining food particles and dust.
If your pizza stone gets wet, allow it to dry thoroughly before the next use.
Washing Pizza Stone
Pizza stones are not recommended to go into a dishwasher. The dishwasher detergent may affect the non-stick seasoning. But there are some exceptions. Emile Henry’s pizza stone, which is made of natural clay and has a glazed surface, says in its instructions that it is safe to put in a dishwasher.
Be sure the stone is completely cool before washing. Use the nylon scraper to scrape off any food residue from the surface. If your stone is glazed, just place it under a hot water stream as you scrape the surface with the nylon scraper.
Unglazed pizza stones tend to absorb moisture. If your pizza stone is porous, it is advised to just wipe with a damp cloth after scraping off the baked food.
Never use soap or detergent for washing because the porous surface of the stone will absorb cleaning liquids. If you use soap or detergent, you risk altering the taste of your next pizza. Detergents also can ruin the seasoning. This rule doesn’t apply to certain brands of glazed pizza stones, which can be washed using water and soap.
Pizza stones should not be used if wet. If you do hand wash your unglazed pizza stone, you should place it in the oven for an hour and slowly increase the heat. This way you will get rid of any excess moisture before the next use. Exposing the stone to extreme heat changes while it is wet can lead to stress cracks.
How to Remove Stains
To deep clean your pizza stone, use a paste of baking soda and water. Rinse the stone with hot water to loosen and scrape off baked-on foods. Spread the paste over the areas you want to deep clean. Let the paste sit for 15-20 minutes. Rub the stains gently until they are gone. Scrape off the remaining paste and rinse well. Dry stone thoroughly before reusing or storing.
Pizza stones are heavy and hard to move around. Many people choose to store it on the bottom shelf of the oven. Although this is the most convenient option, be aware that the stone absorbs heat when you are cooking other things in your oven. The initial heating of the oven will take longer with the stone inside, but on the other hand, it helps the oven retain heat better and can help with hot spots.