Best Way to Clean a Pizza Stone
The best way to clean a pizza stone is easier than doing push-ups and only involves the use of some water. It’s best to use water that is hot; but do not ever use detergent or soap. Using a stone brush or scouring pad to scrub it thoroughly is recommended. Wipe away any particles left on the stone with a damp cloth. Dry the stone with a clean cloth or let it air dry.
Did you know that pizza stones are not genuine stones at all? They are made of cordierite, ceramic, or composites. You can also get a “baking steel” these days, which is made of metal alloys.
Pizza stones have a porous surface that helps to cook pizza in the oven to just the right finish. Because they are so porous, they require special care when cleaning. Cleaning it the wrong way could cause the stone to lose its effectiveness or to spread strange tastes and bacteria into your pizza.
Cleaning A Pizza Stone With Water
Experts say that it’s crucial to never submerge a pizza stone entirely in any liquid. Never let it sit in water to soak. In fact, you should expose it to as little liquid as possible.
Any liquid that penetrates the pores of a pizza stone can ruin the way your pizza bakes. Don’t use any detergent, soap, cleaning chemicals, or oil on the pizza stone. As the stone heats up, the liquid or chemical residue left in the pores can release gases that will ruin the taste of the pizza.
So, before your pizza stone is cleaned, first make sure it’s completely cooled. Running water over the stone while it’s hot could cause it to break. You also risk burning yourself against the stone since they can handle temperatures of around 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the pizza stone is cool, you should hold it under a small stream of running hot water. How long you do this depends on how dirty it is, but it should not be longer than two to three minutes. If there’s some residue that won’t come loose, there are some tools that you can use to help.
Once the water has been passed over the pizza stone, use a clean rag or towel to dry it or allow it to air dry. Do not return it to the oven immediately since the moisture can expand from the heat and crack the stone.
The Best Tools To Clean A Pizza Stone
Pizza stones require all the care that you can give them. There are a number of tools to use that could help you achieve the best results without ever using soap on it. Tools that are thin so they can easily slide under food that is stuck to the stone will work best.
Certain tools can scratch your pizza stone, so it is advisable to use them carefully and only under extreme circumstances. Some commonly available tools include:
- Bench scraper or dough scraper
- Table knife
- Stone brush (Bristle brush)
- Scouring pads
- Some unconventional options, like a toothbrush or sandpaper (not too rough, please!)
Be gentle when using any of these tools. Scratching the stone’s surface could make it even more challenging to clean the next time. It could also affect the stone’s ability to retain heat, making it less effective.
If you have a portable outdoor pizza oven, the pizza stone may be removable which makes it easier to clean.
How To Remove Pizza Stone Stains Or Mold
If your pizza stone has food smudges or stains, it’s not a bad sign. It only means that the stone is being used and that you are genuinely a pizza lover. Since you should preheat your pizza stone with the oven, any bacteria that could be hiding in or on the stone will be killed by the high temperatures.
Mold on your pizza stone is a different matter. If there is mold on the stone, that means that the stone still had moisture trapped inside the pores while being exposed to the oven’s high temperatures.
Mold can be removed by using a paste made of vinegar and baking soda:
- First create the paste by using a dash of vinegar and a teaspoonful of baking soda
- Then place the paste directly on the mold and use a stone brush to lightly rub the stone
- Lastly, wipe off the paste using a dampened cloth or rag
If this method did not help remove the mold, it is highly recommended that you throw the stone away. Do not use this cleaning method all the time, only in extreme circumstances or in the case of mold.
Caring For Your Pizza Stone
We’ve looked at the best way to clean your pizza stone. Let’s look at some tips on how to care for it so that your stone won’t need complicated cleaning and to make it last longer.
- Keep your pizza stone in the oven (after it has fully dried). Handling the pizza stone as little as possible between uses will extend its durability.
- Always preheat the pizza stone while preheating your oven or outside grill. Let it reach the temperature required while pre-heating the oven or grill—before baking the pizza the stone should be pre-heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Never lay a cold pizza stone on a surface that is hot. This may cause the stone to crack.
- Never use the oven or grill to dry your pizza stone. Any water that is trapped in the pores will cause the stone to crack.
- If not stated by the manufacturer of the stone, It is not necessary to cure or season a stone beforehand. It will cure on its own as you use the stone.
- Do not rub the stone with oils after washing. This does nothing to protect the stone and could only cause damage, wear, and sour tastes in your pizza.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pizza Stones Dishwasher Safe?
Washing a pizza stone in the dishwasher is definitely not recommended. Placing the stone in the dishwasher exposes the pores to too much water.
You also do not want any of the dishwasher soap or cleaning salts to go into the pores of the pizza stone. You want to keep the pizza stone as dry as possible, and the dishwasher is anything but dry.
Can Pizza Stones Contain Bacteria?
Bacteria can survive in temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Pre-heating the pizza stone to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above ensures that any bacteria will be killed.
Should I Oil A Pizza Stone?
It is never recommended that you use oil on a pizza stone. The oil in the pizza dough is all that is needed to ensure that the pizza shouldn’t stick to the stone.
Can A Pizza Stone Be Used On The Grill?
You will find that all pizza stones are different. While pizza stones are generally made to use in an oven with an indirect heat source, there are some stones that can be used on the grill with direct heat. Make sure you understand and know the user’s guide of your pizza stone. You do not want your stone to crack or even explode from the direct heat.