Outlines how to clean a pizza stone easily, with instructions for the top kinds of pizza stones, and what you should never do when cleaning one!
Pizza stones have long since arrived in the modern kitchen. They not only offer an optimal preparation option for pizza, but also for tarte flambé, bread or cake cooking.
- How does a pizza stone work?
- What kinds of stones are there?
- Care starts with correct preheating
- Which is better – clean the pizza stone in a cool or warm state?
- Use the oven’s self-cleaning function to clean a pizza stone
- What to avoid when cleaning pizza stones?
- What to avoid doing:
- Can the pizza stone become unsanitary?Do you need to disinfect a pizza stone?
- ‘Peeling’ treatment for the pizza stone
- What do I do if I have cleaned the pizza stone incorrectly?
- Cleaning the pizza stone with the brush as a last resort
- Clean the pizza stone immediately after purchase
- Can I also use the pizza stone for various baked goods?
The advantage of pizza stones: Everything is baked crispy and tasty. The disadvantage: If you want to clean the pizza stone, it quickly becomes time-consuming. Some stains do not even come out of the material easily. But that need not be the case. With just a few tricks you can easily clean the pizza stone.
How does a pizza stone work?
Pizza stones are made from various natural materials, such as firebrick or cordierite. They store a lot of heat and then release it over the entire surface. The stone also absorbs moisture. Pizza, tarte flambée etc cook evenly and the base becomes wonderfully crispy. Pizza stones in various sizes are available in rectangular or round shapes for charcoal and gas grills.
What kinds of stones are there?
There are several types of pizza stone, all of which have individual cleaning requirements. There are a few things to consider so that you can clean your stone optimally. First we introduce the most important pizza stones.
Fireclay: Fireproof, made of quartz sand, inexpensive to buy, long warm-up time
Soapstone : Very good heat storage, even heat release, long warm-up time, comparatively cheap
Ceramic : low weight, short warm-up time, low heat storage
Cordierite : even heat release, good heat storage, long warm-up time
Every material has its individual properties, which I also show when cleaning. No matter how often you scrub the surface of your pizza stone, something will always stick to the stone with every baking process.
Experience shows that the fireclay pizza stone in particular is easy to clean and maintain. You should make sure that you do not use any harsh detergents and that you play the stone well with clear water after the treatment.
Ideally, remove the sticky remains immediately after preparing the pizza before they stick to the stone.
Care starts with correct preheating
A pizza stone can enchant your gourmet palate. If you want to enjoy it for as long as possible, there are a few small things to consider. However, one thing should be said in advance: don’t worry about stains on the stone that cannot be removed. Heating up on the grill or in the oven kills all germs . The further use of the pizza stone is therefore completely harmless.
Taking care of your pizza stone doesn’t start after you’ve baked the pizza. Preheating is also part of the care process, as this already reduces germs and burnt-in material. The high temperature when placing the pizza also ensures that the moisture in the dough evaporates quickly and that too much dough no longer sticks to the stone.
This also contributes to cleaning the pizza stone. If the bottom becomes crispy quickly, various ingredients run down less quickly; so do not get into the stone.
You should make sure that you preheat your pizza stone properly . To do this, you should:
- Place the pizza stone on the lower rail in the oven
- Set the oven to the highest setting (around 250 ° C) with top and bottom heat
- Wait at least 30 to 45 minutes for the stone to heat up properly
- With this in mind, the topping will quickly form a thin crust, which largely prevents the excessive release of liquid or topping.
Depending on the thickness and material, a heating time of approx. 45 minutes is recommended. If you use your pizza stone in the oven, select the highest level (for top and bottom heat) and prepare your pizza stone.
Ideally, you put it on the lower rail in the oven so that it heats up even faster. So that you can always use your pizza stone as cleanly as possible, here are some care tips for those in a hurry:
- Remove leftovers on the pizza stone when they are still slightly warm
- Use a kitchen scraper as an aid
- Carefully move the blade over the pizza stone
- Never clean the pizza stone when it is hot
- If particularly stubborn residues have formed, you can also clean the pizza stone, but you may have to use other aids. A stainless steel sponge can be helpful, although it must be used carefully. Just press gently and remove the remains from the pizza stone.
You shouldn’t clean the pizza stone too often or too intensely because each time you do this you are removing a layer of the stone. Cracks or small holes can appear in the surface, making dough and other debris easier to settle and more difficult to remove.
To get the surface of your pizza stone nice and smooth again, you can work it with a fine sandpaper and use it to smooth out any unevenness.
Which is better – clean the pizza stone in a cool or warm state?
Every pizza stone has different cleaning requirements. At best, you look at the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the pizza stone as well as possible and to take care of it. If you clean the pizza stone incorrectly, you may lose your guarantee. Since that is how you want, caution is always required.
Experience shows that the pizza stone can usually be cleaned particularly well when it has cooled down. Of course, you can remove cheaper or greasy residues (e.g. cheese) directly as they drip down on the pizza stone.
For larger surfaces, cleaning when it has cooled down is much better. You can then gently peel the cheese off, for example, and it won’t burn your fingers. We can make cleaning easier with these additional utensils / tips:
- Use a damp cloth or a damp cloth to wipe off
- The oven’s cleaning function often saves time when cleaning a pizza stone
You should avoid the following things in order to enjoy your pizza stone in the long term:
- do not scratch the pizza stone with the knife
- do not use chemicals
Use the oven’s self-cleaning function to clean a pizza stone
Do you have an oven with a self-cleaning function? Just use the pyrolysis program to clean your pizza stone quickly and easily. This saves you effort and the pizza stone is quickly cleaned again; is ready for the next use. Common small pressure washers for the household are also suitable for quickly removing dirty remains from the pizza stone.
If you decide to use the high-pressure cleaner, you have to expect a longer drying time. Since a large amount of water is applied to the pizza stone surface, it penetrates the pores more quickly and settles there.
You can speed up the drying process if you put the pizza stone in the sun after cleaning.
What to avoid when cleaning pizza stones?
There are a few things to avoid while cleaning the pizza stone. The fireclay stones in particular do not like water, because their material structure means that they absorb (too) quickly. Due to the higher proportion of water in the material, they tend to jump more easily if the water is not removed quickly.
They are therefore not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher or in the sink. You shouldn’t take a game with you for the fireclay bricks, because the creamy / cheap consistency of the game girl penetrates the structures and settles there.
It looks different with cordierite stones. Since most of them have a waterproof coating, you can simply clean them in the sink or with a small high-pressure cleaner. However, you should not use detergent for this so as not to destroy the surface coating.
What to avoid doing:
- lying in the water for hours (not suitable for most stones)
- aggressive kitchen cleaners for cleaning
- The use of too harsh types of stainless steel sponges or the too firm pressing of the scraper are also a no-go. This confirms the surface of the stones and makes them more susceptible to dirt and liquids. When cleaning, make sure that the stones have cooled down to avoid stress cracks.
- If you haven’t waited long enough to clean the pizza stone, the stone is usually still hot. If you use cold water for cleaning, tension is created on the stone, which can even make it crack.
- After you’ve cleaned the stone, you should wait for it to dry completely. If you get a still moist pizza stone, the same effect occurs and your stone can crack.
Take a close look at the material on your pizza stone. Are there any information from the manufacturer and care tips? Almost all pizza stones do not like chemical cleaning agents that attack the surface and destroy the protective layer. At best, like cleaning, a damp cloth or white sponge is suitable.
Can the pizza stone become unsanitary?Do you need to disinfect a pizza stone?
Every pizza stone looks stained after a while. Is that unsanitary? If you clean the pizza stone regularly, you will remove the residue from all baked food and fat.
However, since the latter is quickly absorbed into the structure of the stones, it can hardly be removed with water. Therefore, despite intensive cleaning efforts, residues remain over time from baking the pizza.
Basically, stains on the pizza stone may not be particularly attractive, but they are not unsanitary. Before you use the pizza stone, keep them at a certain temperature for a long time. This kills germs and other pathogens.
So you can safely put your new pizza on the possibly unsightly stone and you don’t have to worry about contamination from pathogens. Don’t worry because:
- Most pathogens die due to the high heat generated
- The surface of impurities can be removed by grinding (for example with sandpaper)
- However, if you have leftovers on the pizza stone, you should remove them as best as possible. If they continue to burn on the surface, toxic substances can form as a result. In addition, there is an unpleasant, burnt smell that can cloud the anticipation of a delicious, crispy pizza.
‘Peeling’ treatment for the pizza stone
If the pizza stone is so dirty that nothing else has worked, you can treat it to a “peeling” from time to time. The pizza stone is carefully rubbed with an emery paper. In this way, the last remnants of the last pizza can usually be removed.
What do I do if I have cleaned the pizza stone incorrectly?
One of the most common mistakes when cleaning the pizza stone is that users carelessly put it in the sink with water. In the worst case, add detergent and even let the pizza stone soak in nicely. Do you recognize yourself What happens if the pizza stone has come into contact with too much water? Do I have to dispose of it then?
Basically, of course, soaking in water is not a good idea. The use of detergent is also less suitable for a pizza stone. The reason is easy. If the pizza stone has drawn too much water, it can no longer dry out properly.
If you now prepare a pizza on this still damp stone, it will be meshed because the base is too damp. The tension can also cause the pizza stone to break or crack.
Leftover detergent in the pizza stone can also have negative effects on the food, because a pizza or other food can take on a soapy taste with detergent in the stone.
If it was applied floatingly to the pizza stone, you can try:
- Rinse the pizza stone again intensively with cold water to neutralize the taste
- To burn out the residue, but that is only partially recommendable
- If the stone has drawn too much water through cleaning, you don’t have to give it up yet. For example, you can dehydrate on low heat. Simply use the residual heat after grilling in the oven.
If you repeat this process several times, you may still be able to save the stone and use it for your pizza enjoyment again soon.
Cleaning the pizza stone with the brush as a last resort
If the surface of the pizza stone is particularly unsightly, many try to clean the stone with a wire brush. It depends on the wire brush, of course, but for most pizza stones this is not a good idea. The brush is too robust and penetrates too deeply into the material. This destroys the surface and makes the pizza stone porous.
Instead of a wire brush, simply use a soft sandpaper or an orbital sander. With the sandpaper you can work on smaller areas, which, however, is tiring in the fingertips / hand with a longer effort. To clean the pizza stone over a large area, an orbital sander with a soft sandpaper disc is recommended.
You can do the sanding several times. Make sure, however, that the pizza stone doesn’t get too flat. In order to guarantee ideal heat distribution, it needs a certain thickness. It depends on the material of your pizza stone. Experience has shown that the pizza stones are between two to four centimeters thick.
Clean the pizza stone immediately after purchase
Did you know that although the pizza stone is clean after buying it, it still makes sense to clean it? After purchasing the pizza stone and unpacking it, it could theoretically start. Before you use it for the first time, we recommend that you clean the stone first. Use a damp cloth for this and remove any dirt from manufacturing, delivery or packaging.
If you do not remove the dirt from the newly purchased pizza stone, small particles from the production can get onto your pizza, for example. Of course, the manufacturing processes are monitored particularly meticulously today, so that supposed metal splinters or other harmful substances can hardly be found on a product. Nevertheless, it is safer to clean the pizza stone with the damp cloth shortly before use.
When used for the first time, the pizza stone can smell a bit strange. You don’t have to let that deter you, because this is normal the first time the stone is heated. However, if the odor still occurs after repeated use, you should contact the manufacturer to clarify the problem.
If the pizza stone is cleaned without additional cleaning agent, the odorless. Only its baked goods on the stone can cause other odors.
Can I also use the pizza stone for various baked goods?
You can use a pizza stone not only for pizza, but also for bread, cakes or other baked goods. It is crucial that you observe the preheated temperature for the respective baked goods; some breads, for example, require a higher basic temperature than a pizza.
You can usually find information on this in the manufacturer’s baking book supplied. Before you put more baked goods on your stone, you should always clean it first for reasons of hygiene.
Remove the cheese from the pizza stone if you want to cook a cake afterwards. So that the taste of your cake is not adulterated by the cheese, you simply take a cloth and remove the cheese. Then you let the pizza stone dry and you can then bake your cake on it as desired.
Genevieve Dumas is a design, fashion, food and style writer who has worked on major magazines and mastheads in the United States and Europe.