If you start drooling just by looking at the image above, you are just another pizza fan among billions of others around the world. As seen on this page, this delicacy conquered the world decades ago and is still one of the most popular dishes among all generations.
The reasons behind the popularity of this food are ease of making, diversity, and the fact that you can have a slice anyplace, anytime. If you have some cooking skills, pizza was probably one of the first types of pastries you have ever baked.
Unfortunately, the traditional ovens and grills are never designed for pizza baking. They both lack the heat required to produce the crispest crust without burning the toppings. Most domestic stoves cannot get hotter than 400-450°F, while commercial ovens can heat up to 900°F. But if you try pizza stones instead of traditional tins and trays, you will get something close to the restaurant delicacy.
How Pizza Stone Works
The pizza stone is a flat, thin slab that warms up quickly. It acts as an additional high heat conveyor belt in the stove or backyard grill. This baking surface will keep the steady and well-distributed temperature inside the oven. By doing so, you will not get the crust that is burnt down and toppings without any flavor.
If you would bake pizza in an ordinary pan, you will get a dried and tasteless flatbread. That would happen because the tray is made of tin or aluminum. The steam that comes out of the dough while baking cannot pass through these materials and remains trapped below. You get a not very representative dish, which is toasted on the upper side, and gooey and raw on the lower side.
By using a stone, you are making sure that your dishes are cooked to the highest level. Also, because this slab acts as an extra conveyor belt, the amount of time it takes to get the pizza ready will be substantially reduced.
Choice of Materials
Now that you know what a pizza stone is, let us look at how to buy the one that suits your needs and budget. Most people go with metal as it is the cheapest one, but that does not diminish its effectiveness. You should buy a cast-iron slab because it usually has handles, making it easy to transfer to and from the oven. It also will not break easily.
Ceramic and clay are more expensive baking surfaces, but they are great for baking thinner dough. If you like a crispy crust, these should be your choice. These materials need more time to preheat than metal. Also, ceramic stones need special attention, as they should be preheated gradually. These slabs are great for modern ovens with good heat control options.
Pick the Right Size
It is not just the type or style of pizza stone that makes a difference. If you are buying one for your kitchen, make sure it is something that will hold up under regular use. While there is no single best shape or style of these slabs, there are some things to consider before purchase.
The shape of the surface is not too crucial for baking the perfect crust, but you have to think about it because it directly impacts the dimensions and the ability to adapt to your oven’s measures. The pizza stone should be smaller than a stove to fit easily and not damage its walls.
Larger pizza stones are suitable for baking pizza and all kinds of pastries and flatbreads and roasting chicken, steaks, vegetables, etc. These slabs come in handy for use on outdoor grills and stoves, as several pizzas can be baked on them at the same time.
Places to Buy Baking Stones
If you are wondering where to buy a stone, the first thing coming to your mind is retail stores. Well, if you have a brick-and-mortar store offering this equipment, it is probably the best place to go. When shop for something in person, you get what you see. These stores usually carry many different models and brands, so that you have more options available.
You also need to do some research on the Internet. Going online will give you plenty of options to choose from. You must know what baking surface you need. Only that way, you will not get confused by a broad range of types, materials, and sizes of pizza stones available.
Check Online Offers
Online shopping is a great way to find a pizza stone. You can shop around, look at all the different models, and get some good deals. Just remember that you are paying for shipping, so do not get ripped off.
The easiest way to start your search is to type keywords like ‘pizza stone Amazon’ or ‘best baking surface for dough.’ The first results you see are probably those offering top-selling products or various discounts. Research them, as you can run onto pretty good deals.
Although baking stones are not expensive things, you should not waste money on those you will not use. You can never be sure what you will get until it arrives, but you can have peace of mind if you check the sellers before your purchase. The more positive comments you read, the better. Experiences of others can be quite useful when deciding when and what to buy.
So where should you buy a stone? You cannot go wrong with any of these options. The only requirement is to do a quick check of products and sellers before you give any money. Ensure that the manufacturer has a very good reputation. Check out the stone’s warranty information before you buy it as you need to be protected from any product defect.
When you are making pizza at home, you usually use the highest temperature settings. That is not enough to get this delicacy ready in a matter of minutes so baking can last, and the result still will not be the same as the dish you order or eat at restaurants. A pizza stone completely changes this game.