Your pizza stone requires special care. Clean and remove stains with water and products recommended by manufacturers. The ceramic pizza stone is designed to perfect pizza cooking in home ovens; the baking science behind the pizza stone works just as long as the product is properly used and cared for. Each time you bake with it, use the same method to clean the stone and remove surface food particles.
Why So Special
The pizza stone helps your home oven work like the brick ovens of pizza shops, according to the website Fine Cooking. Place pizza directly on the stone; when it is in the oven, the porous stone absorbs heat and maintains a consistent temperature throughout the stone. The heat retained by the stone extracts moisture from the pizza dough, which helps make the crust crispy. The surface and porous nature of the stone are important to the cooking process, including the taste of the pizza.
What Not To Do
Proper cleaning of the pizza stone begins with what you should not use to clean it.
Never use any type of soap or detergent to clean your pizza stone. The porous stone will absorb the soap and pass that taste on to the pizza.
Don't immerse the pizza stone in water or place it in the dishwasher for cleaning.
Although you can leave the pizza stone in the oven between uses, remove it when you use the oven’s self-cleaning cycle to prevent breakage.
Cleaning the Stone
Hand clean the pizza stone with a cloth and water before using it the first time. For cleaning after subsequent uses, let the pizza stone cool before removing it from the oven and cleaning it. Although you might not clean the pizza stone after every use, when you do, hand clean it with plain water and a cloth. Use a nylon pad to wipe away stubborn food particles.
Removal of Stains and Food
Stains that develop on your pizza stone after repeated use are normal and will not affect its function. However, if you need to remove stains, you can safely use a brush or nylon pad to apply a paste made of water and baking soda to the stone and then rinse it clean, according to pizza-stone manufacturer Williams-Sonoma.
Remove baked-on food from the pizza stone with a plastic scraper, medium-grit sandpaper or a dry brush with stiff bristles, and then wipe it with a damp cloth, as recommended by Fine Cooking. You can also purchase a pizza stone brush for removing stains and food.
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Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.
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