Pizza, the dish that never gets old. If you love pizza so much that you've ventured into making them at home, then you undoubtably have a pizza stone in your kitchen arsenal.
But unlike other cookware in your kitchen, pizza stones require special care. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as washing with soap. Not caring for your stone properly can cause damage, and even irreparable cracks.
Today, we are going to take a look at key do’s and dont's when it comes to cleaning a pizza stone. Let’s get started.
What is a Pizza Stone?
A pizza stone can totally transform your pizza game. This popular kitchen cookware allows you to get crispy, perfectly baked crusts that mimic traditional pizzas baked in brick ovens. The best pizza stones are made out of a porous material that helps eliminate moisture. The end result is a perfectly crisp pizza crust that has amazing texture and flavor.
How to Clean a Pizza Stone
While using a pizza stone is easy enough, after you know how to clean it properly, the whole process will be a piece of cake.
The number one rule to remember when cleaning a pizza stone is to avoid using any chemicals, dish soaps, or all purpose cleaners.
The surface of a pizza stone is incredibly porous and will soak in any substances that you use on it. If you clean your pizza stone with dish soap, your next pie will most likely have a slightly soapish taste.
To get your pizza stone sparkling clean again, you'll simply need some warm water, a rag, and a pizza stone brush. This tool is great to have on hand because it's a combination of a brush and a scraper. However, if you don't have one, you can use a nylon brush and a plastic scraper instead. Here’s how to get your pizza stone clean again.
1. Start by allowing your pizza stone to cool completely.
2. Add some warm water onto the surface of your pizza stone. Avoid using too much water because your stone will absorb it.
3. Use your pizza stone brush or nylon brush to scrape any gunk off the surface. For tougher spots, use your plastic scraper to scrape away burnt-on food.
4. Once all the residue is removed, wipe the surface using a slightly damp cleaning rag.
5. Once the surface is clean, allow your pizza stone to air dry completely before you use it again.
Never allow a freshly cleaned pizza stone to dry in a hot oven. The heat can cause the damp stone to crack.
How to Remove Stains from Your Pizza Stone
Over time, it's natural for stains to develop on your pizza stone. If you've been using the same stone for a long time, it'll develop burn marks that create a dark ring around the edge.
These stains are completely natural, occurring because of the cooking process, and will not hurt your pizza stone. Still, it's understandable why so many home chefs want to get rid of these burns and have their stone looking like new.
Here are some tricks to remove pizza stone stains that develop over time.
Use Parchment Paper
One of the best tips for avoiding stains altogether is using parchment paper. Before cooking your pizza, lay down a piece of parchment paper on your stone. You'll still get a nice crispy crust and avoid having to deal with grease and burnt food stains afterward.
Create a Vinegar and Baking Soda Paste
You can also use a vinegar and baking soda paste to lift away stains. Apply the paste directly onto your pizza stone and use your pizza stone brush or nylon brush to rub the paste in a circular motion.
Stains should start to fade away after a couple of minutes. Use a damp rag and wipe the paste off the stone. Ring the rag out and wipe the surface again to remove any leftover paste.
While this method will help fade stains, you probably won't be able to remove them completely. However, stains are just cosmetic imperfections and don't impact the performance of your pizza stone.
As tempting as it might be, never use dish soap to get rid of grease stains. Doing so will only cause more harm to your stone and effect the way it performs.
What to Do if Your Pizza Stone was Cleaned with Soap
If your stone has come in content with dish soap or any other cleaner, not all hope is lost. You can remove the soap, but it will take some time. Here’s what to do:
- Unroll a can of crescent rolls onto your pizza stone. You can also use a raw pizza crust. If you can, try to cover the entire surface of the pizza stone.
- Cook the crescent rolls or pizza crust as you would a normal pizza. Once cooked, remove from the oven and discard the rolls or pizza crust. Most of the soap in your pizza stone should be absorbed into the baked food.
- After the stone has cooled, wipe the surface of your stone with a damp rag and let it dry.
- Repeat the process if necessary. Depending on how much soap was used on your stone, you may need to go through this process one or two more times.
Avoid Doing this When Cleaning Your Pizza Stone
Sometimes, knowing what not to do will help in keeping your stone clean and performing as it should. Keep these tips in mind when cleaning your pizza stone:
- Never use dish soap, all purpose cleaners, or other types of cleaners when cleaning your pizza stone.
- Never soak your stone in water. Excess moisture in your stone can cause it to get moldy over time. Mold thrives in moisture, so try to keep your stone as dry as possible.
- Never dry a pizza stone in a hot oven. Doing so can cause cracks.
- Do not try to clean your pizza stone using your oven’s self cleaning function. Pizza stones can crack under such intense heat.
- Pizza stones are not dishwasher safe. The soap and extreme water exposure will damage the stone.
Pizza stones can be a tricky thing to take care of, but knowing how to clean your stone properly can significantly improve its performance and lifespan.
What are some of your favorite tips for keeping your stone looking and working great? Let us know in the comments section below!