A pizza stone is an invaluable kitchen investment. It turns ordinary family moments into exciting mini-feasts of delicious crispy pizza. However, if you just began using it, you might have realized how messy it gets, and you might also be unsure of how to clean it properly.
In this article, we provide a step by step guide on how to clean a pizza stone without damaging its quality.
Firstly though, here are important things to have in mind.
Things to know about A Pizza Stone
Never use soap or cleaning chemicals and detergents. Pizza stones are made of porous material that absorbs cleaning agents and other liquids. Accordingly, soap application can quickly ruin the quality of your stone by affecting the flavor and texture of pizza and anything else that you prepare on it.
Do not soak in water: Just like soap and other chemicals, pizza stone will also absorb water. The main challenge with water is making you end up with soggy instead of crispy pizza. Furthermore, a stone that has absorbed water can easily crack after getting subjected to high temperatures.
Store in the oven: The oven is one of the most appropriate places to store your pizza stone (Unless you are unsure about the quality of your stone). Firstly, the constant heat from baking helps with seasoning. Secondly, the place is safe from mold and moisture buildup.
Avoid spillage: A pizza stone is not one of those things that you clean every now and then. Furthermore, there is no easy way to restore it to its original appearance once things get messy. Try as much as possible to avoid spilling oil, cheese and any other thing on it.
Avoid rapid temperature change: You might be tempted to believe that this applies to glass only. On the contrary, drastic temperature changes will introduce cracks on the surface of your pizza stone. If you intend to remove your stone from a hot oven, give it some few minutes to cool down before placing it on a cold surface. Additionally, avoid placing frozen pizza dough on a hot stone. Note that these are just two examples of situations that can cause temperature issues.
Darkening is normal: A pizza stone will darken and develop stains after sometime. Do not rake your brain about it.
Try the oven cleaning cycle: If you believe that your pizza stone is in desperate need of revamping, consider placing it in the oven and turning on the oven cleaning cycle. Avoid this if you are unsure of whether your stone can withstand the heat.
Choose oil carefully: Some oil products are not meant for use on a pizza stone because of their smoking point. In fact, avoid adding oil to stone if possible because it will become non-stick as oil from the things you cook buildups to the surface over time.
Avoid cleaning with metallic objects: Metallic objects such as spatulas, brushes and knives will scratch your pizza stone thereby ruining its quality.
How to Clean a Pizza Stone
There are several methods that you can use to clean your pizza stone. Ideally, the method you choose should depend on the level of cleanliness that you intend to achieve.
It is important to light clean your pizza stone after every use. Besides removing on surface dirt, this helps with proper care and maintenance.
What you will need
- A stone brush / Spatula
- Hot water
- Damp cloth
- Clean kitchen cloth
Step 1: Take a completely cool pizza stone and use a stone brush or plastic spatula to remove sticky particles.
Step 2: Wipe off the dirt with a damp cloth
Step 3: If there are traces of stubborn sticky bits, rinse the stone with hot water and use the stone brush to scrub again.
Step 4: Wipe off the dirt and dry the moisture completely with a kitchen towel
Step 5: Allow the stone to air-dry for at least two hours before use.
Every now and then, your pizza stone might need a more thorough cleaning process. In this case, use baking soda. Unlike soap other kitchen detergents, baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that does not get absorbed into the pores of the porous stone.
What you will need
- Baking soda
- Mixing bowl
- Stone brush
- Damp cloth
- Kitchen towel
Step 1: Use a stone brush to scrub off stick bits from a cool pizza stone and wipe off the dirt with a damp cloth.
Step 2: Combine two tablespoons and enough water in a bowl to for a thick paste
Step 3: Apply the paste on the stone and use a brush to scrub gently until all the dirt clears
Step 4: Wipe off with a kitchen towel.
Step 5: Allow the stone to air-dry for sometime before use.
How to Clean a Burnt Pizza Stone
It is common for a pizza stone to get burnt and develop sticky bits of food that will not come out with the methods listed above. At this point, the solution is to bake it.
What you will need
Step 1: Transfer your pizza stone into the oven and begin by preheating at relatively low temperatures.
Step 2: Gradually adjust the heat settings until you reach 500°F.
Step 3: Let the stone bake for at least one hour.
Step 4: Allow your pizza stone to cool down.