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Pizza Stone Help [Moved from DC/Baltimore Area board]

I was planning on making pizza this weekend and am in need of a pizza stone. My boyfriend works at a countertop supplier where he can get granite, slate, soapstone and all kinds of stone. I was wondering if I could use any of it as a pizza stone. If so, which type of stone and I'm assuming not polished/sealed.......?

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  1. If you ask this question over at www.pizzamaking.com I'm sure you will get some advice. Aside from store-bought stones and a great one made by Fibrament, I've only heard of folks using unglazed quarry tile. I don't believe the ones you mentioned (granite, slate, etc.) are viable alternatives.

    1. a pizza stone is more of an unglazed ceramic. You can get them just about everywhere these days, but most restaurant supply stores have the best selection and the best price.

      1. A few unglazed terra cotta tiles should do the trick. Baker's Catalogue sells the Cook's Illustrated highest rated baking stone, if you don't mind waiting and paying for the $$$$hipping.

        1. A natural, unglazed terracotta tile is the way to go. Confirm with whoever you buy/get it from that is is totally natural and lead free. And please measure the inside of your oven first! Then go to a tile store, and ask for a free sample tile. Voila - free pizza stone.

          Season it in a low oven for a couple of hours, and then it should be good to go. Make sure you put it in a cold oven whenever you use it - if you put a tile in a preheated oven, the sudden change in temperatures can lead to cracking. You can even keep it in your oven permanently if that's easier than remembering to put the tile in before preheating the oven.

          Enjoy - the tile makes all the difference in home made pizzas.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Gooseberry

            I went to Lowes and bought a big piece of terra cotta in the garden section---it was intended to be the bowl that holds water under a big pot for plants. I put it in the oven upside down and just leave it there. It seems to work fine. Is there any reason not to use one of these??? I have no idea about whether there is lead in it for example.

            1. re: johnb

              Why take a chance? Bite the bullet and buy a pizza stone that is guaranteed safe. Killer-pizza is a good thing....pizza that kills is quite something else. jmho

              1. re: grampart

                I agree, that would be one of those ways to die that when you heard the report you'd kinda laugh, like the inexpereinced mushroom hunters. We've been doing the pizza grill stone on our gas grill (recenly updated to natural gas from propane, automatic bonus heat from 450 on propane to 650 plus on gas) 5 minutes on that grill pizza stone (It comes with a raised steel platform, even a store bought pizza stone will crack directly on the grill) yeah, it was 99 bucks, but pro tasting crunchy, thin crust amazing pizza as opposed to that "not quite" situation I got in the oven for years. I just amort it over the cost of 5 deliveries since the ingredients run less than 5 bucks even if you use buffallo mozz!

                1. re: PinotPlease

                  We love our Williams Sonoma grill-top pizza stone--sure, I wish we could have spent less, but we use it all the time and will have it for a long long time. I think it's money well-spent.

                  ~TDQ

          2. I believe All-clad makes one out of soapstone.

            1. I made the mistake of using a marble pastry board as a pizza stone. It held the heat ok, but didn't wick the moisture away from the dough and eventually cracked. As others have noted, commercial pizza stones are actually ceramic, but I'll bet an unsealed, porous natural stone like slate would work quite well. Soapstone is supposed to have really good thermal properties, but it's not very porous, is it?

              1. I go to Home Depot or Lowe's and buy 12-inch unglazed clay tiles for under $2 a piece. (They are sometimes called something in Saltillo (sp?)...used for floors in Spanish style homes.) I get a couple. Wash 'em good. Season with oil. I use them constantly in my grill. They eventually crack, but usually in two or three big pieces, and I just push 'em together. I often stack 'em two high for great heat retention. I preheat grill with tiles on, then assemble my pizza right on the tiles.