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Are there differences in pizza stones?

  • j

I know there are different brands and shapes (round vs. square vs. rectangle), I imagine there are probably differences in material. Is there any difference in performance? Does one work the best?

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  1. I recently sprung for a Naturestone pizza stone, actually their griddle rather than their pizza stone, because it would handle pizza and could also be put over a grill or burner. It is a little thicker and doesn't offer as many sizes as their pizza stone, but their pizza stone is for oven use only, so I chose the griddle, which is very similar, but just a little thicker. I like it. My only complaint is that it was not cheap.

    My old pizza stone worked well but always smoked, and I assumed it was just a piece of closeout junk, since I found it for $10 at Tuesday Morning. It may have been caused by the seasoning process that was included with the instructions. I threw it out after the smoke alarms went off the last time I used it. So for me, the Naturestone works great, in spite of the price. I have heard raves about the Pampered Chef stone, but I don't want to get involved going to these parties.

    So yes, I think there are differences. If you want a pizza stone only, the Naturestone pizza stone is beautiful and has a handle that is decorative. If you want something heavier and like a decorative handle, or something you can cook with on other heat sources including a burner or outdoor grill, go with the griddle stone. It is probably also worth finding someone who is going to a Pampered Chef party to get one of their pizza stones, from what I hear. It also costs a fraction of Naturestone.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGC1982

      I had 2 Pampered Chef pizza stones and they both cracked. They were not abused and both were used as directed.
      I have since bought a Fibrament stone.and I love it. I use it in my home oven and also in my outdoor ceramic cooker.
      I think I paid around $55 for it.

      1. re: janzy

        We have several pieces of the Pampered Chef stone ware (jelly roll, flat rectangle, flat round, bread loaf, baking dish and the pizza stone) . All have performed really well, except for the pizza stone, which cracked during cooking (fortunately the pizza held together long enough to rescue without trashing the oven). We typically use the flats for traditional thin-crust pizza, and the jelly roll pan for thick crust pan-style pizza.

    2. Personally I prefer the pampered chef stone line and I own almost all of them, once they are well seasoned which you simply cook on them to get them that way, they are wonderful, I use them almost exclusively. Before they are seasoned you simply brush them with a lil cooking oil of your choice. They are more expensive than target, but they have lifetime guarantees. I have broken one before, the first time i used one many years ago, before I knew how to cook, I didn't read the directions and preheated the stone in my oven and then placed a forzen pizza on top of it. Of course it broke, I sent it back and they replaced it, no questions asked. PS-If you don't want to go to a show, don't, get the website of a consultant and order online, will be delivered to your house and you don't have to host a show, go to a show, or listen to the sales pitch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chris6331

        I love them, but they break. It doesn't matter how much I spend for them -- the $10 ones break and the $50 ones break. I realize now that I may be cooking incorrectly with them. However, I would not spend large amounts of money for them and if you do, remove it from the oven, clean it and store it properly.

      2. I have two cheap ones I got at one of those cavernous el cheapo pottery places. They seem to work fine so far. I leave them in the oven all the time and never clean them (I have a double oven). I heat the oven up to the max (550) on convection roast, which takes about an hour, and then bake the pizzas, which takes about 4 minutes, and so far no problems.

        1. All cooking stones crack eventually. Since my husband bakes bread and essentially tortures the stones (i.e., throwing glasses of water into the bottoms of 500 degree ovens -- it's a crust thang'), we moved to baking bricks. They are typical brick dimensions except that they are only a quarter of an inch thick. We bought 2 sets so that when one individual brick cracks, we just replace one from our stockpile.
          We've found them at Sur La Table perhaps the most consistently of all cooking stores but have had trouble locating them in the past (we usually buy new ones when we move).
          Since we have a gas oven (and boy does that suck), we keep the bricks in at all times, one set lines the bottom and the other is on the top rack which we can move down when we're baking. It gives us a more even temperature throughout the baking cycle.

          12 Replies
          1. re: sebetti

            I just bought a baking stone (William Sonoma b/c it was convenient) and I noticed that the instructions say that you can leave it in the oven all the time. Does doing so affect other cooking in any way? Thanks.

            1. re: MMRuth

              My oven runs a little warmer and it takes longer to cool off which could impact anything you allow to stay in the oven after you've turned off the heat. Since my oven runs a bit cool, I regard the impacts as beneficial.

              1. re: sebetti

                Thanks - my oven generally tends to run warm (I've been meaning to have it recalibrated), so I think I'll remove it. Though where I'll put the stone, I do not know!

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Save the receipt from your WS pizza stone. It has a lifetime replacement guarantee, even if you drop it. I was surprised to find that out when I bought one for my BIL (went to WS because it was convenient, like you).

              2. re: MMRuth

                I leave mine in the oven. The oven does indeed take longer to cool down, but I've never seen that as a problem and it sometimes works to my advantage. And I've not noticed that my oven is any hotter with the stone than it had been without. It does seem to retain heat more evenly (fewer hot spots) which is all to the good. I often freshen baked goods on the stone and will place some pies and tarts directly on the stone for baking since it ensures a wonderfully crisp bottom crust.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  It won't cause your oven to run warmer. The thermostat doesn't know what's in the oven. However, the stone will absorb some heat, so it will take a little longer for the oven to reach the set temperature. And in theory at least, it will release some heat when the burners cycle off, which, as Sebetti noted, reduces the variation of temperature, which is a good thing. Mine has been sitting on the bottom of the oven (actually 2 different ovens) for 4 or 5 years. Cover it with foil when you are not using it for baking to protect it from the random spill.

                  1. re: Zeldog

                    So, does everyone place their stone in the bottom of the oven? Perhaps this is why my results aren't spectacular?
                    I've always been afraid it would interfere with the heating function.

                    1. re: runninrob

                      My stone lives on the floor of the oven. As long as it's not so large as to impede proper air movement, it will affect the heating function in only positive ways.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        So when you bake something on it, it's also on the floor of the oven? The only thing I used it for so far is naan, and I think that recipe called for it to be in the upper third of the oven, so I did that. Hoping to try some bread baking when I get back from vacation.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Yes. I don't move it. I have a large Fibrament stone and it's rather heavy so I prefer not to lift it if I don't have to. I don't offhand recall a recipe that recommended a stone be placed in the upper third of the oven (never made naan), but I'm sure it's because the upper third of the oven is often hotter than the lower third. With the stone living on the floor of the oven, I think the heat distribution is more even making the upper or lower distinction somewhat less critical.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            That's very helpful - thank you.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              That's the reason we keep two sets in the oven. One on the bottom that never moves and a layer at the top that can be switched to level that we need. Since we actually use the stones more often for bread than pizza, it's important.

              3. This is going back to several posts regarding pizza stones over the last few years. We are potters and use a kiln shelf for a pizza stone. You can get them at any pottery supply house (most large cities have them). They're available in many sizes, round decahedron and square. The materila is cordierite which is the same as many of the commericial stones. Very resistant to thermal shock, lower cost than commerials stones, available in several thicknesses. Can be ordered online from suppliers....just google "pottery supply" (your state abbreviation). They will need to be seasoned.

                Tom Wirt
                Clay Coyote Pottery, MN

                1 Reply
                1. re: coyotepots

                  What an excellent idea. I checked the website of a pottery supply place here in SF, and they carry a wide range of shapes and thicknesses. The prices are just a little bit lower; you can get a 5/8 inch thick stone for about the same price as a 1/2 inch at a kitchen place. But if you have a larger than standard oven and want more baking surface you might find just the right stone. I'll keep that in mind if my current stone breaks.