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How do you clean a pizza stone?

This is driving me crazy! The other day I made a pizza, but I messed it up a little when I was sliding it off the stone! The mozz. cheese got stuck on it, and now the whole stone looks so filthy and disgusting!

Should I use Easy off?

Thank you for any help!!

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  1. Unfortunately, pizza stones will not retain their pretty looks. Other than food soils, the rest (stains/darkening) simply adds character.

    I would bake it a few hours, and brush the burnt offerings off. I would never expose my stones to even water, let alone any chemical.

    8 Replies
    1. re: RShea78

      Thanks for the advice! I feel better now! Have a great day!!!

      1. re: RShea78

        So I just picked up a stone at a yard sale and "cleaned" it with Comet. Should I toss it or will putting it in the oven on self-clean rid the chemicals?

        1. re: weemaa

          I would rinse it thoroughly with water, let it air dry, and then slowly bring it up to max heat in the oven.Set the oven at 300 with the stone inside and, after the oven reaches the temp, leave it for 30 minutes. Then increase the heat to 400 and leave it for 30 minutes. Repeat at 500 and leave it for an hour. This is the process that Fibrament suggests for their new stones to slowly get rid of any excess moisture. Oh yeah, DON'T "clean" it like that ever again.

          1. re: grampart

            I have a cheap pizza stone that I've been aggressively cleaning for probably 15 years and there's no problem. These are not litters of kittens :)

            1. re: c oliver

              I guess the stone manufacturers don't know what they're talking about when they tell you to not clean.

          2. re: weemaa

            Toss it and buy a new one! I just bought one for $9! The stone absorbs chemicals and soap, which is why you're not supposed to clean it with anything. The only thing you should do to clean a pizza stone is wait for it to cool and dry brush whatever's been left on top, ie. flour, toppings, etc.

            1. re: darsin45

              Agreed. Toss it. Pizza stones are porous, and will absorb a ton of the chemical that you used to clean it. If you don't want your pizza to taste like Comet for years, get a new one.

              The only cleaning a pizza stone needs is to be preheated in the oven, and have the burnt bits brushed off. A used pizza stone is a thing of beauty, all stained and darkened. I believe the interior decorator term for a well-used pizza stone is "distressed".

        2. When my Fibrament stone gets especially nasty looking, I take it out and use a stiff brush and a gentle scraping with a putty knife. NEVER use something like Easy-Off!! It doesn't get really "like new" clean but, since it's always on the bottom shelf in my oven, no one ever sees it anyway.

          2 Replies
          1. re: grampart

            My pizza stone was MIA for several years and I recently found it about a month ago. I've made a few pizzas on it, most of which have turned out well. I read somewhere to keep your pizza stone on the bottom of the oven all the time. So that's what I've been doing, leaving it in there even when I'm baking or cooking something else in the oven (I have gas). The stone is now a very dark brown. Is this normal, or am I burning it? Should I be leaving it in the oven when I'm cooking and the heat is on?
            Thanks

            1. re: mschow

              I leave mine in the oven all the time. It's been in there for years. It hasn't harmed it at all.

              As others have said, you don't want to use any chemical or even soap to clean the stone. Stones are porous - you'll never get out what you've put on it. Don't even use water. Just take it out of the oven (once it's cooled - you don't want it to crack) and scrape it off. Mine has spots of differing colors of brown all over it ... doesn't mean it's bad and it works fine.

          2. oven on self clean to clean it. It will look like new. Otherwise regular high heat should burn off solids.

            Rest assured discoloration does not affect performance. And as others have said, no liquids whatsoever.

            1. Can anyone please recommend a pizza stone for a gas oven for home use? Any websites that have any recommendations? Thanks!

              1 Reply
              1. Other than looking spot blac/brown, it seems as if the discoloration has no adverse effect on use and may even have a slightly positive effect. Does it make a difference if I use my stone in a gas or electric oven?

                1. I'm so amazed by reading what all have written. I've always washed my stone just like I would wash anything else. I haven't tasted any off flavors. But I'm certainly willing to change. When you say store in the bottom of the oven, you mean on the bottom rack? Then if I bake something and want to use that rack, do Ijust put the pan on top of the stone? I learn so much on this board.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver

                    Yes, put it on the stone, this helps the oven retain heat and might help with hot spots. On the other hand it will make the initial heating of the oven take longer, this is counteracted in a longer cooking time though as far as energy costs.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I wash mine in the dishwasher, no problem at all, cleans it up good, I don't know where the idea of not washing it came from, makes no sense to me - please someone, tell me why it really is not good.....

                      1. re: cheri

                        The material is porous, odds are some of the detergent you're using it remaining in the stone. This is alleviated by the fact that most of the time you're heating the stone up way hotter than most chemicals you'd be able to taste would survive. If you really must clean the stone I'd suggest running it through the next time you self clean your oven. Though odds are any possible poisoning is highly overblown.

                        1. re: rockfish42

                          I see 2 items that is on the "thou shall not do" list. (RE: c oliver to rockfish42)

                          1) Do not wash
                          2) Remove before using cleaning cycles.

                          For the most part the stone itself is moisture absorbent of which seldom causes any issues to speak of.

                          Water or washing the stone, can cause the liquids to be trapped into the the pores (causes stress cracks when reheated) or wash out the pores of the stone (stone solubility). Either way the stone's life can be shortened.

                          Cleaning cycles is too much of a shock concerning the already mentioned "moisture absorbency" factors.

                          I believe we are discussing pizza stones that is based on "soapstone" or uses soapstone in the manufacturing process.

                          1. re: RShea78

                            Fibrament stones are made to be used at temps up to 1500 degrees. As far as stones surviving the cleaning cycle of an oven, some pizza makers have reported disabling the door lock on their oven and actually cook their pies using the cleaning cycle. Personally, I get excellent results at the regular high temp from my electric oven (550+) as long as I allow for an hour of preheat.

                            1. re: grampart

                              See FAQ 11 at the link below...

                              http://www.bakingstone.com/faq.php

                              In most homes, the ceiling and the upper wall sides of the oven, do get some food spit residue that can drop on the stone.

                              When I called the technical staff at FibraMent, they also referred me back to FAQ 13; Why is it necessary to predry/temper the stone? See link text

                              It is unfortunate that our own hunger makes us do things in a rush, skipping the proper procedures.

                              1. re: RShea78

                                Thankfully I don't have a Fibrament stone (so those "proper procedures" don't apply) and mine has been just fine in the oven for the past 6 years, even during self-clean.

                                1. re: tommy

                                  The proper procedures for Fibrament stone do apply to a large majority of other pizza stones, however- not all manufacturers has easy web access to their own handling procedures.

                                  You should know there is just 2 basic types of pizza stones. Fibrament is somewhat a proprietary type of soapstone (type1) and there is the earthen clay (type2).

                                  The soapstone type offers some resistance to carelessness or abuse.

                                  As far as the clay type, they just do a Patsy Cline number, and eventually, fall - to - pieces...

                                  1. re: RShea78

                                    i'll be sure to report back when my already 6 or 7 year old stone breaks from all of that horrible handling in the oven and I have to buy another non Fibrament stone for 20 bucks.

                            2. re: RShea78

                              Well, there is one caveat to running it through the cleaning cycle that I failed to mention. If there is a lot of gunk, it's going to smoke like crazy. There's also the small chance that if your oven heats unevenly the stone could crack.

                      2. I've been reading this link and thought, hey, why not try something new? But then I thought that I've had the same pizza stone (not a "designer" one) forever. I've washed it every time I use it and store it in a drawer. I DO put it in the oven just as I'm turning it on so that the temp change is gradual. I've had no off flavors, no breaking. If I didn't wash it, I'd probably get some smoking which I'd just as soon do without. Guess I'll stick with the old way. But this has been interesting to read and if I ever get a high-falutin' stone, I'll definitely follow the instructions. Thanks.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: c oliver

                          do you have a self cleaning oven? if not, I understand why you're doing what you're doing. But if you DO...then think how much easier it will be never touch your stone again! Just put it on the bottom rack of your oven and leave it there, til death do you part. Fun the self cleaning cycle as needed.

                          The only downside to this is that when I remodeled the kitchen, I accidentally left the stone in the old oven when I gave it away to one of the workers.

                          1. re: danna

                            I find it no problem at all to give it a quick wash down. I think people may get a tad carried away about some mystique surrounding pizza stones. As I've mentioned, Idon't even know how old mine is and I wash it and the food doesn't taste like detergent or anything but pizza.
                            PS: I also put chef's knives in the DW but that's heresy for other threads :)

                            1. re: c oliver

                              If you have good results cleaning your stone, by all means, do it. However, I think anyone thinking of doing the same with theirs should be aware that most (if not all) manufacturers of quality stones advise against it. Besides, there is really no need to do it unless you just get a kick out of being contrary.

                              1. re: grampart

                                I use my pizza stone more often than I clean my oven. Any other method seems more "contrary" than just giving it a quick wash.

                        2. My pizza stone has lived in my oven for over 20 years. When I run the self cleaning cycle it stays right in there and gets a good clean up. No cracks, chips or anything else. I just brush the ash off and it is read to go.,

                          1. I get the no soap if it absorbs, but what's so bad about using water? (I say this because, well, I used water this morning to loosen a huge burnt up mass of cheese and sauce, though I did stay away from soap).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: SaraBClever

                              If the water gets into a thermally stressed area, then you add heat, it could fracture. On the other hand- some materials are water soluble

                            2. I usually just brush it off when it's cool and try to scrape off things that are stuck on. If it needs scrubbing, I usually scrub it with a metal brush under water, sometimes with soap if there's enough oil to start forming a glaze. Otherwise, I leave it in the oven all the time. Eventually the stains turn into a more uniform brown patina.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                I actually had MOLD growing on the stone - it was left for a week with damp wooden chopping boards and everything got moldy. I've scrubbed it off, but of course it still smells like mold. Do I do the "very-hot-oven" treatment, or "soak-it-in-warm-water-and-dry-it- repeatedly" approach?
                                A second question: I have an electric oven (this part of NZ does not have natural gas for homes) and I wonder about the advice to leave the stone in the oven permanently. Advice?

                              2. Our pizza stone stays in our gas oven all the time... even through the monthly self clean cycle.
                                Never had a problem, never worried about having a problem, never lost sleep about it.

                                G.

                                1. I got a hand-me-downed pizza stone about 5-6 years ago and it "lived" with my mother for 2-3 years before that. It has always stayed in my gas oven on the bottom (not even on a shelf, on the very bottom of the oven) and it seems to help with hotspots. I have a small, NYC-apt sized oven and the stone makes my baking *better* (although nothing can fix the 100+- degree fluctuation in temp, i digress.)
                                  On the note of cleaning- I generally do nothing to my stone, but periodically something will really funk it up and will either cause it to smoke a lot or be really greasy (IE when the boyfriend overflowed something in the oven and grease got all over it.) In the case that I can taste the previous "accident" on the stone after cooking on it, I will simply soak the stone in JUST WATER for 30 minutes or so, wipe it off with a towel and then rebake it in the oven on low heat before putting anything on it (to make sure its completely dry.) This will loosen up some of the surface nastiness but doesn't seem to take away the seasoned effect of the stone.

                                  I LOVE my pizza stone- its my staple apartment-warming gift for friends as most of my late 20something buddies have never thought to "splurge" on one. LONG LIVE THE PIZZA STONE!

                                  1. I use a BGE stone in my BGE for pizza. I have a wire brush that I knock off the big chunks and then I just run it up to over 800 degrees to take care of anything else. It may not look like a new stone but it cooks just fine.

                                    1. I just sweep the crud off the stone every six months or so. I bake my pies at 550 so cheese/sauce/whatever spills turn to carbon pretty fast.

                                      1. I didn't listen to recommendations not to wash and soaked my pizza stone in water to get the cheese and gunk off. Definitely a mistake as i heard a loud pop in my 550 degree oven and my stone split almost in half. The stone is porous and I guess it retained the water which made it swell and break. I replaced it with an expensive and thicker stone which makes wonderful pizzas. The cheaper ones usually say right on the box that they can only be used up to 446 degrees while my pizza "instructor" said to turn the oven to 550. Living in Florida for 7 months each year, this is the only way I can get good pizza.

                                        1. Never use a cleaning agent of any kind (and that includes water) on a pizza stone. After the stone has cooled, scrape off anything stuck on the surface with a rigid metal spatula and over is over. Other than that, simply alter your preconceived esthetic notions of filthy and disgusting. A darkened, stained, discolored pizza stone is a thing of beauty........ they SUPPOSED to look that way!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: duren

                                            My pizza stones are "darkened, stained, discolored" and I wash them with soap and water after every use.

                                          2. I leave my pizza stone in the lower part of my oven all of the time. If I broil something, will it damage the stone?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. I just use sand paper and sand it down and then take a damp paper towel to remove the dust. I then let it air dry for a day or two. I haven't had a problem with it yet. I found it a few years ago and love it.

                                              1. I used to leave my three quarter inch, 18 inch square pizza stone in the oven. Until I came home from a few days away and it had a spectacular double S curve crack right down the middle! The teens said they hadn't touched it, but who knows? Now the new one sits vertically beside the oven, with the pizza peel.

                                                I also never use soap, or any other cleaning agents, but I do put it in the sink and run hot water over it if there's a really bad cheesy mess. A wide plastic putty knife works well for scraping, and a metal bench scraper is good for really tough messes.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Phyrie

                                                  You think the pizza stone cracked by sitting in your oven when you were away but think it's safer next to the oven? I'm not sure I'm following the logic.

                                                  1. re: tommy

                                                    I'm not sure why the stone cracked. It could have been a flaw, or the kids could have dropped something on it. Or it could have just cracked, though why it would after several years of use, I don't know. It is now stored vertically beside the stove (perhaps saying "beside the oven" was a misstatement?), on the floor, in the 3-4" space between the wall and the stove, along with the pizza peel and the largest pot lid.

                                                2. I've never taken my stone out of the oven since I bought it (had it for 10+ years).
                                                  Sure, sometimes it gets oil stained spots or black burnt stuff on it from time to time. No biggie. After a week or so of regular oven use, it all burns off, cleans itself, and any remaining dust can be easily brushed off with a hand broom.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Novelli

                                                    Mine stays in the oven too. It's never been washed yet I'm sure regular 500 degree heat keeps it "clean." Taking it in and out is much more likely to cause it to break I believe. Our last one did break after about 5 years--can't remember how/why--but since we never moved it we just kept using it with no problem....until we sold the house and tossed it.

                                                  2. So clean!!!! I have had my pizza stone for about 5 years and always keep it in the oven and just rinse with water, I really never wanted to put soap or any chemicals on the stone. It got to the point that it had a greasy feel to it. I was not concerned with the color, it was very dark, just the greasy film. So after reading the posts, I gave the self cleaning oven suggestion a try, and it worked! It looks almost new.

                                                    I was concerned it would crack, but no problem. I heated the oven, with the stone in it, at 350 for about 20 minutes and then turned up the heat to 500 for another 20 minutes, then turned on the self clean. There were some fumes but not bad. I was so surprised how it restored my stone to original color! Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: LBinFL

                                                      Did you use the self cleaning cycle? It doesn't sound like you did.
                                                      If you use water on your stone and it hasn't cracked - you are just lucky and probably didn't use it again until it had dried out. It is the water that gets trapped inside that causes it to crack. However, if you don't soak it or if you leave it in the oven long enough after washing, it is bound to dry out.

                                                      1. re: joelaine

                                                        I had not used water on it before turning on the oven, so the stone was dry. I was concerned it would crack that is why I first let it heat to 350 then 500 before turning the oven to the self-clean setting. After the self-cleaning cycle, I left the door closed over night for the stone to cool. Thanks for all the suggestions!

                                                        1. re: joelaine

                                                          Question: I bought the rectangular baking stone from King Arthur to bake no-knead bread since then the baking has subsided to nearly none but have left the stone in and now it does have splotches, drips, brown spots, etc. With all this discussion about the stone absorbing everything will my future breads take on flavor of all the food spills baked onto stone? Does one need a bread baking stone AND a pizza stone?

                                                          1. re: Ucdavis

                                                            I wouldn't be afraid to use my stone for pizza and for bread/rolls. Just let everything burn off after using it and it will be fine.

                                                      2. For exactly these reasons, I'm thinking about buying an Emile Henry pizza stone which is glazed ceramic. They say that you can cut directly on it without scratching, wash it with soap and water...or even put it in the dishwasher. I have other EH pieces all of which are excellent. Does anyone have experience with the EH pizza stone?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                          The purpose of the unglazed pizza stone is to allow moisture that is released during the baking process to be absorbed by the stone. If you use a glazed ceramic stone, I would assume that your pizza crust will be soggy and similar to one made on a metal pizza pan. The glaze would keep the moisture trapped in the crust but it would be interesting to hear from someone who has had experience with both surfaces.

                                                          1. re: joelaine

                                                            The theory that water is somehow "absorbed" into a baking stone has been pretty thoroughly debunked. The chances of water seeping into a 600+ degree stone are slim to none, with none in the lead.

                                                            That said, I don't see why anyone would want to use a glazed product for a baking stone. Nor do I understand why one would want to cut on a 600+ degree pizza stone, or wash it, or put it in the dishwasher.

                                                            1. re: tommy

                                                              The folks at both Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table highly recommend the Emile Henry stone over the unglazed stones which they also carry. True it is more expensive, but generally they do know what they are talking about and give good advice. Love to hear from someone who owns the EH stone.

                                                              The reviews in amazon.com are very positive...most love this stone!

                                                        2. OK, no one's posed this one yet...

                                                          My stone was "seasoned" by someone by giving it a light coat of olive oil before its first use. That was, oh, about 18 years ago. It's been washed a bunch of times since, put through 500F+ cycles, and it *still* stinks up the house. Would some one who subscribes to the "Stones aren't porous" theory please explain?

                                                          That being said, it stinks the house a lot less than it did. Maybe in *another* 18 years, it'll be back to no smell at all?

                                                          Thanks,
                                                          Kaleo

                                                          1. you should not clean pizza stones with water or any chemicals

                                                            and you can just use those terra cotta planter plates/bottoms as pizza stones instead of spending an arm and a leg

                                                            1. I use the Emile Henry glazed stone. Haven't tried making my pizza's from scratch yet (planning it soon), but for reheating leftover slices or even cooking an occasional frozen pizza it works great. Haven't tried running it through the dishwasher yet, but hand washed any grease or scraps that fell off a slice. I do preheat it longer than the directions say and that gives everything including the frozen pizza's a nice crispy crust.

                                                              http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                              Oh, and even if is says you can slice on it, I prefer to use a cutting board...

                                                              1. I use Pampered Chef stone. To clean stubborn stains I put white vinegar and sprinkle baking soda on the stains and let it sit overnight. Wipes off beautifully the next morning.

                                                                1. I used the cleaning process of heating to 500 degrees the reduce the heat andturn on the oven cleaner. Stunk up the house but OMG its like I pulled out a brand new stone. Little black remnants just brushed away. Thanks a ton.

                                                                  1. My oven manual says to remove the oven racks when using the self-cleaning cycle, because the racks will darken, lose their luster and become hard to slide. Any other suggestions for cleaning the stone without water?