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My pizza stones keep cracking?

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  1. are you by any chance putting a cold (or even room temp.) stone into a hot oven? that'd make it crack . . . .

    1. also, if it was washed and any moisture is still in it, it can cause cracking too. Adam

      1. Mine keep cracking as well. I never wash with moisture, they always seem not crack in the oven. Can anyone recommend a good one that won't crack?

        3 Replies
        1. re: mlukan

          I had 2 pizza stones crack on me at different times over a couple of months. After the second one cracked, I was very frustrated and looked for an alternative. I found a cast iron pizza pan, which I mainly use for cooking pizza.

          1. re: djca2007

            I have a cast iron griddle thing too that's enameled on the bottom and really like it as an alternative to the stone. It's much thinner and less bulky, and with the handles is easy to get in and out of the oven.

            Sometimes I put a piece of parchment on top of it and use it for a lot of the same things I used to use the stone for, like baking a small loaf of bread or making or reheating pizza. And I don't worry about it cracking!

          2. re: mlukan

            Buy a pizza stone from a Big Green Egg dealer. You can find them on eBay. (bbqfunstuff) They are designed to hold the high temps of the grill.

          3. http://www.bakingstone.com/

            3 Replies
            1. re: grampart

              Do you have any experience with these grampart? 10 Year warranty looks interesting.

              1. re: mlukan

                Would the type of stone make any difference. I have seen an add for a pizza stone made of Finnish soapstone:
                "H12004 Pizza Stone - Pizzakivi
                Size: 28cm round X 1cm (11 inches X 1/2inch)
                The pizza baking stone can be used both in the oven and on the BBQ. It makes the perfect crispy crust pizza everytime. It works by accumulating and then steadily releasing heat, just like a traditional stone hearth.
                Dishwasher Safe
                Hukka soapstone was created over 2 billion years ago under the immense pressure of the Karelian mountain range. Skilled craftsman make each soapstone piece.
                made in Finland.
                Price: $44.95 "
                http://www.finnishplace.com/

                1. re: mlukan

                  After going through 2 or 3 cheap stones, I bought one of these a couple years ago and find it to be the best.

              2. I bought a Tutto Italiano super cheap large square pizza stone on clearance about 9 years ago (I actually bought two at the time because they were so cheap and I figured I'd lose one to a crack eventually.) Well, 9 years later, the first stone is still going strong (lasted longer than the range we bought around the same time) and the second one sits in a box on a basement shelf. I almost never take it out of the oven (unless I'm using the self-cleaning mode) and I can't remember the last time I washed it. It looks fine, and I love it. (I don't even know if you can find these anymore - my point was more about leaving the stones in the oven....)

                1 Reply
                1. re: flourgirl

                  Yes. I have not had a problem. I leave mine in the oven for all cooking. Maybe they temper a bit when left in constantly. I also very seldom clean it and when I do it is just a brush scrubbing under water. Then, I wait days, maybe a week, before heating it again, being sure there is no water left in it.

                  It's a good idea to leave the stone in the oven. When you preheat an oven it means the air inside is hot, not the oven itself. Waiting longer with the stone in there means the stone heats up and retains its heat, so the heat loss when you open the door is not as severe.

                2. I have to second gansu girl's question. It's best to keep the stone in the oven all the time. I keep mine on a lower rack. Its thermal mass helps the oven keep even heat and I never have to worry about it cracking. It's been in there now about six or seven years without a problem.

                  The other problem could be caused by putting something cold onto the stone when it's hot. Thermal shock is almost always the problem when something ceramic breaks like that.

                  1. In lieu of any pizza stone I use a terra cotta saucer meant to be used with a 10" flower pot. Does amazing things to a frozen store-brand pizza!

                    1. Another pizza stone question -- does anyone else use their stone to reheat leftover pizza (homemade or pizzeria)? We do and then have to get burned on bits of cheese off. We use a sturdy metal spatula and scrape.
                      But sometimes do have to wash (water, no soap). We do make sure it is throroughly air dried -- for several days. Before it goes back in the oven. We haven't had a crack in a LONG time -- and this is a basic stone.
                      But does anyone else have any suggestions for slice leavings?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: eamcd

                        I don't worry about things being burned onto the stone because they will brush off after it has been preheated to 400°. It will turn black in 6 months of use but that doesn't affect the performance.

                        Ive used baking stones for 20 years and I have never washed one yet.

                      2. My "pizza stone" is too basic to crack and really cheap to boot. I got unglazed terra cotta tiles at Home depot and cover most of an oven rack with them, an inch or two uncovered around the edges. I leave them in the oven for everything, so it acts like a brick oven. Never a problem.

                        1. This is one of those questions where it would be really helpful if you wrote a bit about what you do. Not that many people didn't guess and toss out ideas, but if you tell everyone what you do with it before it cracks, you'll likely get a far more specific answer.

                          1. Here's what I did first day I got this: Put my Bialetti 14 3/4" stone on the lowest rack of my cold oven, then set the oven to 550, and let it fully heat up for 30 minutes. I used the peal that comes with the set, which is not really large enough to hold a good size pizza. So I get the first pizza into the oven, let it bake for 5 minutes, pizza is looking good! I open the oven to check the crust - CRACK! Well, the crack doesn't seem to effect the stone's ability to bake pizza. I baked a second pizza just after the first, they both came out fine. On top of which, the stone got really burnt, and I doubt I'll ever get it clean, leaving me to worry it will impart a burnt taste to whateve gets baked in there now.

                            The small peal is a bit of a pain - but cracking on the very first use - even if it is still quite usable - is ridiculous.

                            The product I bought was cheap - and I got what I paid for...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: blweis

                              My stone, brand and price unknown, is about 15 years old and never leaves my oven. The only way I have ever cleaned it, is during the self cleaning process. It comes out looking like new.

                            2. I had a cheap stone for years which I used at 400 F and it worked fine. I changed my crust recipe recently and started using 550 F oven-- and, within a couple of months, had the preheated stone fracture on three separate occasions before the biggest fragment became too small to use. I bought another cheap stone -- same thing happened. I think these cheap stones work fine if you bake at 400 F but fracture at higher heat (550 F) due to the bigger heat differential between raw dough and preheated stone. I just bought a Fibrament stone in hopes it will solve this cracking problem.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DagoRed1

                                I've now had my Fibrament stone for a year (and used it dozens of times for bread, pizza, etc) and I have had no cracking issues at all with it. This stone is much thicker and heavier (and more expensive) than my old stones, but it's durability make it worth it for me.

                              2. I've had my pizza stone for about 10 years and had no problems until about a year ago when I started baking bread. The crack appeared about the same time as I started putting a cup of water into a hot pan at the bottom of the oven (sound familiar?) Anyway, the crack formed, but I've been using it for both bread a pizza ever since.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jnk

                                  This is exactly what happened to me today. My stone is a hand-me-down, so I'm unsure of the brand, but I've had it for a year. I'm pretty sure my aunt had it for several before that. I've had no problems with it until today I baked bread at 450 degrees (higher than I normally use) and put water below it. If I get a new stone, how can I prevent this from happening again? Is there a brand that is good and inexpensive? Thanks, Lisa

                                  1. re: lisa8978

                                    I bet the steam from the water below it hit the stone and the moisture caused it to crack.

                                    A pizza stone is not a brick oven, throwing water in there is not a good idea. I had this reiterated to me just recently when my well-meaning sister dumped water ON MY STONE when I was baking, to "Create steam" since she heardit would make a better crust.

                                    Well, she was right in that, but my pizza stone can't handle cold water or steam. Cracka roo!

                                2. I just bought a Big Green Egg and one posted on a forum suggested a Cordierite Kiln Shelf from Axnex Pottery Supply. 21" or 16" round, 3/4" thick. The 21" is $30

                                  http://www.axner.com is the link to the page.

                                  SpannMan

                                  1. Cordierite Kiln Shelves for Top-Loading Round Kilns

                                    http://www.axner.com/axner/equipment/...

                                    1. It sounds like your oven is not heating evenly, try preheating to 250-300 degrees then increasing your temp to final bake temp. Cracking is usually caused by temperature gradients across the stone, heating it more slowly will prevent this.

                                      My stone cracked down the center after 5 years of use, I just pushed the two halves together and kept on using it.