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Why does my pizza stone stink?

I received a pizza stone from Crate & Barrel as a wedding gift and have tried several times to make pizza on it. It's sold as a "grilling" pizza stone, but I figured it should work in the oven too. (It was the only stone they carried.) I followed the directions to season it before use by brushing with vegetable oil and then baking in the oven at 350.

I always heat the oven first with the stone in it, before putting the pizza on, and every time it fills the house with a noxious chemical odor. There is also smoke, but that could be due to using my not-so-clean oven at such high temps. My husband has begged me to give up on the stone, the smell is too bad, but I keep hoping it will go away. After 3 or 4 uses, though, the fumes are still bad. Has anyone had this experience? Any ideas?

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  1. Maybe put it in the oven and run a good long self-clean cycle? Should burn off anything that's even vaguely volatile.

    1. I have never heard of a grilling stone, and I would NEVER EVER recommend that someone put put oil on a stone to season it. The stones are non-stick by design, so they only need to be heated to 400°F or higher for 20 minutes before baking on them.

      I'm unfamiliar with C&B stones , but I think that you might have damaged the stone when you coated it with oil. I would use the smooth side up when baking in your oven.

      added, http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family....

      4 Replies
      1. re: Kelli2006

        Yep, that's the stone I have. I wonder if the brushing with oil did something, that's a good question - but it was in the instruction booklet!

        1. re: dubedo

          The oil should burn off with time, but it will smoke and stink until it does.

        2. re: Kelli2006

          I never brushed my with oil. Sorry Wamart with a paddle (whatever they call them, I just call them paddles, pardon my ignorence), I used the pizza stone all the time, never conditioned it and it has been great for 5 years. I love it. I saw them last week for 15.99. Saw the same thing at some high end kitchen store downtown by our farmers market for 69.99. Mine has been wonderful. I think the oil did it. Never conditioned mine. Just made pizza, also do rolls and bread on mine. Love it.

          1. re: Kelli2006

            Kelli is 100% right. It seems that some manufacturers of baking stones think that if seasoning is good for cast iron, it must be good for baking stones. I can only conclude that they do not use their own product. Or perhaps they want to fry bacon and eggs on a baking stone.

            I'll go Kellli one better and say it's just plain stupid. Baking on a stone allows steam from the bottom of the loaf or pizza to escape through the stone. The result is a crisper bottom than what you'll get with a baking sheet. If you season (i.e. create an impermeable layer on the surface) the stone, you work against that.

            Fortunately, if you rub oil on a stone and bake it at 450-500 degrees you will just turn the oil to carbon and it probably won't effect the stone's performance. But why waste your time and fill your kitchen up with smoke? Ok, I really don't want to offend anyone who has seasoned a baking stone, so let me restate: seasoning a baking stone is a total waste of time, oil, and energy.

          2. I have pizza stones that I use quite often, but the only time I get a smell is when something I am baking falls off the stone. that being said to affirm the prior writer, I was never instructed to "season" my stones. I cannot imagine why it would be necessary.
            Dont give up! they are great, I would take them back to crate and barrel and tell them about the problem,,,maybe you can get another one...try it withou the seasoning routine.

            1. My guess is that the oil is for *grilling*, not for baking. I still can't see why you'd want oil on a stone, but as everyone's saying, that is likely to be the culprit in the oven. (Perhaps on the grill, they assume (a.) it'll burn off not in an enclosed space and (b.) it's smokey anyways?)

              1. Like everyone said, the oil is likely the culprit. There's no need to "season" it. To get rid of the oil that's on there, unfortunately the only thing to do is burn it off. Can't wash the stone as the water will get in the pores of the stone and cause it to crack next time it's heated.

                1 Reply
                1. re: aravenel

                  Actually I wash mine with water when it needs it, it's perfectly safe as long as you let the stone dry completely before using it again. Putting it in the oven for a while at a temperature below the boiling point of water will dry it out without cracking it.