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Nov 11, 2009 02:14 PM

Baking pie on pizza stone? Yay or nay?

I have a large pizza stone that lives in my oven. Just wondering if it's a good, bad or indifferent idea to place a pie (in pie pan, obviously) to bake on the stone vs. removing the stone and baking on the rack. Any wisdom from those who know better?


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  1. Here's an idea, try it and let us know...

    I've cooked pies and tart shells in a deck oven before without ill effects. The stone will have good conducitvity so there's less rapid heat loss from opening the oven door and that should be about it other than possibly adjusting your cook time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Den

      @Den, Don't you think there's something to having the air being able to circulate around the rack vs. the very direct heat of placing pieplate on stone? The bottom of the pie might get extra browned from the contact... No expert, though; let's just let wutzizname be our guinea pig. adam

    2. Leave the stone in the oven, but bake your pie on the rack. (with a cookie sheet under it, if it's a messy pie.) The stone will provide nice, even heat, but if you put a pie plate right on it, especially if you've chilled the crust, it's a recipe for a busted stone. Unless, you've got one of them there fancy, citified fibrament stones. adam

      4 Replies
      1. re: adamshoe

        Well, I do have one of those fancy, citified fibrament stones, but I used to put my pies on quarry tiles, too--especially fruit pies. Baking them on the stone does a stellar job of keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy when the pie contents are likely to exude quite a bit of liquid. I use a Pyrex pie plate. By the time I've rolled out the bottom crust and put in the filling, the plate really isn't particularly cold. In fact, I usually put the top crust in the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes just to make sure it holds it's cutouts and fluted edges. The Pyrex plate allows me to keep a close watch on what going on with the bottom crust, making sure it's not overbrowned.

        1. re: JoanN

          I'm just so into thinking stone= 550 degree oven. I make a lot of pizza... I guess thermal shock would not be a big deal in a 350-400 oven. How does the stone prevent sogginess? Is it the direct contact with heat? You'd think the pyrex wouldn't notice the difference! I always use pyrex for my pies, too, as my cheesy old wall oven doesn't have a damn window... adam

          1. re: adamshoe

            I wouldn't dare presume to get into a discussion of the science of it, but from personal experience my bottom crusts are crispier and flakier when the Pyrex is in direct contact with the stone than when I've put it on even a preheated baking sheet. I think the stone holds the heat better and more evenly than the baking sheet, but I'm just guessing here.

            1. re: JoanN

              Absolutely - I don't have a stone so I preheat a parchment-lined sheet pan in the oven and bake the pie on it. No more underdone bottom crusts, and the sheet pan stays clean. And I agree that a pyrex pan is best. Got both ideas from Cooks Illustrated. The pyrex not only allows you to look at the bottom crust, but has better heat-retention than metal pans. If I have to use a disposable foil pan, I set it into a pyrex pan for baking.

      2. I've been baking my pies on my pizza stones for years, with much success (great bottom crusts). My pyrex pans haven't cracked, but the stories I've read have made me more careful. I always put a sheetpan between the pie and the stone, though, to catch drips. I hate cleaning stones!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Claudette

          i'm 100% with claudette. esp. re cleanup.

          1. re: Claudette

            Stones are supposed to be cleaned??!!
            All mine gets is a vigorous rub down with a sorta-dry brush, and then blotted dry and shoved back in the broiler pan. It's spotted like a wacky Leopard... but it works perfectly...

            1. re: Boccone Dolce

              Well, it shouldn't normally be cleaned, but if your pie is filled well, then some filling might drip out, and, uh oh, now your stone has gooey apple stuff all over it... Which then gets cooked on.

              1. re: Full tummy

                ...and then scraped off with a paint scraper.

                I obviously spill larger quantities than Boccone Dolce as mine is more panda than leopard.

              2. re: Boccone Dolce

                I heard a caller on America's Test Kitchen Radio who wondered why his dad's kitchen always smelled so awful after he was using the baking stone, and Chris/Bridgette's explanation was that he was putting his pizza straight onto the stone (no parchment paper liner) and then either not cleaning it or not cleaning it well enough. But if your cleaning is doing a sufficient job, sounds great!

            2. If it is a good stone, leave it in and I bake on it all the time. I put chilled pans and it has never broken, but I have a very sturdy and large stone that covers nearly the entire rack. I broke a friends small thin round stone once by heating the oven to oblivion.

              I put a small pan - the thinner the better under it, or heat the sheet pan with the stone.

              i am a believer that a stone should always be in the oven. Many food scientists note that it helps regulate oven temp.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jsaimd

                I leave my stones in the oven all the time because I'm lazy; regulating the oven temp is certainly a side benefit.

                1. re: jsaimd

                  I too keep my pizza stone in the over at all times. But when I'm not cooking pizza, it lives on the very bottom of the oven and anything I cook sits on a rack above. Having the stone in the oven -- anywhere in the oven -- provides the heat stabilizing benefit.

                  But leaving the stone on a rack changes the convection currents thoughout the oven, and especially near the cooler object you are cooking. This is probably more important for higher temperature recipes and for things like cookies that cook uncovered. But I would not recommend cooking a pie shell directly on the stone.

                2. I am not in love with the stone for pizza. I've tried 2 different kinds. You cannot get an oven hot enough. In Naples, pizzas are fired at 1050F for about 90 seconds. That's why they are so good! My favorite method: assemble the pizza on one of those metal round pizza pans with holes in it (NOT nonstick, high heat fries the teflon). I spray the pan with Pam and dust it with a little fine ground cornmeal before I put the dough on it.. I heat a gas grill for at least 10 minutes with all the burners wide open as high as they'll go. When it looks like the temp is at least 750F (when my thermometer starts circling around on itself), I place a wok ring in the middle of the grill, put the pizza pan on it and close the lid. I spin the pizza pan 180 degrees half way through. I have 2 different kinds of pizza pans. The ones with the larger holes will bake in 4 minutes, the smaller holes takes 6 minutes. You must use something like a wok ring to elevate the pan, if you put it directly on the grill the pizza will burn. Also, when you take the pizza off the grill you must immediately remove it from the pan, you have about 30 seconds before residual heat burns the crust black. Sometimes I will torch the pizza with a weed burner for about 15 seconds to get it to feel more like a real pizza from Naples. Cooking is very dangerous at my house. I am the only person I know who cooks with a weed burner. Oh, and it's really good to have a pair of those Kevlar gloves, like I do, if you are going to try this. It's so much hotter than a broiler on high.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: runwestierun

                    I use a weed burner all the time for Prime Rib. I cook on a Ceramic Kamodo (like Big Green Egg) which can easily hit 700F, but I like to cook rib roasts at around 250F. To ensure a killer crust, a weed burner is just the thing. Apparently, the new cookbook by the owner of the French Laundry uses this technique.