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Help me! My pizza stone got covered with grease!

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So, about a year ago we bought a Williams Sonoma pizza stone and we love this thing! We use it all the time and it never leaves my oven. Well, my parents came to stay and my dad cooked a chicken...on my pizza stone!!! I know - I was so upset (and so was he when he realized what it was. He hasn't ever used a pizza stone before and didn't know what it was. He just figured it was in my oven so it must be safe to use.). It was totally my fault as I should have told him. Anyway, now it gets really smoky and smokes the house out if I use the oven. I really don't want to replace it. Is there anything I can do to save it? Thanks for your help!

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  1. You could scrub it really well, then let it dry for a really long time, but I don't think that will do the trick. It sounds like the fat is baked in pretty well.

    If it were my stone, I'd try heating it for a long time on the grill, see if that burns the smoke out. It won't kill your stone, nor hurt it in any way. While you're at it, make it a pizza party? No sense wasting all the hot goodness of a stone.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DuffyH

      If you heat it on the grill, just be sure to have it *on* the grill already when you turn it on. Learn from my mistake :)

      My pizza stone is a bit greasy, since I leave it in the oven too, though I wouldn't cook a chicken on it! I think you'll be able to get it back to usable condition with a bit of effort.

      1. re: DGresh

        Yikes! And duly noted, thank you.

    2. I wash my pizza stone every time I use it. And it's probably 15 years old. That's what I'd do.

      1. I would, as Duffy suggested, scrub it really well with a stiff brush and let it dry (don't heat it after scrubbing, it may crack if it still has moisture inside). Once its dry, heat it for a long time and see if any remaining oil/fat has been burnt off.

        If not, try scrubbing with baking powder and vinegar, rinse, and let dry then heat.

        If that doesn't work, use detergent (although the manuals always say not to, this is pretty much a last resort) and repeat.

        If none of the above work, I suggest getting a baking steel to replace it because that will avoid this problem in the future (you can wash it properly and fat helps season it rather than ruin it) as well as producing nicer pizzas.

        1. Do you know any potters? If you do or have one nearby, ask them to put your shelf in the kiln when they fire again. The Williams Sonoma pizza stones are corderite which is what kiln shelves are made of. It'll come out like new again.

          If anyone ever needs a great pizza stone, just look to a pottery supply. Corderite shelves are available in all kinds of sizes and pretty inexpensive.

          http://www.axner.com/cordierite-kiln-...

          6 Replies
          1. re: Leepa

            Slightly OT, but I remember once reading that large unglazed terracotta floor tiles would serve as excellent pizza stones, at a MUCH lower price than kiln shelves. They could be easily cut and laid side by side to fit the oven bottom. Yes or no?

            1. re: Miss Mick

              My first pizza "stone" was several unglazed terracotta tiles (not saltillo tiles) that I got at a local tile shop and fit into a sheet pan. They were 6" tiles and I spent about 50 cents each for them. Of course, that was a long time ago. Probably cost more now.

            2. re: Leepa

              does this work? I'm not sure what happened to my pizza stone. I think it might have gotten washed with some dishwashing soap somewhere along the way. It releases a noxious odor when I put it in the oven. It was purchased from Williams Sonoma. Are you saying I can fire it somewhere and the odor will disappear?

              1. re: oranj

                Yes. Whatever is in there will burn out at bisque temperature. That is, for me, 1945 degrees F.

                I'd make sure that it doesn't have any residual water in it at all. As others here have said, the oven on self-clean should also do the job.

                1. re: Leepa

                  this is good to know. I assumed it was ruined. I tossed it out last weekend, which was a huge bummer/loss. I will keep this in mind for my next stone.

                  1. re: oranj

                    Sorry you didn't read all the other posts about using the oven self-clean cycle.

            3. I've cooked a leg of lamb on a pizza stone.
              If you can vent the house of smoke, just leave it in there for a few hours. It may get a glazed finished, or not.
              DuffyH says to leave it on the grill for as long, if you have a gas grill. I don't, so I do not know if it works.

              I recommend a good hood vent for any kitchen. Well, at least my kitchen. I'm always cooking up stuff in the oven and on the range top that would smoke up the house without a very strong hood vent.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gastronomos

                I envy those with a good hood vent. I have the worst one ever made in my apartment. Every time I want to make a fried rice or pad thai (or, especially, if something drips down in my oven and I forget to clean it out) I have to open all the windows and blast fans high speed through the kitchen just to avoid the fire alarms going off. Even then, it doesn't always work.

              2. I clean mine in the oven self-cleaning cycle. Comes out like new.

                If you are getting an excessive amount of smoke, open a few windows and turn on every exhaust fan in the house.

                Every time I clean the oven the stone stays in.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JayL

                  I was just gonna recommend the self cleaning cycle. If it can be a shelf in a kiln the SCC should be a piece of cake.

                  1. re: JayL

                    This.

                    I leave my stone in when I run cleaning cycles. The house gets stinky for a few hours, but then it's beautifully clean.

                  2. Thank you all! I am going to work my way through the suggestions and hope that one works :)

                    1. I leave mine in the oven all the time and stuff spills over on it all the time.

                      I don't wash it. I just use a bench scraper to scrape away what I can and continue cooking. As you heat the oven what's left on will carbonize. I just keep scraping that away.

                      My stone does NOT look like new. It looks like Armageddon. But I'm sure there's nothing living on it that's survived temps of 475˚ and it works like a charm whether I'm baking directly on it or it's keeping the oven temperature constant when I'm baking or roasting on an oven rack.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rainey

                        Rainey, you answer is the best. My stone is at least 25 years old and has survived 6 stoves. Scraping is all I do and leave it on the bottom of the oven. Self cleaning does the rest which is about 1-2 times a year.

                        1. re: Remag1234

                          Same here. Best yet, the stone holds the temperature in the oven steady when you open the door to peek. Sure, it takes a few more minutes to preheat, but the kitchen stays warmer longer after you're done.

                          The stone looks like heck--way too much pizza cheese spilled on it over 10+ years--but it works just fine after scraping it off.

                      2. Hi, ES:

                        I've been there. Wahine once oiled mine...

                        Oil and grease will eventually cook/burn out, but will continue to smoke for quite awhile. I would run it through the self-clean cycle a few times to hasten the process.

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. Another vote for putting it on the grill. I wouldn't bother washing it. Just brush all the chunky stuff off, wipe whatever other stuff you can, and put it on the grill over a hot fire. I think if you wash it, you run the chance of getting moisture in it, which may crack it over extreme heat.

                          1. Cook that stuff off! Rodents tried to make a home in out oven, and used my pizza stone as the "facilities" A good scrub with salt and a brush, air dry, then baked around 250 to dry out, then after cooling, took it up to 450 to kill everything. Almost like new.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: autumm

                              Ew. In that case, I think I'd get a new stone! I mean, I know you can heat it enough to sterilize it, but still…rat turds? No thanks.

                            2. mine goes in the dishwasher a few times until its clean

                              1. If your making a pizza, the oven should be at least 450 deg. F. or 500 deg, which is better. So what ever is left on the stone from lower temp baking is easily removed by using a dough cutter and scrape the stone to get the crud off. The just use it as normal, no need to heat up the stone first . Mine is about 15 years old and never leaves the oven.

                                1. Let me weigh in here as a potter...if that pizza stone is ceramic, it was originally created in a kiln at MUCH hotter temps than your home oven (at least ~1800—2100° F. at the low-end terracotta range). I would guess that if you have a self-cleaning feature in your oven and kept the stone in the oven while self-cleaning, that might do the trick and the stone should be fine...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Miss Mick

                                    And it seems that a few of us here do exactly that. If the oven is being cleaned, the stone stays in.

                                    Like new...every time...

                                  2. My stone lives in my oven and rarely ever comes out. When I run the cleaning cycle in the oven I leave the stone in and it comes out clean and ready to go. I had a pie drip juice on the stone a couple of weeks ago and I also had inherited a very old cast iron griddle that was crudded up with years of grease. That went into the oven too. Both came out beautifully. I reseasoned the griddle. It looks great. It was so icky I did not want to cook on it.

                                    1. Eveyone I know who does any significant cooking has a ton of grease on their pizza stones, mine included.

                                      The grease on a pizza stone in my case never effected the pizza making process one bit, just looked ugly, which never bothered me. Reminded me of my Grandmothers kitchen. Everything well used and you could tell, not spotless......

                                      Just use your pizza stone and enjoy it with the grease.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Chefwant2B

                                        My stone is pretty greasy and it doesn't bother me one bit, but I can absolutely see OP's point, too.

                                        I think I'd run it through the cleaning cycle or at least toss it on the grill for an hour or so to bake off that chicken grease, or Candy's pie juice. That stuff could end up smoking like crazy and possibly affect my next pizza.

                                        I do not like a smoky oven, a chicken-flavored pizza crust or fruit and pepperoni pizza.

                                      2. I'm new to this site.How do I ask a question ?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: happiernow45

                                          Welcome.:)

                                          If your question fits this thread, post it just as you did.

                                          If you'd rather begin a new thread about cookware, click on BACK to Cookware at the bottom of this page, then when the main Cookware window appears, put the title of your question in the text box to the left of the blue POST button. The body of your question will go in the box that will appear below.

                                          1. re: happiernow45

                                            I just bought a pizza stone at a yardsale. Looks like it's been used for a trivit instead of a pizza stone. Not sure what to do with it. Take a chance and put it in the bottom of my gas stove and leave it there??

                                             
                                            1. re: happiernow45

                                              Could the rings be from baking small (4-6") frozen pizzas?

                                          2. I know a lot of people have been saying to leave pizza stone in the oven during self cleaning. I have done that in the past with an old stone. It definitely works. However I would like to add one caution. There are concerns over the fumes released during that cycle. Ovens are generally coated with something (I believe it's Teflon or something similar) and at extremely high temps (higher than normal cooking temps such as those during cleaning cycle) it releases toxins. I found a natural way to clean my oven that works wonderfully so I never use self-clean anymore. I would suggest trying the grill if you are at all concerned about this. I know not everyone worries about these things but I thought I would at least mention it.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: alibaba99

                                              <There are concerns over the fumes released during that cycle.>

                                              This is news. I'm thinking someone has given you bad information. Ovens are coated with enamel. It doesn't give off any toxins at all. The most natural way in the world to clean your oven is to use heat.

                                              1. re: alibaba99

                                                Are you saying that oven manufacturers coat their ovens in a material that becomes dangerous and volatile at high heat, then also build a cleaning cycle into them? Seems like there would be some oversight or public outrage on this.

                                                1. re: LaureltQ

                                                  Some people love to think that the world is out to get them.

                                              2. I baked a cream cheese tart on my aunt's pizza stone and I didn't realize it was going to leave this sticky film. Well, she's pissed and I'm trying this whole "baking soda/vinegar" paste but if that doesn't work, does anyone have suggestions where I don't have to leave it in the oven for self-clean. I'm scared she is going to flip out over all the smoke.