A pizza stone is a stone slab made for baking pizzas at home and leaving them with a crispy crust (but also for other recipes). In general, it is not necessary to clean the stone regularly as going to the oven takes care of this task. But if you need to clean it, know how to do it right. Some methods such as soaking or using soap and water can ruin the stone. If you need to clean it, there are some simple techniques for not destroying the part.
Method 1 of 3: Cleaning by hand
Step 1. Allow the stone to cool completely
Before handling, let it cool in the oven for an hour or the stone may crack, especially if it comes in contact with cold water or cold air. The stone needs to cool to room temperature before being cleaned.
- If you have to handle it hot, use oven mitts so you don't burn yourself. Do not place the stone on any surface that cannot withstand heat.
- The stone can also crack if it is cold and placed in a hot oven.
Step 2. Use some blunt object to brush or scrape sticky pieces of food
Use a stone brush or a plastic spatula to remove excess burnt pieces of food stuck to the surface. Gently scrape the stone where there is food.
If you use a metal spatula, the stone will be full of scratches
Step 3. Never soap the pizza stone
Even though it's common to wash things with soap, it can ruin the stone. Due to the porous nature, the soap enters the pores of the stone and will make the food taste bad. After soaping the stone, it will never be the same again.
Step 4. Clean the stone with a damp cloth if necessary
Moisten a cloth with warm water and wipe the stone. Remove the pieces of food that were loosed with the spatula when scraping.
Step 5. As a last resort, soak the stone in water
Some stubborn stains will only come off if they get soaked. Soak the stone in plain water overnight and try scraping again. However, it will absorb a lot of water, so let it dry completely for a week (or more). Even though it looks dry, it's still full of water.
Step 6. Allow the stone to dry completely before using it again
If it doesn't dry well, it will crack when placed in the oven. Remember to store it at room temperature before reheating it. Water is trapped in the pores of the stone, which makes it more fragile when it is reheated.
Allow the stone to dry for one to two hours before using it again
Step 7. Avoid putting any type of oil on the stone
Olive oil or other oils will cause the stone to smoke in the oven. Even though this gives the impression that the surface will be non-stick, the pores will absorb the oil rather than not letting the food stick.
- To make the surface non-stick, use cornmeal.
- The oils from the food will get into the stone and, in fact, they won't do any harm, they'll even make it better to use. But, as stated above, do not grease it as you would a pan.
- The stone will be greased naturally after being used to cook pizzas or other foods.
Step 8. Accept that the stone will be discolored
A used stone will have several dark or discolored spots. It won't look the same as when it was bought. But stones get better with time. Don't rub the piece trying to make it look new or think you need to buy a new one just because it looks old.
Method 2 of 3: Washing the Stone with Bicarbonate
Step 1. Mix equal parts of baking soda and warm water in a bowl
Stir well until it forms a paste, which should look like toothpaste. This solution will remove the deeper stains that scraping cannot remove.
- Baking soda is great for cleaning dirt and oil from surfaces.
- Since baking soda is mildly abrasive and will not change the taste of food, it is the safest cleaning product for the pizza stone.
Step 2. Remove large pieces of food stuck with a plastic spatula
Before rubbing the stone with the solution, remove any large pieces of it.
Take care when handling the stone as this increases the risk of cracking
Step 3. Rub the solution onto the stone using a brush
Take a toothbrush or stone brush and make small circular motions, cleaning the most problematic areas first. Focus on the discolored or dark parts and then run through the rest of the stone.
If there are still areas with deep stains, leave them to finish after cleaning the stone
Step 4. Remove the paste using a damp cloth
After rubbing the stone, there will be a layer of paste on it. Wipe it off with a damp cloth when you realize you've scrubbed everything away.
Re-rub problem areas of the stone after cleaning if you are not satisfied with how they look. Repeat the process until the stained area becomes lighter or disappears
Step 5. Let the stone dry completely
Since scrubbing will let in more water than simply wiping with a damp cloth, wait 24 hours before using. Any moisture can damage the stone.
Store it in the oven to keep it at room temperature. Just don't forget to take it out when you're not going to use it
Method 3 of 3: Using the self-cleaning function
Step 1. Use this method only once
The stone may crack even if you follow the instructions to the letter. Use this method only once and try to do a good job so you don't have to repeat it.
- If there is a lot of oil, it can cause a fire, which is extremely dangerous.
- Some self-cleaning ovens have an auto-lock feature when the self-cleaning function is activated. If it catches fire inside the oven, you may not be able to open it.
Step 2. Clean the oven until it has no traces of grease or dried food
Any grease that becomes encrusted will form a lot of smoke if the self-cleaning function is used. Wipe off grease with a cloth or use an oven cleaner.
The oven must be dry before activating the self-cleaning function
Step 3. Clean the stone with a dish towel
Remove excess grease and dirt embedded in the stone. Even though the self-cleaning function will sanitize the stone, this initial cleaning prevents the formation of smoke.
Remove any large pieces of food stuck to the stone
Step 4. Place it in the oven and set the temperature to 260°C
It is necessary to increase the temperature gradually to prevent the stone from cracking with the change. Let the “preheat” function increase the stone's temperature gradually. Leave the stone in the oven for at least an hour until it reaches 260°C.
Do the same if you want the pizza to be evenly baked
Step 5. Turn on the self-cleaning function
This will overheat the stone, which burns off any excess grease or dirt.
Allow the oven to cycle through. Don't interrupt unless it starts to catch fire
Step 6. Keep looking at the stone through the window
Pay attention to the stone and the oven. You will see the fat bubbling on its surface. Do not open the door because of smoke.
- If you see a fire, turn off the self-cleaning function and call the fire department.
- Oxygen will make the fire spread and can create back air, which is dangerous. Therefore, keep the oven door closed.
Step 7. Allow the pizza stone to cool
Leave it to cool overnight. The self-cleaning function will have removed the rest of the dirt and stains on the stone.
- Use the self-cleaning function only as a last resort.
- The self-cleaning function can cause a fire.
- Cleaning by hand is the best way to sanitize the stone.
- Always wear oven mitts when handling hot pizza stone.