The Art of Homemade Pizza

 

Understanding everything for yielding the best tasting pizza and enjoying it with friends and family. A DIY pizza at home guide.

 
 

Amazing Pizza Recipes

Our collaborations of the best pizza recipes from all over the world.

Pizza Ovens

From kitchen pizza ovens, to outdoor pizza ovens to grill conversion kits.

Pizza Stones

Reviewing the latest pizza stones and baking steels. 

noun | ar·ti·san | ärdezan

One that produces something in limited quantities often using traditional methods.

 

Best Pizza Stones & Baking Steels [Buyer’s Review Guide]

A good baking stone is key for delicious homemade pizza.

A quality pizza stone or steel takes your oven to the next level, absorbing and radiating intense heat to create a flavorful crisp crust on pizzas and bread. The biggest knock on homemade pizza is the crust is always lacking. The key to a crispy and flavorful crust is intense high heat over a brief period of time. Meaning, you need a good pizza oven, or a surface (steel or stone) that will radiate the ideal heat for a crust.

Your oven alone won't cut the mustard...

In the good 'ol days pizzas were prepared in block stoves, so they didn't generally require a heating stone or steel. When broilers were introduced into the pizza making crowd it provided better heat and convenience than traditional brick ovens. That’s when the pizza stone turned into a necessary cooking device. 

What most people overlook when making pizza at home, is thinking their oven alone will be enough to yield a good final product. The problem is, at best, the average oven will heat to around 500°F; sounds hot right? But consider a brick fired oven, it will burn at around 800°F.  That's right, the key to you're delicious thin crust pizza is 800°F for about 90 seconds. It's no wonder why the conventional oven alone falls short.

The stones and steels in this lineup are highly recommended in tests conducted searching for the best favor and crust texture. Products came out uniformly crusted and evenly cooked – I'm getting hungry thinking about it.

Pizza Stones VS Baking Steels

Instead of mulling over installing a wood-fired oven in your backyard, cooking on a pizza steel or pizza stone will work wonders for making a crispy pizza that levels with your favorite pizza place.

Now, that's a crust.

Pizza stones or baking stones are commonly made from ceramic or cordierite. They may be good conductors of heat but they don't transfer heat nearly as quickly as pizza steels. However, foods cooked on a pizza stone will cook evenly but they will require longer cooking.

Pizza steels are nearly indestructible, very durable and can last a lifetime. However, they require some level of care. It benefits from being seasoned from time to time. Steels are immune to thermal shock and won't shatter or break.

Stones

pros

Burns hotter that steelsHolds stable temperaturescheckAffordablecheckLittle maintenance/upkeepcheckLight weight

cons

Susceptible to thermal shockProper cleaning is a mustcheckTakes a while to heat up

Steels

pros

Preheats quicklyTransfers heat quicklyGood over various heat sourcescheckDurablecheckCools quickly

cons

More expensive than a stoneRequires precise seasoningcheckHeavy

All in all, we like steels over stones

When it comes down to it, I prefer the crust from a steel over a stone.

A quality steel will yield a more bubbly crust with the a hint of the charred flavor you get from a brick oven. With that being said, it's not all upside when working with a steel, it does require that you have a good understanding of proper seasoning methods. Without a precise season a steel will under-perform. Additionally, they are heavy, really heavy; some weigh in at upwards of 20 lbs. Now as it relates to cost, a steel will cost you about three times more than a stone, but it will outlast most everything in your kitchen. 

5 Best Baking Steels & Stones

Old Stone Oven Rectangular

This pizza stone is made of Cordierite clay which heats up quickly and evenly.

Old Stone is the ultimate, and the only homemade pizza buddy you’ll ever need. If you’re making the perfect pizza for a movie night or date night at home, you can’t just throw in the pizza dough in the oven.

This pizza stone is made of Cordierite clay that heats up quickly and evenly. Temperatures in the oven are not uniformly distributed because of various factors. Using the Old Stone will ensure that your pizza will be evenly baked throughout. The end product to that most likely be achieved with this pizza stone is a crusty exterior with a chewy core. How’s that for a home-made pizza?

Old Stone Features

The Old Stone Oven Rectangular comes with feet that help when lifting it off the oven. It also helps keep the stone steady when the pizza is being taken off it. Its thickness and weight ensure that pure materials were used to ensure maximum heat retention capacity is achieved. This enables the stone to keep heat longer which is suitable for use as a food warmer. The temperature range it can hold is up to 2000° F without breaking. Another feature is the Heat Core Center which focuses the heat at the center of the stone. This ensures that the quality and build will last for generations.

Old Stone Review

This is a great choice of cookware to invest in once you’ve decided to create restaurant grade pizza at home. It serves the purpose of using old-school stone ovens for baking pizza while using a conventional modern oven. It gives the crust and moisture balance that may not go smoothly when pizza is thrown straight into the oven.

STONE

PIZZACRAFTRectangular ThermaBond

 Pizzacraft stone boasts Thermabond technology made from cordierite.

As cooking pizza at home is not an everyday trend it leaves more room for experimentation. Pizzacraft Rectangular Thermabond stone is your absolute buddy – from bread to pastries, and of course crispy crusted pizza! This t results in finished products that seemed to have been baked in a brick oven.

PizzaCraft Stone Features

What makes the Pizzacraft stone stand out is the Thermabond technology that it is made from cordierite. The cordierite material has been tempered to withstand not only extreme heat but also, thermal shock. That said, there will be no problems with fast changes in temperature with this product. It will not crack during extreme temperatures which are very useful in fast-paced cooking situations. Another plus is that you don’t have to condition or season it before use. Compared to other steels, the pizza craft is thinner and wider which allows it to distribute heat to a wider area and doesn’t heat up that easily. This means that incidences of burnt crust before the cheese melt situation is averted.

PizzaCraft Stone Summery

The Pizzacraft stone is more than just a slab of clay because it can work wonders in your home-made pizza. It is fortified with thermabond to make it more durable even with everyday use. You don’t have to work around with it delicately and thus have the peace of mind that it will work well for more pizza nights to come. The 15-inch size is big enough to make a family sized pizza that everyone will surely enjoy.

STEEL

Baking Steel The Original

Basic science has taught us that metals are the best conductors of heat.

Some home pizza makers prefer the pizza stone made out of clay to mimic the environment of brick ovens. On the other hand, some prefer to use steel. One of the best steel pizza stone is the original Baking Steel. Basic science has taught us that metals are the best conductors of heat. That principle is what dominates the followers of the Baking Steel.

Baking Steel Original Features

Since metal is known to be the best heat conductors around, the Baking steel claims that it can hold 18x more heat than the conventional ceramic pizza stone. Furthermore, it promises to cook faster due to the high heat retention capabilities. Since it is made of sturdy built, risks of thermal shock and breakage are removed. Clean up is fuss-free with just the use of soap and water.

Baking Steel Original Summery

Comparing the Baking Steel with the ceramic pizza stone definitely has its advantages. The only consideration is the output. Since ceramic pizza stones are porous and can absorb moisture from the pizza dough, it promises to deliver that perfect crust we want without drying out the pizza because moisture remains at its core. With the high heat retention of the Baking steel, it will definitely rid the moisture out of any dough but it might leave the pizza too dry. Baking steel is really thick and heavy. This gives it a tendency to pack in heat very fast and burn the pizza crust before the top begin to cook.

STONE

NerdChef Steel Stone

Nerd Chef promises 20x more heat retention and at faster rates too.

Steel pizza stones have definitely left its mark on most home pizza makers. One such product is the Nerd Chef Steel Stone. Many are impressed by its durability on most cooking conditions and styles. As with most steel pizza stones, the Nerd Chef promises 20x more heat retention and at faster rates too. The product owes this feature due to the thickness of the steel used.

NerdChef Steel Stone Features

The highlight of owning a steel pizza stone is to create great pizza at a shorter time. This is the advantage of cooking with steel. The Nerd Chef created its shape in a square form to maximize and fit most ovens and grills. It also fitted two holes at either end for easier handling. The surface is sandblasted to ensure a smooth and even finish that will ease up cleaning situations. Although it heats up pretty easily, it must be pre-heat before use. The thickness promotes high heat retention for longer periods. Meaning, you can cook pizza continuously without preheating the steel over and over again.

NerdChef Steel Stone Summery

Steel really does have its advantages which are mostly practical ones. For the pragmatic home-maker, this will be the stone of choice because of its durability and more efficient use. But then again, some will pose the question on the quality of the outputs. Some may say that it will not cook pizza the old school way as with its ceramic counterparts. But nevertheless, if you are after efficiency and durability, this will be a great choice.

STONE

SolidoPizza Stone

The Solido stone is another trusted brand over the years.

Ceramic stones have a strong following simply because of the great success home pizza makers have with it. It has a primitive appeal to pizza making and just adds a homely vibe. The Solido stone is another trusted brand over the years. The square shape enables it to fit into most standard ovens and grills.

Solido Pizza Stone Features

What sets Solido apart is the addition of a unique heat spiral. The heat spiral embedded in this product allows heat from around the oven to be concentrated in its core and be evenly distributed throughout the plate. Also, it allows the pizza stone to heat faster and increase its heat retention properties. The result is perfect crusts and an evenly cooked, great tasting pizza. The heat spiral also adds traction for the hands for better grip and easier handling. What’s more, tiny feet are included at the base so that the plate can be easily lifted off the grill or the oven.

Solido Pizza Stone Summery

Solido has made significant improvements with the old school ceramic stone to make it more competitive with its contemporaries, the steel pizza stones. The appeal of the Solido stone is that even with the modern technology that fortified its heating capacities, it does not rob one from experiencing the pizzeria vibe that we get from using ceramics.

Top Videos for Pizza Stone Knowledge 

Rules to make the best homemade pizza
Pizzas are pizzas and nothing else can be its parallel. It is one of the fastest growing industries in the world of food. Statistics on pizza consumption have experienced dramatic increments with the progression of time. However, commercial pizzas are not the only thing we can enjoy. Homemade pizzas are getting immense popularity with a multitude of recipes showing up every now and then. The best part about homemade food is that we can add our own creativity into it. Nevertheless, here are some rules that must be followed in order to get the best homemade pizza you can ever have:

Handling the dough

It is not necessary to make your own dough at home. Store-bought dough is absolutely fine until and unless it is handled in the right manner. No matter whatever dough you are using, let it come to room temperature. Make sure it is malleable. Also make sure everything the dough touches is floured, including your hands and counter. This is to avoid sticking.

Know when to top

Toppings are of different kinds. Not all of them are to be put at once. This will do nothing but ruin the taste and its presentation. Some green toppings are preferred to cook from the start along with the dough. However, some are added as finishing touches. For instance, fresh basil leaves or paper-thin slices of meat can be added in the end. Sliced asparagus or sautéed mushrooms must be cooked along with the pizza.

Simplicity with the sauce

There is no need to get complicated with the sauces. The simpler the better. Simply get good red sauce. Find good tomatoes. You can either make yourself or get it from the market, but make sure you look over the ingredients. To make white sauce, simply add cream and little bit herbs in it. Whip it in the processor until it gets thick. However, this is not a generalized rule. You can make your own sauces but keep it simple.

Minimal meat

There is no use of having a pizza that is filled excessively with meat. It ruins the originality of pizza. However, it is preferable to layer the pizza with thin cured meats. Add them as a topping. They will melt and add more flavor to it. Make sure pizza is not flooded with pieces of meat. As a matter of general rule: lesser the meat, better the taste.

Purchase a pizza stone

There must be a hot surface to cook the dough. Otherwise it will dry out and your pizza will be ruined. The pizza will not be as crispy as it is supposed to be. You will have to compromise on taste as well. But it is not necessary to have a fancy one. Even a basic entry level stone is better than nothing. However, it's best to do a little research to discover the pizza stone that will fit you best. Here were some rules that must be followed when making homemade pizza since it can enhances its taste and the overall presentation.

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The Wonderful Art of Pizza

Uncovering the techniques of pizza that have been used over the centuries to create the best homemade pizza right from your own kitchen. 

Our goal is to ensure you always have new ways to cook pizza at home. We specialize in bringing you all the methods you'll need to host the perfect at home pizza party or just enjoy a restaurant style pizza at home on the couch with your favorite movie.