Understanding everything for yielding the best tasting pizza and enjoying it with friends and family. A DIY pizza at home guide.
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Reviewing the latest pizza stones and baking steels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
prosBurns hotter that steelsHolds stable temperaturescheckAffordablecheckLittle maintenance/upkeepcheckLight weight
consSusceptible to thermal shockProper cleaning is a mustcheckTakes a while to heat up
prosPreheats quicklyTransfers heat quicklyGood over various heat sourcescheckDurablecheckCools quickly
consMore expensive than a stoneRequires precise seasoningcheckHeavy
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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