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.
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.
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
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.