Choosing the Best Baking and Pizza Stones: Ceramic, Steel, and Cast Iron Options Examined

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Although this may seem like an unnecessary addition to your kitchen, a baking stone can become a fundamental tool for your home.

A baking stone, cast iron pizza pan, or baking steel is an excellent peice of gear for your home | Foodal.com

They are popularly used to make delicious concoctions like homemade pizza and great for other kinds of bread and even dishes like cookies or casseroles that require particularly even heat distribution.

The intense heat from the porous surface pulls moisture from the outside of dough to create a perfectly crunchy crust. A baking stone, also widely known as a pizza stone, mimics the conditions of a brick oven.

It allows you to bake or cook directly on the heat source, giving you a more powerful heating tool and very even cooking. You might find yourself leaving a one in your oven all the time!

Using your Baking Stone

Usually, you’ll place the baking stone in your oven when you preheat it. It’s better to put it in a cold oven and let it preheat with the oven. If you put it in a hot oven, you risk it cracking due to thermal shock. A hot surface will produce the best results.

When cooking something like pizza, it’s better to place your oven’s rack nearer the top of the oven. For other breads and baked goods, orient it in the middle.

There’s no need to grease or oil your pizza stone, as it should be naturally nonstick. If you’re using a peel, I recommend sprinkling cornmeal on the bottom of the bread or pizza so it’ll slide off a bit easier.

Make sure you let the stone cool completely before removing it from your oven. Depending on your preferences, there’s no need to ever remove it from your oven as it helps spread heat more evenly and won’t have any adverse effects when cooking, even if you’re not cooking directly on it. However, make sure that you don’t place heavy pots, like dutch ovens, directly onto the surface or you might risk cracking it.

Cleaning your Baking Stone

Once your stone is completely cool, start cleaning it by scraping off any stuck food particles. Never use soap to clean it: use hot water and a clean sponge to scrub it occasionally. You shouldn’t need to scrub it with water very often. The oils collected from food help keep the surface nonstick, so don’t worry about removing them.

Never soak it in water and let it dry thoroughly before storing it again. Your stone will discolor over use but there’s no need to worry about that, it’s a natural part of the cooking process. Many people choose to lay parchment paper on the surface before baking to make cleanup a bit easier.

What to Buy

There are a few different types of baking stones that include variations in shapes, sizes, even material, although most are clay or ceramic. Here are a few well-reviewed options for you to choose from.

Old Stone Oven 14×16-inch Baking Stone Review

Lodge Pro-Logic P14P3 Cast Iron Pizza Pan, Black, 14-inch

The Lodge Pro-Logic Pan comes pre-seasoned, saving you time and allowing you to dive right into cooking. In addition to baked goods like the ever-popular pizza, Lodge also recommends roasting veggies and cooking pork chops and other cuts of meat on this tool. You can also cook high-fat baked goods like cookies on the cast iron pan with no fear. Like all 0f the Pro-Logic line, this one is made in the USA.

Sur La Table Baking Steel Review

Although much less common, the serious baker or pizza connoisseur may want to consider getting a baking steel. The best thin crust pizzas are baked at the highest temperatures possible, and although your home oven won’t get this hot, this steel is oven safe up to 1800ºF! You can most certainly safely use it on the very hottest setting your oven has to offer without worrying about it breaking. It has eighteen times the conductivity of traditional stones.

In addition to being oven safe, you can also use it on your grill and even on your induction stovetop as a griddle, giving you a very multipurpose kitchen tool. In fact, this steel can even be chilled and used as a cold plate to serve appetizers on, as it holds temperatures so well.

 Sur La Table Baking Steel available from Amazon.

These models weigh quite a bit since they’re made from high-quality steel, so make sure you’re up to the challenge of moving it in and out of your oven or grill before purchasing. Best of all? These are made for Sur La Table in the USA by Stoughton Steel Co.

Kitchen Supply Aluminum Pizza Peel Review

 Kitchen Supply 14-Inch x 16-Inch Aluminum Pizza Peel with Wood Handle

No matter which you end up deciding is right for you, I highly recommend getting a pizza peel for your safety. To properly use a pizza stone, you should always preheat it in your oven or grill. This means that you will be working on an incredibly hot surface and it’s all too easy to accidentally burn yourself.

With the pizza peel, you can remove your pizza, bread, or even a cookie sheet a little more safely. Not to mention, it is far easier to move a raw, doughy pizza from your work surface to the hot stone with the help of a peel. You can even assemble the pizza right on the peel and then just slide it on.

RSVP World Class Pizza Cutter Review

 RSVP World Class Pizza Cutter

If you really want to outfit your kitchen with the ultimate pizza-making tools, you might want to add this pizza cutter to your collection. This issue may just be limited to my incompetence, but I always struggle to cut pizza. So much so that my fiancé now insists that he do the honors because I will just not get it right.

Not so with this pizza cutter! It’s shape allows you to really put your weight into it, making it much easier to evenly slice a pizza and actually cut all the way through. My favorite part: since it’s so much sharper than the standard pizza wheel, it’s not going to drag the precious cheese or topping away from the pie!

Summary

No matter which baking stone you’ve decided is right for your kitchen, you’ll find that it will truly add to your home cooking experience, not just with pizzas and breads, but nearly everything you prepare in the oven or grill. Pizza night will be much more fun and you’ll never find yourself with a soggy or burnt crust again!

Since this is an incredibly hot tool, make sure to always use it safely by using a peel and letting it cool completely before handling.

To truly enjoy your baking stone at its very best, make sure to check out these invaluable baking tips and tricks!

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About Chelsea Miller

Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.

16 thoughts on “Choosing the Best Baking and Pizza Stones: Ceramic, Steel, and Cast Iron Options Examined

  1. I have a baking stone and a pizza cutter like the one you posted. They both are wonderful! If you make pizzas regularly I would definitely recommend it. They both make the results much better.

  2. I have quite a few cast iron pieces and couple from Lodge Pro-Logic that I use regularly. I love using cast iron to cook. I’m surprised by how many people don’t consider using it and have said that I’m “old School”. lol
    Maybe I am. I don’t plan to give up my cast iron or the results I get using it. Just like me, the older and more seasoned they get, the better they are!

  3. Oh, wow! I’ve never heard of a baking stone. I’ve heard of a pizza pan. My mom has one for when she makes her own version of pizza. I usually just make mine in a regular oven flat pan. I’ve even been known to use a glass baking dish. Anyway, I love the idea of a baking stone. Thanks!

    • They are a fantastic invention and really make all the difference to your pizza. It’ s well worth investing in one if you cook pizza regularly.

  4. Like springbreeze, I too had never heard of a baking stone until reading this article. Thank you for all the helpful information!

    I’ve never made pizza from scratch, though I do like baking cookies on occasion, so the cast iron pan would probably be the one I’d invest in. Then again, I have always liked the idea of making pizza, so perhaps one day I’ll learn. In that case, the first baking stone covered would be good to buy.

    I also appreciate the tips on cleaning a baking stone after use. If I were to ever get one, I’ll definitely keep them in mind.

    Finally, I appreciate the mention of the pizza peel. It brings back memories of an entry-level job I had in food service, in which I had to prepare pizzas. So I can at least say I’ve heard of and used a pizza peel!

  5. There is a restaurant I eat at locally and they always bring meat and pizza’s out on the stone. It has just never dawned on me until reading this that I could have my own. If I pick one up I will surprise my friends a the next dinner party 🙂

  6. We used to have a metal pizza pan – the kind with the holes in it. It worked great for a long time. We recently were shopping and found a pizza stone we were really excited to use it but we didn’t follow the directions. That was a big mistake, always follow the directions. But now we know what to do it and it is a lot of fun making fresh pizza that taste even better then store bought or ones from the chain restaurants.
    I never knew they made cast iron pans for cooking pizzas, I am defiantly going to buy one of those!

  7. We have a ceramic stone but I had no idea you could cook so many other things on it!

    To cook biscuits and the like on a stone, do you mean to add baking paper or a metal baking tray on top of the stone? Just checking as I know different terms mean different things in other places.

    I do like the sound of the steel version though – it sounds very versatile being able to go on an induction stove as well.

  8. Somehow I had never heard of a pizza peel before…you learn something new every day 🙂
    I had no idea there were so many options out there for baking stones! Thank you for compiling this and including caveats like letting the stone warm up with the oven, I wouldn’t have really thought about it. I love making pizzas at home and always wondered why my crusts were disappointing! Hopefully this should help!

  9. A pizza stone is one of those things that I keep meaning to get, but so far I’ve never gotten beyond dreaming of making my own pizzas. I love the look of that pizza peel, and whatever fears I had of being burnt, are now gone.

    I am also a huge fan of cast iron cookware – the older the better! I cook most of my bread in a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven, and I even make tart tatin in a cast iron skillet, as well as grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes, and even pita bread. It beats me why people overlook it as one of the most amazing pieces of equipment you can have in your kitchen. I think the real reason people don’t use it more is because they worry about the care and seasoning of it.

  10. I think that I would go with a stone. Although I liked the product my mom had one that was circular and had handles. I just do not know where she got it from. If I get the one without the handles, I would definitely need the pizza peel so that I do not burn my hand. I would also need the cutter in general because I always have trouble with the smaller, cheaper ones.

  11. I cannot recommend a baking stone enough! I’ve used mine so so much. However, since I worked in a pizza place for years, I will give this advice: invest in a pizza peel. They make smaller ones that are just right for a home oven. This is a great article, the links to products are so helpful!

  12. I have heard of stoneware pizza stones but not ones made from cast iron nor steel ones. I have a stoneware baking sheet and a stoneware muffin pan so if the first pizza stone is of the same material I am wondering why higher fat foods cannot be used on it when I can with my other stoneware pieces? I like my cast iron skillet and use it all the time so the cast iron pizza pan is appealing to me. The idea of using it for cooking meats and roasting vegetables sounds great too. The baking steal sounds really amazing as well, like it can do just abut anything, but the weight might be too cumbersome. I’ll have to look into them all more.

  13. Well I don’t even know what to say! Well I guess I can start by saying, Thank You. Thank you so much for introducing me to the baking stone world. I had seen many cooking shows before, but had never really acknowledged the existence of the baking stones. Seriously I didn’t even notice them until now. I totally took them for granted. I’m already envisioning all the cool and delicious recipes I can try once I get my own baking stone. A little earlier today, before I stumbled unto this article, I read a Spinach Calzone recipe in this site, and they mentioned the baking stones, and I wondered what in the world they were. I’m going to have to go back to that recipe so I can now visualize the whole process again so I can try the recipe, now that I know what baking stones are. Thanks again!

  14. I have been looking for a good article on baking stones, and this one has to be the most informative. I think I would prefer a stone compared to a metal pan. I really liked that you included the fact that the pan/stone needs to be heated with the oven in order to prevent cracking. This was a great article for a baking stone newbies like me! Thanks for the awesome information.

  15. HI, I just looked up Cook’s magazine reviews of PIZZACRAFT ALL PURPOSE BAKING STONE. (ABOUT $30.) AND I was astonished as I tried to buy the PIZZACRAFT all purpose stone on Amazon.com, and everyone reviewed that stone as STINKING AND REEKING UP THEIR OVEN!!! WOW, and i just wrote an email asking their test kitchens,”are you sure this is the same stone you used and recommended?” cause I now am completely soured on going out and buying a pizza stone.

    I have a metal, heavy-duty steel cookie sheet, and now I wonder, with corn meal sprinkled on it, would THAT WORK as a pizza stone? –or baking stone for bread? I never read about steel-metal, thick cookie sheets any where.But I have used it a lot for other items. What don you think? thank you!!!—dissappointed in Eugene
    OR

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