After figuring out the best pizza stone to buy, the next question that pops into the mind of a pizza-making lover is, should I preheat my pizza stone?
Yes, except you want a soggy pizza crust.
Purchasing the right baking tool does not guarantee excellent results if you don’t know how to use them properly.
If you want to get the crispiest pizza crust, you should preheat your pizza stone and do it properly.
Table of Contents
- Why You Should Preheat a Pizza Stone?
- Step-by-step Guide on How to Preheat Your Pizza Stone
Why You Should Preheat a Pizza Stone?
The main reason for using a pizza stone when baking your favorite pizza is to crisp up the dough base. With a cold pizza stone, you probably get nothing except a soggy, uncooked pizza. Thus, it’s paramount to preheat the tool to deliver the expected results.
Your home kitchen is not capable of reaching high temperatures like a pizza oven. Therefore, you need a pizza stone to help achieve extreme temperatures with your standard oven. The pizza stone is designed to retain heat, which is transferred to the pizza base to deliver a nice and crispy crust.
A pizza oven radiates heat from the top of the appliance to heat your topping while the bottom gets heated to bake the pizza base at the same rate for sumptuous pie. This is how a pizza oven differs from your home oven – the baking floor. Thus, you need a baking stone to replicate the performance of the pizza oven’s floor.
While there are other baking tools to serve as baking flour for your pizza, it’s best to opt for a pizza stone – and here’s why. To get desired results, you want to place your pizza on a hot surface like pizza stones, as a cold baking sheet takes a while before it attains high temperature to start baking your pizza.
As stated above, you need to place the dough on a hot surface. Hence, it’s recommended to preheat your pizza stone before baking your pizza.
Can I Place my Pizza Stone in a Hot Oven?
No, it’s advisable to slide your cold baking stone into a hot kitchen oven. Doing this might cause your pizza stone to crack. This baking tool is usually made from ceramic or clay, which means they are not temperature shock resistant. Therefore, you want to learn how to use the pizza stone properly to prevent it from cracking.
What Temperature is Best to Preheat My Baking Stone?
To achieve the best consistency – a crispy base while it’s still nice and soft on the inside – it’s important that the pizza bakes quickly. This is why you need a blazing-hot oven. A wood-fired pizza oven can attain a high temperature of up 900 degrees F, while a commercial oven can reach 800 degrees F.
Sadly, your kitchen oven can not get that blazing hot, but you can try to mimic the performance of a pizza oven. It would be best if you tried to preheat the pizza stone to at least 500 degrees F. Keep in mind that the hotter the tool, the better the result.
Not preheating your pizza up to 500 degrees F might leave you with a soggy or raw pizza. Even worse, the dough will stick to the baking stone, which will be a messy and frustrating experience.
What happens to the temperature of the stone when I add cold pizza?
After adding your cold pizza to the hot pizza stone, you will notice a drop in the surface temperature of the tool. This is totally normal. Therefore, if you will be baking several pizzas consecutively, you should preferably preheat the pizza stone between each baking session. Otherwise, the second pizza will be less crispy than the first, which holds for other batches.
How Long Should I Preheat the Pizza Stone?
From our experience, it’s best to preheat your pizza stone anywhere from 45 mins to 1 hour. While a lot of people suggest preheating the stone for 15 minutes, we found this insufficient. This is not enough time for the pizza stone to absorb a lot of heat to guarantee a crispy pizza crust.
How many pizzas can I bake right after each other?
From our experience, it’s better to bake two pizzas consecutively before preheating the stone. However, suppose you intend to bake several pizzas. In that case, you should allow the stone to heat up for about 15 minutes after every two pizzas. This guarantees that the stone gets blazing hot to bake the other pizza for a crispy crust.
You can use both sides of the stones to bake your pizza for those with a large stone. This makes it easier to quickly bake several pizzas, as the other side not in use heats up and gets ready for the next one.
Step-by-step Guide on How to Preheat Your Pizza Stone
Preheating your stone isn’t a daunting task. You can either use your grill or oven; you’d pretty much be getting the same result.
Using the oven
1. Put the pizza stone in a cold oven: you don’t want to put your stone into a hot oven; this causes the stone to crack. Thus, it’s safer to place the stone in the oven when the appliance is still cold and slowly allow the stone to heat up.
If you own an oven with a broiler, then you should position the stone very close to the broiler to ensure it gets blazing hot.
2. Set your oven to the hottest temperature: the goal is to heat both pizza stone and oven to a high temperature. Thus, it’s advised to crank your oven and broiler up as hot as possible to get the stone incredibly hot.
3. Preheat the stone for at least 1 hour: to guarantee that the stone gets hot enough, it’s best to preheat the stone for about an hour. You don’t want to be impatient. Skipping this step will likely leave you with a soggy, raw pizza.
Using a pizza stone allows you to mimic a pizza oven for the desired result. However, not preheating this tool for a long time will likely leave you with a soggy pizza.
Thus, you should preheat the pizza stone for about 45 – 60 mins. This way, your pizza stone retains a lot of heat and transfers it to your pizza base for a crispier result.