Pizza stone Dopers, share your wisdom

So **Dangerosa **went to a Pampered Chef party at a neighbor’s house, and ordered me a pizza stone. It arrived while she was out of town, but has now been unboxed and sits there waiting for me to do something with it.

I’ve made pizzas before (worked at Davanni’s back in the day, although most of my time was in the back doing prep or manning the hoagy ovens), but it’s been many years.

I’m sure there are a few folks out there with real-world experience with them – please share.

Those suckers are great! I’m no expert, but here’s what I know:
-It’s really helpful to have a pizza peel to go with the stone. I tried for awhile to do the “back of a cookie sheet” method, but that method sucks. Get a pizza peel.
-Heat the stone in the oven for at least half an hour, at a very high heat (e.g., 500 fahrenheit), before putting the pizza on. This lets the stone sear the pizza crust, making it good and crunchy.
-If you can, transfer the pizza off the stone before you cut it. Otherwise the sauce and cheese get on the stone and make a big mess.
-They’re also great for baking bread on. I’ve used it for pita and focaccia, both of which came out delicious in part because of the intense heat they got from the stone.


Don’t use soap when you wash it - treat it like a cast iron skillet.

Beyond that, nothing different really (on preview, do let it heat up in the oven like LHoD suggests), just make yer pizza and put it on the stone! Bagels are also quite good heated on it in the oven, all tasty and crunchy.

IIRC, the Pampered Chef stone I bought came with instructions to cook something greasy on it the first time out, like refrigerated biscuits (Pillsbury or the like).
My Pampered Chef stone broke about a month ago after 6 or 7 years of frequent use. I think it was a pretty good return on investment. Two things I am convinced made mine last longer than my friends’ stones:

  1. I bought a wire “handle” rack for it so if I had to move it I could do it gently.

  2. Mine lived on the bottom rack of my oven and I did not remove it from the oven unless absolutely necessary, like on Thanksgiving when I needed the space. You can cover it with a sheet of foil if you’re worried about drips onto it.

Don’t even clean it with water, IMO. If anything gets on it, heat it in the oven at 500 for a while until the stuff turns black and then you can scrape it off with the plastic scraper that came with it.

Avoid bumping it into things, don’t use anything on it that might scratch it, and avoid thermal shock - always preheat the oven with the stone in it, don’t put a room temp stone in your hot oven.

Yeah, come to think of it I can’t remember the last time we washed ours - I usually just brush it off with a paper towel after it’s cooled down.

I use an unglazed ceramic flooring tile I got at Home Depot for 97 cents about 10 years ago - it comes to the same thing. I washed the tile when I first bought it, but never since.
I heat it up to the max my oven will go (550 according to the dial) - it takes 20 min.
Slide the pizza in with a pizza peel.
8 mins and pizza is done, with a light crust with a crispy bottom.
I use the peel to take the finished pizza back out and put it on my marble cutting board to cool a bit. Then cut it with my ulu knife.


The pizza tile lives on the bottom rack of my oven. I never take it out.

Keeping it on the bottom rack is a very good idea. I’m going to move ours when I get home (that son a bitch is heavy, too).

Hate to go off subject here Brainiac4 but I have a quick question about Davanni’s if you don’t mind.
How come I can get a sub from subway, jimmy john’s, quiznos, or pot belly and it takes them 2-3 minutes to make it but at Davanni’s it takes them 15-20 minutes?
I got there for lunch about once a week.

I did/do the exact same thing

Works great and for a small fraction of what the PC people charge for theirs.

My pizza stone wisdom:
Don’t ever set your stone on the top of the stove to cool and put on a pot of water for tea, turning on the wrong burner in the process. The gunshot you hear five minutes later will be your superheated pizza stone exploded into two neat pieces.

However, if you overpaid for yours via Pampered Chef and you kept the receipt (right, like I keep receipts that long or could find them two years later), they will replace it, regardless of the fact that it was your own boneheadedness that broke the stone in the first place. (they’re really good with the guarantee thing)

Or, if you bought a cheap one, you could buy another and still probably not have paid as much as you would have for the Pampered Chef stone.

Uh… it’s been a long time. IIRC, actually making a hoagy is pretty darn fast – you need to assemble the stuff and put some cheese on it – and then it takes just a couple of minutes in the oven. My recollection is that the base time for a hoagy was maybe 5-6 minutes, escalating as you got orders backed up.

Partly I think it’s a technology difference – Jimmy John, Quiznos et al. use a conveyor belt method, so you have more of an assembly line approach. Davanni’s uses a single cook (two at busy times) doing the work of assembling the sandwich, putting it in the oven and taking it out. It’s somewhat less efficient. I like the results, though. Hoagies are good eating!

Thanks for the tips, all. I need to look into a “pizza peel”, as that’s a term I have not heard before. I was thinking that it might be best to get a paddle so I can make pizza on it and then deposit on the stone.

Has anyone tried frozen pizzas on the pizza stone? Debacle?

Like misling, I leave mine in the oven. I haven’t actually removed it in months, and that was to clean off charred cheese.

I have a cheap one, with a metal rack to move it with. I usually cook frozen pizzas on it, since I don’t really like taking the time to actually cook. After adding the the extra ingredients to make it almost taste good, the pizza stone does a good job with the crust. They are much better than just putting them on the rack.