I love cooking with my pizza stone. But after using it a couple times, I quickly noticed that my new stone was no longer looking new. How was I supposed to clean it? Was it safe to eat from?
How to Clean It?
Pizza stones are porous and have special needs when it comes to cleaning them. Some of the things you put on the stoneware, like soap, cleaning products, or even olive oil, can make the stone have different flavors or smells when you cook with it. The last thing you want to taste when biting into your crispy pizza is dish soap or cleaning chemicals.
It’s also not a good idea to clean burnt food off the stone by soaking it in water. If water gets trapped in the stone, your crusts may become soggy.
Materials Needed to Clean
- Blunt knife
- Plastic spatula
- Stainless steel brush
- Steel wool
- Pizza stone brush
4 Steps To Cleaning
- Put a small amount of water on the stone. Just enough to make it a little wet, but not too much.
- Big pieces of baked food can be scraped off with a blunt knife or spoon. You can use the stainless steel brush, steel wool, or a special pizza stone brush to get rid of any stains or leftover food.
- Clean off the stone with a damp cloth.
- Before putting the stone in a hot oven, let it air dry.
Can You Use Soap?
You shouldn’t use soap to clean your stone. The stones are porous and will absorb the soap, which will then be released when the stone is heated again. This can create a strange taste in your food.
Can You Use The Self Cleaning Option On The Oven?
If the stone has food stains that won’t come off even after the process above, you can bake it at very high heat or use an oven’s self-cleaning cycle to get it really clean. During the life of the stone, this should only be done once or twice. If this process is repeated, it can cause some stones to crack.
Should You Use Oil to Season It?
You should absolutely not use oil to season. When you cook food on an oiled stone, the fat in the oil might cause it to smoke. Some people believe that this seasons the stone like a cast iron pan, but rather than coating the surface with oil and creating a non-stick surface, it absorbs it.
To create a non-stick surface, spread cornmeal over the top of your stone. Food oils will naturally seep into the stone and do no harm. In fact, they will improve actually its performance. Your stone will be seasoned naturally after using it for cooking pizza or other meals.
What If Stains Remain After Scraping?
Any markings left after scraping will remain as “battle scars” and will not affect future pizzas. So you don’t need to get rid of the burnt appearance, just the burnt bits. The oven’s high heat means that no bacteria is left on the stone. If you can’t scrape it off, then it will not be getting into your food either.
Discolored-Look After Cleaning?
A well-used pizza stone usually has a lot of dark, discolored patches. It does not appear to be a brand-new slab straight out of the packaging. Do not try to clean it to make it seem newer. The ultimate goal is for it to become all black.
Storing Your Pizza Stone
Your stoneware should be stored in a well-ventilated place where it can’t get cracked, broken, or wet. There are a lot of places you could put it, such as on a shelf in your oven or in a special rack that holds cookware lids.