We all agree that we love pizza, right? Some of you might even enjoy making pizza. But, what we might not enjoy is the part that comes after making and eating pizza; cleaning the kitchen.
Owning a pizza stone is one way to show that you take your baking quite seriously, but knowing how to clean it is a skill on its own. Many trials and errors with conventional home ovens would quickly reveal to you that using a pizza stone is the best way to get the perfect pizza crust. Luckily, your pizza stone can be put to good use in the kitchen in making a variety of other foods, but expect the wear and tear that comes with age.
Can You Clean A Burnt Pizza Stone?
Yes, you can clean a burnt pizza stone. A pizza stone turned black might be unsightly, but don’t completely write it off yet. A few cleaning materials, the right amount of patience, and meticulousness will have your pizza stone looking good as new. To get longevity out of your pizza stone, clean it after every use or two.
Pizza Stone Turned Black? Here’s How to Clean it Correctly
Pizza stones – or baking stones, come in different sizes and can be made from steel, stone, ceramic, or clay. The more frequently you use your pizza stone, the darker it becomes. And as your stone darkens, it loses its non-stick quality.
- To clean your darkened pizza stone, your stone must first be completely cool. A hot stone could get damaged coming into contact with water.
- Now, wet the stone with a small amount of water.
- If there are chunks of food stuck on the surface and in the crevices of your stone, scrape them off using a blunt knife or spatula. Brush off any other crumbs or leftover particles with a pizza stone brush. If you don’t have a pizza stone brush, you can substitute it with a stainless steel brush.
- Once you have gotten all the chunks off your pizza stone, wipe the surface of the stone with a damp cloth. Allow your pizza stone to air dry.
NOTE: Some people recommend washing your pizza stone in the dishwasher, but that might not be the best idea seeing as most stones are not dishwasher-friendly. A quick spin in the dishwasher would give you a cleaner pizza stone, but we do not recommend it.
What materials can help you get the black off a pizza stone?
The first thing to know before cleaning your pizza stone is this; do not clean it with soap or you will have the residue in your stone for a long time. Have these tools handy instead:
- Blunt knife
- Pizza stone brush
- Stainless steel brush
- Baking soda
Make a baking soda paste with one part water and three parts baking soda. After cooling and scraping your pizza stone, apply your baking soda mixture and scrub gently with a brush. Wipe off the paste with a cloth, and if you still have some stubborn bits stuck to your pizza stone, it’s time to fire up the big guns.
Place your stone in the oven and heat up to 500℉. Leave the stone to heat up for between 15 – 60 minutes.
Why Does a Pizza Stone Turn Black?
Pizza stones are a popular kitchen tool used for making delicious, crispy pizzas. However, over time, the surface of the stone can become discolored, turning black and impacting its performance and aesthetics. Understanding why this happens is an important step in preventing it from occurring.
The main reason a pizza stone turns black is due to the accumulation of grease, oil, and food particles on the surface of the stone. As the stone is heated, these substances can become baked onto the surface, leading to discoloration and staining. Additionally, if the stone is used frequently, it can develop a buildup of grime and dirt, which can contribute to discoloration and staining.
Another factor that can contribute to the blackening of a pizza stone is cooking acidic ingredients like tomato sauce directly on the stone. Acidic ingredients can react with the stone’s porous surface, causing it to become discolored and even damaged over time. This is especially true if the stone is not properly cleaned after use, as residual acidic ingredients can continue to react with the surface of the stone.
Using a pizza stone at high temperatures can also contribute to discoloration and staining. When the stone is heated to high temperatures, any grease or food particles on the surface can become baked onto the stone, leading to discoloration and staining. Additionally, high temperatures can cause the stone to develop cracks or other damage, which can also impact its performance and appearance.
Cleaning a Pizza Stone
Cleaning a pizza stone is an essential step in maintaining its performance and appearance. Before attempting to restore a blackened pizza stone, it is important to thoroughly clean it to remove any accumulated grease, oil, and food particles. In this section, we will discuss different methods for cleaning a pizza stone.
The first and most basic method of cleaning a pizza stone is using water and a brush. After each use, allow the stone to cool completely before gently scraping any remaining food particles off with a brush or scraper. Then, using a damp cloth or sponge, wipe the surface of the stone to remove any remaining debris or residue. Be careful not to use soap or any other cleaning agents, as they can be absorbed by the porous surface of the stone and affect its performance.
For tougher stains and grime, deep cleaning with baking soda and vinegar can be effective. To do this, mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste, and spread it over the surface of the stone. Let it sit for several minutes to allow the baking soda to penetrate the surface, then scrub the stone with a brush or scraper. Rinse the stone with water, then apply a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar to the surface, which will react with the baking soda to create a fizzing reaction that will help lift any remaining dirt and debris. Rinse the stone again with water and allow it to air dry completely before using.
Specialized pizza stone cleaners are also available, which are designed to clean the stone without damaging its surface. These cleaners are usually formulated with natural ingredients like plant-based enzymes and are free of harsh chemicals like ammonia or phosphates. To use, simply follow the instructions on the cleaner and apply it to the surface of the stone before rinsing thoroughly with water.
Restoring the Original Color
If your pizza stone has turned black, restoring its original color can help improve its performance and appearance. In this section, we will discuss different methods for restoring the original color of a pizza stone.
The first method for restoring a pizza stone’s color is high-temperature baking. To do this, preheat your oven to its highest temperature, typically around 550°F (288°C). Place the pizza stone in the oven and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes. This will burn off any remaining grease or food particles on the surface of the stone, which can help restore its original color. After the stone has cooled, use a brush or scraper to remove any remaining residue.
Another method for restoring a pizza stone’s color is applying vegetable oil. To do this, lightly coat the surface of the stone with a high smoke-point oil like canola or grapeseed oil. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, spread the oil over the surface of the stone, being careful not to use too much. Let the oil soak into the stone for at least 24 hours, which will create a protective layer that helps prevent future staining and restores the stone’s original color. After the oil has soaked in, wipe the surface of the stone with a clean cloth to remove any excess oil.
Finally, using a mixture of salt and baking soda can be effective for restoring a pizza stone’s color. To do this, mix equal parts salt and baking soda to create an abrasive paste. Spread the paste over the surface of the stone, then use a brush or scraper to scrub the surface of the stone, focusing on any discolored areas. Rinse the stone with water and repeat as necessary until the stone’s original color is restored.
Tips for Preventing Pizza Stone Blackening
Preventing a pizza stone from turning black in the first place is the best way to maintain its performance and appearance. In this section, we will discuss different tips for preventing pizza stone blackening.
The first tip for preventing pizza stone blackening is proper cleaning after each use. As mentioned earlier, after each use, allow the stone to cool completely before gently scraping any remaining food particles off with a brush or scraper. Then, using a damp cloth or sponge, wipe the surface of the stone to remove any remaining debris or residue. Be careful not to use soap or any other cleaning agents, as they can be absorbed by the porous surface of the stone and affect its performance.
Another tip is to avoid cooking acidic ingredients like tomato sauce directly on the stone. Acidic ingredients can react with the stone’s porous surface, causing it to become discolored and even damaged over time. If you must use acidic ingredients, consider using a barrier like parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat to protect the surface of the stone.
Preheating the pizza stone before using it can also help prevent uneven cooking and reduce the risk of staining. To preheat the stone, place it in the oven and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes before placing the pizza on top. This will help ensure that the stone is evenly heated and reduce the risk of staining.
Finally, consider using a pizza peel to transfer the pizza onto the stone. A pizza peel is a flat, shovel-like tool used to slide pizzas onto a hot surface like a pizza stone. Using a pizza peel can help prevent spills and reduce the risk of staining the stone with food or grease.
How do you know if a Pizza Stone is bad?
A pizza stone turned black might look unsightly, but a change in color doesn’t mean it’s time to toss it out. In fact, pizza stone blackening over time is quite natural. If you feel like your pizza stone turned black too quickly, a routine cleaning will fix it.
Most pizza stones are versatile and will last several years with good maintenance. But while you can expect your trusty kitchen tool to live long and serve you for many years, your stone can develop some wear and tear over time.
Watch out for cracks in your stone, and avoid strong-smelling foods since they absorb into the stone over time. if you have a cracked pizza stone, your best option is to get a replacement since the damaged stone will simply not perform the same.
Is it normal for pizza stone to stain?
Yes, it is normal for a pizza stone to stain over time with use. This is because pizza stones are porous materials that absorb grease, oil, and food particles during the cooking process. Even with regular cleaning, some staining and discoloration may occur.
However, excessive staining and discoloration can impact the performance and appearance of the pizza stone. This is why it is important to clean the stone regularly and take steps to prevent excessive staining, such as avoiding cooking acidic ingredients directly on the stone and using a pizza peel to transfer the pizza onto the stone.
If a pizza stone becomes heavily stained or discolored, it is possible to restore its original color and appearance using the methods discussed in point IV of this article. However, prevention is always the best approach, and regular cleaning and maintenance can help keep your pizza stone looking and performing its best.
How long should a pizza stone last?
The lifespan of a pizza stone depends on several factors, including the quality of the stone, how often it is used, and how well it is cared for. With proper care and maintenance, a high-quality pizza stone can last for several years or even decades.
However, it’s important to note that some wear and tear is normal, and over time, a pizza stone may develop cracks or other damage that can impact its performance. This is especially true if the stone is exposed to rapid temperature changes, which can cause it to expand and contract and potentially crack.
To maximize the lifespan of your pizza stone, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and care. This may include preheating the stone before use, avoiding rapid temperature changes, and cleaning the stone regularly using gentle cleaning methods. If you notice any damage or cracking, it’s best to replace the stone to ensure optimal performance and safety.
Can you overheat a pizza stone?
Yes, it is possible to overheat a pizza stone if it is heated above its maximum recommended temperature. Most pizza stones are designed to be used at high temperatures, typically up to 500-550°F (260-288°C). However, if the stone is heated above this temperature, it can potentially crack or become damaged, which can impact its performance and safety.
To avoid overheating your pizza stone, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and care, including the recommended temperature range. Additionally, when preheating your oven, it’s a good idea to let the pizza stone heat up gradually to avoid exposing it to sudden, extreme temperatures.
If you’re unsure about the maximum recommended temperature for your pizza stone or have concerns about overheating, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s website or contact their customer service for more information.
What not to do with a pizza stone?
To ensure optimal performance and lifespan of your pizza stone, there are some things you should avoid doing with it. Here are some important “do nots” to keep in mind:
- Do not use soap or other harsh cleaning agents to clean the pizza stone. These can be absorbed by the porous surface of the stone and affect its performance.
- Do not use metal utensils or abrasive materials like steel wool to clean the pizza stone, as they can scratch the surface and cause damage.
- Do not expose the pizza stone to rapid temperature changes, such as taking it from a hot oven and placing it on a cold surface. This can cause the stone to crack or become damaged.
- Do not put a cold pizza stone into a preheated oven, as this can cause the stone to crack or become damaged. Always preheat the oven with the pizza stone in place.
- Do not overload the pizza stone with toppings or place overly large pizzas on it, as this can cause the stone to crack or become damaged.
- Do not cook acidic ingredients like tomato sauce directly on the pizza stone, as they can react with the porous surface and cause discoloration or damage over time.
By avoiding these “do nots” and following the manufacturer’s instructions for use and care, you can help ensure the optimal performance and lifespan of your pizza stone.
Does pizza stone get better with age?
Yes, a pizza stone can get better with age if it is well-cared for and used frequently. Over time, the stone can become seasoned with use, developing a natural non-stick surface that can help prevent sticking and improve the quality of your pizzas.
As the stone is used, it can absorb grease and oil from the pizzas, which can contribute to the seasoning process. Additionally, with frequent use, the stone can develop a patina, which is a thin layer of oil and carbon that can help create a non-stick surface.
However, it’s important to note that while some discoloration and staining is normal and can contribute to the seasoning process, excessive staining or damage can impact the performance of the pizza stone. It’s important to clean the stone regularly and take steps to prevent excessive staining or damage, as discussed in this article.
Should you wash a pizza stone with soap?
Never clean your pizza stone with soap. Manufacturers don’t advise it, chefs don’t advise it, and we don’t advise it. Pizza stones absorb liquid and will trap some of that soap inside their crevices. What this means is “soap-flavored pizza” for you if you wash your stone with soap.
Our guide to washing your blackened pizza stone should get rid of any stubborn particles on your stone.
Read also: How to Use A Pizza Stone for The First Time
Can I use Bar Keepers Friend on a pizza stone?
You notice your pizza stone turned black and it is rather unsightly. What do you do? Clean it out, of course. You might be tempted to reach out for a can of your trusty cleaning agent; Bar Keepers Friend, but don’t.
Pizza stones do not need to be cleaned with soap or any other cleaning agents. Deep cleaning with water and baking soda will do the trick.
In summary, don’t worry about what to do if your pizza stone turned black over time; it is completely natural. If your stone will be putting in a lot of work baking more than just pizza for you, you should schedule a deep-cleaning after every use or two.
Cleaning a pizza stone is easy with the right materials – water, a soft cloth, baking soda, and a blunt knife. Avoid using oils or soap as soap tends to be absorbed by the stone and may leave a lingering smell.
Pizza stones are a perfect addition to every kitchen, helping you create pizzas to your taste and style. With practice, your pizzas would soon be comparable to pies made from your favorite pizza store.
And finally, replace your pizza stone when it develops too many cracks. But with proper maintenance, you can expect your pizza stone to serve you for many years.