What is a Pizza Stone? Discover the Most Practical Answer

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What is a Pizza Stone?

Do you know what is a pizza stone?

You have probably had amazing pizzas from wood- or coal-fired ovens and wondered what makes them so good compared to the pizza you make at home.

Aside from the higher temperatures than those ovens reach compared to your home range, a big difference is in the pan – or lack thereof!

In brick or stone ovens, the pizza is often placed directly on the floor of the hot oven. If you are not lucky enough to have your own brick oven, you can come closer to achieving that great crust by using a pizza stone.

So, let’s see what is a pizza stone.

Let’s find out!

What is a Pizza Stone?

A pizza stone is a portable cooking surface made of ceramic or stone about 3/4 inch thick where you place your baking goods which are then placed in an oven or grill. 

Pizza Stone
What is a Pizza Stone?

Pizza stones absorb heat quickly and hold it for an extended amount of time. Boosting the temperature and providing an extra-hot surface to bake the pizza, this simulate the effect of a pizzeria’s brick oven.

The greater heat not only produces a beautiful pizza crust, but it may also reduce baking time to under 10 minutes, allowing you to produce pizzas like a true pizzaiolo.

Baking stones are similar to cookie sheets, except they may absorb more moisture for crispier results.

What is a Baking Stone?

A baking stone is the same thing as a pizza stone; the terms are interchangeable.

In the last few years, pizza stones made of a material such as composite minerals or steel have become popular – more on that later.

How to Use a Pizza Stone (Oven & Grill Step-by-Step Instructions)

  1. Preheat the pizza stone 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes. If at all feasible, the oven temperature for a pizza stone should be higher than 500° F.
    In the center of the pizza stone, place a room-temperature pizza (do not season the stone).
  2. Close the grill lid/oven and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Cook for another 5-7 minutes after turning the pizza 180 degrees using a pizza peel.
  4. Allow the pizza stone to cool in the oven or on the grill before cleaning.

Does a Pizza Stone Make a Difference?

Compared to cooking in a metal pan on an oven rack, there absolutely is a difference. If you already make pizza at home you may have had a less than stellar outcome: 

soft pizza crust

The pizza looks great, but when you look closer and cut into it you find that the dough is not cooked enough.

burnt pizza crust

Or the opposite but the equally disappointing result: by the time you’ve browned the bottom of the pizza, the toppings are overdone and dried out.

Pizza Pun


What are you if can’t decide what kind of pizza to get?

You’re indeSLICEsive.

What is a Pizza Stone

Here is how you can now bake the perfect crust! You need to get yourself a pizza stone!

Let us explain what is a pizza stone and how it works.

How Pizza Stones Work

By baking directly on the hot pizza stone, heat is more efficiently transferred to the bottom of the pizza.

In addition, the steam generated from the cooking dough can more easily escape via the porous stone.

This helps the crust cook up crispier and crunchier than when in contact with a non-porous metal pan.

The Results of Using a Pizza Stone Speak for Themselves

checking crust

Advantages of Using a Pizza Stone

Another advantage of using a stone is that the pizza cooks faster, taking only about 6-8 minutes per pie.

Even if you decide to keep your pizza in a pan (as in Chicago or Sicilian style), it’s still a great idea to use a pizza stone for its ability to transfer heat to the pan.

Pro Tip


It is best practice to preheat your pizza stone for at least 1hr before using it. This will give you the best results!

What Features Should You Consider When Buying a Pizza Stone?

Now that you know what is a pizza stone, we’ve got you thinking about getting one, you are probably wondering what to look for in a pizza stone.

First, think about how you see yourself using the stone – either leaving it in the oven most of the day or bringing it out to serve on; your answer may help you decide what features are important for you.

The considerations for buying a pizza stone vs baking stone are the same.

Pizza Stone Material

What kind of stone is a pizza stone?

Ceramics and Stones

The most common materials are porous ceramic or clay; other choices include enameled ceramic, composite stone material, cordierite (a naturally occurring heat-tolerant mineral), or even salt!

The unglazed stone/clay/ceramic ones have been around the longest in home kitchens and are recommended for those getting started with baking stones.

Want to learn more about pizza stone materials? Check our article “Examining the Anatomy of Pizza Stones” for more information.

Pizza Stone Heat Resistance

Regardless of the material, make sure to check the temperature range of the pizza stone you are planning to buy. It should be rated to at least 550°F, otherwise, it may crack when you crank up your oven.

Want to learn more about how to choose between a pizza stone and pizza steel?  Check our article on Pizza Stones Heat Retention:  Fiery Ways to Retain Heat” for more information.

Pizza Stone Size and Shape

Larger rectangular ones give you more baking room but are rather heavy and are therefore best left in the oven for the day. If you want to bring the pizza stone to the table to keep your pizza warm, you may choose a smaller round one with a carrying rack.

Some pizza stones are actually a set of tiles that you arrange on the oven rack; this style has the advantage of being easier to move (and perhaps store) as well as maximizing your baking surface.

However, tiles are not readily moved from oven to table and are thus designed to stay in the oven until cooled (which will take several hours).

Pizza Stone Thickness & Weight

Pizza stone thickness obviously contributes to weight, but that doesn’t mean thinner is better. Higher thickness provides more heat capacity – meaning that it will stay hot even when you are putting the cold dough on it, and you will not need to take any time to reheat between pizzas. Thicker pizza stones may also be less breakable.

Pizza Stone Handles

Handles that are part of the pizza stone itself will get very hot and take up space in the oven that you could use for baking more pizza.

However, round pizza stones sometimes include a metal rack with handles that stay out of the oven but can hold the stone, and this feature can be useful for serving at the table.


These are Our Favorite Pizza Stones

Thermichef by Conductive Cooking Thermichef by Conductive Cooking

Restaurant quality pizza is now achievable without an expensive brick-oven stove or stone. Introducing the ultra-conductive Square Pizza Steel from Conductive Cooking! We made the ultimate cooking plate for home chefs to help them create the perfect brick-oven like pizza.


We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you!
Our Top Pick
Unicook Heavy Duty Pizza Grilling Stone Unicook Heavy Duty Pizza Grilling Stone

 Unicook pizza stone is made of all-natural Cordierite, sintered in a 2100°F kiln for hours, with no odor under proper use. Feature of superior strength, durability, heat retention, and excellent thermal shock resistance, built to outlast all others. Heat resistant up to 1,450°F (787°C).

The special porous structure of the baking stone helps to distribute heat evenly and draw out the moisture from dough efficiently; Make pizza or bread with crispy crusts, avoiding the sogginess that often occurs with metal pans.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you!
Our Top Pick
The Original Baking Steel

The Original Baking Steel is perfect for making high-quality pizzas at home. Stores 18 times more energy than traditional ceramic pizza stones. Perfect for crispier crusts and faster cook times.


Quarter-inch steel is virtually indestructible and won’t shatter or crack; cleans up quickly and easily with gentle soap and warm water. 16" Round, 16 Lbs. Manufactured in the USA.


Check it Out
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How Should You Take Care of Your Pizza Stone?

The maintenance of your pizza stone depends on the material from which it is made. Unglazed, porous stone or ceramics generally should not be soaked in water, and definitely not soap!

Just remove any stuck bits with a spatula and/or dry scrub brush; there will likely be black or brown marks on the pizza stone that do not need to come off and contribute to “seasoning” the pizza stone (much like a cast-iron skillet).

For other types of pizza stones, consult the user manual or product information sheet.

What is a Pizza Stone? – Steel

Steel and iron slabs are alternatives to a pizza stone that conduct heat more efficiently but are more expensive and require a slightly different cooking technique.

Want to learn more about how to choose between a pizza stone and pizza steel?  Check our article “The One Thing You Need to Make the Perfect Pizza” for more information.

Here’s What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

Highly Recommended
NerdChef Steel Stone NerdChef Steel Stone

Making great crusts traditionally requires a 700-1000F wood-fired oven. Nerdchef Steel Stone replicates that performance in a home oven with its super-high heat transfer ability - transferring heat energy 20 times faster than ceramic. It creates beautiful and crispier crusts, gorgeous blistering throughout, and it cooks faster.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you!

What’s the Difference Between a Pizza Stone and a Pizza Steel?

Pizza steels and pizza stones are kitchen tools that mimic the high-heat conditions of a brick oven in your home oven. However, there are a few distinctions between pizza steel and a pizza stone to consider before deciding which to buy.

Pizza steels are constructed of highly conductive steel or cast iron, as their name indicates. A pizza stone is a porous material, such as ceramic or cordierite, that absorbs heat to cook a pizza.

Heat conductivity: Because a pizza steel is made of steel, which has a higher heat conductivity than ceramic or cordierite, it heats up faster than a pizza stone. A pizza steel, on the other hand, will cook your pizza faster than a pizza stone.

Cook time: Because pizza steels can get hotter than pizza stones, the cooking time for a pizza made with steel is shorter than that of a pizza made with a stone.

Budget: Pizza stones are generally less expensive than pizza steels, making them an excellent choice for home cooks who make pizzas on a regular basis.

Thermal shock: If your pizza stone is placed in a hot oven and exposed to high heat too quickly, it is more likely to break or shatter due to thermal shock. Pizza steels are made of a heat-resistant, shatter-proof material that will not break.

Extra functionality: Both pizza stones and pizza steels are extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of dishes. A pizza stone is ideal for baking a variety of breads, whereas pizza steels may not be suitable for extra-leavened bread. On the stovetop, pizza steels can be used as a griddle, whereas a pizza stone cannot be used over the burners.

Do I Need any Other Equipment when Using a Pizza Stone?

We recommend purchasing a pizza peel, a large flat paddle that can be slid under the pizza to get it in and out of the oven.

The Last Slice

Now that you know what is a pizza stone. If you don’t have one yet, you can use the flattest baking sheet you have; if it has a rim, turn it upside down so you can slide the pizza off the pan onto the stone.

Here’s What the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Use and Recommend

Best 2 in 1
Perforated Pizza Peel for Outdoor/Indoor Pizza Oven

Why have two pizza peels when you can only have one. This pizza peel surpasses the benefits of wood peels with the convenience of a metal peel. It's made entirely from anodized aluminum for a lightweight design that's incredibly durable, too. It's designed to be used frequently in high-heat pizza ovens.

Check it Out
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Alternatives to Pizza Stones

If you don’t want to buy a pizza stone or pizza steel there are many other alternatives you can use to get good results for your pizza crust. 

In our article “Insanely Powerful Pizza Baking Surfaces that will Give You the Best Crust,” we show you an array of practical solutions, some of which you may already have around your kitchen.  So, check it out!

15 Pizza Surfaces to bake the Perfect crust final


Insanely Powerful Pizza Baking Surfaces that will Give You the Best Crust

Find 15 alternatives for a pizza baking surface. You may be surprised as some of them you may already own and some may take you for a spin.

Additional Resources

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Enjoy!

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