DIY: Create Your Own Pizza Stone for $5

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Green Living

Marye Audet
DCL

Personally, I am a big fan of pizza and artisan bread. In fact, I plan to construct my very own wood-burning brick bread oven at some point. Unfortunately, the weather is not suitable for that today.

What makes the crust on these breads so exceptional is simple. The heat is retained by the stone and brick, creating a unique crust that cannot be replicated. The stone removes moisture from the dough, resulting in a crisp crust. The issue is that commercial baking stones are very expensive. They are a little too pricey for someone like me who enjoys homesteading, and I don’t appreciate that they only last for around a year. Surely there must be a better option.

Unglazed Quarry Tile

Did you know that it is possible to create your own homemade pizza stone for approximately five dollars?

Although I never expected to find my gourmet baking supplies at Home Depot, I am discovering that this is exactly the case. Your local home improvement shop is a fantastic place to visit, and they have unglazed quarry tiles, which are perfect for this purpose.

It is important to note that glazed tiles may contain lead, so you should ensure that you obtain an unglazed tile. Most of what you will find is red and roughly half an inch thick. You will typically find two sizes:

  1. 6″ x 6″
  2. 11″ x 11″

You should choose unglazed tiles that are at least half an inch thick, although 1″ is better. This is a fairly standard size and should not be difficult to locate. If you have any concerns about lead content, you should contact the manufacturer to ensure that the materials are all-natural clay and shale. Concrete is not a good option. Home Depot has some tiles known as Saltillo Tiles. Other companies may have different names. You can expect to pay a little over a dollar per square for the smaller ones. Fireclay is a manufacturer that produces lead-free tiles, and there may be some small, local manufacturers in your area if you look around.

What Size Should You Use?

You will need to make some decisions about your homemade pizza stone. The quarry tile should fit inside your oven with at least an inch or so of space all the way around it. Be sure to measure the inside of your oven carefully.

Some people use just one large tile, which works well if you are making small pizzas. However, it is easier to buy several six-inch tiles and fit them into your oven. This gives you a lot of flexibility. If your oven does not have a heating unit on the floor, you can simply lay the tiles on the oven floor and leave them there all the time. The tiles absorb heat, and you can turn your oven off about halfway through the cooking process and finish cooking with the heat emanating from the tiles.

Some people have had success using a kiln shelf as a homemade pizza stone, but this defeats the purpose as they can be more expensive than commercial baking stones. If you know a potter who is getting rid of one, you may be able to get a great deal.

To use your homemade pizza stone, wash it thoroughly with water but do not use soap as it can affect the taste of the pizza. Allow it to dry completely to avoid cracking in the oven. Place the stone in a cold oven with at least 1″ of airspace around it and preheat the oven to 500F for about an hour. Use a paddle or rimless cookie sheet to slide the pizza onto the stone and bake until done.

The homemade pizza stones can hold heat for a long time, allowing you to bake several loaves of bread or heat up a casserole without electricity. Just be sure to let the stone cool completely before washing. Making your own pizza is not only delicious but also eco-friendly.

Pizza Stone Questions and Answers

What is a pizza stone?

A pizza stone is a flat pan-like tool used for baking pizza. It evenly cooks the pizza, resulting in a crispy and golden crust.

How can you make a pizza stone at home?

You can make a pizza stone at home by purchasing unglazed quarry tiles from a home improvement store, enough to fit a pizza on. Wash them with warm water, let them dry, and rub them with olive oil to fill the pores. Then, place them in the oven at 450° Fahrenheit for an hour to absorb the oil.

Which material is best for a pizza stone?

Clay is the best material for pizza stones because it absorbs moisture and creates a crispy crust. Cordierite is also a good option as it resists heat and prevents cracking. Ceramic is another option, but it requires preheating to avoid cracking.

Why do pizza stones crack?

Pizza stones can crack if they are not fully dry before being heated or if cold/frozen dough is placed on a hot stone.

What can be used as an alternative to a pizza stone?

An inverted baking sheet is a great alternative to a pizza stone as it is commonly found in most kitchens. Other options include using a hot grill, cast iron pan, or baking steel.

How long should a pizza cook on a pizza stone?

It depends on the oven temperature, but a pizza should take around 8 to 10 minutes to cook directly on a stone at 450° Fahrenheit. It’s important not to season the pizza stone to prevent cracking.

FAQ

1. What materials are needed to make a homemade pizza stone?

To make a homemade pizza stone, you will need unglazed quarry tiles, which can be found at most hardware stores. You will also need an oven and a measuring tape to ensure the tiles fit in your oven.

2. How many tiles do I need to make a pizza stone?

The number of tiles needed to make a pizza stone will depend on the size of your oven. Measure the dimensions of your oven and purchase enough tiles to cover the bottom rack of your oven with a single layer of tiles. It’s important to make sure the tiles fit snugly without any gaps in between.

3. Can I use glazed tiles to make a pizza stone?

No, it’s important to use unglazed quarry tiles to make a pizza stone. Glazed tiles may contain chemicals that can release toxic fumes when heated to high temperatures. Unglazed tiles are made of natural clay and are safe to use in the oven.

4. How do I prepare the pizza stone before using it?

Before using the pizza stone, you will need to wash the tiles with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Allow the tiles to air dry completely. Then, place the tiles in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F for at least an hour. This will remove any remaining moisture from the tiles and ensure they are ready for use.

5. How do I use the pizza stone to make a pizza?

To use the pizza stone, place it on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Once the oven is preheated, place the pizza directly on the pizza stone using a pizza peel. The pizza stone will absorb moisture from the dough and create a crispy crust. Cook the pizza for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

6. How do I clean the pizza stone?

To clean the pizza stone, allow it to cool completely before removing it from the oven. Do not use soap or water to clean the pizza stone, as it may absorb the moisture and cause it to crack. Instead, use a stiff brush to remove any leftover food or debris. If necessary, you can also use a scraper to remove any stubborn stains.

7. Can I use a homemade pizza stone on a grill?

Yes, a homemade pizza stone can be used on a grill. However, it’s important to make sure the grill is heated to the appropriate temperature and that the pizza stone is placed on the grill grates, not directly on the flames. This will help prevent the pizza stone from cracking due to sudden temperature changes.

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