Pizza Night is a ritual in many people's homes. For some it's a weekly occurrence, for others maybe a little more or less frequent. Either way, the excitement is evident when it's on the horizon.
You may just be using an old aluminum pan to cook your pizzas - or frozen pizzas for that matter - or you may just lay it right there on the oven rack (a big no-no, unless you love scrubbing burnt cheese out of the bottom of your oven for 3 hours on a Saturday). But pizza stones are really the ultimate when it comes to cooking your pizza, because they have very specific properties that bring out the best in your pie.
So what elements make up a great pizza stone? We're soooo glad you asked.
First, your pizza stone needs to be made of the right material. Cordierite is actually a mineral that is known for its ability to withstand extreme temperatures, in this case heat. When your cordierite stone goes from room temperature to 400-500 degrees to cook your pizza, you need to be sure it won't crack. And make sure your pizza stone is led-free to avoid cooking chemicals into your food.
IN AND OUT
When taking your pizza in and out of the oven, some stones are flat on the top and bottom. This can make it very difficult to get in and out of the oven when you're dealing with oven mitts. Ridges on the bottom of your stone will solve this problem. A reliable pizza peel can also prove helpful to get the pizzas on and off the stone while it sits on the oven rack.
SAY NO TO SOGGY
Now, THE most important thing your pizza stone can do is cook your pizza properly. This stone has specially engineered Heat Core that makes sure your pizza is not soggy in the middle. It takes the heat and transfers it evenly across the stone and, thus, throughout the whole pizza.
Your pizza stone should do more than just pizza pies. Maybe you want to heat up some bread, or bake it from scratch (you go, you). Or maybe it's not even pizza night but you want to get that stone-cooked taste for your veggies. The right stone will bake bread and cook vegetables and end up a kitchen staple.
Pizza Night is in the books. Now it's time to break out the board games or settle into the evening with a good family movie. What you don't want to do is stand at the sink and be cleaning a pizza stone for hours. The best pizza stones are maintenance free. A rinse after the stone has cooled and an air dry, and back in the cabinet it goes for next time.
I'll leave you with a couple age-old pizza questions: Deep dish or thin? Chicago style or New York style?