A pizza stone is a rather heavy, flat-surfaced dish used for baking pizza. It's really a flat piece of earthenware that has all the properties of stone. It's porous in nature and has thermal properties. The stone's heat retaining properties allow it to absorb all the moisture from the dough, giving the pizza its crispy crust. It's important to maintain the pizza stone in good condition and keep it clean. It must be cooled down in the oven itself to prevent it from cracking due to sudden temperature change. Pizza tastes so much better if it's baked on a pizza stone, but that can quickly change if the stone isn't clean. Cleaning a pizza stone is an easy job provided you know how to do it. Here's how to clean a pizza stone.
- Never use any form of soap on the pizza stone. The stone will absorb the smell of the soap and the next pizza you bake on it will have a soapy taste.
- Place the pizza stone on the top rack of the oven and close the door.
- Heat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius). Maintain that heat for one hour. This ensures that the stone is totally warmed before you begin the auto-cleaning cycle of the oven.
- Observe the stone through the glass window on the oven door. If there's no glass window, open the door to observe it. You will see bubbles forming and popping. That's the grease trapped in the porous stone.
- Start the oven's auto-clean cycle when the bubbling has stopped. Very dirty stones may produce large amounts of smoke.
- Wait for the oven to cool down when the cycle has finished. When the oven is cool, remove the pizza stone and wipe it with a dry cloth [sources: Home Furnish, The Kitchen].