Best pizza stone

Best pizza stone *Est. $40 Compare Prices
With an affordable price and construction that retains heat while absorbing moisture, the Old Stone Oven Pizza Stone (also known as The Baker's Catalogue Pizza Baking Stone by Old Stone Oven) gets top reviews from experts and users alike. Reviewers report excellent results with a wide range of bread-based foods, such as pizza, calzones, focaccia and yeast bread, noting that crusts come out evenly baked, golden brown and crispy. This pizza stone is rectangular, a shape that some prefer to round because it provides more room, and it tilts the scales at a comfortable weight of just over 10 pounds. For added convenience, the stone has ridges on the bottom to make it easy to grasp. The Old Stone Oven Pizza Stone is safe at temperatures exceeding 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and can be used on charcoal or gas grills, as well as in the oven. While it hits a very sharp price point, it has a basic appearance that may not be decorative enough for all users. It requires hand washing (just water, no soap) and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Oven-to-table pizza stone and serving set

Oven-to-table pizza stone and serving set *Est. $125 Compare Prices
Although it is pricey, many users say the All-Clad pizza stone and serving set is a great choice if you're looking for a baking stone with a decorative edge. Made of soapstone, it is sold with a stainless-steel serving tray in which the stone itself snugly sits, and the pair is attractive enough to go directly from the oven to a dining-room or buffet table. The set also comes with a stainless-steel pizza cutter that has an ergonomically designed handle. The tray has easy-to-lift handles, and can double as a regular serving tray for hors d'oeuvres or fruit and cheese when you're not in a pizza mood. The All-Clad Pizza/Baker Stone produces pizza with a crisp bottom and an evenly cooked crust, owners say, who also recommend it for rolls or crisp cookies. It is oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Choosing the best pizza stone

Cooking a pizza at home can be tough, especially if you like crispier crust. Using a cookie sheet as a pizza pan can get you crisp edges but a soggy bottom, and dedicated metal pizza pans aren't much different. Part of the problem is the metal, which doesn't absorb moisture. Enter pizza stones. Because they are made of porous materials, they absorb moisture from the bottom of the dough. The result is a crispier, more evenly browned crust. Pizza and baking stones are also handy for other baked goods, like bread, cookies, focaccia and calzones.

Pizza stones (also called baking stones) come in a variety of shapes, weights and materials. According to the only comprehensive test of pizza stones, in Cook's Illustrated, rectangular stones are preferable to round ones because they provide more surface area for cooking. Nevertheless, the editors caution that some rectangular stones can be too wide for your oven, while some are so heavy that lifting them is unreasonably difficult.

What To Look For
  • Minimal is best.
  • Preheat your stone.
  • Don't use soap on your pizza stone.
Read More

As for materials, the editors at Cook's Illustrated and other reviewers give high marks to stones made of clay, because they produce evenly cooked bottoms and crispy crusts. Soapstone is another material that users say performs well. By contrast, Cook's Illustrated finds that pizza stones made of cement tend to produce pale crusts and can give off fumes.

Pizza stones are a simple and relatively inexpensive product (most sell for well under $100), yet they garner a fair number of complaints among users. Many of these complaints involve cracking and breakage, although it's not always clear whether these problems stem from misuse or actual product defects. Some users, however, also report soggy baking results, or even unpleasant odors when the stone is heated. To find the best pizza stones, we analyzed user feedback as well as professional assessments of performance, durability, convenience and quality. While these aren't the only pizza stones to deliver customer satisfaction, they do offer benefits that -- reviewers and home cooks say -- set them apart from the pack.

Pizza stones are for more than pizza

If you want to bake pizza with the kind of crisp crust you often find in old-style brick-oven pizzerias, the Old Stone Oven 14\" x 16\" Pizza Stone (*Est. $40) by Kitchen Supply Company garners high marks. Reviewers say it produces evenly cooked, golden-brown and crispy pizza and calzones, and they add that the raised feet -- which look like little speed bumps positioned around the perimeter of the stone's underside -- make it easy to grasp.

Almost all owners give the Old Stone Oven pizza stone high ratings, with some commenting that it even makes frozen pizza taste good. Several users say it is great for baking focaccia, breads and cookies as well as pizza. A minority of users post complaints, most of which cite problems with cracking or breakage that sometimes occurred during shipment. A handful of users say the dough tends to stick to the pizza stone, and one user reports a chemical smell upon heating the stone for the first time.

A baking stone that garners more mixed reviews is the FibraMent-D Home Oven Stone, which comes in a choice of three round sizes and three rectangular sizes, and ranges in price from $40 to $90. While some users posting to discussion-based websites report excellent baking results with a FibraMent-D pizza stone, one published test found that the FibraMent-D stone was heavy to lift, gave off unpleasant odors and produced uneven and pale baking results.

For a low-cost option, the Bialetti 3-Piece Pizza Stone Set (*Est. $15) comes with a 13-inch round pizza stone, a serving rack and a cutting wheel. Some users say the set is a great value, although others report that the stone is thin and breaks easily, and one user says it imparts a bad taste to food.

Another low-cost option, which appears on several discussion-based cooking websites, is to pick up an unglazed quarry tile from a home center, or even a piece of terra cotta from a nursery. Several users say that these tiles cost a few dollars at the most, and that while they can be thin and may break easily, they are cheap to replace. User comments on baking performance, however, are mixed. Many cooks warn that the tile must be unglazed, as the stone must be porous for the pizza crust to become crisp. In addition, a glaze may contain lead.

Decorative pizza-stone serving set

If you're looking for a stone that doubles as a good-looking serving piece, a choice that gets high marks is the All-Clad Pizza Baker/Stone with Tray and Cutter (*Est. $125). Though pricey, the stone is sold with a stainless-steel serving tray and pizza cutter. The pizza stone sits snugly in the tray -- or you can use the tray on its own, to serve hors d'oeuvres, fruit and cheese, or other prepared foods. Home cooks say the stone bakes up a nice pizza, the tray is good-looking and the cutter works well. One user complains, however, that the stone arrived scratched.

Expert & User Review Sources

Cook's Illustrated features the only multi-product test of pizza stones. Its 2010 article (available to subscribers) summarizes baking results for five pizza stones, with reviewers preferring rectangles to rounds and giving a thumbs-down to cement. Other reviews are less helpful. For example, a GoodHousekeeping.com blog article describes an excellent cooking experience with one stone, but does not mention if other pizza stones were tested. Similarly, Bestcovery.com recommends five stones, but does not describe any formal testing. Retail websites including Amazon.com and Cooking.com provide helpful user ratings and reviews. Chowhound.com posts ongoing discussions, although comments are anecdotal.

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Old Stone Oven 4467 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone
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Bialetti 3 Piece Pizza Stone Set
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All-Clad 00280 Stainless Steel Serving Tray with 13-inch Pizza-Baker Stone Insert and Pizza Cutter, Silver
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New: $125.00 $99.99   
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