Finding an inexpensive pizza stone is easy, but finding one that is durable, easy to handle and capable of producing evenly cooked foods with crispy crusts is more of a challenge. Stones that are too thin will break easily and may not produce well-cooked crusts, while an excessively heavy stone can be a nuisance to handle. Some pizza stones cannot withstand high heat or an open flame, which means they cannot be used on the grill.
For an affordably priced pizza stone that performs well and is convenient to handle, reviewers and users recommend the Old Stone Oven 14" x 16" Pizza Stone, by Kitchen Supply Company. In one major test of five pizza stones, reviewers said the Old Stone Oven pizza stone was roomy and comfortable to grasp, and cooked pizza and calzones that were golden brown and crispy. Users posting to retail websites also give this stone high ratings, with many commenting that the stone is great for breads and even cookies and pie crust, as well as pizza.
Users also call it durable and excellent at holding and transferring heat. A small number of users complain of problems with breakage or cracking, although some of these situations occurred during shipment. A small number of users report problems with dough sticking to the stone, although other users recommend using parchment paper on the stone to prevent this problem. One user reports that the stone emitted an unpleasant odor upon heating, but this appears to be an isolated case.
The Old Stone Oven 14" x 16" Pizza Stone has a basic appearance, and users often store it in the oven. If you're looking for a pizza stone that is more suited to serving, many users give high praise to the All-Clad Pizza Baker/Stone with Tray and Cutter (*Est. $125), which comes with a stainless-steel serving tray and pizza cutter.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Cook's Illustrated magazine is a tried-and-true source of information on cooking products and is known for its comprehensive testing. The article describes the results from a test of five baking stones, which were used to cook pizza and calzones. Products are assigned one of three designations: Highly Recommended, Recommended with Reservations or Not Recommended. The Old Stone Oven 14" x 16" Pizza Stone (referred to in this article as The Baker's Catalogue Pizza Baking Stone by Old Stone Oven) is one of the stones included in this test.
Review: Baking Stones, Editors of Cook'sIllustrated.com, September 2010
The nearly 170 users posting to Amazon.com give the Old Stone Oven 14" x 16" Pizza Stone an average 4-star (out of 5) rating. Many say the stone bakes up perfect gourmet or restaurant-style crusts. Many also say it is great for baking breads and cookies. A minority of users post complaints, several of which have to do with cracks or breakage. Several of these users report that the stone arrived broken. One user reports smelling fumes upon first using the stone, although other users state definitively that in their experience the stone does not give off any fumes.
Review: Old Stone Oven 4467 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone, Contributors to Amazon.com
Cooking.com is a popular online retailer of a broad range of cooking supplies and equipment, and also publishes detailed user reviews and ratings. Of the more than 220 users posting about the Old Stone Oven 14" x 16" Pizza Stone, 98 percent say they recommend it and 97 percent call it a good value. Overall, users give it an average 4.5-star (out of 5) rating, with comments that include "perfect pizza," "nice, crisp crust" and "high quality, great stone." Some users complain that the stone stains easily, and a few users find it heavy to carry.
Review: Baking/Pizza Stone, Contributors to Cooking.com
Bestcovery.com is a source of information and recommendations on a range of consumer goods. The article on pizza stones includes a list of the top five products, compiled by Stephanie Hamilton, a Bestcovery.com writer. While it is not clear if Hamilton actually tested each product, she includes her reasons for choosing each one. The Old Stone Oven 14" x 16" Pizza Stone ranks as her top choice, with "handy size," "just the right porosity" and "retains heat extremely well" as her main reasons.
Review: Best Pizza Stone, Stephanie Hamilton