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You may wonder why you need a pizza stone if you’re not exactly making homemade pizza three times a week. Actually, pizza stones are great for any time you want to bake something with a crisp bottom crust, as the hot stone heats the bottom layer of dough and helps prevent it from soaking up moisture and creating, as they say on The Great British Bake Off, a soggy bottom. Breads, pastries, and galettes, for example, definitely benefit from being cooked on a pizza stone.
You can also use the best pizza stones for firing up vegetables, meats and more. And they make an attractive serving platter out of the oven too, say for cheese and charcuterie.
What Makes a Good Pizza Stone?
Pizza stones vary in terms of material, shape, and size, which will affect how well they perform.
Material: The most common materials used for pizza stones are corderite, ceramic, and steel. Corderite and ceramic are the most versatile of these, as they retain heat well but don’t get so hot they’ll burn the crust off of more delicate bakes. Steel, on the other hand, is the most efficient at heat retention, making it ideal for pizza crust, but trickier if you’re trying to make other things.
Size: The size of your pizza stone matters both in physical dimension and in thickness. These baking stones can be quite large so double check first of all to make sure the stone you choose will actually fit inside your oven. The thickness of the stone will also impact how well it performs when it comes to retaining heat. Keep in mind also that the larger the stone, the heavier and more cumbersome it will be — there’s no use in getting a baking stone so heavy you never use it.
Shape: Pizza stones are either rectangular or round in shape. As a general rule, we think rectangular stones are the better option, as they provide more generous surface area and greater versatility.
1. Old Stone Oven Rectangular Pizza Stone
This is a fantastic all-purpose corderite pizza stone for in the oven or on the grill, which is great not just for making perfectly crispy pizza crusts but also bread, pastries, and even vegetables. It’s a manageable size at 16.25 by 14.25 inches, with raised edges on the bottom making it easier to pick up.
2. Heritage Black Ceramic Pizza Stone
We like this round ceramic pizza stone for a few reasons, one being that it comes with a pizza slicer included. The ceramic surface is also coated in a nonstick glaze so pies slide smoothly off once you’ve pulled them out of the oven and, according to the manufacturer, heats twice as quickly as other stones.
3. NerdChef Steel Stone
This is a solid steel pizza stone, meaning it is seriously heavy and can also retain a lot more heat than ceramic. This is great if you’re looking for seriously blistered and crackly pizza crusts, but we’d advise caution for other uses.
4. Unicook Ceramic Baking Stone
Another corderite stone, this means this pizza stone is also great for baking things besides pizza. This one measures about 12 by 15 inches in diameter and comes with a dough scraper included, which we appreciate.