I never thought a pizza stone was that essential of a kitchen item until someone gave me one as a gift, and well, let's just say my world was forever changed. With a pizza stone, crusts taste crispier, airier, just plain better — even with store-bought pizzas. What's more, the best pizza stones can be used for more than just pizzas (think calzones, croissants, and other baked goods) to achieve the perfect flakey crust.
But there are a lot of different kinds of pizza stones out there, both in terms of material and shape, so it's helpful to determine exactly how you'll be using the baking tool to find the best stone for you.
Ceramic vs. Steel Pizza Stones
If you want to cook just pizza, steel is most likely the way to go, especially if you like ultra-thin crust pies, like the Neapolitan-style. Because steel conducts heat better, it can cook pizzas more quickly than ceramic can, not to mention give your pies the nice browning you want on the bottom. If you're looking to use the pizza stone on the grill, heavy duty steel will handle the heat no problem (although most steel pizza rounds don't come with handles, so grill mitts will be a necessity.) Another note: Baking steels tend to be mighty heavy, so if you're not ready to be lifting and swinging 15 or more pounds, steel is out.
If you're looking for a versatile, lightweight pizza stone that you can use for pizza and beyond, then a stone option is a better bet. A ceramic stone distributes heat more moderately, and gives everything from pizza pies to regular pie crusts, just the right crispiness and flakiness, without burning. Cordierite clay in particular is great for pizza stones because it's extremely durable and heat tolerant, and can usually be used on the grill too.
Rectangular vs. Round Pizza Stones
It's recommended that you have at least a 1-inch gap between the stone and the oven to ensure proper airflow, so it's important you measure your oven or grill to see what shape will work best. If you have a large enough cooking space, a rectangular shape will provide the most surface space for various baking needs, from pizzas to baguettes and more. But, if you have a tiny oven, a round stone is the practical choice.
With all that in mind, it's time to shop for pizza stones. All of the ones below come highly rated on Amazon, and some come with hundreds of positive customer reviews.
1. The Best Rectangular Steel Pizza Stone
For gorgeous crusts and faster cook times, you can't go wrong with the NerdChef Steel Stone. Backed by a 4.7-star rating on Amazon and more than 600 customer reviews, this heavy-duty, rectangular baking steel has super high heat transferability so you get perfect crispy, browned crusts, whether you're using the oven or grill. Its made in the U.S. with premium steel that comes pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil so the pizza slides easily off when you're ready to serve. Plus, it has two corner holes for easy repositioning (and hanging when not in use). The solid steel construction is virtually indestructible but it comes with a lifetime guarantee just in case. Just be forewarned: it weighs 23 pounds so be prepared to put some muscle into it.
Fans say: "I have always had a keen interest in Neapolitan style pizzas, but was troubled with the fact that I wasn't able to recreate what I tasted at a pizzeria in my own home due to the lack of a traditional wood fire oven. However, the pizza steel from Nerd Chef changed that! It was easy to use, had clear instructions, and seems to be very well made. ...This product is worth every penny and I cannot wait to find other uses for it as well."
2. The Best Round Steel Pizza Stone
The Original Baking Steel was among the Wirecutter's top picks for pizza stones (although for the rectangular model). This rounded slab features steel construction that stores 18 times more energy than traditional ceramic pizza stones, according to the brand, so you get crispy crusts in no time. Plus, the durable steel is pre-seasoned and flameproof so it thrown on the grill or under a broiler without a problem. The US-made baking steel is fairly substantial is size, measuring a half an inch thick and weighing 16 pounds.
Fans say: "We have been using it in a Big Green Egg and have never made such great pizzas. The crust is so thin and yet so crisp. Gone are the days of soggy pizza bottoms. It is extremely heavy though - which isn't surprising really as it is a piece of steel..."
3. The Best Rectangular Ceramic Pizza Stone
Made from cordierite stone, the rectangular UNICOOK Ceramic Pizza Baking Stone is reasonably priced at under $30, and much lighter (weighing just over 6.5 pounds) than the steel options above. It's made from cordierite stone and is heat-safe up to 1,450 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can be safely used on the grill or in the oven. The ceramic material draws out moisture from the dough, making it ideal for baking a variety of baked items, from pizza and flatbreads to bread and cookies. Measuring .625-inches thick, it perfectly distributes heat for even cooking. Plus, it comes with a free plastic scraper that can be used as a dough cutter or to get residue off the cooled stone surface.
Fans say: "Exactly what I expect in a pizza stone and large enough for two loaves of bread. Highly recommend!"
4. The Best Round Ceramic Pizza Stone
The Honey-Can-Do Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone lets you make restaurant-quality pizza at home, but it also can be used to bake boules of bread, biscuits, and more. It's made with cordierite clay that can withstand heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so even though it's ceramic option, it can still be used on the grill if you so desire. The durable, 16-inch round stone comes with raised edges on the bottom so it's easier to pick up out of a hot oven, and the more you use it, the more seasoned it gets. Plus, 72 percent of Amazon reviewers gave it five stars.
Fans say: "Received my pizza stone — made a few pizza's on it already. Does a very nice job in drying out the bread so you get a nice crisp crust. Excellent size for my home oven. Use it often and very happy with the quality."
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