Are you in love with the smell and taste of a freshly baked pizza? Many individuals experiment with various recipes to make the most delicious, crunchy, homemade dough but fail to do so.
The main reason why pizza enthusiasts can’t get a thin, crispy crust is due to the insufficient temperature capacity of their ovens.
Nevertheless, the cooking stone is a perfect tool to use for baking dough in one’s oven.
This flat piece of slab is preheated for at least thirty minutes in order to provide the required heat conductivity, retention, and absorption.
Such cooking surfaces can be purchased in various sizes, shapes, and materials.
When shopping for a pizza stone, keep the following tips in mind to make the right purchase.
Pick the right size
One should start the buying journey by picking the right size. The most effective way of choosing a suitable size is adjusting the cooking slab to the dimensions of your oven.
Since regular ovens are incapable of producing sufficiently high temperatures for baking a wood-fired pizza, these baking stones are the only chance to achieve a similar effect to that of wood ovens.
Nevertheless, in order for the slab to reach the desired temperature, it has to be of almost identical dimensions to those of the oven.
Make sure you purchase a pizza stone whose size is large enough to come in contact with the oven’s sides but not overly tight to prevent you from removing the slab.
The diameter of these baking surfaces is a minimum of ten inches to a maximum of sixteen inches.
Select the right shape
In terms of shape, pizza stones are available in round, square, and rectangular forms.
Although most pizza lovers opt for the round-shaped models, these aren’t the most convenient choice when looking for such a cooking surface.
Instead, the rectangular models are believed to be the most beneficial alternative due to a multitude of reasons.
For instance, rectangular baking stones are wider when compared to the circular models, which means you can bake more than one pizza.
Also, these slabs provide more space for individuals to put the dough on the surface and maneuver it while in the oven.
In contrast, round stones require more precision when placing the pizza on the surface area, as it can easily slide off.
Moreover, owing to the wide cooking surface, rectangular slabs provide better heat absorption and retention.
As a result, the pizza you take out of the oven will be more brownish and have a crunchy crust.
Make sure you visit this page to check out a recipe for a super crispy thin pizza crust.
Consider the material
The following factor to consider when shopping for a baking stone is the material, which might not even be real stone.
For instance, cordierite is unquestionably the most popular material used in the production of such cooking slabs.
This mineral provides incredible resistance to high temperatures and thermal shock without getting damaged.
Additionally, cordierite is known for its remarkable heat and moisture retention.
The former provides consistent heat over the entire surface, while the latter absorbs dough moisture in order for the crust to turn out crispy.
The models made from cordierite are available in all shapes and a myriad of sizes to fit everyone’s oven.
Furthermore, ceramic is another commonly used material in the production of such stones, similar in features to cordierite.
It provides excellent heat retention and radiation, which makes it suitable for baking dough at high temperatures.
Anyhow, ceramic requires more maintenance than cordierite due to its fragile nature.
If you don’t mind taking good care of the slab you buy, you will spend less money on a ceramic model.
Models made from stone are considered superb when it comes to baking chewy and crunchy pizza dough.
Apart from the unbelievable resistance to high temperatures, this material is irreplaceable when it comes to moisture absorption.
As long as you preheat the stone long enough, you will minimize the chances of a soggy crust.
Ultimately, steel models have increased in popularity because of their exceptional heat conductivity.
Additionally, these baking stones aren’t susceptible to thermal shock and cracking, which makes them more long-lasting.
Due to its heavyweight, steel models are more challenging to maneuver when inside the oven.
Think about glazing
Another essential consideration when looking for the perfect baking slab is the glazing. These cooking surfaces come either unglazed or glazed, each variant providing different benefits.
For example, unglazed models are mainly preferred because of their ability to absorb moisture.
Conversely, any type of glazing prevents water from penetrating through the cracks.
Nevertheless, unglazed slabs are more challenging to clean, as the dough easily sticks on the surface material.
Using the right cleaning spray, however, helps individuals clean the surface without investing too much effort.
Keep in mind that you can prevent dough from sticking by frequently seasoning the surface with olive oil.
You are only supposed to rub the oil until it’s completely absorbed to ensure no drops are left on the top layer.
Glazed models, on the other hand, can be either micro-glazed or fully-glazed.
The former are designed to allow a little moisture to enter through the cracks, whereas the latter are classified as strictly non-absorbent.
On the positive side, glazed baking stones are amazingly easy to clean and prevent surface scratches when cutting the pizza.
Don’t forget the handles
A handy feature that most individuals neglect is the presence of handles. Handles are genuinely beneficial for better maneuvering and movement of these cooking slabs.
Purchasing a model with handles will help you move the slab from the oven to the countertop without getting burned or straining your body.
Anyhow, bear in mind that the models made from cast iron are usually equipped with handles, not those of other materials.
A pizza stone will help you experiment with popular dishes from Italian cuisine.
Include rolls, calzones, and pastries on your daily menu!