You Can Clean A Pizza Stone With Just Baking Soda

Whether for baking your own unique culinary conception or amplifying a frozen pie, it seems everyone these days is using a pizza stone to enhance the flavor and texture. That's because those in the know understand the world of difference between a pizza tossed directly on the rack and one cooked on a stone.

The reason they work so well is because they are porous, which allows moisture to evaporate into steam instead of collecting on the bottom of a metal sheet pan, which can make for a soggy crust. Letting your pizza stone become soiled over time can affect the flavor of all your future pizzas, but how you clean a pizza stone takes some special consideration. Being porous, any soap or detergent it comes in contact with, can bleed into the stone, and that soapy flavor stuck in the pores could be transferred to your next meal. Thankfully, you only need a few common cleaning supplies and some baking soda to get that equipment spic-and-span and ready for your next masterpiece.

How to clean a pizza stone properly

The first thing to remember when cleaning your pizza stone is that it needs to be completely cool before handling it. When exposed to a dramatic change in temperature, like being run under water after being in the oven, a pizza stone can experience thermal shock and crack. You shouldn't handle your pizza stone until it has completely cooled off from its last use.

Once the stone has cooled, take a plastic spatula (a metal spatula can scratch it) and scrape away any stuck-on debris you can. Wipe it down with a clean towel, and if there are any noticeable stains or debris still clinging to it, mix a paste consisting of baking soda and a bit of water. Rub the baking soda paste into the trouble spots with a soft, plastic brush, then wipe away the paste with a wet towel. After wiping it down, let the pizza stone air dry for at least a couple of hours before its next use to ensure all the moisture has evaporated from it.

Some stains you can't remove from a pizza stone without damaging it, and there's nothing that can change that. However, sometimes there are stubborn spots that can be cleaned, but using baking soda won't do the trick. If this is the case, there are a couple more ways to get that pizza stone as clean as possible.

Alternatives cleaning methods

Some difficult-to-remove debris will come off if you bake your pizza stone at a high temperature. Set the pizza stone in the oven and turn it up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit to cook off any remaining crud. Once the oven has reached temperature, let it bake in the hot oven for an hour. After it cools, remove it and wipe it down with a damp towel.

If you have a ceramic pizza stone, cleaning it is a little simpler. As a rule, the last thing you ever want to do is toss a pizza stone in the dishwasher because the detergent can damage it. Some ceramic stones are coated for extra protection, keeping them from absorbing the moisture other pizza stones will accumulate during cleaning. Coated ceramic stones can usually handle more intense cleaning materials like soap and detergents and can sometimes even be placed in the dishwasher. But before you go assuming your ceramic pizza stone is dishwasher safe, check the manufacturer's product manual.

A pizza stone is a valuable tool that takes creating something special, or simply enhancing a convenient frozen pizza to the next level. Just like any other piece of equipment in your kitchen, you expect the next time you use it will work just as well as the last. Giving your pizza stone a gentle clean after every use will extend the life of your favorite pizza tool, and you won't have to worry about a soapy flavor lingering in your next pie.