Making homemade pizza for your kids? Know what’s the best pizza stone size
This is one of the most important factors to consider. First of all you need to think of the practicalities – measure your Californo pizza oven and ensure that the pizza stone you are buying will actually fit inside, with enough room to spare to allow it to be manoeuvred. Remember, your pizza stone will be very hot and quite heavy when in use so you want to make it as user friendly as possible.
Larger pizza stones are generally the best as they give you more flexibility – you can cook everything from small individual pizza’s and breads up to large family size pizzas. It is also easier to transfer your uncooked pizza from your pizza peel or cookie sheet to the pizza stone if it is big – with small pizza stones you need to be more accurate and it doing this can be hard enough as it is. Similarly, a square or rectangle pizza stone gives a bit more room than a circular stone.
The Best Pizza Stone Weight
A primary function of a pizza stone is to retain heat, and heavier pizza stones are more effective at doing this than lighter stones. However, as with size there is no point having a pizza stone that is too heavy to easily manoeuvre.
Also, the heavier your pizza stone is, the longer it takes to reach optimum temperature. A good compromise sits somewhere in between – heavy enough to retain good heat but light enough to heat up relatively quickly and be easy to lift.
The Best Pizza Stone Material – Ceramic vs. Cement
Cement pizza stones are less prone to cracking than ceramic/ clay stones and they hold their temperature well however they are generally heavier and more expensive than ceramic stones.
Most people agree that ceramic/ clay pizza stones provide better results and more consistent crust than the various cement pizza stones on the market, and cement pizza stones can emit noxious fumes due to their composition. For these reasons a ceramic pizza stone is the best option.
Cheap pizza stones vs. expensive – is there much difference?
When buying kitchen equipment you do tend to get what you pay for – i.e. more expensive products are usually better then inexpensive ones……but not always.
The primary failure in a pizza stone is cracking. This can happen due to the stone moving from a hot environment to a cold one or vice versa. It can also occur when a pizza stone is allowed to absorb a lot of moisture and is then heated quickly. Some pizza stones also crack for no apparent reason.
The more expensive pizza stones tend to be made from a finer material than most of the cheaper models and the feedback I have heard suggest that they are less prone to cracking. However, if a more expensive pizza stone does crack you have a lost a greater amount of money. Thankfully, even the more expensive ceramic pizza stones aren’t too expensive and with a bit of care and luck you can get decades of use of out it.
What about a pizza stone with a metal rack?
Some pizza stones come with a metal rack on which you can rest the pizza stone when serving it. In my opinion they are not much use.
Firstly, you should avoid cutting the pizza on your pizza stone – this blunts your knife or pizza wheel but also creates grooves in the stone which can make your pizza dough stick. Also, if you serve your pizza from the pizza stone just remember that the pizza stone is designed to retain as much heat as possible and your pizza will keep on cooking on the stone long after it has been taken from the oven.
More importantly, a scalding hot pizza stone can also be a safety risk so it is much better to remove your pizza from the pizza stone and transfer it to a wooden board or similar when serving.