If you like to make pizza at home, a pizza stone is a must-have accessory for your oven. Just preheat your oven with the stone inside it and bake your pizza on the stone’s hot surface. The stone will draw moisture from the dough and your pizza will come out crispier and better browned than ever before.
Use your pizza stone a couple of times, and it will show signs that it needs to be cleaned. Flour, dough, cheese, and pepperoni residue will burn and get stuck on the surface. Obviously, you should find a way to get rid of it. Which causes some pizza stone owners to ask…
Can a pizza stone go in the dishwasher?
Never put your pizza stone in the dishwasher. It will absorb salts and chemicals from the detergent, which you’ll taste the next few times you make pizza. To clean a pizza stone, let it cool down completely, scrape off any food residue with a stiff brush, then wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Most pizza stones are made of ceramic or cordierite. Both ceramic and cordierite are porous materials that absorb moisture, which is why you shouldn’t clean them with soapy water or put them in the dishwasher. The stone will soak up the taste of the chemicals in the soap—and it will take too many uses to get that taste out.
Ceramic stones are made by mixing clay, earthenware, and water. The mixture is poured into a mold and baked in a high-heat furnace known as a “kiln.” Ceramic stones are less expensive, but these savings come at a price. They’re incapable of withstanding thermal shock, which makes them susceptible to cracking and fracturing beyond repair.
Cordierite stones, as their name suggests, are cut from blocks of cordierite, a mineral that occurs as crystals or grains in igneous rocks. Cordierite stones are more expensive. Since cordierite is a very tough material, stones made of it won’t crack when they come in contact with extreme heat or cold.
Ceramic and cordierite stones shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher unless explicitly stated otherwise by the manufacturer.
Ceramic-glazed pizza stones, for example, can be cleaned with soapy water and are generally dishwasher safe. The ceramic glaze acts as a protective layer that keeps soapy water (and moisture as a whole) from penetrating into the stone.
How to Clean a Pizza Stone
If you can’t wipe your pizza stone with soapy water or put it in the dishwasher, then how can you keep it clean in the first place?
This is a really good question. And I’m going to make the claim that every pizza stone owner needs to know the answer. So here it is…
Clean your pizza stone by scraping off any baked-on foods using a pizza stone cleaning brush. Then dampen a clean cloth with lukewarm tap water and use it to wipe the stone clean.
Though you probably have a cloth you can use for the purpose, it’s best that you buy a pizza stone cleaning brush in case you don’t have one yet.
To make your pizza stone cleaning brush hunt easier, I’m going to recommend one to you. The one that I use is Cuisinart CCB-399. It’s an 18-inch long brush made of palm stalk fiber bristles with a 13-inch long rubber-grip handle.
The bristles on this brush are tough enough to remove baked-on foods, but soft enough to not scratch and damage your stone as you otherwise risk doing with a ball of steel wool. It also has a metal scraper with notched ends for removing really stubborn stains from your stone.
All in all, a good purchase that will help you keep any stone—whether it’s made by Cuisinart or—squeaky (or, to drop the occasional uncle joke on you, maybe I should say “scratchy”) clean.
Always allow your pizza stone to cool down completely before scraping its surface off with a cleaning brush. The bristles on most pizza stone brushes are not intended to clean a hot stone in-between uses.
If you don’t believe me, look at the customer reviews for the brush that I suggested. It’s a shame when so many people are giving low ratings to an otherwise good product because they don’t know how to use it right.
If you want to clean your stone in-between uses, use the metal scraper on one end of the brush. That way, you will scrape off baked-on foods without burning (and damaging) the heat-sensitive bristles on the brush.
Thanks for reading this far! Now you know that you should never put a pizza stone in the dishwasher. Or clean it with soapy water. The porous surface will soak up the salts and chemicals from the detergent and your next few batches of pizza will be inedible.
As we established, the best way to clean your pizza stone is also the simplest. All you need is a brush for scraping off burnt-on residue and a damp cloth for wiping the stone clean. The good news is that you don’t need to worry about bacteria. The stone heats up to temperatures high enough to sanitize it with every single use.
What to Read Next
If you’re wondering where to store your pizza stone, you could just leave it in the oven. Of course, you need to make sure it’s in the correct position and its surface is protected from any liquids dripping down on it.
Baking steels are a tougher alternative to baking stones. They hold on to heat better and won’t crack when exposed to thermal shock—even when you use them on an outside grill.