Homemade Pizza School

What’s the Difference between a Pizza Stone and a Baking Steel?

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Updated: August 31, 2021

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These pizza stones for oven use pre-heat twice as fast as other stones, thoroughly cooking homemade pizzas in speedier baking times and producing crispier crusts. Plus, its tapered edge makes serving easy, so you can have pizza fast, and fuss free! Minimize Mess: Our superior baking stone is grease and burn resistant, coated in a non-stick glaze that prevents dough from fusing to the base and creating a mess. It also washes easily, so after a soapy sponge and rinse, your oven pizza stone will look as good as new.

What do you do to get the perfect crispy-crust pizza if you’re not lucky enough to have a wood-fired pizza oven in your kitchen or backyard? Or maybe you’re not ready to try pizza on the grill just yet?

Use a pizza stone or baking steel, of course!

Both are ideal options to give you that perfect crust you want, crispy without being dry, soft without being overly doughy.

pizza stone baking steel making pizza at home

However, there are some slight differences between the two. Below, we’re going to take a look at using them, examining how the varying materials deliver slight variations on perfection. We’ll even list a few of our top recommendations for you to use at home.

By the end of this page, you’ll be making master-level pizza every time!

Pizza-Making Materials Matter

For centuries, both stone and metal have been used for cooking. Each provides a different effect and cooks your pizza just a little bit differently.

What’s a Pizza Stone, anyways?

The term “pizza stone” refers to any mineral-based baking surface. Typically, they’re made from clay, cordierite, or ceramic. They don’t heat up or transfer heat quickly, which means a longer cooking time than you’d get with the faster-heating metal baking steel.

However, they conduct heat very effectively (though more slowly), which means you get the same even, thorough bake, just with more time required in the oven. The stone also absorbs moisture from the pizza dough to prevent soggy crusts.

Definition of a Baking Steel

Also known as “pizza steels”, these are steel trays that conduct heat very efficiently. The metal not only heats up more quickly than stone, but also transfers heat into the pizza crust more quickly, which means a shorter cook time.

Now, we know that both a pizza stone and baking steel will cook your pizza to equal perfection, with that crispy crust that makes each bite sizzling magic. With that in mind, there are a few noticeable differences resulting from the different materials:

  • Durability – Baking steels are virtually indestructible. Steel can heat up and cool down quickly, so there is no risk of “thermal shock”, or breaking easily if exposed to sudden temperature changes (cold stone into a blistering hot oven, or a hot stone onto a cold surface). Pizza baking stones, unfortunately, are prone to thermal shock, and they are likely to break if you accidentally drop them.
  • Maintenance – As mentioned above, pizza steels are nearly impossible to break with regular use. However, as with all metals, they require a bit more care to keep away rust. You’ll need to season the baking steel (using oil) regularly in order to keep it in good condition. With stones, on the other hand, you can simply use them without worrying about maintenance. It will never rust or breed bacteria. As long as you’re careful with your handling so it doesn’t break, you’ll find a pizza stone requires virtually no cleaning beyond the occasional brushing to get rid of crust residue.

Fascinating, isn’t it?

With a steel, you get faster cooking time and near indestructibility, but with a need for more regular maintenance. On the other hand, stone requires virtually no upkeep or cleaning, but is a bit more delicate and prone to breaking.

Our Top Recommendations

If you want to step your pizza game up a notch, it’s a good idea to own at least one pizza stone or baking steel. Here is our list of the top-recommended products to use at home:

Pizza Stones

Pizza Stone by Hans Grill Baking StoneThis pizza stone has earned the title of an “Amazon’s Choice” product, with more than 5,600 reviews and an overwhelmingly positive response to its high-quality construction. Made from cordierite, it’s just 1.5 centimeters thick, perfect to maintain crispiness in the oven without slowing down bake time excessively. It’s suited not only for your oven, but even for use on a propane BBQ grill or a charcoal fire.

AUGOSTA Pizza Stone Weighing in at just under 7 pounds, this pizza stone is an excellent heavy-duty addition to your pizza-loving home. Made from 100% natural FDA-safe cordierite, it has been treated for extra thermal shock resistance and heat-safe up to 1112 F (600 C). It’s also incredibly easy to clean, suitable for use in any oven or grill, and comes with a free wooden paddle for your pizza-baking convenience.

Baking Steels

The Original Baking SteelThis baking steel is nearly indestructible, made from high-quality US steel. It’s perfect for use on campfires, BBQ grills, or in an induction oven, and it’s even pre-seasoned for great taste and to reduce maintenance. At just one-quarter inch thick, it’s slim enough to give you incredibly fast cooking time while still producing a truly delicious pizza.

NerdChef Steel StoneWith this baking steel, you’ll get the heat performance of a 1000-degree pizza oven right in the comfort of your home, ensuring perfect crusts, sizzling cheese, and perfectly done toppings. The steel’s surface has been sanded beautifully smooth and seasoned with flaxseed oil. Best of all, it comes with a lifetime warranty!

These are our top-recommended options for pizza baking accessories for you to use at home. Buy one or both, and have fun experimenting to see which delivers that perfect, crispy crust every time.

We hope you enjoyed this look at the homemade pizza debate. If you have any questions or just want to share your experiences using these nifty cooking tools, drop a comment below—we’d love to hear from you!

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Authors

DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

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