Pizza Stone, eliminating stains, burnt matter

odp

Hi -

I have the KA rectangular pizza stone. I have used it once and the oil and herbs fell onto the stone leaving black stains.

I am concerned that when I use the stone again, at very high heat, that it will start smoking.

Is there a way to clean the stone?

Thank you.

badge posted by: odp on August 06, 2010 at 6:01 pm in Baking, misc.
tags: pizza stone
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reply by: PJHA on August 06, 2010 at 6:39 pm
PJHA

Try scrubbing it hard it with a paste of baking soda and water. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Whatever you do - no soap! And your stone is naturally going to become stained, and will darken with age and use. So don't worry about how it looks; this is strictly to remove any excess oil that might, as you say, smoke. Good luck - PJH

reply by: kittykat3308 on August 08, 2010 at 3:40 am
kittykat3308

Hi,

I have an electric oven with a self-cleaning feature and I left my pizza stone in when I did the self-cleaning cycle (I used the longest time) and my stone, also purchased from King Arthur, came clean as new. I received this hint from another member and I hope it helps you as it did me.

Kat

reply by: naschol on August 09, 2010 at 9:04 am
naschol

If you have burned on matter, you can use one of those razor tools used to scrape paint off windows or glass top stoves. Just make sure to use it at a 45 degree angle or less.

Nancy

reply by: heycupcake on August 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm
heycupcake

I make a lot of pizza and my stone is almost totally black. I let the stone cool then brush it with a stiff brush. I NEVER use water on the stone because it's very porous and I've read several times and any water or chemicals used will leach into the stone. The blackening is normal and doesn't affect the safety, taste or appearance of the pizza. I would just make sure it's scraped of any food matter and forget about it.

reply by: odp on August 10, 2010 at 4:39 pm
odp

Than you very, very much for all of the informative replies and solutions. I have been wondering what to do about the stone for a while and all of a sudden I remembered the KA forums. This is a helping community.

reply by: efosterchild@aol.com on October 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm
efosterchild@aol.com

Just cleaned my oven this weekend and my stone, which was looking pretty ugly, was as good as new.

Don't use water and definitely don't use soap. Scrap off the brown bits until you can clean your oven. If you don't have that feature, ask friend! :-)

reply by: Mike Nolan on October 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm
Mike Nolan

I normally just scrub my unglazed ceramic tiles with a wire bristle brush.

On one occasion I did clean them with a baking soda slurry, but that was after making a pizza where the cheese fell off the back onto the tiles, and between them, and through them to the oven deck, then caught fire.

Cleaning the oven was a lot more work than cleaning the tiles. These days if I'm making pizza I will sometimes line the oven rack with aluminum foil before putting the tiles on, just to make cleanup easier in case the cheese spills again.

reply by: frick on October 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm
frick

I normally just scrape my pizza stone with a scraper that holds a razor blade, a putty knife, or a strong metal spatula. It will blacken but it's of no concern.

reply by: threeltlbirds on December 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm
threeltlbirds

Although my husband and I have been making pizza for years we just made the leap to the pizza peel and stone - we have not had great success but last night the cheese, sauce, onions and mushrooms decided to leave the peel while most of the dough stayed behind. Oh my.

First I scrubbed the worst of the burn off with a balled up wad of aluminum foil, then I came here.

We took the recommendation of using the "self-clean" cycle in the oven - Holy Hannah - worked like a CHARM and we were SURE the stone had been ruined and now it looks like it just came out of the box!

The only caveat I would like to add is that the oven's rack on which the stone is resting seems to have bowed (I am assuming a combo of heat and the weight on it - also FYI - we have a Frigidaire stove) which is a little bizzare but something others may like to keep in mind.

So, my question is - although all the literature says no oil on the stone, does anyone think I can get away with "greasing" the peel with a little olive oil or no-stick spray to help keep our dough from sticking?

Thanks.

reply by: lenored on December 29, 2010 at 10:25 pm
lenored

try using some corn meal on the peel instead. it is course enough that it acts like little tiny wheels to get the pizza from the peel to the oven. The corn meal that sticks to the pizza may burn in the oven but is easily brushed off the finished pizza.

reply by: Mike Nolan on December 29, 2010 at 11:08 pm
Mike Nolan

Oiling the peel won't really help with a wooden peel, in fact, over time the wood will get sticky and smelly.

Oiling a stone (even indirectly) is at best unnecessary and at worst a bad idea because it could lead to hot spots that could cause problems with cooking or even lead to the stone cracking.

I saw one site that suggested oiling unglazed quarry tiles before using them in the oven. REALLY BAD IDEA!!

Even after 10 hours in the oven they were a sticky mess. It took me several hours of scrubbing with baking soda and water to get them clean.

I've seen some pizza recipes that call for semolina rather than corn meal as a 'lubricant', though I think semolina is a bit more likely to scorch. Also, corn meal is a lot cheaper.

As I probably said up-thread, I clean my stones (actually unglazed quarry tiles) with a wire brush every now and then. I also have a long-handled pizza brush that I use in between pizzas to clean any spilled cheese off before it bakes solid.

But one thing I discovered the hard way is DO NOT just brush the cheese off the back, we had to interrupt one batch of pizza-making to put out the cheese fire in the bottom of the oven.

reply by: threeltlbirds on December 30, 2010 at 9:57 am
threeltlbirds

Thanks Lenored - we have tried both corn meal and flour. Both didn't really do the job and then scorched on top o fit so we kind of nixed that idea.

reply by: threeltlbirds on December 30, 2010 at 10:00 am
threeltlbirds

Actually its an aluminum peel - would that change your opinion of spraying it?

I don't want to do anything to the stone - our only real issue is transferring from the peel to the stone.

We have tried making our doughs drier as we thought it was a sticky dough issue but that just hasn't made a difference either.

I also saw a recommendation for perforating the peel but I have perforated pizza pans and I don't find that to make any difference with stickiness, (in my opinion it just makes for a crispier crust) so I don't know that ruining my new peel would help!!

Anyway, thanks for your input.

reply by: Mike Nolan on December 30, 2010 at 10:21 am
Mike Nolan

I recently got an aluminum peel, but I plan to use it mostly for taking pizzas out of the oven, building them on the wooden one.

I still wouldn't use oil on it, though, and I DEFINITELY wouldn't punch holes in it, that would just create more places for the dough to catch instead of slide.

In pizzerias there's usually plenty of flour on the underside of the crust as they build it, and often a bowl of flour or corn meal nearby for sprinkling on the peels. (In Chicago, where corn meal is often in the dough, using corn meal for a lubricant seems especially appropriate.)

reply by: Christian T on December 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm
Christian T

I build on parchment paper which goes in the oven with the pizza. It slips and slides just fine.

In the case of crusts that get a bit of pre baking, I use the parchment for that bake and then just a common metal peel for the final build and insertion. The parbaked crust slips and slides just fine.

reply by: HMB on December 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm
HMB

Although I like the taste and crunch of cornmeal, some of it does burn on the stone (or the bottom of the oven) and thus smells and needs cleaning up, so I often use parchment, and I agree, that works like a charm! The parchment edges do get a little crispy in the high heat of pizza baking but I've never had the parchment actually burn -- don't think it stays in the oven long enough. I've found it helps to trim the parchment close to the size of the pizza -- the paper doesn't seem to scorch that way.