Are you a pizza enthusiast who loves baking homemade pies on a trusty pizza stone? But when it comes to cleaning, the question arises: can you put a pizza stone in the dishwasher? Well, truth be told, it’s not recommended to put a pizza stone in the dishwasher. Introducing a pizza stone to such a harsh cleaning environment can lead to adverse effects including damage to your pizza stone.
Learn more about the proper care and maintenance of your pizza stone in this article. Read on as I tackle the properties of pizza stones and why you should not put them in the dishwasher. Let’s go!
The Basics of Pizza Stone Care
When talking about the basics of pizza stone care, it’s essentially about understanding its unique qualities and treating it right to get the best performance. A pizza stone is a flat cooking surface used in ovens, most commonly for baking pizzas.
The first thing to note is that a pizza stone is extremely porous. This means it can absorb anything that comes into contact with it – from the pizza’s moisture to help create a crisp crust, to strong cleaning agents that can seep in and affect the flavor of your food.
Remember that thermal shock can be damaging to the pizza stone. Always allow it to cool completely before cleaning or storing it to avoid sudden temperature changes which can cause cracks.
Pizza stones are simple to maintain with just a few rules: avoid using soap, clean it gently without soaking, and always dry it completely.
The Do’s and Don’ts with Pizza Stones
Navigating the dos and don’ts of using pizza stones can seem a bit daunting, but with the right guiding principles, you can enjoy excellent results from your baking stone.
- Do preheat your pizza stone. For good results, preheating is crucial. It needs to reach the right temperature before the pizza dough is added.
- Don’t subject your pizza stone to abrupt temperature changes. Drastic shifts from hot to cold can cause the stone to crack, a phenomenon known as thermal shock.
- Do clean your pizza stone gently. A bit of warm water and a brush or spatula is all you need to clean the stone properly.
- Don’t use soap or harsh detergents. Because pizza stones are porous and absorbent, they might soak up the soap, which can then affect the taste of the food.
- Most importantly, don’t put your pizza stone in the dishwasher. It can soak up too much water, which can lead to cracking when heated.
How to Properly Clean a Pizza Stone
You might be wondering about the best way to clean your pizza stone without risking any damage. Here’s a step-by-step guide that will lead you to clean pizza stones correctly:
- Let the stone cool completely: After using your stone, it’s critical that you allow it to fully cool before attempting to clean it. This prevents the stone from experiencing thermal shock, which can lead to cracking.
- Scrape off any leftover food: Using a baking spatula or brush, scrape off any residue or stuck-on food. It’s important not to use anything sharp that might scratch the surface.
- Use a damp cloth: If scraping isn’t enough, use a damp cloth or sponge to gently wipe the surface.
- Skip the soap: As mentioned, pizza stones absorb everything, including soap. So, it’s recommended to avoid using any soap or chemical cleaner.
- Dry thoroughly: Once cleaned, make sure to thoroughly dry the pizza stone. This can be done by allowing it to air dry, or to speed up the process, you can place it in a warm (not hot) oven.
Why Dishwasher is a No-go for Pizza Stone
It may be tempting to throw your pizza stone in the dishwasher for a quick clean. However, there are particular reasons why this method isn’t favorable.
Dishwashers clean by intensely spraying hot water and detergent on dishes. For most cookware, this is fine, but the porous nature of a pizza stone means it can absorb large amounts of water. This excess moisture can lead to issues when the stone is heated again, like cracking or even potentially breaking the stone.
Exposure to harsh chemicals
The detergents used in dishwashers are quite potent and are not suitable for an absorbent material like a pizza stone. The stone could end up retaining these strong chemicals that may be harmful when heated and could also affect the flavor of your food.
The high-pressure water jets inside a dishwasher, along with other dishes clashing against the pizza stone, might cause chips or cracks on its surface.
Alternative Safe Cleaning Methods
Just because a pizza stone can’t go into the dishwasher doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a dirty stone. Here are safe, alternative methods for you to clean your pizza stone effectively.
Baking Soda and Water
Create a paste using equal parts baking soda and water. Apply this paste to the surface of the pizza stone and scrub gently using a brush or a sponge. It’s natural, odorless, and won’t harm the stone.
If the pizza stone has a lot of grime, you could use coarse salt alongside a soft brush to gently scour the surface. This method should only be used on heavily stuck grime as it can potentially scratch the stone.
Baking Off Residue
Another alternative is to bake off any stuck residue. Simply leave the stone in the oven after baking at a high temperature. The heat should char any residue, making it easier to brush off once the stone cools down.
Types of Pizza Stones and Their Care
Pizza stones come in various materials, with each having unique care and cleaning instructions. Here are three common types and how to keep them in tip-top shape.
A popular choice, ceramic pizza stones are excellent for heat retention but can be somewhat delicate. They should be cleaned gently with warm water and a non-abrasive scrub. A solution of baking soda and water can come in handy for more stubborn spots.
Known for its high heat resistance and durability, cordierite pizza stones are less prone to thermal shock cracking. A damp cloth works well for basic cleaning, and a more in-depth cleanse can be done using a baking soda paste.
While not technically a stone, cast iron pizza ‘stones’ are growing in popularity due to their superb heat retention. These pans are typically pre-seasoned, and it’s best to clean them with a brush whilst warm, using water only. Never soak a cast iron pan as this can lead to rusting.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pizza Stones
Pizza stones can inspire a multitude of questions, particularly regarding their care and maintenance. Here, we’ll tackle some of the most frequent inquiries.
Can I put my pizza stone in the dishwasher?
No, a pizza stone should not be put in the dishwasher due to the risk of water absorption leading to cracking, possible consumption of harsh chemicals, and potential physical damage.
What happens if my pizza stone gets wet?
If your pizza stone gets wet, it’s important to let it dry thoroughly before using it again. When heated, any absorbed water can turn to steam, causing the stone to crack or break.
Can I use soap to clean my pizza stone?
It’s best to avoid soap as the stone can absorb it, leading to soapy-tasting food. Stick to natural cleansers like baking soda with water.
What should I do if food is stuck on my pizza stone?
You can gently scrape off any stuck bits with a spatula or stiff brush. Another method is to bake the residue at high heat until it chars and becomes easier to brush off.
Whether you own a ceramic, cordierite, or cast iron pizza stone, proper maintenance will ensure its longevity and optimum performance. After all, getting that perfectly crispy, restaurant-quality pizza crust at home largely depends on a well-cared-for pizza stone. So, treat your pizza stone right, and it might just become your favorite tool in the kitchen.