330 of 346 people found the following review helpful
I've prided myself on my homemade pizza for years. It's something I take very seriously no matter if I am making my dough from scratch, or if time doesn't permit, using pre-made refridgerated dough. Now I've used all sorts of pizza pans to bake my pies from the round aluminum sheets, to the large round sheets with the holes in them, to the rectangular pans that pizzerias use for deep dish pizza. Bottom line is that none of them gave as true a pizzeria taste as this baking stone. What's more is that stone allows you to cook at hotter temperatures as my older oven always cooked faster on the bottom and I'd have to adjust the rack heighth. The stone allows for much more even cooking and provides a true gourmet tasting crust. I'll never go back to aluminum pans again. Great item and great value as well.
112 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2007
I do use this large stone, on the lowest rack of my oven, for baking bread, pizza, and cookies, ALWAYS on a sheet of parchment paper, no matter what I bake. I use parchment paper for baking any product with a large amount of flour. I keep the stone in my oven for all baking because, after the longer heat-up time, the temperature in my oven stays constant through every cycle of the electric element heating up and cooling down.
I saw on a PBS breads cooking show that parchment paper can be used on a stone in any hot oven, over the 420 degrees F of the Reynolds brand paper; up to 475-500 degrees F is what I saw. The paper can turn brown and black, get crisp, and still be in one piece. You throw away parchment paper after use every time anyway.
91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
I bought this stone over 2 1/2 years ago, put it in the bottom of my oven, and left it there ever since, only removing it when doing the oven's self-cleaning cycles. It fit perfectly in my oven, even though it is convection and therefore is a bit shallower than a standard oven to allow space for the fan in the back wall. In all that time, it has never cracked. It is the right shape for an oven, and almost any pizza will fit on it just fine. (I did find some monster-sized pizzas from Target that hang over the edge a little bit, but they still work.)
To use it, I heat the oven up to 500 degrees. Still a couple hundred degrees shy of a professional pizza oven (which reach over 700 degrees), but the highest temperature a standard oven will allow. I wait another ten to fifteen minutes or so after it reaches temperature to ensure that the stone is as hot as it is going to get, then slide the pizza on using a wooden peel that I bought separately. Ten minutes later, I slip it off the stone using the peel, and it is ready! This works with premade refrigerated pizzas, frozen pizzas, and homemade pizzas. It makes a great crust, which is never soggy regardless of topping overload, and is always crisp on the bottom.
Alton Brown is a great source of information, so I have no doubt that his advice of getting an unglazed tile for this purpose will certainly work. However, rest assured that this is not a tile being resold at a high markup as a pizza surface. It has feet molded into the bottom to hold it off the surface, is a better shape and size for the oven cavity, and was manufactured for use with food, rather than being stacked on a pile of construction supplies. It is thick, but is engineered to withstand the kind of thermal stresses I've been subjecting it to for years without cracking. Sure, it is more expensive than a tile, but the cost is still low, and it really lasts. Makes great pizza, too!
So, make your own choice about whether to use a tile or not, but keep in mind that the comments about the tiles being so much better seem to be coming only from people who don't own this stone. I don't see any comments like "I bought this and wish I had a cheap tile instead."
88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2006
I bought this baking stone, one year ago, after it received a recommendation from America's Test Kitchen. This is the first stone I've ever bought, at the age of 35. I finally decided to buy one after having my pizzas come out with either burnt or soggy crusts. I'm happy to say that it works just as well one year later after repeated use.
If you are deciding between round vs rectangular stone, remember a rectangular stone gives you more surface area to work with.
Before you buy any stone, remember to measure the inside of your oven first, to make sure the stone will fit!
I use this pizza stone regularly once a week to heat up a store-bought frozen pizza (Freschetta, in case you are interested). This stone works wonderfully. The pizza is cooked evenly, and the crust doesn't burn. Finally, my pizza comes out looking like the photo on the back (and front) of the pizza box!
I use parchment paper every time I use the stone, so I've had to do no cleaning to it since I bought it. Thus far, it's been care-free, and you don't have to pre-treat it before using it.
Unlike other comments I've read on here, there have been no smells associated with the stone, and it arrived safely and well packaged in one piece.
I have not used this stone for baking bread or pizza dough, so I cannot comment on its effectiveness for those purposes.
I've been very happy with the product and because the stone retains heat so well, you can keep your uneaten pizza "warm" by leaving it on the baking stone long after the oven is off.
As a disclaimer I should note that I *do not* work for Old Stone Oven or any other food manufacturing/service industry.
Peace and happy eating!
69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2006
I have been making all types of baked goods for almost 30 years, and can say without reservation, that this is the best pizza stone I have ever used. I've had mine for over a year now, and although it has blackened with use, it has never gotten one pizza stuck to it and never given off any noxious fumes or odors. I will definitely buy another in the future.
559 of 659 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2005
One of my friends got one of these pizza stones and I went over to make pizza with him, and what amazed me was that this looks and feels JUST like a unglazed tile... I had great fun making pizza with him, and the pizza came out great, but I couldn't justify spending this much $$$ on a pizza stone...
I ended up going to Home Depot and picked up a 12" unglazed tile for 83 cents (as suggested by Alton Brown from Good Eats), and it fits perfectly in my oven. I have been making pizza with it and see no difference between the two pizza stones.
If you have needs to make larger pizzas that won't fit on a cheap 12" tile, then _maybe_ you can get this one (14"X16"). Personally, I'd just get it from Home Depot.
66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2009
I used my new stone 2 times. The first time was for french bread and the later was pizza. After making the pizza I saw a large crack down the center and when I lifted it out of the oven it broke in half. From now on I'll use unglazed quarry stone. At the cost of only a few cents I won't care if they break, but this stone cost way to much to replace after a few uses.
I don't reccomend buying this stone. It is over priced and not well manufactured.
113 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2005
I gave up on eating pizza that had a perfectly cooked crust and that wasn't overcooked until I purchased this pizza stone. Its the perfect size to make a 12-14 inch pizza. All you need to do is preheat the oven to 500F with the stone in the oven and leave it in the oven for a further 15+ minutes. Slide the pizza onto the stone and voila! The result is crispy pizza that is done in 10 minutes. Old stone has redeemed my hope in a restaurant style pizza made at home :) One of my best purchases ever and at $13.99 its a steal!
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
A lot of people complain that this stone breaks easily. Unless the stone had any inherent cracks from the factory, it will not break due to anything other than carelessness.
I used it at home where I let it warm up to the max temp possible, which in my case was 550 degrees. After letting it sit at that temperature for ~30 mins, it was ready to use. I have used a thinner terracotta stone in the past and in comparison, I definitely recommend this piece.
The pizza dough recipe was Reinhart's and it turned out excellent. Very uniform crust, perfectly cooked in 9.5 mins (thin crust). I used it to bake bread as well with excellent results.
Few things not to do:
1) NO temperature shocks. Let it warm up to the desired temperature in the oven for at least 30 mins. After cooking, just leave it in the oven to cool at its own pace.
2) If it needs to be moved immediately after cooking, place it on concrete or something - VERY lightly. Which leads to the next point:
3) No mechanical shocks! especially when its hot. If for some reason dough sticks to the stone (which it will not if cornmeal is used), dont try to scrape it off while hot with a spatula - that will most probably crack it. Let it cool.
It should be understood that the stone is designed to replicate the surface of a brick oven - it is a delicate utensil which needs proper care.
48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2009
I have used it for pizza and homemade bread. The bottoms come out perfect every time and adds flavor and texture that metal surfaces cannot match. I made a round peasant loaf and compared it to a loaf baked in a metal french bread container. Both were good as the dough was identical, but the freestyle peasant loaf was superior by far. Best stone I've ever used.
Frozen pizza comes out perfect. In all cases, be sure you allow enough time for the stone to be up to temp before cooking. I allow an extra 10 minutes of pre-heating just to be sure. If using a frozen product, follow the temp directions on the package.