The Best Pizza Stones for the Crispest Crusts

Lodge's Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan is our favorite

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Simply Recipes / Chloe Jeong

The global popularity of takeout and delivery pizza can’t be overstated, as countless people make these cheesy, saucy pies regular elements of their dining rotation. However, plenty of serious pizza fanatics instead choose to make their own versions at home, which gives them total control over the ingredients, the sauce-to-cheese-to-toppings ratio, and the overall quality of this beloved treat.

Creating your own pizza doesn’t require much in terms of specialty equipment. Aside from a well-calibrated oven or grill, you’ll just need a high-quality pizza stone to ensure even heat distribution and your preferred level of char. That's why we choose Lodge’s Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan as our top choice; the cast iron allows the pie to cook evenly every time.

Don't think of pizza stones as a unitasker though—they come in handy for making bread and other baked goods, and some can also be used as a griddle.

These top pizza stones represent the best of the category, and we’ve pointed out exactly what makes each version worth it.

Best Overall: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan

Amazon

If you’re shopping for cast iron, then you really can’t do better than a Lodge product. This brand has been in the cast iron game since the late 19th century, and its skillets and pans boast such long-lasting strength that they’re regularly passed down from generation to generation.

Cast iron excels at heat retention and a preheated pan will ensure a crisp crust without inopportune burnt spots, so it makes sense that a cast iron baking pan would amply succeed at the delicate art of pizza-making. This 14-inch baking pan provides enough space for even a large, or unevenly shaped, homemade pie. The cast iron both allows the top and interior of the pizza to cook evenly, and pulls away moisture from the dough, which leaves you with a crisp and beautifully charred crust.

The pan comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, so you’ll be able to get to work on your pizza project as soon as it arrives. Also, this features loop handles on either side, which gives you the opportunity to easily slide the pizza in and out of the oven without risking a nasty burn. 

Best Overall, Runner-Up: Solido #1 Pizza Stone

Solido #1 Pizza Stone

Amazon

Rectangular pizza stones prove useful for shoppers with smaller ovens or unusually shaped ovens, and Solido’s #1 Pizza Stone is frequently lauded as one of the very best versions.

Cordierite stone, a mineral famous for its ability to withstand high levels of heat without causing thermal shock, serves as the #1 Pizza Stone’s key ingredient. Also, Solido designs these pizza stones with a "heat spiral” on the bottom. This is a piece of internal construction that allows the pizza stone to heat faster and to cook the inside of the pizza crust and the toppings at the center of the pie without singing the exterior crust or the toppings on the perimeter.

In addition to the oven, this 14-by-16-inch pizza stone, which weighs 13 pounds, can also be used on your outdoor grill since it can handle temperatures up to 1,150 degrees. The stone does need to be wiped down after use and never left to soak in the sink.

Best Budget: Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Crisper Pizza Pan

Wilton Perfect Results Pizza Pan

Fans of crispy, thin-crust pizza, with its high level of crunch and little doughiness to speak of, will find their perfect pizza stone match in the Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Crisper Pizza Pan.

This lightweight, perforated steel pan can easily replace a classic pizza stone. The 14-inch pizza pan features a lowered center with raised lip, which prevents dough and toppings from sliding around and potentially leaking into your oven. The holes allow heat to reach the bottom crust, giving you the perfectly crispy slice.

Also, the Wilton pan is a highly effective tool for cooking frozen pizzas in terms of its shape, size and heat conductivity. Reviewers celebrate the pan for its relatively easy cleaning capacity. It can be put in the dishwasher, though Wilton recommends hand-washing to protect the nonstick coating.

Best High-End: All-Clad Specialty 2-Piece Pizza Stone

all-clad-pizza-stone

Courtesy of Wayfair

All-Clad’s professional-caliber cookware products hold positions of high esteem among enthusiastic home cooks and career chefs alike, and this attractively and cleverly designed pizza stone is no exception to that rule.

This 2-piece set consists of a 13-inch round pizza stone made of natural soapstone and a stainless steel carrying tray. The pizza stone itself disperses even, thorough heat and leaves the crust with an enviably crisp bottom and edges. The stainless tray with two handles allows you to easily transport the stone (and, of course, the pizza) to the table.

If you’d rather not grapple with a knife and a serving spatula when you’re ready to dig into your pie, then you’ll appreciate the included All-Clad pizza cutter.

Best for the Grill: Emile Henry Pizza Stone

Emile Henry Pizza Stone

Amazon

Grilled pizzas find themselves trendier than ever these days. They’re easy to make on a gas or charcoal grill, and they come out with appealingly charred crusts and perfectly melty cheese.

If you’re eager to give grilled pizzas a try, then you’ll want a pizza stone that’s specifically oriented toward this style of cooking, like the Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone. This ceramic pan can endure temperatures up to 900 degrees, and its sturdy construction and scratch-proof coating render it ideal for grilling. This comes in both a 14-inch and a 16-inch size, for large or extra-large pizzas.

This dishwasher-safe stone can also be used to make pizzas in the oven, but its grill skills shouldn’t be overlooked.

Related: The Best Grills

Best Steel: Baking Steel The Original Baking Steel

The Original Baking Steel

Courtesy of Baking Steel

The Original Baking Steel greatly benefits from its versatility. While steel isn’t as popular as stone for pizza pans, its speedy heat conductivity allows you to bake your pizzas quicker than you might with a classic pizza stone, while still achieving an ideal pizza crust. At only 0.25-inch thick, the Original Baking Steel counts among the thinnest steel baking pans on the market, but its substantial 16-pound weight effectively allows the oven’s heat to spread throughout the pie and cook it to perfection.

"The best way to cook pizzas at home when you don’t have a high-temperature pizza oven is to use the Original Baking Steel in your home oven," says Brad Kent, the co-founder and chief culinary officer of Blaze Pizza. "The conductivity of steel over stone pushes more heat into the pizza, giving it a better bottom crust than using a baking stone or nothing at all. I baked a lot of pizzas at home during the pandemic lockdown. During that time, I baked dozens of pizzas in my home. Having something in your oven to bake pizzas on is a must for good results and the Original Baking Steel is the best."

When not in use, the 14-by-16-inch steel can be stored in your oven, where it will help maintain the heat while you cook. This adaptable tool can also be used as a griddle for making bacon, bjuicy burgers, and a wide range of other dishes.

Best for Convection Ovens: Breville 13-Inch Pizza Stone

breville-pizza-stone

Courtesy of Williams Somona

Convection ovens are somewhat controversial appliances. Devotees love the quick and even cooking enabled by a convection oven’s internal fans and exhaust system, while naysayers point out their more delicate construction and the adjustments necessary for everyday recipes.

That’s why it’s helpful for convection oven users to purchase cookware particularly developed for convection oven compatibility, and the Breville 13-inch pizza stone provides an excellent example of one of these pans. Breville designed it to work well with its Smart Oven collection of convection toaster ovens, and its porous baking surface results in foolproof crispy pizza crusts.

Related: The Best Toaster Ovens

Final Verdict

Lodge's 14-inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan (view at Amazon) can be used literally anywhere you would want to cook a pizza, whether it's an induction cooktop or a campfire. If you're looking for a better heat conductor or traditional pizza stone, the Solido #1 Pizza Stone (view at Amazon) is a great choice.

What to Look for When Buying a Pizza Stone

Materials

Pizza stones are mainly cast iron, cordierite stone, steel, soapstone or ceramic. The key to a crispy crust and quick bake time is in the material. You want a pizza stone that is heat-conductive, meaning it heats up quickly and evenly. 

Stainless steel is likely the best conductor of heat compared to the other materials, and it also requires less maintenance. However, it can be expensive. A more affordable option is regular steel, though it’s prone to rust. "The mass of the steel helps everything bake better and makes your oven more efficient through better heat retention," Kent says. "Baking stones occasionally crack so it’s best to have something in your cooking arsenal that is going to last. Baking steels are also great for baking pies at getting a crisp bottom crust."

Cast iron, a common choice, is also prone to rust, but it’s a conductive material that heats up nicely. Ceramic and clay pizza stones are among the most common materials used to make pizza stones — they’re great for transferring heat and absorbing moisture from the pizza crust, but they can crack over time. Cordierite stone is similar to ceramic and clay, though it’s more likely to last longer since it’s more durable.

Seasoning

Most pizza stones don’t need to be seasoned when you first get them. If they’re made out of cast iron, there’s a high probability they’ve been pre-seasoned by the manufacturer to prevent sticking. Seasoning a pizza stone on your own can cause them to smoke or develop an odor. When purchasing a pizza stone, be sure to follow any instructions prior to your first use.

Some pizza stones can be re-seasoned, however. This usually includes washing the pizza stone, coating it with a thin layer of oil, and baking for an hour. As always, check the manual for specific instructions.

Cleaning

A pizza stone isn’t something you can wash in the dishwasher. You’ll have to wash them by hand due to their nature and weight. You should never use soap or harsh detergents. Instead, use a scrubbing brick or stiff nylon brush to clean the pizza stone. If a steel stone gets wet, dry it immediately to prevent rust. Avoid submerging the stone in water as it can take a long time to dry.

Porous materials like clay, cordierite and ceramic should never come into contact with soap or detergents since the stone may absorb them and then come into contact with food. If food gets stuck on the pizza stone, run water over the food and use a nylon scrubber to remove any remaining food particles.

FAQs

Do you need to preheat a pizza stone?

For best results and to avoid the stone from cracking, you should preheat your pizza stone before placing the pizza on top of it to cook. Start by placing the pizza stone in a cold oven and then preheat the oven to the desired temperature. When the oven is preheated, this means the stone is too. Place the pizza on the preheated stone and cook until the crust is crispy.

Can you leave a pizza stone in your oven for storage?

Yes, you can leave a pizza stone in your oven all the time for storage. This can even help your oven’s recovery time and leads to a more uniform heat. The reasoning is the stone "captures" heat and helps to keep the temperature in the oven steady when you open the door. It will add a few minutes when preheating the oven, and the stone should be removed when you're baking any pastries prone to burning.

What else can you cook on a pizza stone?

Pizza stones aren’t just for pizzas. Use them to roast vegetables, bake cookies, heat frozen foods, sear meat, and more. Certain steels can also be used on your stove, where they double as a griddle. Then you can make everything from eggs and bacon to pressed sandwiches.

Why Trust Simply Recipes?

Taylor Tobin is a freelance journalist who specializes in recipe testing and deep dives into popular dishes and ingredients. She regularly uses a wide range of cookware to try out new recipes and to execute old favorites, and the pandemic shutdowns inspired her to try making her own pizzas for the first time. Her cast iron baking pan has served her and her pizzas well thus far, but for the sake of experimentation, she’s also excited to add a steel pan to her collection.

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