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Fridays are unofficially known as pizza days here at Kitchn, with nearly every Next Week’s Meal Plan featuring some sort of pizza on the last day of the work week. To make it at home, in your standard oven, you’ll ideally want a pizza stone or a pizza steel (although it’s certainly not required). But there are a surprising amount of factors to consider when buying one: shape (we prefer rectangular; more on that later), handles versus no handles, maximum heat levels, and, most importantly, material.
The biggest factor here is material, so let’s take a look.
Got it? Okay, now let’s take a look to see what other experts and shoppers have to recommend. In true Kitchn fashion, we’ll weigh in with our own two cents at the end.
FibraMent-D Home Oven Baking Stone
The Best Pizza Stone, According to Wirecutter
The folks at Wirecutter tested stones and steels (by making pizzas, croissants, and rustic breads), and ultimately decided that this stone was the best. They liked that it held enough heat to make multiple pizzas in a row and that its coarse ceramic surface resulted in crispy bottoms and puffy crusts. In fact, the surface was one of the biggest selling points, as it was one of the roughest of all the ceramic stones they tested. What does roughness have to do with it? The craggier surface means more channels for steam to escape, the testers noted. Testers also appreciated that this stone is available in a wide array of sizes: three rectangular and four round options.
The Original Baking Steel
The Best Baking Steel, According to Serious Eats
J. Kenji López-Alt rounded up his essential tools for pizza and listed this baking steel, saying it completely changed how he cooks pizza while inside. He points out that it has greater conductivity and higher volumetric heat capacity than a baking stone, which means it produces crispier pizza crusts with an even deeper char. And he loves that this will last a lifetime, while pizza stones tend to crack with use. (He used to go through about one stone a year, but this one persists!) Note: Orders are shipping with delays but should be picking up again this week.
Pizzacraft All-Purpose Baking Stone
The Best Baking Stone, According to Cook’s Illustrated
The editors at Cook’s Illustrated just updated their list because their long-standing favorite is no longer available. Their new pick is four inches longer than their previous winner. Although it should be noted that the rectangular stone is also now unavailable, but the square and round ones are for sale. Shape and size aside, the testers said the material cooked up pizza and bread nicely. In response to the concerns that pizza stones often crack, the editors said that, as long as you get a stone that can withstand heat of 500 degrees (or higher), you’ll be good to go. This one is good up to 800 degrees.
The Bestselling Pizza Stone on Amazon
The best seller of all the pizza pans and stones on Amazon? This ceramic option from Heritage Products. It has a 4.5-star rating and more than 2,000 reviews, the majority of which are five stars. Satisfied shoppers note that it conducts heat extremely well, crisps up crusts nicely, and is priced super reasonably. It also comes with a free pizza cutter.
Kitchn’s Thoughts on the Best Pizza Stone
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of these options and it really is a matter of preference. (Some Kitchn editors don’t even have a pizza stone — instead, we suggest using an inverted baking sheet!) If you want to start dabbling in homemade pizza but don’t want to spend a lot of money, we like this stone, which is very similar to the pick from Cook’s Illustrated. But if you make pizza at home a lot — or want to start — we suggest a steel. More specifically, the same steel Kenji likes. It really will last you forever, makes quick work of baking pizzas, and gets a crust char that will rival your favorite local pizza joint.
We leave our baking steel in the oven all the time and find that things like cookies, casseroles, and braises benefit from the even heat it radiates. We also prefer a rectangular shape instead of a round one, as a rectangle has a larger surface area and is nicer for when we’re baking shaped loaves like baguettes and batards.
All that said, though, it’s about to be grilling season! And we’re huge fans of just throwing a pizza (even a frozen one!) directly on the grill — no stone or steel needed.
Do you have a pizza stone or steel? Tell us about it in the comments below!