NerdChef Steel High-Performance Baking Surface Pizza Stone, 16-Inch
Last updated date: July 17, 2020
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We looked at the top Pizza Stones and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Pizza Stone you should buy.
The NerdChef Steel Pizza Stone, 16-inch boasts 20 times the conductivity of other ceramic pizza stones. It helps create the perfect crust on any pizza, thanks to its solid steel surface that has been textured, sanded and seasoned with flaxseed oil. In our analysis of 196 expert reviews, the NerdChef NerdChef Steel High-Performance Pizza Stone, 16-Inch placed 8th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note July 17, 2020:
Checkout The Best Pizza Stone for a detailed review of all the top pizza stones.
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From The Manufacturer
Making great crusts (like you find on Neapolitan-style pizza) traditionally requires a 700-1000F wood-fired oven. Nerdchef Steel Stone replicates that performance in a home oven with its super-high heat transfer ability - transfering heat energy 20 times faster than ceramic. It creates beautiful and crispier crusts, gorgeous blistering throughout, and it cooks faster. The top and bottom are bead-blasted for texture, sanded smooth by hand, then seasoned with organic flaxseed oil - pizza slides easily when you want to take it off. Finger holes make it much easier to move and reposition, plus you can hang it on a wall. And it's made in USA with solid premium steel. Steel Stone is unbreakable and we guaranteed it for life. It will develop a darker patina as you use it and it gets more seasoned. Burnt cheese and spilled tomato sauce will give it character. You can also try using it cold - put some dry ice underneath and make ice cream directly on top. Care. Treat the steel like you just like would a cast iron pan. Make sure it is dry after use, and don't store it in a humid environment, or it will rust. If any rust does develop, you can get rid of it with some wet steel wool or a scouring pad. To re-season the steel, clean it first and scrap of anything stuck to it with a metal spatula or scraper, then wipe on some oil (we recommend fresh flaxseed oil because of it's high smoke point). Wipe the oil off with a paper towel (enough will be left behind in the pores of the metal) and let it bake at 400F for an hour.
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An Overview On Pizza Stones
If you’re tired of waiting for the pizza delivery person to show up, or you just like the taste of homemade pizza, a baking stone can take your creations to the next level. A pizza stone gives your crust that crunchiness you love while still keeping your toppings juicy and flavorful.
But if you haven’t shopped for a baking stone recently, you may not realize how many options there are. There’s the traditional clay model, but you can also find great baking cookware made of ceramic, clay and steel, with each having its own benefits. Cast iron stones provide fast, even heating while maintaining that crust texture you want. Some even come pre-seasoned so that you don’t have to worry about your crust sticking to the surface.
Ceramic stones became popular for a reason, though. Their porous build absorbs the flavors in the items you cook, seasoning it to ensure that your foods grow tastier with time. But this porous design also makes it more likely it will absorb moisture, which means you’ll need to take care to avoid mold buildup.
Steel baking stones are another option. Advertised as ultra-conductive, these baking surfaces are designed specifically to distribute heat and hold it throughout the cooking process. Manufacturers promise that these stones bring much more energy to the baking process than ceramic and clay stones, but you’ll see similar results across all baking surface types.
If you’ve ever used a pizza stone before, you know that removal from the oven can be challenging, particularly since they often don’t have handles or rims. Pizzas can slide around on the surface, leading to potential cooking disasters if you aren’t careful. For that reason, some newer pizza stones have either a rim around the edge, handles or both. As convenient as this can be, though, keep in mind that if you plan to slide the entire pizza off onto a serving platter or plate, it won’t be as easy as it is with completely flat stones.
DWYM Fun Fact
The concept of baking stones is based on hot stone cooking, which unsurprisingly dates all the way back to the Stone Age. Man has been heating food over fire for as long as humans have been around, but Roman warriors eventually realized that the stones near the fire grew extremely hot. This heat absorption made them perfect cooking surfaces. Although humans eventually evolved to cooking on pots and pans, gradually manufacturers began marketing baking stones as a great way to make items like cookies and bread. While pizza can also be made on a standard baking stone, pizza stones are designed specifically to absorb moisture, which is believed to make the crust of the pizza crispier.
The Pizza Stone Buying Guide
- One of the first things you’ll probably notice as you shop is that baking stones come in multiple sizes. A 16-inch stone will hold larger pizzas, making them ideal for large families and parties, but it will be harder to transport and squeeze into your oven. A smaller pizza stone is more portable, but it also limits pizza size. If you regularly hand-make your pizzas, you can go with a larger stone to make bigger pizzas. But if you’re using frozen, premade pizza, you’re safe going as small as 14 inches.
- Clay stones can absorb oils, which means they “season” as you bake items on them. This can be problematic, though, if you don’t want those odors and tastes to contaminate other food types you try to make. You might not want your cookies tasting like pepperoni pizza, for instance. For that reason, ceramic and ultra-conductive steel have become popular alternatives.
- Some pizza stones are coated to keep the dough from sticking. If the stone you choose isn’t one of them, put it in the hot oven for at least 30 minutes to preheat it and also dust it with a little flour.
- Since you’ll be baking food items on the surface, cleanup is essential. Having a nonstick surface helps with this, but also keep in mind you’ll probably have to hand wash your stone between uses. Since clay stones are porous and therefore prone to mold, it’s important to dry those types of stones completely.
- Having handles comes in handy, but it does make sliding the pizza off more complicated. Raised edges may be enough. Not only will this type of rim make it easier to grip your pizza stone, but it will also keep ingredients from dripping onto the bottom of your oven.
- One common issue with baking stones is cracking. It’s especially important if you plan to cook in a high-heat environment like a brick oven that you choose a stone built to withstand those temperatures. Often cracking happens because of temperature change, so it can help if you put the pizza stone in the oven to preheat to allow it to gradually adjust.
- Pizza stones aren’t just for making pizza. You can use it to bake cookies, stuffed calzones, energy bars, fruit tarts and more. You can also use it for grilling meat and roasting vegetables, provided you have the right type of stone. For maximum versatility, make sure you choose a baking stone that works on a stove, oven and outdoor grill.
- When it comes down to it, it’s all about the taste of the pizza you make on your new baking stone. Look for a surface that promises good heat conduction and retention. A hotter surface means a crispier outer crust without sacrificing the soft interior. This is the very reason pizza is better when cooked on clay, ceramic or ultra-conductive steel rather than a standard baking sheet.