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Pizza stones are a must if you want to bake a crisp-crusted pizza in your oven, and the good news is that there are a huge variety of stones to choose from—some of which are not made of anything resembling stone. Not only are there different materials, but there are also different shapes and sizes to fit your grill, your oven, your smoker, and more.
While you can certainly bake your pizza to a beautiful golden crust right on your BBQ, that can be a little bit trickier, so a pizza stone that can go on a grill or open flame is also very useful. You can also get plenty of non-pizza use out of them, utilizing them for baking artisan bread and buns as well, and some folks even use them for baking cookies and other sweet goods.
Convinced that you need to up your pizza-making game? Check out these top-rated pizza stones!
Best Overall: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan With Loop Handles
Retains heat well
Versatile use for oven, stovetop, or open fire
Requires additional care like most cast iron
Handles get hot
Cast iron has a lot of advantages when it comes to cooking pizza. It retains heat well and is nearly indestructible, so you don’t need to treat it gently. It comes pre-seasoned so you can use it right away, but with continued use and additional seasoning, it achieves a very nonstick surface. The pan can handle high heat, so besides using this in the oven or on a grill, you can use it on the stovetop or even on a campfire.
Besides using this for pizza, you can use it on the stove to cook bacon, pancakes, burgers, steaks, or just about everything you’d use a cast iron frying pan for, and it’s also good for heating tortillas. In the oven, you can use it for roasting meat or vegetables, or for baking bread. Loop handles make it easy to handle this pan, even when you’re wearing oven mitts. Made in the USA, this 14-inch pan has so many uses, you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy one before.
"The material is also quite durable, which means this pan should last for decades unless it’s severely mistreated." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best for the Big Green Egg: Cast Elegance Pizza Stone
Resistant to thermal shock
Available in two sizes
Synthetic material might be off-putting
Cordierite is a type of rock that can be created synthetically and used in ceramics that are incredibly resistant to thermal shock, making them perfect for use in an oven or on a grill. Thermarite is the name for the cordierite material that’s made by Cast Elegance for its pizza stones. This material is food-safe and absorbs moisture from the dough as it bakes to create a crisp crust. It also retains heat, so the pizza will bake evenly, without hot spots, and it can handle high heat in your grill.
This stone is 16 inches in diameter, so it will fit easily in your Big Green Egg cooker or similar round cooker. It can also be used on your gas grill or in the oven. A free scraper is included, to help you clean residue off the stone after baking. A 14-inch stone is also available.
Best for the Smoker: Unicook Heavy Duty Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone
Large enough for family size use
Absorbs moisture for crispier crust
Susceptible to staining
Made from Cordierite stone, this can handle heat up to 1450 degrees, so it can easily withstand the high heat of a grill, moderate heat in a home oven, or lower heat in a smoker. At 12 x 15 inches, it’s large enough for a family-sized pizza, a pair of personal pizzas, or long loaves of bread, and the rectangular shape is great for smokers and gas grills. It can also be used for baking cookies, pastries, and other baked goods.
The stone draws moisture from the dough for a crisp bottom crust and never a soggy bottom. This stone never needs to be seasoned, but it may darken with use. Spilled foods can simply be scraped or rinsed off. A plastic dough cutter is included to portion dough or scrape any food residue off of a cool stone.
Best for Gas Grill: Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone
Can withstand up to 900 degrees
Helper handles allow you to move from oven to table
Smooth glazed surface is easy to clean
More delicate compared to other stones
Flame Top ceramics are unique in that they can actually be used on an open flame. This stone is ideal for use on a gas stove or on a charcoal, wood, or gas grill up to 900 degrees. It’s also safe for use in the oven as well as under the broiler. The side handles help you move the stone easily, and the glazed surface is micro-crazed to promote even browning of your pizza’s bottom. When the pizza is done baking, you don’t need to transfer it to a cutting board, since it’s safe to cut on the surface and it’s easy to clean when melted cheese drips onto the surface.
When it’s time for cleaning and the stone has cooled, it’s easy to wash by hand since the slick surface keeps food and grease from soaking in, but this stone is also dishwasher safe, so cleanup is fast and easy.
Best for the Oven: Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick Crisper Pizza Pan
Easy to clean
Not as versatile as other pizza pans
Nonstick coating will degrade over time
Cooking a pizza in the comfort of your home is pure joy. You can add whatever toppings you like, ensure you'll get a piping hot pie, and know you'll get the crispiest crust yet. If you know you'll be cooking a lot of pizzas in your oven you'll want to try a pizza stone, and this bestseller from Wilton gives you pizzeria quality in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Use this nonstick coated steel number on frozen pizzas or have a pizza-making party at home. The holes in the bottom of the pan give any pizza you cook a nice crispy texture. It is also nonstick so you won't be scraping pieces of pizza off of this when it's dinnertime, plus it can also be put in the dishwasher, making cleanup super fast and easy. It's available as a single pan or in a pack of two.
Best for Personal Pizzas: Unicook 10.25-inch Pizza Stone
Perfect for singles
Absorbs moisture for crispier crust
Cordierite might hang on to stains
You can certainly cook personal-sized pizzas on a larger stone, but a smaller stone makes it much more convenient, while storage is also easier. Even better, you can pick up a couple—save one for gluten-free or vegan cooking while the other can handle gluten crusts or meaty pizzas. This cordierite stone by Unicook is 10.25 inches in diameter, so there’s plenty of space for generous personal pizzas, and they can be used together on most standard grills.
Like their larger counterparts, these absorb moisture from the dough to create a crisp, brown, even crust. The stones don’t need to be seasoned but will darken over time. Burned foods can be scraped or soaked off, but soap should be avoided.
Best Steel: NerdChef Baking Steel
Cooks pizza quickly
No handles for lifting and moving
Best left in oven to cool after use
As signified by its name, this baking steel by Nerd Chef is made from steel, pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil to prevent it from rusting. This baking surface offers 20 times the conductivity and twice the heating capacity of ceramic stones. Once it's hot, it transfers heat to the crust quickly and evenly for a crisp, evenly browned, blistered crust. It retains its heat well enough so that you can continue to cook multiple pizzas in a row without having to wait for the steel to come back to temperature.
Made from thick steel, it is meant to last and is not subject to warping, cracking, or shattering, unlike some other materials. The downside to this is that it is extremely heavy at 23 pounds, making it slightly awkward to pull in and out of the oven. Cleaning this sturdy cooking surface is similar to cast iron—you'll want to avoid using soap, scraping away any bits of food with a scrubber, and washing by hand. This steel is guaranteed for life, and made in the USA.
"Since this pizza pan is made from steel, it’s about as indestructible as it could be. It shouldn’t warp or crack, even with abuse." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
The Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan with Loop Handles is our top choice for excellent performance, durability, and versatility as it can be used in the oven or right on the grill. For individual-size pizzas, we also love the Napoleon 70000 10 Inch Personal Sized Set Pizza Baking Stone (found on Amazon).
What To Look For When Buying a Pizza Stone
Made from some variety of clay, ceramic pizza stones require a bit more time to heat up, but they cook evenly and create crisp crusts. They also retain heat well, which ensures that your baking surface won’t cool down when you lay your pizza dough on top of it. Clay is lighter than other materials like cast iron or steel, so it is an ideal choice for anyone who might find heavier pizza stones too cumbersome when moving them in and out of the oven. The biggest drawback to a ceramic stone is that it is susceptible to breaking or cracking if handled improperly, but if cared for correctly, can last for years. Often times, ceramic pizza stones are glazed with a protective finish, making them attractive enough to double as a serving tray.
This no-frills pizza stone can be used on top of the stove or on the grill, as well as in the oven. Cast iron has great heat retention and also withstands extremely high temperatures. These nearly indestructible pizza stones resist warping, cracking, and shattering and are also resistant to thermal shock, but it is always recommended that you cool it down completely before plunging it into cold water. Like most cast iron, this does require some maintenance to keep its surface seasoned, but it is a heavy-duty piece that can last a lifetime.
Cordierite is a mineral used to make kiln shelves, so it is extremely durable and handles high temperatures extremely well. They are also very durable, so you won’t have to worry about breakage due to thermal shock. Pizza stones made from cordierite are typically a bit more costly than other materials, but they are worth it because of their longevity and ease of use. Cordierite pizza stones do need to be pre-heated for at least 30 minutes before use, but they will hold their temperature well and draw moisture away from the dough to leave you with a perfectly crispy crust.
Baking steels are a very popular choice for all sorts of baking, from baguettes to pita bread, and of course, pizza. Steel is a fantastic conductor of heat, so these types of cooking surfaces will heat quicker than other materials to deliver a fantastically crisp crust at a lower temperature than ceramic or stone. Constructed from thick, heavy-gauge steel, they cook pizzas very quickly and are a favorite of both amateur and professional pizza cooks. Be forewarned that a baking steel can be quite heavy and expensive, and doesn’t usually have handles, making it difficult to move in and out of the oven, especially when it’s hot.
Pizza stones are fairly simple: they are thick, flat pieces of stone, steel, or other heat-proof material that are meant to absorb and retain heat to cook your dough. Most stones have an unglazed surface that helps to draw out moisture, leaving you with a crispy crust. Stones that are glazed will be easier to clean, but might not be as absorbent. A stone with a thickness of about 1-inch will provide better heat absorption and a more even distribution of heat. Thinner pizza stones will be more susceptible to cracking, so try to pick a stone that is at least three-quarters of an inch thick—it will be more durable in the long run. Pans with handles are useful when transporting your stone in and out of the oven while wearing protective mitts, but aren’t always necessary, since it is advisable to let your stone cool down completely before moving it.
Size and Shape
A rectangular stone for a standard home oven will measure approximately 16 x 14 inches, and a round or square stone will measure anywhere from 10 to 16 inches. The size and shape of your pizza stone will depend on your personal preference and oven size, but keep in mind that you should have some room around your stone in the oven to promote air circulation. Rectangular stones will provide the most surface area and are more versatile, allowing you to bake other items like multiple baguettes or calzones. If you’re only planning on using your baking stone for pizza, round or square-shaped stones should suffice. A good quality pizza stone is oftentimes on the heavy side, so make sure to feel the weight of the stone to make sure you can handle moving it to and from the oven.
Since a pizza stone is meant to help your home oven or grill mimic the baking conditions of a high-temperature pizza oven, most baking stones will be fine up to about 600 degrees (some even withstand temperatures of 900 degrees or more). To achieve these high temperatures, you should load your pizza stone into a cold oven and let it come to temperature with a generous preheating time, particularly if your stone is very thick. Always double-check with the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure your stone falls within the temperature range you intend to work with.
Many of today’s pizza stones are fairly similar in price across brands and materials, averaging around $50 for a large rectangular stone made from cordierite, and just under $100 for a large rectangular baking steel. While there are some less expensive pizza stones available, you might be sacrificing quality or thickness for a negligible discount. Since pizza stones can last for years, don’t be afraid to shell out a little more money for a thicker stone that will bake evenly and resist breakage.
Most major manufacturers will offer a warranty of some sort, whether it be a limited period or a lifetime warranty. These warranties typically cover any defects in materials or workmanship and do not cover regular wear and tear, accidents, misuse, and damage from commercial use. Always be sure to review the manufacturer’s warranty prior to purchase to ensure it is adequate.
This French-based company has been making fine ceramic ovenware and bakeware since 1850. Its Flame Top pizza stone is made from Burgundian clay, which gradually and evenly distributes heat. Its best-selling ceramic pieces are high-fired featuring a scratch-resistant glaze, do not contain lead or cadmium, and can go from the freezer to the microwave or oven without risk of thermal shock.
As the oldest and longest-running cast iron manufacturer in the U.S., Lodge has built a solid reputation on its extensive line of affordable, cast iron cookware. Lodge’s portfolio also includes carbon steel cookware, enameled cast iron, bakeware, and accessories. The brand’s cast iron and carbon steel cookware are all manufactured in the USA.
This brand is a top-seller of pizza stones in the USA, promising restaurant quality pizza with crispy crusts thanks to its stones’ high tolerance for heat and ability to absorb moisture. It makes its stones from Thermarite™, a high-quality proprietary blend of minerals that mainly consists of cordierite. Cast Elegance’s stones are fired at temperatures exceeding 2000 degrees, so they are fine to use in home ovens as well as on gas and charcoal grills.
Based in Portland, Oregon, this company’s motto is “better food through science”. Their current products are baking steels, with two different styles—one cast steel, one cut steel—that deliver higher heat capacity and conductivity than traditional ceramic baking stones. NerdChef’s baking steels are manufactured in the USA.
Care & Maintenance
Since pizza stones retain heat, you’ll want to make sure your stone is completely cooled down before attempting to clean it—firstly, to avoid burning yourself, and secondly, to prevent it from suffering from any thermal shock when it comes into contact with cool water. It’s natural for a pizza stone to get darker with use; much like cast iron pans, its surface will get seasoned over time, so you won’t need to worry about keeping your stone pristine. The biggest issue is cleaning off any baked-on debris, so you’ll want to scrape off any pieces of food with a stiff spatula, bristle brush, or plastic bench scraper; metal versions can possibly scratch your stone, so only use them as a last resort.
Pizza stones made with porous materials like unglazed ceramic, cordierite, or cast iron can absorb the flavor or whatever you’re cleaning with, so you want to avoid detergents or cleaning agents. You can typically clean your pizza stone with just water, but if you’re concerned about stubborn stains and debris, you can also try a paste of baking soda and vinegar to aid in cleaning. Once you’re done cleaning it, let your stone air dry completely before using it again.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a cookbook author, food writer, and product tester for The Spruce Eats, specializing in all the latest cookware and kitchen gadgets.
This piece was edited by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.