Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone
Large 16-inch diameter
Crisps crust bottoms well
Works on grill or in oven
Will stain over time
Can't use soap for cleaning
We purchased the Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
I make a lot of pizza—in the oven, on the grill, and in a pizza oven—so I was more than ready to give Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone a test. I made pizza dough and sauce, and I made sure to have enough cheese and toppings on hand. And then, when I got tired of pizza, I made some bread. Read on for what I discovered.
Design: Big and round
This pizza stone is 16 inches in diameter and just a bit more than 1/2-inch thick. Although it’s big, it’s not too heavy to lift in and out of the oven or grill.
Aside from the name cast into one side of the stone, there are no embellishments. While that provides a large landing zone for whatever you are putting on the stone, the lack of any handgrips means it isn’t always easy to move the stone, particularly when it's hot. On the other hand, it’s perfectly fine to leave the stone in the oven when something else is cooking on another rack.
Although it’s big, it’s not too heavy to lift in and out of the oven or grill.
When the stone arrived, it was an even tan color that looked nice. The more I used it, the more it began to discolor, particularly where there was spilled sauce or burned cheese. Because the stone is porous, those stains are embedded in the stone and not likely to come off, no matter how much you soak and scrub it. That discoloration is to be expected and doesn’t affect the cooking performance at all. However, if you are a cook who likes to keep your equipment looking pristine, you may not like the inevitable patina.
Performance: Crispy crusts confirmed
While there’s no way a home oven can replicate pizza from a pizza oven, this stone can certainly help you create better results than maybe your other lackluster pizzeria attempts of the past. When the stone is preheated, it starts the crust cooking right away, and it also draws moisture from the dough, creating a crisp crust.
For the barbecue enthusiasts out there, while this stone can handle super-high heat on a grill, it’s not a substitute either for a pizza oven that cooks evenly on the top and bottom. At this extent of temperature, the bottom of the stone will cook faster than the top. Therefore, you'll find that it’s much better to keep the heat at about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so the top and bottom cook evenly in the oven or on the grill. Instead of taking 60 seconds like a pizza oven, fresh pizzas on this stone in a hot oven cooked in about 6 minutes. Pizzas with thicker crusts take longer but still emerge crisp and delicious on this stone. For frozen pizzas, I tried to stick to the temperature and time recommended for the pizza.
When I made homemade pizzas, they didn’t stick, and aside from errant bits of cheese or spilled sauce, I didn’t get any burning. Frozen pizzas worked well, too, with the bottom crust crisping nicely; however, I'll explain soon why you might not want to use this stone for such cooking too often.
When the stone is preheated, it starts the crust cooking right away, and it also draws moisture from the dough, creating a crisp crust.
If you're looking for some versatility and like to experiment in the kitchen with your cooking equipment, you can also use this stone to bake bread. The only issue you may find with this process is moving shaped and proofed bread to the hot stone because the stone needs to be preheated to keep the dough from sticking. It may take some practice to get the hang of moving proofed loaves, specifically when working with large loaves of bread.
Material: Tenacious cordierite
The Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone is made from Thermarite, which is the company’s version of cordierite. It’s strong and resistant to thermal shock, so a cold pizza can be placed on a super-hot stone, as mentioned before. On the other hand, the stone can crack from rapid heat changes, so it’s best to let it cool naturally and avoid putting a hot stone into contact with a cold surface.
You'll find it great for cooking multiple pizzas, one after the other—perfect if you are hosting a pizza party or small gathering like a kid's birthday celebration.
While the stone wouldn’t necessarily be damaged if the pizza was cut on the stone due to its durable material, that would just mean that more sauce, cheese, and grease would soak into the stone. It’s better to remove the pizza from the stone and place it on a cutting board when slicing and serving.
It’s strong and resistant to thermal shock, so a cold pizza can be placed on a super-hot stone.
Cast Elegance's Thermarite also heats well, so it doesn’t cool down when the pizza lands, and it stays hot after cooking. For this reason, you'll find it great for cooking multiple pizzas, one after the other—perfect if you are hosting a pizza party or small gathering like a kid's birthday celebration.
Cleaning: No soap, just water or heat
To prevent thermal shock, you should wait for the stone to cool off completely before cleaning it, particularly if it’s going to need soaking. Because this stone is porous, you shouldn't wash it with any soap or cleaning agents because those would soak into the stone and then transfer the flavor to food.
Another option for cleaning is to simply crank the oven to 500 degrees after you remove the pizza, and wait for the food to burn.
Once the stone is cold, or at room temperature, you can scuff it with the plastic scraper that comes with it to remove any bits of food. If there’s any food burned onto the stone that doesn’t immediately come off, you can soak it in water until the food loosens for good scraping. That’s simple enough, but if the stone is wet, you will need to dry it before putting it away. A good method is placing the stone in a 500-degree oven for an hour to get rid of the soaked-in water.
Another option for cleaning is to simply crank the oven to 500 degrees after you remove the pizza, keep the pizza stone in, and wait for the food to burn. Then you can scrape the pizza remnants off with no trouble.
There are smaller, thinner stones that cost less if you're looking for a bargain. However, for the roomy size of the Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone, its retail price of $49.95 is not a bad deal.
Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone vs. Unicook Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone
The Unicook Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone is very similar to the Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone, so some of the buying decisions will be personal preference (view at Amazon). But one difference is the size: the Unicook is a 12- x 15-inch rectangle, so it’s quite a bit smaller than the Cast Elegance. While a 12-inch round pizza will fit on the Unicook, it needs to be placed perfectly so nothing hangs over the edges.
This contrasts with the 16-inch diameter of the Cast Elegance, which offers plenty of landing space for a round pizza—even a large one. And it also provides plenty of room for loaves of bread of any shape.
Overall, I liked the Cast Elegance Round Pizza Stone a lot. Pizzas emerged with a nice crust, and it was plenty large to fit frozen or homemade pizzas. A thicker stone would hold heat even better, but that would make this stone much heavier and harder to handle, taking away from its lightweight appeal.
- Product Name Round Pizza Stone
- Product Brand Cast Elegance
- Price $49.95
- Weight 9.02 lbs.
- Material Cordierite
- Warranty One year
- What's included Plastic scraper, use and care instructions, recipe eBook