When pizza stones first came out in the market they were around $75-100 (they are now around $30-40). Back then when I was selling them at the store I worked at I wondered, for that much money, do they really make that much of a difference?
So when I bought this itty bitty toaster oven pizza stone for just $2, I knew it had to go through my test kitchen and finally answer that question.
Cleaning the Stone
I wanted to clean and season my pizza stone but apparently most people do not do this anymore.
I wet the stone, scrubbed salt on it, rinsed and then let dry. It took days for the stone to dry all the way through!
I put a dollop of canola oil on the stone and rubbed across and in with a paper towel.
I put the stone in a cold oven and turned the heat to around 325F. I let sit for around 20 minutes. To cool off, I turned off the heat and opened the oven door for a long time until it came to room temperature.
Testing the Stone
I put the stone in a cold toaster oven and then preheated it around 400F.
I made the Podleski sisters’ pizza dough and flattened it out as much as I could.
I took the pizza stone out of the toaster oven.
The hardest part was getting the pizza onto the stone. I really need to get some cornmeal, apparently that helps.
I baked for 20 minutes.
Everything cooked through beautifully.
Not only was the bottom of the dough crispy, there is something about using a pizza stone that helps the dough drink in the sauce to give it a richer flavour. What a wonderful foodie surprise!
After eating this amazing pizza, I was a believer. I bought a full size pizza stone as soon as I could. I wanted Reg to try it too. I could not wait for his opinion.
I made a larger version of the same pizza and did not tell him I had used the stone but he picked up that something about our favourite pizza right away. It was not only different, it was better. He loved it and is a believer now too. It took something we thought we loved and made it even more delicious and loveable.
I am totally a pizza stone believer now! Worth the money? Absolutely! If you make pizza at home, this is a must-have. I was grilling my dough before which was OK but this is a whole new fabulous level of pizza-making paradise. If you do not have a stone now, buy one! You will not be sorry.