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Do you store your pizza stone in your oven?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
and keep it in while cooking?

I just keep mine on the bottom rack...no real reason only that it's the easiest place to store it....."my" thoughts are that it actually "helps" keep temp in the oven...my fiance thinks I'm crazy and has doubted my theories since day one and for some reason thinks it negatively affects the operation of the oven....:bounce: I, as a smart man, have told her over and over that she is..of course...right...but...she still wonders why we keep it in there....

so, does it hurt/help/or do nothing.
post #2 of 19
Is the stone in her way, or does she just want something to complain about?

I have had a pizza stone in my oven for more than five years. It lives there. I never, ever remove it, except to run the self-clean cycle. I agree with you, Mc-M, in thinking that the stone has a positive affect on the oven function. When the oven heats up, the stone heats also, helping maintain a more even and consistent temperature. This is especially true if the oven needs to be opened from time to time, for instance, if you have to baste a turkey, or add/remove foil on a roast. When I purchased my stone, this was used actually as a point of sale on the carton. There are stone "oven liners" available ... at a hefty price ... that fit the bottom, sides and ceiling of the oven, and perform a similar function. Additionally, because the stone is heavy, but breakable, the oven is the safest and most logical place to keep it.
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post #3 of 19
Our oven has a sealed or covered bottom element so we keep it in the oven directly on the deck all the time. Even when I clean the oven it stays in. Acts like a stone deck for things. Works great for finishing off the occasional 'za or baked goods.

By the way, the stone is the square one that Williams-Sonoma sells. Have had 2 (actually had 3 but we forgot it in the oven back in KC when we moved. Doohhh!!!!) for going on 4 years no and not an issue with them.
post #4 of 19
For the roasting of meats and baking of goods not requiring a stone, it's removed from the oven. Otherwise, presence of the stone strongly affects cook time of those items previously mentioned.

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #5 of 19
My stone is over 20+ years old and rectangular and about 1/2" thick. It stays in the oven only because its hot after making a pizza. By the time we use the oven again (even for pizza) it is necessary to remove the stone, either to clean it and use it again for pizza or to store it on a countertop.

I too have found that the stone requires a long time to heat up if I leave it in, it does seem to seriously affect the cookng/baking of other items. Even for pizza, I let it heat up for 1/2 - 3/4 hour if I have enough time. The power the oven consumes, especially now in the economic times we face is simply not affordable to me to keep the stone in all the time. From a standpoint of physics (or thermodynamics) the stone acts as a heat sink, soaking up heat until it reaches temperature as controlled by the oven sensor(s). Therefore it must surely affect the cooking of foods unless it is allowed to heat up thoroughly before cooking/baking.

doc
post #6 of 19
Can't say I've noticed any ill effects from the stone being in the oven when it comes to roasts or baked goods not requiring the stone. As I mentioned, we keep it directly on the deck or floor of the oven and I'm sure that has something to do with it (direct contact or conductivity thing). I also understand that some of ya'll can't store the stone on the deck or floor because the bottom elements are exposed. So.... if you don't use the stone as the rack for the meats or baked goods and keep the stone on a rack set in the lowest possible slot below what you are cooking, there should be no issues. (Again that direct contact or conductivity thing.)

As far as preheating an oven goes, in order to get the proper heat in the oven it is always adviseable to pre heat for 30min, 45min or even an hour.... stone or not.
post #7 of 19
Mine has lived happily in the oven since I got it a number of years ago.

Sure, it takes longer to heat up the oven with it in there. But once the oven comes to temperature it stays there more consistently, without the constant recycling that is normal to home ovens.

I have no clue as to why anyone would even think it affects cooking times. If a roast has to be cooked at 350 for X hours, having the oven more consistently at 350 should put it closer to dead on.

But, of course, any timing direction should be thought of as a rough guide. Only internal temperatures tell you for sure.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 19
I should have pointed out that the oven I have has a "Fast Pre-heat" function that takes the oven and the stone (set in the middle rack) to 550 F in about 10 minutes. I still let it pre-heat for 30-45 minutes, even sometimes an hour (if I have the time), after it reaches 550 per the oven's temperature sensor reading.

doc
post #9 of 19
My fibrament stone lives on the bottom rack all the time. I even leave it in for the cleaning cycle. I haven't noticed any real changes in how things cook but I let my oven preheat 45 minutes to an hour.
post #10 of 19
Question - I've often considered buying a pizza stone but not sure how to use it. Since it has to heat up for a while before putting the pizza on it, how do you effectively slide the pizza on it without falling apart? Also, what else is it good for other than pizza?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 19
I use a wooden pizza peel to slide the pizza onto the stone. The stones are also great for baking artisan breads.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
i slide it on with some cornmeal and a pizza paddle thing....never had an issue, no sticking or anything.


its good for anything you don't want the temp to drop on when you throw something in the oven.....equate it to....a thick bottom pan. doesn't loose its heat. good for crispy pizza, bread, etc.
post #13 of 19
I never could get the hang of that corn meal technique. After numerous disasters, I started using parchment on the peel, under the pizza. Works each time.
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post #14 of 19
Oh, so I have to get a paddle too? Sprinkle cornmeal on it, assemble the pizza on it and then slide it onto the stone that is already in the oven?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #15 of 19
I'm missing something.

If you're not actually cooking on the deck, other than increasing dynamic stability within the thermostat's deadband, how does a 350F oven temperature with stone, differ from a 350F temperature without?

How much variance in "cook time of those items previously mentioned" do you find?

FWIW, another name for "baking stone" is terra cotta floor paver. Alla time same same. But the prices may differ.

BDL
post #16 of 19
~~~Right-e-o~~~
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post #17 of 19
Using a pizza peel really makes making/baking a pizza much simpler. The trick I've learned to do, is:

1. Have the peel sprinkled fairly liberally with corn meal before you work the dough.

2. I repeatedly flour the dough (on a Corian countertop), and pick it up and turn it over so that it can be easily handled and isn't sticky or tending to tear.

3. Then I put the dough on the peel and I shake the peel to make sure the dough slides easily. Be careful, it can slide right off the peel at this point which is something you don't want to have happen!

4. I paint the dough with EVOO. This tends to "waterproof" the dough. I shake the peel again to make sure it still moves easily.

5. I add my sauce, and any meat/vegetable toppings. Again, I shake the peel to make sure the dough, et al, still moves freely.

6. I add my cheeses. I tamp any crumbled cheeses (I use a food processor to chop up my mozzarella) very lightly. I shake the peel again. (Tamping the crumbled cheese lightly helps keep it from moving on its own right off the pizza when shaking the peel).

7. At this point, and assuming the oven stone and oven have been properly heated up, I open the oven door quickly, slide the pizza right onto the stone, shut the door, set the timer for about 10 minutes (my pizza dough weighs approximately 12-13 oz at the time I start massaging it or rolling it out when I'm in a hurry).

Pizza comes out slightly browned on top, and just the way we like it.

Nothing worse than trying to slide the pizza off the peel and only part of it slides. Usually makes a saucy mess on the stone, and high levels of frustration. Even after all these years using the above technique, sometimes the dough still will stick to the peel. This usually happens if I make a thicker pizza with more toppings, and was running out of corn meal or something. More meal, more better. Anyway, some of the corn meal sticks to the bottom of the pizza and increases the crunchiness when its done.

doc
post #18 of 19
If you use the corn meal, coarse grind works better than the finer varieties.
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post #19 of 19
I use flour on the peel, rarely have a sticking issue but I like a thin cracker style crust with a thin layer of toppings. The dough is very stiff so sticking is less of an issue.
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