10 Pizza Stones – Here’s Our Winners

Published on March 10, 2020 | Updated on June 19, 2021 | by Samantha

Life without a pizza stone is no life at all. How do you get through the day to day without the comforting knowledge that a perfectly crispy pizza is awaiting you at home? What is worth coming home to, if not your beloved pizza stone? Our point…if you don’t have a pizza stone, you need one.

pizza stone graphic

In essence, all you need to know is, you can’t have delicious pizza at home without a pizza stone. But to fully explain, in case blind trust isn’t your thing, pizza stones convert your traditional oven into masterful pizza cookers.

Let me unpack it like this, your traditional oven cannot get hot enough to mimic a wood-fired brick oven, those things get to temperatures of around 900 degrees, while your oven tops out around 500. If they didn’t have a 500 degree cap, you’d burn the place down. A pizza stone can change all of that. While your oven preheats to 500 degrees, a stone will absorb a ridiculous amount of heat from your oven and then emanate that heat back out at a higher temperature. While you won’t get a 900-degree wood-fired pizza, you’ll get pretty darn close.

PRODUCTCOST
1. Pizzacraft ThermaBond
$$
2. The Original Baking Steel-Ultra$$$$$
3. Heritage 15” Black Ceramic Pizza Stone$$$
4. Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone$$
5. Outset Pizza Grill$
6. Love this Kitchen – 16-inch Round$$$
7. Culinary Couture 15-inch for Grilling and Oven Baking $$$
8. Crustina Pizza Stone for Oven, Grill and BBQ$$$$
9. Unicook 15″ x 12″ Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone$$
10. Cuisinart CPS-445 Pizza Grilling Set$

TYPES OF PIZZA STONES

Pizza stones can be made from different materials, some of which aren’t even stones. Knowing your options and how they compare will help you decide which stone is the best fit for you.

Cordierite

Cordierite-Pizza-Stone

Cordierite has a place in the heart of pizza enthusiasts everywhere because it is the most common material used for pizza stones. Cordierite is a mineral that is well known for its ability to handle very high temperatures and is pretty resistant to thermal shock. Which means you can transition it from cool temperatures to hot temperatures without breaking it. However, once it’s been formed into a pizza stone, you should be cautious of thermal shock anyway, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Cordierite pizza stones absorb heat from the oven and radiate that heat out evenly and consistently. Another important characteristic of cordierite is its ability to absorb moisture. While the pizza bakes, the stone soaks up all of the moisture from the dough, leaving you with a crispy crust.

Cordierite stones are made in a variety of shapes and sizes. Just remember the thicker the stone is, the longer it will need to preheat in the oven.

Ceramic

Ceramic-Pizza-Stone

Ceramic is, basically, clay that has been shaped and baked in a kiln to be hardened. These stones are great for baking pizza because they trap and conduct heat at very high temperatures. They radiate heat evenly, which is essential to great pizza, and they can last a very long time with proper care.

While ceramic is more fragile than a cordierite stone, if you’re willing to look after it properly then it should be a nonissue. With ceramic, you exchange maintenance for price because although ceramic stone requires more TLC, it is generally cheaper than cordierite stone. But just like cordierite, ceramic stones come in all shapes and sizes, so finding one that fits your oven should be a breeze.

Stone and Clay

stone-and-clay-pizza

Stone or clay pizza stones are an excellent choice for baking. They have a superb ability to absorb moisture. This key function is invaluable because, without it, every pizza you make will have a soggy, or dare I say gross, crust. Like cordierite and ceramic, clay stones need plenty of time to preheat.

Steel

steel-pizza-stone

Pizza steels have risen in popularity in the last few years. Instead of stone, clay or ceramic, large thick sheets of food-grade steel have been popping up in ovens. If you want to take things to the next level, combine the use of a steel and stone by placing your baking steel atop of the stone .

All in all, steels are great at absorbing and conducting intense high heat. It has an advantage over stone because you never have to worry about thermal shock, cracking, or breaking. If you drop your pizza steel, you’ll more likely break your tile floor (or foot) than your steel. On the downside, pizza steels are heavier and more difficult to maneuver.

In general, expect to pay more for a steel than a stone.

BUYERS GUIDE

How much should I pay for a good pizza stone?

There is no right answer to the question, how much should I pay? It all depends on your needs and your budget. You can find a quality baking stone for about $30, while other stones will run closer to $100. First, decide what you need, then see if you can afford stones in that price range. If not, there are a few high-quality budget stones out there.

What Makes Good Pizza Stone?

Before we go any further, we had better make sure you actually know what makes good pizza. I’m sure you’ve experienced it, but if you had to describe a great pizza, could you?

The most important factor in good pizza is the crust. The recipes you can use to make dough are all fairly similar, it’s not a taste that will vary greatly. The vital part of the dough is how it cooks up in the oven. The crust should be crispy throughout, not moist and soggy. The crust should show the telltale signs of bubbling and should also be spotted with brown baking marks. The proper use of a pizza stone will create this golden crispy crust every time.

 

Shape – Round vs. Rectangular?

Round-vs-Rectangular

Round pizza stones just seem like the classic move. After all, they are shaped just like our beloved pizza. But test after test proved they are inferior to rectangular stones. It’s a little heartbreaking to admit, but round stones just can’t compete.

There are a few reasons rectangular stones beat out their traditional round counterparts. First, size matters. While most rectangular stones have the same depth as circular stones, they are wider, meaning more square inches to cook on. And more wiggle room for placing and maneuvering the pizza on the stone. With round stones, you have to be very precise about where the pizza lands on the stone. Secondly, since rectangular stones have more surface area, they absorb and retain more heat than round stones. This added heat means better browning of your pizza. The extra space also means more versatility.

 

HOW WE SELECTED OUR TOP STONES

search for best pizza stone

There are so many stones and steels on the market these days that trying to find the best one can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The complicated task felt like the right kind of challenge for us, so we set out to find, once and for all, the best pizza stones and steels.

Factors

While searching for the best, we considered a few key factors, performance, durability, user-friendliness, and of course price. Price was the only reason why the Baking Steel didn’t make our #1 spot even though it’s the best overall in our field.

Testing

We used the same amazing recipe on each stone to keep the test as fair as possible. We were looking for pizzas that had crispy, brown-spotted crusts and evenly baked toppings.

Next, we asked all our family and friends to take a turn moving each stone to and from the oven and in and out of storage. Then we gauged their reviews of how difficult each item was move. Stones were evaluated as they were delivered out of the package. No modifications were made to any model.

Finally, we took turns trying to destroy them. Though to be fair, we didn’t try very hard. We dropped each one from a few inches to see if any cracks or breaks occurred. We also tested for rust and other damage by allowing the stones to soak for a bit.

To understand how the test truly worked, you need to understand how to use a pizza stone.

Results

After what seemed like millions of pizzas and thousands of stones, we have found the cream on the crop. The best pizza stone on the market today is by far the Old Stone Oven Rectangular Pizza Stone. It passed all of our tests with flying colors. That’s not to say there are no other good options out there. To be fair, we will give you a list of all of the best contenders, but for us, we’ll stick to the Old Stone.

10 BEST PIZZA STONES FOR 2021
[REVIEWED & RANKED]

 

#1 Pizzacraft PC9899 ThermaBond Rectangular Pizza Stone

1-Pizzacraft PC9899 ThermaBond Rectangular Pizza Stone

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We sadly say goodbye to our old champion from Old Stone, now unavailable, and crown a new winner: the Pizzacraft PC9899. This stone can be bought from many retailers, priced between $30 and $60. This stone is big (20×13), which makes it very easy to use, especially for novices. The large size gave our testers the wiggle room to get the pizza cleanly off the peel and onto the stone every time. This stone can also handle two loaves of bread effortlessly.

It produces great pizza, too. We were very pleased to see crisp, delicious crusts every time. Even the problematic oven with big temperature swings made a solid pie. Durability was solid.

Pros

  • Produces great pizzas
  • Radiates intense heat evenly
  • Large capacity

Cons

  • Might be too big – measure your oven before you buy!
  • Heavy

#2 The Original Baking Steel-Ultra Conductive Original Pizza Stone

2 The Original Baking Steel-Ultra Conductive Original Pizza Stone

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 Currently sold out, however the Artisan Steel by Artisan Steel remains in stock. It has the same design as the Baking Steel. While the Baking Steel is superior when it comes to heat retention, the Artisan Steel is a solid choice for its price point.

This baking stone is not stone at all. This is one of those steels we told you about. One of the biggest advantages they have over stone is how much more heat they can radiate than stone.

The Baking Steel will run you about $90.00, which is three times as much as the Old Stone, but you will get 15 pounds of pizza making power for your money. When it comes to performance, the steel can zap a pizza to perfection in a matter of minutes. But since the steel will radiate hotter temperatures than a stone you can burn the crust before the rest of the pizza is cooked, if you are not careful. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but thoroughly worth the time and effort.

Obviously, a 15-pound slab of steel is pretty durable, passing all of our tests easily. However, since it is rather heavy, the Baking Steel lost points with our test users.

Pros

  • Produces great pizzas
  • Radiates intense heat evenly
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Durable

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Difficult to maneuver
  • More expensive
  • Learning curve

#3 Heritage 15” Black Ceramic Pizza Stone

4 Heritage 15” Black Ceramic Pizza Stone

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This is the only black stone on our list. It is for the perfectionists and OCDers out there. Those of you who can’t stand stains on your pizza stone. While it is perfectly normal for stones to develop brown spots, sometimes we just want to see a clean, beautiful stone.

This stone is black coated and will not stain, no matter how many pizzas you make. It passed our durability tests, and in case you think we are wrong, it has a lifetime guarantee. Each pizza we baked came out crispy and delicious. You can find this stone for about $40 at most retailers.

Pros

  • Produces great pizzas
  • Radiates intense heat evenly
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Durable
  • More surface area
  • Stain Resistant

Cons

  • Coating may eventually peel

#4 Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone

5 Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone

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The Old Stone Oven Round Pizza Stone is erringly similar to our number one choice. We love this stone, but it just isn’t as versatile as its rectangular brother. And the round size makes it a little more difficult to move the pizza in and out. However, it makes great pizza. You can expect a beautiful crust and with evenly cooked toppings every time. You can usually pick one of these up for less than $30.00.

Pros

  • Produces great pizzas
  • Radiates intense heat evenly
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Durable
  • Great price
  • Cons
  • Smaller surface area

Cons

  • Small surface area

#5 Outset 76176 Pizza Grill Stone Tiles, Set of 4

6 Love this Kitchen – Ultimate 16-inch Round Pizza Stone

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One problem with all of these pizza stones is that they’re big, heavy, and awkward. Outset solved this an interesting way – split the stone into four pieces. Each piece is much easier to maneuver than one big stone, but it adds up to a 15”×15” stone that can handle any pizza. There’s extra versatility too, as you can use just one tile to reheat a few slices, or cook a calzone. The price is reasonable: $25-$35.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to store

Cons:

  • Have to arrange them right so they sit flat
  • Can be bumped out of position

#6 Love this Kitchen – Ultimate 16-inch Round Pizza Stone

6 Love this Kitchen – Ultimate 16-inch Round Pizza Stone

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What we love about the Love this Kitchen – Ultimate 16-inch Round Pizza Stone is the thickness of its cordierite. It is .83 inches thick, which helps it to absorb and radiate heat. The design also makes it easier to maneuver. One special feature, you won’t find on other stones, is a raised lip on one side to help catch pizza if you’ve accidentally overshot the middle of the stone. Although we had no problems with this stone, some reviewers claim to experience an odor when using it for the first time. This stone rings in at about $40.00 and is, to us, worth every penny.

Pros:

  • Thicker cordierite
  • Higher temperatures
  • More durable
  • Large size
  • Stopper prevents pizza from sliding off the back

Cons:

  • Heavier than most stones
  • Chance of odd odors

#7 Culinary Couture 15-inch Pizza Stone for Grilling and Oven Baking

7 Culinary Couture 15-inch Pizza Stone for Grilling and Oven Baking

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Like the Ultimate Round, this stone is thicker than most, measuring in at .75 inches. The extra cordierite brings the level of heat up a notch. Pizzas come out deliciously crispy every time. The thickness of this model means the stone is heavier, but there are no additional features to make handling easier.

Pros:

  • Thicker cordierite
  • Higher temperatures
  • More durable

Cons:

  • Heavier than most stones
  • Difficult to maneuver

#8 Crustina Pizza Stone for Oven, Grill and BBQ

8-Crustina-Pizza-Stone-for-Oven-Grill-and-BBQ

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The Crustina Pizza Stone is another great product. It runs about $50.00 and will consistently produce delicious crispy pizza. This stone is only 14 inches, so it will only make small pizzas, it’s not really suitable for Friday night pizza parties. It’s made of Thermarite, which is just Crustina’s way of saying cordierite. It’s slightly thicker than other models but not enough to make a significant difference.

Pros:

  • Retains heat
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Crispy crust
  • Fits well in BBQ and grills

Cons:

  • Small size

#9 Unicook 15″ x 12″ Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone

9 Unicook 15″ x 12″ Ceramic Pizza Grilling Stone

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This pizza stone is great for any budget, costing you about $30.00. The Unicook is a cordierite rectangular stone that is great at baking pizza. If you have a large oven, you can easily place two side by side to increase the cooking surface. If not, then you’ll need to make a smaller pizza, as the traditional 12-inch pizza won’t fit on this stone.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Retains heat
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Crispy crust

Cons:

  • Thinner stone
  • Small pizzas only

#10 Cuisinart CPS-445 Pizza Grilling Set

10-Cuisinart-CPS-445-Pizza-Grilling-Set

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This pizza stone is made of basic cordierite stone. It’s a 13-inch round, so you’ll have slightly smaller pizzas. There are no special features, just a simple stone that will wick away moisture and bake consistent pizza. Although there are no special features, this set does include its own pizza peel, which is essential. It weighs about 7 pounds and is easy to maintain.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Retains heat
  • Absorbs moisture
  • Crispy crust
  • Includes peel

Cons:

  • Thinner stone

USING YOUR NEW PIZZA STONE

Not Just for Pizza

You can use your pizza stone for more than just pizza. It’s great for any type of baking, including bread, calzones, cookies, and quesadillas.

Why Stones Break

Why-Stones-Break

Breaking a pizza stone is as depressing as watching the final season of Game of Thrones. But unlike GoT, you can avoid the suffering by simply understanding why baking stones break. The culprit of almost all breaks is thermal shock.

Thermal shock is when the stone is moved from cold to hot or vice versa without any transition time. For example, placing a cold stone in an oven already heated to 500 degrees will almost certainly crack your stone. Sometimes the crack will not be visible until the next time you try to use it, but the shock of going from cold to hot set the fissure in your stone The same is true of placing a hot stone on a cold counter, any quick, drastic change in temperature will break your stone as surely as your heart.

Also, avoid cutting pizza directly on your stone. Use a cutting block or even the pizza peal. Cutting on a pizza stone continuously will eat away at the stone and dull your cutter. Speaking of cutters, jump over and check out our testing of pizza cutters if you’re in the market for a new one.

Seasoning Your Stone

Seasoning-Your-Stone

You’ll hear the phrase “season my pizza stone” tossed around in pizza aficionado communities. But seasoning your stone is not an intimidating process. In fact, it’s rather simple. All you really need to do is use it.

Don’t wash it down in a sink full of soapy water. Just use a clean damp cloth and wipe it down. Don’t soak it, don’t use excess moisture, and don’t use soap. Just wipe it off and place it in your cold oven. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, when your stone is ready, set your pizza in. After about ten minutes, use a peel to take the pizza out, leaving the stone in the oven until it has cooled completely. Once it is cooled, wipe off any crumbs with a clean cloth, and your pizza stone is officially seasoned.

Preheating is Key

Preheating-Pizza-Stone

The importance of preheating cannot be overstated.

You must, no matter what, always, always, preheat your stone. If your stone is not hot, as hot as it can possibly be, then don’t even bother putting the pizza in. Just move it directly to the trash can, because it will be garbage anyway.

  • A pizza stone should go in the oven before you even turn the oven on.
  • Then set the temperature to the highest possible setting, usually around 500-550 degrees.
  • Once the oven dings, to let you know it has been preheated, throw on an episode of Stranger Things and wait some more.

A stone should preheat for no less than one hour. In dozens and dozens of tests, reducing preheating time by as little as 15 minutes will result in inferior pizza, edible maybe but inferior. If you wait for only half an hour, then forget about it, your pizza will be awful.

Stones that have preheated for only 45 minutes are about 60 degrees cooler than those left for an hour. The stones that preheated for only 30 minutes were almost 100 degrees cooler. If you don’t have the time, then save your pizza for another day. Bottom line: preheat your stone for an hour, no matter what.

Maintenance

Storing your pizza stone can be pretty simple. Most people just leave it in the oven. But placing it in a drawer or cabinet is up to you. Leaving the stone in the oven often means less opportunity for accidents, and since a lot of stones can be heavy and difficult to lug around, leaving them in the oven is easy.

In theory, you can leave them in the oven all the time, even when baking other dishes. Supposedly, the stone will absorb the heat from the oven and help regulate the oven keeping the temperature more consistent. However, tests have proved otherwise. When stones are left in the oven, they can prevent proper browning, which means longer cooking times for certain dishes.

Caring for Pizza Stone

Caring for pizza stones is very simple, especially because with stones, less is more. After each use, let the stone cool completely in the oven before you remove it for cleaning. All of the cleaning required is scraping off the crumbs or toppings, then wiping the stone off with a clean cloth. Never soak your stone. The stone is porous and will absorb moisture and retain it for a long time. If you use your stone again before the entire thing has dried completely, you will most certainly break it in half. Never use soap on your stone. Again, the porous nature of the stone will soak up the detergent, and the next 50 pizzas you cook will taste like Dawn Original Scent.

signs of a well used stone
Ideal look for a stone.

You will notice grease stains and browning on your stone; these are the marks of a well used and beloved stone. Don’t try to scrub them off. Stones become darker with age and use, embrace the chaos.

About the Author Samantha

I am Samantha, former sous chef, turned full-time blogger. I specialize in reviewing the latest in cookware. With a small team dedicated to researching appliances, cookware, and tech gadgets we bring you only the best selection to ensure you can spend your hard earned money confidently on the accessory that is best for your cooking, grilling or baking needs. With over 100 products reviewed, we are leading the way in cooking and home buyers guides. Happy Cookin’!

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