A pizza stone helps your home oven mimic the effects of a brick oven. The porous stone absorbs and retains heat evenly and eliminates excess moisture in the pizza dough to create a superbly crisp crust. A pizza stone does, however, require some special care. Follow these guidelines to keep your stone in great shape:
• Never wash your pizza stone with soap. The pores will absorb it, and you’ll be able to taste it when you make your next pizza.
• Never submerge your stone in water. Instead, once the stone has cooled completely, scrape off any baked-on food with a stiff, dry brush or a plastic scraper, and then use a damp cloth to wipe it down. Don’t worry if your stone gets stained—that’s natural and will not affect the flavor of the next pizza you make.
• If your stone gets extremely dirty, you can use medium-grit sandpaper to sand down any raised bits.
• Some people keep their stones in their ovens to create more-even heat for other baking. If you do this, be aware that it will take the oven longer to heat. Also, never leave it in the oven during the self-cleaning cycle because it may break.