The Best Pizza Stones, Period (2023 Buying Guide)
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Pizza stones – the best way to get PERFECT pizza at home? They just might be. Picking up a quality pizza stone may be one of the best kitchen investments you can make. They are durable, versatile, and damn good at making pizza!
With a quality pizza stone, you can be sure that your pizza crust is as browned and crispy as the best pizzerias around with a fraction of the cost of eating out. Don’t just take our word for it either! Check out our top picks for 2023, as well as our buyers guide so you can make an informed choice yourself.
Our Favorite Pizza Stones This Year
1. Thermarite Pizza Stone
Of all the pizza stone materials, cordierite is easily one of the best. It’s tough, thermal shock resistant, and will last a lifetime. This stone is designed to work on grills and ovens, meaning you can make more than just pizza with it.
Coming in at 16 inches, this round stone is the perfect size for almost every home pizza and thick enough (5/8ths inch) to get a perfect crust every time. You won’t be disappointed whenever you pull out a Thermarite stone to get the job done.
Even more, it comes with a scraper for all those tough, stuck-on messes that sometimes happen with melting cheese.
2. Unicook Heavy Duty Pizza Stone
Another cordierite option, the Unicook pizza stone is one of the best options for anyone looking for a rectangular stone. Its ideal size and shape ensure even heat distribution, meaning an even brown crust on every pizza you cook.
With its semi-porous material, moisture is wicked away from the bottom of the crust, making sure you never get soggy dough. It’s rated for temperatures up to 1,450 F (WAY above any home oven). You can use this in conventional ovens, pizza ovens, and on your grill for whatever you decide to cook on it.
3. Hans Grill Baking Stone
While not exactly small, the Hans Grill Pizza Stone is a compact option that doesn’t skimp on thickness. Easily able to fit any home pizza, this rectangular stone is a perfect choice for anyone wanting a versatile stone that doesn’t take up their entire oven or grill.
One of the coolest features of this stone is actually what’s included – a pizza peel! Ideally, you want to let a stone preheat in the oven for 30 minutes before using it.
A pizza peel is perfect for letting you keep your stone in the oven and just dropping a pizza on it. No fear of dropping a screaming hot stone with a peel!
4. Honey-Can-Do Pizza Stone
Our first true clay pizza stone of the list, the Honey-can-do lives up to its name! There isn’t much you can’t do with a stone this large and versatile. Whether you are looking for beautiful pizza crust or delicious bread, this stone is a great addition to any baker’s kitchen.
You can fit nearly two small pizzas on this stone without any problems. If you are more of a baker, the 16×14 inch option can easily fit 2-4 loaves of bread without any qualms. With the incredible heat retention of clay, this stone is a must-have for pizza lovers.
5. NerdChef Pizza Steel
- 20x more conductive than stone
- Seasoned surface
- Lifetime warranty and super durable
Here it is – the creme of the crop when it comes to cooking pizza at home. The NerdChef pizza steel is part pan, part stone. It combines a steel pan’s conductivity with the retention of a stone, creating one of the best pizza products you can buy.
Quite a bit higher on the price tag, the NedChef pizza steel promises a lot and is known to deliver. It has 20x higher conductivity than a stone and comes pre-seasoned, so you can rinse and go right when you get it.
Since it’s steel, you also never have to worry about this thing cracking or breaking when dropped (your floor will break before this thing does.
6. Heritage Black Ceramic Pizza Stone
Easily one of the coolest looking stones on our list, the Heritage Pizza stone is ceramic and coated in a non-stick glaze. Touted to preheat twice as fast as a conventional stone, it also claims that it cooks pizza faster and with a crispier crust than its competitors.
The non-stick glaze adds beautiful color to the stone while also ensuring easy release when it’s time to eat. It also helps with the clean-up process as burnt-on messes slide right off. If the stone wasn’t enough, it also comes with a pizza cutter for all your future homemade and store-bought pizzas.
7. Weber Gourmet BBQ Pizza Stone
This dual system is one of the coolest on our list. The Weber Gourmet Pizza Stone is designed to help you cook on your grill! Weber is a name long associated with grills and their accessories, with this stone adding to that pedigree!
The defining feature of the stone is the carrying rack that it comes with. Since a continental oven usually tops out around 500 degrees, many people use a grill to get higher temperatures. With a Weber stone and carrying handles, you can cook your pizza on the stone and then pull it off the grill as soon as it’s done.
If you want high-temp cooking on a grill that doubles as a regular stone in the oven, this is an excellent choice for you.
Pizza Stone Buying Guide (Updated For 2023)
Pizza stones are one of the best investments you can have in your kitchen. Making delicious pizza is just the tip of the iceberg when you bring one of these babies into your kitchen. Since it’s such an important purchase, you want to make sure you are doing the work as a customer and picking the perfect one.
Well, let’s just say that there is NEVER a perfect tool for every person, but hopefully, with this buyer’s guide, you can find the perfect one for you and your needs. Let’s dive into it!
What Is A Pizza Stone?
A pizza stone is a piece of stoneware that you pre-heat and bake things on. Compared to a pizza pan, a stone is usually thicker and isn’t made of metal (with one possible exception). Where a pizza pan typically has prep involved, a pizza stone is primarily concerned with getting as hot as possible and transferring that heat to the crust. For the same reason people use pizza stones for pizza, they also work well for a ton of other foods and recipes in the kitchen.
The Three Types Of Pizza Stones:
Without a doubt, the material that your stone is made with is the most important factor when deciding on which one to get. Unlike pizza pans, there is much less variety when it comes to stone materials, so we don’t have to worry about getting bogged down with infinite choices between 30 different metals. Let’s go through each material type and talk about their benefits.
Clay and ceramic are essentially the same thing in the pizza stone world. Clay and ceramic stones are made from naturally occurring materials and have been used worldwide for thousands of years. Nowadays, they are some of the most common materials to be found in the kitchen.
Clay is cheaper than most other materials but still prized for its ability to retain heat. Its major drawback is that it is somewhat breakable (if you drop it), and it is susceptible to thermal shock (rapid temperature changes). To guard against thermal shock, simply place your stone in the oven as it’s preheating.
Cordierite is the second most common pizza stones you are likely to see. We have a few of them listed, and that’s because they make great additions to your cooking set. Cordierite is a mineral that resembles clay, but makes up for the few drawbacks that clay usually has.
For example, thermal shock isn’t really an issue with cordierite, so if you are afraid of cracking a stone (or have done it in the past), cordierite is a bit of insurance against that. However, they are a touch more expensive than clay, so be ready to pay a bit for that safety.
Finally, we have steel. Pizza steels are like a gray area in the middle of pans and stones. They aren’t technically pans because they are thick and act as stones, but they aren’t stones either (they’re metal). All in all, a thick pizza steel is the best product you can buy for homemade pizza.
It’s ridiculously durable (it’s literally a sheet of metal) and will last multiple lifetimes. It’s 20x more conductive than stone, meaning that it transfers heat to whatever it touches much faster and more efficiently. Pizza steels are prized for their ability to get perfectly browned crust as you see in much more expensive industrial and pizza ovens. The only drawback they really have is their price, but you get what you pay for.
Why Use A Pizza Stone?
At the end of the day, I guess it does just boil down to “why?” right? You, the consumer, don’t need anything taking up extra room in your kitchen. It’s already full of borderline useless things; why bring a literal rock into the mix? Great question! I hope to do stones justice in my answer.
Here’s our promise:
If you are making pizza at home, the best way to get good crust that has a browned bottom and good crumb is to use a pizza stone.
You can pretend that your soggy pizza is ok and you can pretend that you don’t mind ordering out whenever you want decent pizza, but we know the real truth. If you truly want good pizza at home, a stone is the first place to start. Here’s why they work.
The Science Behind Pizza Stones
You need to think about two factors when trying to get good crust: Heat and Moisture. If you can get high temperatures (with direct contact to the crust) and low moisture, you can get great crust. Let’s deal with the heat side of things first.
If you’ve ever stuck your hand into a 250-degree oven, you know that it’s rather hot. The strange thing is that you can still place your hand inside the area without any problems. If you tried to do the same thing with a pot of 212-degree water, however, you would be in trouble (and seriously scalded).
It all has to do with conduction and convection. Conduction is the transfer of heat through touching, convection is the transfer of heat through a liquid or gas. Conduction works WAY better for getting things hotter, faster. A pizza stone is a conductor that increases the amount of thermal energy (heat) that is transferred to your pizza crust. The more energy conducted, the browner and crispier the crust.
The second feature that stones have is their porousness. You can’t really see it, but clay is porous (water can move through it). When you heat it and place dough on it, water can evaporate through the porous structure and away from your dough, i.e., a crispier crust.
We’ve mentioned this article before, but if you want an in-depth look at why pizza stones and steels are so good at what they do, check out this link. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has been testing food and cookware for years and goes incredibly in-depth with his research. If it’s any consolation, his personal choice between stones is a pizza steel because of how well it conducts heat.
Why Pizza Stones Are Incredibly Versatile
Even though we call them “pizza stones,” humans have been using slabs of stone for cooking forever. When considering purchasing a stone, it’s important to realize just what kinds of things you can do with it! It would be a shame to keep an incredible piece of equipment locked away in a drawer when it could be used to better your food weekly.
The same things that help a stone cook pizza dough are what makes them good with bread. A soggy, pale bottom on a freshly baked piece of bread is a real travesty. Using a pizza stone can help bread rise better and give it a crust deserving of all the “thump-testing” you can imagine.
Apart from baking, stones can be used to roast! Whether it’s vegetables or meat, the heat retention, and heat conduction really help give roasted foods a head start. I suppose you could stick to using that old baking sheet for all your oven-roasting, but a stone gives food that extra nudge with its high-temp and heat retention.
We hope you enjoyed learning WAY more about pizza stones than you ever would have expected! To sum up everything we know about picking a good stone, you should be looking for something that fits your kitchen and conducts heat well.
If you are looking to save a bit of money, a clay stone will do wonders for all your pizza endeavors. If you are trying to get something a touch nicer but don’t want to seriously shell out, cordierite is the way to go. And finally, for all those who want the best of the best and are willing to pay for it, go ahead and grab that pizza steel!