Frequent use of a baking steel or stone means you have to take care of it. Rule of thumb: Don't do much. Stains happen; they're a sign that you're making amazing pizza. I've developed five rules from many years of taking care of my baking stone and steel—follow these tips and yours will last practically forever.
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Five Rules For Taking Care Of Your Baking Stone or Steel
- Don't wash 'em. Scrape off any food blobs or excess char from baking pizzas and call it a day.
- Don't worry about stains. Any food residue will be rendered into harmless ash the next time the stone or steel is preheated to 500 degrees.
- Don't use soap on an unglazed ceramic stone. It can get trapped in the pores and make a soapy-tasting pizza.
- Be careful of getting water near a baking stone. A hot stone can crack if it comes in contact with water, or if you washed it and didn't let it thoroughly air-dry before using it. If you do crack your stone, don't worry! Just push the pieces back together and proceed.
- Treat your stone or steel like a cast-iron skillet. If you must scrub: Use hot water, no soap, and a stiff brush, followed by thorough drying and, for steels, a light application of oil to prevent rust. If rust does form, scrub it off and oil and heat the steel to reseason it.