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.
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.