Pizza Stone Perfection

My sister has long been a fan of her pizza stone. The idea being that you pop it in the oven and, because it is more efficient at transferring heat than air, you get a crisper pizza bottom faster. But I’ve never been that convinced. In his ‘In Search of Perfection’ series, Heston measures the temperature in Neapolitan pizza ovens – the magic number? About 700°C. No domestic oven will safely get that warm but using some common sense you can get close.

Metal is a much better conductor of heat than stone and by warming the base of a thick iron frying pan on a hob before putting it upside down in the grill you can get very very hot. I have a couple of very nice Debuyer frying pans which do this job admirably, but I liked the idea of taking the concept one step further. A kickstarter in America recently funded a trial run of pizza steels, a slab of metal that would do the same job, the price tag? Almost $120 for UK delivery. Being an engineer I snorted in derision and got a 6mm thick slab of mild steel delivered from a metalworking supplier for under £20. A few minutes tidying it up with a file and a perfect pizza stone was born.

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The results speak for themselves – crisp, pillowy soft base and beautifully seared toppings. It cooked three pizzas in quick succession without blinking, each pizza taking about two minutes, start to delicious finish. Yum.

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Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to see what it can do with a more American, New York style, slice.

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3 thoughts on “Pizza Stone Perfection

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