Keeping your Ooni pizza stone clean is essential for ensuring optimal cooking performance and extending its lifespan. A clean pizza stone promotes even heat distribution, prevents undesirable flavours or odours from transferring to your pizza, and helps prevent sticking. By properly cleaning and maintaining your Ooni pizza stone, you can enjoy delicious, perfectly cooked pizzas!
Should you wash the Ooni pizza stone?
Yes, you should wash your Ooni Pizza Stone. Washing the pizza stone helps remove food residues, oils, and other debris that can accumulate during cooking. Here are a few reasons why washing the pizza stone is important:
- Removal of food residues: After each use, there may be leftover food particles on the pizza stone. These residues can harbour bacteria and affect the taste of future pizzas. Washing the stone helps eliminate these remnants, ensuring a clean surface for your next pizza.
- Maintenance of optimal performance: A clean pizza stone allows for better heat distribution and retention. Removing grease and debris prevents them from interfering with the stone’s ability to absorb and transfer heat effectively. This ensures that your pizzas cook evenly and come out perfectly.
- Prevention of odours and flavours: Over time, a dirty pizza stone can develop odours and retain flavours from previous pizzas. Washing the stone helps eliminate these unwanted smells and tastes, ensuring that each pizza is not influenced by previous cooking sessions.
Pizza Stone and Water Absorption
Some individuals worry that washing a pizza stone with water may cause it to absorb water and affect its performance. However, this concern is unfounded for several reasons:
Porous nature of the stone: Pizza stones are typically made from porous materials such as ceramic or cordierite. These materials naturally absorb moisture to some extent, but they also release it during the preheating process. Proper preheating before cooking helps evaporate any residual moisture.
Drying process: After washing the pizza stone, it is crucial to allow it to dry completely before using it again. Air-drying or gently patting it with a clean cloth helps remove excess moisture. Additionally, preheating the stone in the oven before use helps further dry out any remaining moisture.
Gradual heating: Pizza stones are designed to withstand high temperatures. The gradual heating process allows the stone to expand without cracking. As the stone heats up, any remaining moisture evaporates, preventing water absorption issues.
What Not to do With a Pizza stone…
To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your Ooni pizza stone, here are some important points to keep in mind:
- Using harsh chemicals or detergents: Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or detergents when cleaning your pizza stone. These substances can penetrate the porous surface of the stone, leaving behind residues that can affect the taste of your pizzas. Stick to mild, non-toxic cleaners specifically formulated for use with pizza stones.
- Soaking the pizza stone: While it may be tempting to soak the pizza stone to remove stubborn residue, it’s best to avoid this practice. Pizza stones are porous and can absorb water, which can lead to cracking when subjected to high heat. Instead, focus on using gentle cleaning techniques and tools to remove buildup without the need for soaking.
- Scrubbing aggressively: Avoid scrubbing the pizza stone vigorously or using abrasive brushes or scouring pads. Excessive scrubbing can scratch the surface of the stone, making it more susceptible to food sticking and potentially compromising its overall performance.
- Drastic temperature changes: Rapid temperature changes can cause thermal shock and lead to cracks in the pizza stone. Avoid exposing a hot pizza stone to cold water or placing it directly on a cold surface. Similarly, do not place a cold pizza stone into a preheated oven. Allow the stone to cool gradually before cleaning or storing.
- Neglecting proper drying: After washing the pizza stone, ensure it is thoroughly dried before storing or using it again. Moisture trapped within the stone can cause it to crack when exposed to high heat. Air-drying the stone or gently patting it dry with a clean cloth is recommended.
- Using the dishwasher: Pizza stones are not dishwasher-safe. The high heat and harsh detergents in dishwashers can damage the stone and affect its ability to retain and distribute heat properly. Always hand wash your pizza stone using mild soap and water, if necessary.
Removing Buildup and Burnt Residue
How to clean a burnt Ooni pizza stone…
- Allow the pizza stone to cool completely before cleaning.
- Gently scrape off any large burnt food particles using a plastic scraper or spatula – Be careful not to scratch the stone’s surface.
- Prepare a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water until it forms a thick consistency.
- Apply the baking soda paste to the burnt areas of the pizza stone.
- Let the paste sit on the stone for at least 30 minutes to loosen the burnt residue.
- Scrub the stone gently using a soft brush or sponge to remove the loosened residue. Avoid using abrasive materials that could damage the stone.
- Rinse the stone thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining residue or baking soda. h. Allow the pizza stone to air dry completely before using it again.
How do you Remove Buildup from a Pizza Stone?
Preheating method: Preheat the oven with the pizza stone in it to a high temperature, such as 500°F (260°C). The heat helps to burn off any organic residue or buildup on the stone’s surface.
Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the stone and allow it to cool before brushing off the remaining residue
Vinegar solution: Create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts water and white vinegar. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the solution and gently scrub the stone’s surface to remove stubborn buildup or stains. Rinse the stone thoroughly with clean water afterward.
Salt method: Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse salt, such as kosher or sea salt, onto the stone’s surface. Using a damp cloth or sponge, scrub the stone in circular motions to remove the buildup. Rinse the stone with water to remove any leftover salt.
Tips for Preventive Maintenance to Reduce Future Buildup
Use parchment paper or a pizza peel: Placing parchment paper or using a pizza peel when baking pizzas can prevent direct contact between the dough and the stone, reducing the likelihood of buildup
Regularly scrape off food particles: After each use, gently scrape off any food particles or residue from the stone’s surface using a plastic scraper or spatula. This prevents the buildup from becoming stubborn and hard to remove.
Avoid using excessive oil or cooking spray: While a small amount of oil can enhance the pizza’s flavour and crispness, using excessive oil or cooking spray can lead to excessive buildup on the stone. Use oil sparingly or consider alternative methods of preventing sticking.
Advanced Cleaning Techniques
Can I soak an Ooni stone?
Soaking an Ooni pizza stone is generally not recommended. Pizza stones are porous and can absorb water, which may lead to cracking when exposed to high heat. Soaking the stone increases the likelihood of water absorption and potential damage. It’s best to avoid soaking the stone to ensure its longevity and performance.
Alternative methods for deep cleaning the pizza stone:
Instead of soaking, consider alternative methods for deep cleaning your Ooni pizza stone. Use a combination of gentle scrubbing, baking soda, and other cleaning agents to remove stubborn residue and buildup. These methods will effectively clean the stone without risking water absorption or damage.
Can you use washing up liquid on a pizza stone?
Using washing up liquid or dish soap on a pizza stone is generally not recommended. Most dish soaps contain additives, fragrances, and oils that can be absorbed by the porous surface of the stone. These residues may affect the taste and quality of your pizzas. It is best to avoid using dish soap unless specifically recommended by the manufacturer for your pizza stone.
Alternative solutions for removing stubborn stains:
Instead of dish soap, consider using alternative cleaning methods for removing stubborn stains on your Ooni pizza stone. Baking soda, vinegar solutions, or salt-based scrubbing techniques, as mentioned earlier, can be effective in removing stains without introducing potentially harmful residues to the stone.
Can you use a wire brush on a pizza stone?
It is generally not recommended to use a wire brush on a pizza stone. Wire brushes can be too abrasive and may scratch or damage the stone’s surface. Scratches can create areas for food to stick and compromise the stone’s effectiveness. Opt for soft-bristled brushes or sponges to gently clean the stone without risking damage.
Safeguarding the stone from potential damage during cleaning:
To avoid damaging your pizza stone during cleaning, use soft-bristled brushes, sponges, or plastic scrapers. These tools effectively remove residue and buildup without scratching the stone. Always handle the stone with care and avoid using excessive force when cleaning. Gentle cleaning techniques will ensure that your Ooni pizza stone remains in good condition for years of enjoyable pizza making.