The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

my heavily stained pizza stone

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scotty71's picture
scotty71

my heavily stained pizza stone

I need guidance here please. My oven stone is filthy. We baked a couple of apple pies on it and they spilled over a  bit.  I read about a  method for using baking soda and a  stiff brusg to clean the staines. After many trys i found absolutely  no results.

A few folks said to adapt to the appearance of the baking stone. Just scrape off  crust  stuff etc.

I need  guidance/suggestions/assurance or any information anyone cares to  help me with.

Thanks :)

gerhard's picture
gerhard

I am in the camp of scraping the stone and not worrying about the appearance.

Gerhard

Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

I always cover the baking stone with foil when baking pie or anything that is likely to bubble over.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Documentation included and/or website info?

What kind of stone(material, thickness, etc).

Most effective is ultra high heat(oven self cleaning cycle, after scraping), but some stones may not be able to stand up to this. So not at all suggesting to do such, for maybe several reasons.

The next suggestion is to leave it in the oven at the maximum (dial)temperature. Typically 500º to 550º F or so, for one to two hours. Again, your risk. I say this because I wonder if my first thin "pizza stone" could have withstood this, over time. A "quality" stone should, I would think.

Those are the methods directed for maintaining my cordierite stone.

DavidRDupont's picture
DavidRDupont

Use sand paper to get baked residue off. Don't worry about taking out burnt on stains. I remove my stone unless it's in use.

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

a good stone like a good baking pan has a baked on patina.  It may look hokey bur when your stone is "bronzed" you won't hae to do more than brush off the non-sugar residue.  YMHO

 

Rodinka47's picture
Rodinka47

I just got a great stone from Old Stone Oven through Amazon. $39. US! Great stone and lots of room.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

The only time I worry about the looks of my baking stones are when they are new.  After they get broken in I don't care how they look.  Most debris can be scraped off once it dries off sufficiently.  I also use a tinfoil sheet when baking something that might boil over but mostly mine get used for baking breads.

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

Actually, the "filth" on your pizza stone is what you're trying to achieve.  It's not unlike seasoning a cast-iron pan.  When the stone has cooled, run hot water over it and rub it with the flat of your hand.  Use a plastic scraper to remove any stuck-on bits, but keep rubbing under water as hot as you can comfortably stand.  When it feels like you've gotten all the surface oiliness off, dry the stone and store for the next use.  Don't use soap or detergent - it can leave off flavors behind in the stone.  The next "dirty" spot may or may not land in the same place, but eventually over time all those spots will overlap and give the stone a smooth shiny patina.  This coating is almost nonstick for most applications (except for really gooey sugary doughs, like cookies).  Depending upon how much you bake it may take a long time to fully coat the stone - it took me about 2 years - but it's worth it.  It really makes the stone a pleasure to work with.  

You didn't mention specifically what you were working with, but pizza stones appear to me to have a slightly denser, smoother grain than the large rectangular stones designed to stay in the oven all the time (perhaps others can comment on this observation).  And my largest pizza stone is a 15-inch circle I got from Pampered Chef years ago, so it fits easily in the sink for the procedure I mentioned above.  The more porous nature and greater size of the big stones would make that type of care more difficult, so a stiff brush and/or scraper may be the only way to go.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

A lot of people leave the stone in the oven  through a clean cycle but having repaired enough "self cleaning" ovens I don't recommend it - it shortens the useful life of the oven (i.e. expensive electronic controls replacement $$$). 

The stone I've been using for the last several years has been sanded once - literature that came with the stone recommended using a belt sander to clean any built up "crusty" stuff. Next time use foil or baking parchment.

As far as the stone having that used looked I recommend looking up the Japanese term "Wabi Sabi" - in western culture we say that it adds character...,

Wild-Yeast

scotty71's picture
scotty71

Wow I never expected so much good advice. Each post was enlightening so I wont respond to individuals.

 

((((((( I'LL JUST SAY THANKS SOOO MUCH :)  )))))))

Divani's picture
Divani

I submit mine to high heat and it gets clean withouth loosing the patina. I usually put it under the broiler of the oven or, if it is too dirty and may generate too much smoke, I put it upside down inside the barbecue grill.  I like the results and never had a broken one.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

I haven't had the experience yet of ruining a self-cleaning oven. So, naive as I may be, I run the clean cycle whenever my stone starts looking a little too gross. The sugary mess from your apple pies will create lots of smoke, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The self-clean cycle is also great for stripping off old gunk from well-abused cast iron cookware, so that it can be re-seasoned. Same warning applies about some cast iron wares not being able to take the heat, but mine have always been just fine.

Interestingly, some people seem to have enough confidence in the oven's ability to take its own heat, that they go so far as to cut off the lock, and use the clean cycle for baking pizzas. Look it up in the search box, upper right corner of the page.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

I, too, leave the stone in the oven through the cleaning cycle and no problems with my oven as of this date.  Been doing this for the past few years.  No problems as of this date.

scotty71's picture
scotty71

:) :) :)

Maeve's picture
Maeve

I have a Fibrament stone and it's had stuff spill and burn on it.  I wait until it's baked a bit and then when the oven and stone are cold, lay down some moist paper towels to catch the residue and scrub at the bits with a wire brush.  Then brush the dust onto the paper towels.