The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza stone on woodstove

natsea's picture

Pizza stone on woodstove

I would like to try baking a pizza on a pizza stone on my woodstove. Is that possible and if so, what is the best technique? I have a temperature guage on top of the woodstove and depending on how hot my fire is, it usually reads between 450 and 550 degrees. If I put the pizza stone on a hot woodstove, will it break? Would I need to place the pizza stone on the woodstove before I start the fire (or soon after)? What about using a pizza stone on a propane grill? Thank you!

Argden's picture

The first thing to know about stones is that sudden and drastic temperature changes of ANY kind are your worst enemy.  There is no trick to getting it right, simply allow the stone and the oven, grill, etc to warm up and cool down together.  I suggest buying a peel for removal of the pizza so you can allow your stone to cool naturally.  I've used my stone in the oven, gas grill, etc and never had any problems, well related to the stone itself that is heh.  When using open fire, and this includes your gas or coal grill, remember not to apply direct flame to the stone.  Regardless of what the instructions on your stone say, I also recommend that you season it as you would one that "requires" it, as in coat it as lightly as possible with olive oil and let it "ride along" in the oven while baking other things for a few days, as long as you don't broil just leave it in there, when it feels almost like a nonstick surface it's ready for pizza.  Also, remember to dust a bit of cornmeal on your stone before applying the pizza, this will allow for smooth removal.  Your stone will "taste" better and better with use, so if your first try is kinda funky hang in there it will improve. Of course never wash it with soap and it should last you for years. 

flournwater's picture

I must disagree.  Unless the instructions that are supplied with your stone recommend it you should never "season" a pizza stone.

Your pizza stone will "season" itself in the course of successive uses for normal baking.

If you cook your pizza on a stone atop your wood stove you will be essentially frying it rather than baking it.  To bake the pizza you need an enclosure, and the enclosure  must be preheated along with the stone (e.g. stone ovens consist of bricks that surround the pizza and radiate heat from all sides) gradually from a cold start.

Argden's picture

"Half the point of baking on a stone is that the stone is porous and will absorb moisture from the dough and help to produce a crisp crust."  This is the premise from your link.  OK, I want that stone to absorb what I decide it should absorb, ie my oil.  I want to determine its taste, its flavor, character, etc.  Whiz wants you to leave that to chance.  Opinion is merely one person's written concept or idea.  I season my stones as I advised above.  They have survived everything from the 600 degree gas grill to the house oven, and I have never lost one from anything other than being dropped.  The method I advise works for me, if someone has another idea that's cool too, but if the idea is to "not" season their stone and just let whatever pizza impart oils and grease, sorry but I would rather use my own method thank you.  JMO, everyone is different and a lot of everyones have web  sites and advice.  Your right answer is the one that works for you, not for me.

alconnell's picture

i would also consider some sort of cover to retain the heat so you can brown the top of the pizza.  A clay pot of the right diamter would work and could be heated with the stone.  This is an intriguing idea you have.  I hope you'll post info about your results.  Good luck!

copyu's picture

Sorry, I'm not trying to start [or encourage?] a flame-war on this most-civilized of sites, but I always get stuck on the phrase: "...absorbs moisture" from the pizza/loaf etc...

How the heck would something like a pizza stone, or a quarry tile, or a brick hearth "ABSORB" moisture, if it's at a temperature 250+°C (about 450°F?) The Boiling Point of pure water at sea-level is 100°C / 212°F, remember?

If you put a really 'wet' dough on a hot stone, the moisture turns almost instantly to steam, which makes for great crust, trapped, as it is, under your pie or your loaf...where is the room for *absorption of moisture* in this situation?

'Science' and 'Art' are BOTH needed in baking, IMHO...Let's all stay "cool", but keep the ovens hot!

Cheers, my dears!



rayel's picture

I think the stone will absorb some moisture. If the steam created, goes up, surely the hyper dry stone gets a small share in the other direction. I also agree that the stone should not be seasoned. Ray

TheVillageBaker's picture

Why use a pizza stone at all? Surely the direct heat of your stove top is sufficient.

I tried various intermediaries for baking Indian flat breads (Roti, Chapati ) on ours but the heat was not sufficient, so now I just use baking parchment. It works, but the stove needs to well fired up to produce them quickly enough for a hungry family.

As a previous post has mentioned, how do you intend to ensure that the top layer is cooked?

I guess you could try and adapt the grilled pizza method described in Peter Reinhart’s book ‘American Pie’, originally from Al Forno; basically to cook both sides then add the topping.

shallots's picture

We use a woodstove as our primary source of heat when solar isn't enough. Our Dutchwest convection woodstoves get hot enough inside, but the tops are never anywhere near 400-500, even though the burn/reburn area can be up to 1100F according to the thermometer inside. Ours will barely heat a tea kettle of water and if yours doesn't heat water fast, it won't cook pizza fast either.

As to putting pizza directly on a woodstove, don't do it.  You'd have to live with stray oil stains until spring cleaning and refurbishing the woodstove. I found that it takes a lot of scrubbing to get rid of oil stains (from trying to reheat something years ago.)