Are pizza stones any good for the grill?
The alternative to the pizza stone is the baking sheet of your oven. However, the pizza base on the baking sheet will not be so nice and crispy, but rather soft. The pizza stone promises better results but requires a longer preheating time than the baking sheet. We will see some of the advantages and disadvantages of making your pizzas on a pizza stone on the grill.
The pros and cons of the pizza stone on a grill:
- The pizza base will be crispy
- Relatively easy to use
- Pizza is ready quickly
- Long retention of heat
- Easy cleaning
- Relatively long preheating time at the maximum temperature
- A little more expensive to buy
- Are rather hard to clean
When preparing on the baking sheet, in addition to the high humidity, there is also the lack of heat. A pizza prepared traditionally in a stone oven is baked at temperatures of more than 300 degrees Celsius. The conventional oven that we find in households usually has a maximum temperature of 250 degrees Celsius.
The temperature of the pizza stone is of course only as high as the maximum temperature of the oven. But thanks to the heat retention and the direct contact of the pizza with the pizza stone, the pizza is still crispier.
Cordierite and ceramics not only retain the heat very well but also distribute it very evenly to the pizza or other baked food items.
How to make perfect pizza on the grill
The desired result is when the pizza is loose and crispy. That is why we would like to list the individual steps on the way to the perfect pizza again:
- Place the pizza stone on the grill rack or oven rack and preheat the oven or grill at maximum temperature for about 30 to 45 minutes. Top and bottom heat are ideal for heating up, as well as for baking your pizza.
- The yeast dough must have the optimal consistency. If the dough is too moist, it may stick to the pizza stone. To prevent the dough from sticking in general, add some flour to the pizza stone.
- When the grill has reached its maximum temperature, you can place the pizza on the stone. The baking time is about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pizza dough.
- Thanks to the pizza stone’s excellent heat storage capacity, you can bake several pizzas one after the other on the stone.
- Leave the grill at the maximum temperature while baking. This will make the pizza base nice and crispy.
- You can use this same process to bake your bread, rolls, or tarte flambée. However, the baking time for bread and rolls is longer than for pizza and tarte flambée.
Watch the video below to learn how to make the perfect pizza on a grill:
What’s the price?
The price range for the pizza stones is wide. You can get a cheap stone for an under $50 price (like the PK Grills PK99070). However, an expensive pizza stone can come at a higher price range. Stones that come with accessories like the pizza pusher, the cutter, peeler, among others, like the Cuisinart CPS-445, come in a set and have a price range of $70 to $150.
How to pick the best pizza stones for a grill
If you want to buy a pizza stone, you should pay attention to the following points:
How thick should the pizza stone be? This is another crucial question. In general, one can say that the thicker the pizza stone, the longer it retains the heat. So if you want to prepare larger quantities of pizzas one after the other, it is advisable to purchase a thick pizza stone.
Pizza stones like the Weber 8836 Gourmet and the Heritage Pizza Stone have a thickness of 2 inches or more.
However, you should also keep in mind that the thicker the stone, the greater its weight and the longer the preheating time.
The shape of the pizza stone can also be important when buying. As mentioned at the beginning, the pizza bricks differ in their size, shape, and thickness. You get the pizza stones in round and square designs, with a thickness between one and five centimeters.
Where would you like to use the baking stone? In the oven or on the round charcoal grill? A round pizza stone can usually be used universally: It fits in the oven as well as on the kettle grill. A square pizza stone might be less ideal with the latter variant. Weigh the shapes of the pizza stones against your needs and existing equipment and then decide on your pizza stone.
A square pizza stone may offer you more options. Round pizza stones are more suitable for all conventional ovens, which is not always the case with a square pizza stone. If you have a round grill, it is advisable to buy a round pizza stone as well.
You also get pizza stones in XXL formats, such as the 19.6-diameter Kamado Joe Pizza Stone. These types are also suitable for use in the oven or on the grill. With these pizza stones, the pizza can be a little larger.
Pizza stones are usually made of ceramics, cordierite, fireclay, and soapstones. In the comparison table below, you’ll find how they differ and what makes each material great for users:
Fireclay pizza stone – This is made of quartz sand and relatively cheap to buy, but takes a little longer to heat up.
Cordierite pizza stone – This is a substance that is obtained during the manufacture of ceramics and that requires a short heating-up time. Compared to the fireclay pizza stone, this is a little more expensive to buy.
Ceramic pizza stones – This is a very light material that heats up quickly, but cannot hold the heat for that long. Also, ceramic pizza stones are quite expensive to buy.
Soapstone pizza stones – Soapstone keeps the heat particularly long. The heat release is very even as the heating-up time takes a long time. The acquisition costs are relatively high.
Size and weight
The size is indirectly related to the shape of the pizza stone, so you can consider these two points together. Before you start buying a pizza stone, it makes sense to measure the grill and use these measurements to decide on the right pizza stone.
Temperature tolerance, warm-up time, and heat distribution
The warm-up time is a necessary evil with the pizza stone. At the full temperature setting, the stone usually takes 30 minutes or more to heat up. Of course, this also means that you need more energy than, for example, baking on a baking sheet. However, most of the stones which take time to heat have better heat retention.
The extra features are practical accessories. Some manufacturers offer the pizza stone in a set so that you get a pizza shovel in addition to the baking stone.
With the pizza shovel, also known as a pizza peel, you can place the pizza on the pizza stone and take it out of the grill more easily.
Other manufacturers provide a recipe book with recipes and tips for everything related to pizza as additional accessories.
Some models such as the PK Grills PK99070 also come with a rack that makes carrying easier and sager.