Baking stones are a popular kitchen tool to use for cooking pizza, bread, and pastries. But not every kitchen has one, so below, we will explore some of the most popular baking stone substitutes and their advantages and disadvantages.
What Is a Baking Stone?
A baking stone is basically a flat and porous surface that you put in your oven to help your baked goods cook better. It’s usually made from materials like ceramic or cordierite, and it’s really good at absorbing and distributing heat evenly in the oven.
This means your baked goods will cook more evenly, which is especially important if you want a crispy crust on your pizza or bread. The surface of the baking stone is also porous, which helps it absorb moisture from your dough or batter, making your crust crispy and delicious.
Baking stones come in different sizes and shapes and are a favorite among those who love to bake.
Why Baking Stones are Useful
Even Heat Distribution
Baking stones are excellent at absorbing and distributing heat evenly, which helps to create a consistent temperature throughout the oven. This means that your baked goods will cook more evenly, resulting in a perfectly crispy crust and a tender and moist interior.
The porous surface of a baking stone absorbs moisture from your dough or batter, resulting in a crispy crust that is hard to achieve with other baking methods. This is especially important when making bread or pizza, where a crispy crust is essential for the overall taste and texture.
Baking stones are not just limited to pizza and bread; they can be used to cook a variety of other foods, such as roasted vegetables, chicken, or even cookies. You can also use a baking stone to reheat leftover food, as it will help to retain the crispy texture of the original dish.
Recommended Baking Stone Substitute
1. Cast Iron Baking Skillet
The first substitute for a pizza stone in this list is a cast iron baking skillet. This kitchen utensil is very easy to find in any supermarket at an affordable price. Although its size is not large for a baking stone, it still works well in giving you a crispy pizza.
Here are some tips for baking your pizza or bread with this cast iron skillet.
- Place the skillet into the oven.
- Preheat the oven to the highest temperature within 45 to 60 minutes.
- Put the pizza onto the skillet.
- Bake until the food gets the crispy crust and golden color, normally from 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Pizza Pan
What to use if you don’t have a pizza stone? You can consider a pizza pan as it is a low-cost alternative, but it still functions well. This pizza stone substitute comes with two types for you to choose from: a non-perforated and a perforated pizza pan.
Most chefs use a perforated pizza pan if a baking stone is not available in their kitchen. This variety features perforations that allow for improved ventilation, which helps distribute heat to the crust while also reducing retained moisture.
When it comes to using this tool, use it the same way you would use a baking stone. There’s not too much of a difference.
3. Baking Sheet
One of the simplest pizza stone alternatives is a baking sheet, which you almost certainly already have in your house. It is also more likely to fit into your oven than pizza stones, which is a significant advantage.
You can make the perfect surface for creating pizzas by simply inverting a baking sheet in your oven. The major purpose of moving the baking sheet over is to make it easy to get the dough on and off.
4. Thick Steel Baking Tray
Baking bread on a steel baking surface is probably the best or one of the finest techniques. Steel is ideal for baking since it can tolerate high temperatures and retains heat well. The high heat aids the bread during its first baking stage and contributes to its strong rise.
Moreover, this baking stone alternative won’t fracture or shatter the way pizza stones do, so you may use it as often as you like without fear. You also won’t have to worry about dropping and destroying it as a pizza stone would.
5. Terracotta Tiles
One more baking stone replacement that saves your budget is Terracotta tiles. You can find them more easily in the store than a baking stone. It’s critical to purchase unglazed tiles since those with glazing might transmit toxins into your pizza and bread while baking.
One more consideration is that you need to clean them thoroughly before placing them in your oven. To bake the dough correctly, make sure there is no gap between the tiles.
6. Dutch Oven
If you are looking for a substitute for baking stone to bake bread, look no further than a Dutch oven. It acts as an incubator, which distributes heat evenly on all sides of the bread simultaneously. So, your food will be crispy outside while soft on the inside.
That said, you have to preheat the Dutch oven for around 45 minutes before placing the bread inside. For sourdough bread, a temperature of approximately 410 ° F is recommended.
7. Bread Cloche
Apart from a Dutch oven, you can turn this pizza stone alternative into your mind to replace a baking stone as it works like an oven. It features a hollow container with a cover that helps maintain the moisture inside and get a crispy crust outside.
Additionally, this baking stone substitute has a small base and a deep cover, so loading and scoring bread are safer. You also need to preheat the dome and the clay surface in the same way as a Dutch oven. Once getting the desired temperature, put it into the oven.
To get the crispy crust outside, remove the cover two-thirds of the time and keep baking until getting the nice golden color.
8. Steel Slab
No pizza stone? What can I use instead of a pizza stone? A steel slab may be helpful for your baking. It comes with different shapes like round or rectangle to fit into your oven. The essence of steel slab is similar to the baking stone, which distributes heat evenly and retains heat longer.
It would help if you also preheated it before baking pizza or bread, like the other tools above. Although it gives the crust crispiness, it’s quite a big budget for you.
9. Fire Bricks
Before baking stones appeared, fire bricks were common tools to bake bread and pizza. As its name suggests, they are fire-resistant, which means they can sustain high temperatures without shattering.
These bricks can withstand fast temperature fluctuations while still retaining and transferring heat effectively. Before placing them in the oven, you should build a flat brick sheet and put it on the baking racks. Next, preheat the oven to around 60 minutes and then bake as usual.
The last recommendation in this pizza stone replacement list is the grill. This alternative is perfect for outdoor BBQ parties in the summer. Pizza cooked on this kitchen tool has an entirely different taste and texture than pizza baked in the oven, but it’s worth a try.
This substitute for pizza stone is an interesting and useful gadget for quickly making charred-crust and crispy pizzas. Hence, it is especially helpful for serving a crowd. When applying it, all you need to do is grill the dough, put the toppings in, and serve. It’s easy but tasty.