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Why Is My Pizza Stone Smoking? (And How to Stop It)

Why Is My Pizza Stone Smoking? (And How to Stop It)
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Making pizza at home is amazing because you get to choose all of the ingredients. If you recently installed a pizza oven in your home, then you’re probably obsessed with making many different types of pizzas right now.

To make a great pizza, you’re going to need to use fresh ingredients. You’ll also need a high-quality oven that is going to do a good job of baking the pizzas.

A pizza stone is another necessity, and there are plenty of different kinds that you can buy. If you have a pizza stone that you like right now, then you’ll probably be concerned if you notice that it’s smoking.

Why would a pizza stone suddenly start smoking? Is there something that you’re doing wrong that you need to correct?

Keep reading to learn more about pizza stones and reasons why they might start smoking. This should make it easier for you to figure out what you need to do.

Why Pizza Stones Start Smoking

Pizza being served on a pizza stone

Essentially, your pizza stone is going to start smoking because it has absorbed liquid from the pizzas that you’ve been baking. Pizzas can be pretty messy, and a lot of things are going to happen to the stone.

The dough might stick to the stone a little bit sometimes. Cheese will melt and that will get on the pizza stone.

Various fats from the pizza ingredients such as pepperoni will melt, too. Pizza stones are porous, and they’re going to absorb the liquid.

This makes it so that oil will be present on various parts of the pizza stone. When you’re using the pizza stone to bake a pizza, the stone might start smoking at some point.

When oils get on your pizza stone, this will happen. You need to remember that some types of fats will start smoking at a lower temperature than others, too.

Try to avoid getting oil on your pizza stone as much as you can. It’ll also be prudent to clean things up after you’ve finished baking pizzas for the day.

How Do You Stop the Pizza Stone From Smoking?

Of course, you want to stop the pizza stone from smoking so that you can use it properly. It simply won’t do to have the pizza stone start smoking when you’re trying to make a delicious pizza.

You’re going to need to clean the pizza stone so that it won’t smoke any longer. Since the stone is having smoking issues, you’re going to need to do more than brush it off.

Not even scraping is going to get rid of the oil that has gotten into the stone. It’s going to take a bit more effort to clean things so that you can start using the stone as normal again.

Typically, you might expect that you would want to clean using soap and water. However, this is not a good idea when you have a pizza stone.

Pizza stones are porous and they will just absorb the soap and water. This presents a bit of a dilemma.

It would be unwise to use toxic chemical cleaners on your pizza stone, too. These chemical cleaners could be absorbed into the pizza stone as well, and it could alter the taste of any pizzas that you make in the future.

Using toxic chemicals could even make the pizza stone unsafe to use. You need to be very particular about how you clean these stones.

What can you do if you aren’t supposed to clean the stone using water and soap? You do have some options available to you.

Clean the Pizza Stone with Baking Soda

Clean your pizza stone with baking soda

Cleaning the pizza stone with baking soda is one of the safest choices. Since you don’t want your stone to absorb soap, baking soda will work as a great substitute.

You’ll find that baking soda works fantastically as a degreasing agent. It’s also safe to put on the stone because you can eat baking soda.

Baking soda is an ingredient that you use in many different types of foods and desserts. Putting it on the stone isn’t going to be harmful in any way.

The best way to go about this is to make a paste using a bit of water and some baking soda. When the paste has been made, you’ll want to use it along with a scouring pad to try to remove whatever is stuck to your stone.

It might take several attempts to remove all of the grime from the stone, but you’ll just have to be patient. Rinse the stone using some water and just keep trying until you get the right results.

This is an excellent way to get rid of burnt residue that is stuck to the pizza stone. It’ll also be helpful for getting rid of the top layer of oils that might have been absorbed by the stone.

Try Using the Oven-Cleaning Cycle

Place pizza stone in oven and run a clean cycle to clean the pizza stone

Have you thought about using the oven-cleaning cycle? This might be a great way to get rid of unwanted food debris so that you can get the pizza stone back to normal.

When you put the oven on the cleaning cycle, it’s going to heat itself up quite a bit. Ovens heat up to temperatures of 850 degrees Fahrenheit to burn away any food debris that happens to be present.

Keeping the pizza stone in the oven during this oven cleaning cycle should remove food that is stuck to the stone. In some ways, this is easier and faster than using a scouring pad and some baking soda to try to do the job.

Of course, one potential problem is that you might not have an oven that gets this hot. There are ovens out there that don’t have cleaning cycle modes.

There’s also the fact that the pizza stone could be damaged during this process. If you have a really nice pizza stone, then it’s likely durable enough to be just fine, but less expensive stones might not do so well.

You’ll have to weigh whether or not this is a good option in your situation. For some, this might be an ideal solution, but it could be a bad idea for you.

Also, remember to be very careful when using an oven function such as this. Typical ovens don’t get hotter than 450 degrees Fahrenheit for a reason.

Use Your Outdoor Barbecue to Heat the Pizza Stone

Pizza Stone on the Big Green Egg or Outdoor Barbecue Heating Up to be Cleaned

In many ways, the idea of heating up a pizza stone that has been smoking in your oven feels unsafe. If you’re worried about this idea, then you might want an alternative.

Those who have outdoor barbecues could try to heat the pizza stones that way. Your barbecue should be able to get really hot if you use enough gas or if you know what you’re doing with charcoal.

This means that you can use the same principle that was discussed in the oven-cleaning cycle section. You’re heating the stone up in an attempt to burn off food debris.

Sadly, the same problems pop up with using this method. If the pizza stone isn’t incredibly durable, then it might get damaged.

If the pizza stone is smoking, then it might be worth trying this out. So long as you can do so safely, it’s likely going to be worth a shot.

You’ll want to heat the pizza stone for ninety minutes or longer. This should burn away contaminants, and it might help to keep your pizza stone from smoking so that you can use it again.

It’s going to smoke a lot during this process, though. Prepare to have a smokey backyard, and be sure to be careful not to set anything on fire.

Putting your barbecue in a safe spot is highly recommended. It might even be a good idea to have water or an extinguisher nearby just in case.

As you can see, doing all of this outdoors is likely preferable to using an indoor oven. You wouldn’t want your house getting smokey, and you certainly wouldn’t want to risk setting anything on fire.

What If the Pizza Stone Can’t Be Cleaned?

Dirty pizza stone that can't be cleaned

What should you do if you just aren’t able to get the pizza stone clean despite your best efforts? Sadly, you might just have to go out and buy another pizza stone.

Understand that pizza stones aren’t going to last forever no matter how good you take care of them. Knowing this, it should be easy to go out and buy a high-quality pizza stone that will be even better than the one that you just had problems with.

In some ways, this is the easiest route to take. It ensures that you’ll get a pizza stone that will work properly.

You don’t want to transfer debris to the pizzas that you’re cooking. If the old pizza stone is simply too dirty, then it might be time to retire it.

Getting a new pizza stone isn’t going to be that costly either. You can find a new one at a department store or you can order one online.

Protect the Pizza Stone by Using Parchment Paper

Breakfast Pizza on the Big Green Egg with Parchment Paper on the Pizza Stone

It’s a really good idea to start lining the pizza stone with parchment paper. This is going to keep oil and food debris from getting on the stone.

You can really extend the life of a pizza stone if you choose to do this. Parchment paper is inexpensive and you likely use it a lot if you love cooking anyway.

It should be pretty easy to keep the pizza stone cleaner for a longer period of time if you use parchment paper properly. It’s also going to make things less messy, and that’s good for beginners.

Remember that the parchment paper will be brittle when things are done. As such, it’ll be easier to take the pizza out of the oven by using tongs and a plate.

You Could Buy a Pizza Steel

Pizza being cut on a pizza steel

You don’t have to use a pizza stone to make pizzas that taste great at home. If you’re tired of dealing with pizza stone issues, then it might be worthwhile to go out and purchase a pizza steel.

A pizza steel is a relatively new thing that people are using in place of pizza stones. The concept is similar, but you don’t have to worry about the same problems that you do when you have a pizza stone.

For example, the pizza steel isn’t porous and you’ll be able to clean it normally when it gets dirty. It isn’t going to absorb oil and other liquids.

There are even some benefits to using a pizza steel. It will heat up quite a bit faster than a stone, and you’ll be able to make crispy pizzas quite easily.

One downside is that buying a pizza steel will cost you more money. It might be a better value overall when you think about it, though.

A pizza steel is likely going to last a lifetime, whereas you might have to buy several pizza stones over the course of a decade.

Combine this with how easy it is to clean a pizza steel, and you’ll be rather pleased if you choose to purchase one. You can wash these with soap and water whenever the need arises, and they work great to help you make tasty pizzas.

Final Thoughts

After learning about why a pizza stone might start smoking, it’s going to be important to try to fix the issue before you continue to use the stone. It simply won’t be possible to keep making pizzas until you clean the stone.

Sadly, cleaning the stone isn’t easy because you can’t just use soap and water to get the job done. You also can’t use toxic cleaners because you would risk contaminating your food.

You’ll have to do your best to scrub the stone using baking soda and water to create a paste. Take a scouring pad and do what you can to get rid of food debris as well as the top layer of oils.

Another option is to try to burn the food debris away using the oven-cleaning cycle on your oven. If you don’t have an oven-cleaning cycle, then you can try heating the stone to a very high temperature using your outdoor barbecue.

In all likelihood, it’d be easier to simply buy a new pizza stone. They don’t last forever, and pizza stones are affordable enough that buying a new one shouldn’t seem like too big of a deal.

Consider buying a pizza steel if you want to have an easier time moving forward. These cost more cash, but they work better, and you’ll be able to clean them with ease.

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