Pizza Cookoff – Baking Stone vs Baking Steel


Margherita Pizza cooked on a Pizza Stone and Grill

Margherita Pizza cooked on a Pizza Stone and Grill

I am a sucker for good pizza. Over the last three years I have been working on perfecting my technique. At this point, I can honestly say that I make a pretty good pie (see here). Over the years, I have played around cooking on a number of different surfaces including a Indian style griddle (see my post here), pizza stones (in oven and on a grill) and then finally a baking steel (in oven and on a grill).

As I went along my journey, I realized first that a properly heated (on maximum heat) in an oven gives pretty good results. Then somebody suggested using a pizza stone on a grill and that took the pizza to a whole new (better) level. But those darn pizza stones kept cracking. They just couldn’t handle the high heat of the grill. To avoid cracking somebody suggested a Baking Steel. It wasn’t cheap but being the pizza fanatic that I am, I bought one. I first tried it on a grill but that was a bad idea. The steel heats up too high too fast and burns the bottom of the pizza. I called Andris Lagsdin at Baking Steel and he was super helpful. He suggested two things – one, use the steel in the oven and, two, if using a grill, prop it up on bricks so the steel doesn’t get quite so hot. Made sense. I tried the oven first, the results were so good that I never went to the grill with the steel after that.

Interlocking Pizza Stone and Baking Steel

Interlocking Pizza Stone and Baking Steel

Anyway, fast forward to Father’s Day this year and my wife got me the interlocking pizza stone from Williams Sonoma. The idea behind the stone is that there is a pocket of air between the two surfaces that prevents either surface from cracking. Having a grill, an oven that goes up to 550F, a pizza stone and pizza steel, we had a cookoff. The results? They were both very good, however, the pizza stone on the grill needs a good hour and a half of pre-heating before it truly starts yielding pies that are a match for the Baking Steel with 45 mins of pre-heat.

I will post a full review of each later but thought I’d post a quick note now. Here’s to many happy pizza memories and un-cracked pizza stones.


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