Pizza stones usually work flawlessly for years at a time, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have some minor problems. One problem you might have is the stone starting to smoke, which can fill your entire home with bad smells in no time.
There are several reasons why this might happen, but the most common reason is that oils and fats have been absorbed into the stone. When you use the stone at a very high temperature, the oils naturally start to burn and smoke.
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Why Pizza Stones Start Smoking
Here are the top reasons why pizza stones start smoking and how to stop it
1. Putting Oil on the Stone
Many people believe that putting cooking oil on the stone, such as olive or vegetable oil, is a good thing because it helps the stone “set,” but this isn’t the case. In fact, these oils can degrade the integrity of the stone and over time, cause it to become less efficient.
It can also cause the stone to smoke and even burn because oils have certain smoke points, and most pizzas are cooked at very high temperatures.
To prevent this from happening, avoid using any type of oil on your pizza stone and keep baking temperatures at the right temperature always.
2. There Is Burnt-on Food on the Stone
If you don’t clean your stone regularly, built-up food debris can become hardened and very hard to remove.
This means that smoking and burning the stone is commonplace whenever there is dried-on food on your pizza stone.
The solution is a simple one: always clean your stone after every use it to prevent the leftover food from burning and smoking.
3. Oils and Fats from the Food
This one is harder to predict than the others, but just like added oil can cause the stone to smoke and burn, so can oils and fats left over from foods such as cheese, pepperoni, and other greasy toppings.
It’s especially bad when you already have dried foods left over from previous meals. To reduce the effects of fats and oils from the foods you’ve cooked with from causing your stone to smoke and burn make sure you clean the stone regularly.
4. The Temperatures You’re Using Are Too High
Pizzas naturally need a high temperature to bake right, but when a high temperature is combined with oils and burned-on leftover food, it can be a disaster.
Always resist the urge to make the temperature higher than what your recipe states.
It’s better to take longer to cook the pizza than it is to get it done quicker but burn it and cause the stone to smoke and burn.
Stick with the instructions in the recipe and never turn your temperature dial higher. You should then be able to avoid smoke or burning.
5. Not Cleaning the Stone Regularly Enough
As you’ve likely grasped by now, most of the problems with your pizza stone smoking and even burning can be solved simply by making sure you clean the stone properly and regularly.
After each use, use a scraper made specifically for stones to get off all the debris, then use a damp (not wet) cloth to remove any “ashes” left over from the foods. Then, let the stone air dry naturally. This should be done after every time you bake something on your stone.
Is It Normal for a Pizza Stone to Smoke?
It is normal for a small amount of smoke to occur when you first take pizza out of the oven. If you have been cooking at high temperatures and cheese has made its way onto the stone it can smoke.
There should never be a large amount of smoke when you’re using a stone.
If your pizza stone is smoking a lot, scrape any old food off of it and clean it with a mix of baking soda and a small amount of water.
Check out this easy guide to using your pizza stone at home.
Can You Overheat a Pizza Stone (and What Happens When You Do)?
Pizza stones can be overheated. Each pizza stone is different and will withstand different oven temperatures.
When you buy your pizza stone, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the hottest temperature. You’ll notice that maximum temperatures for a pizza stone can be quite high, so it’s important never to go above that number.
If your pizza stone gets too hot, it can crack or even burn. Neither of those is a good thing to have happen, but it can be avoided by simply not overheating your oven when using a pizza stone.
Can You Leave a Pizza Stone in the Oven All the Time?
It is perfectly safe to leave your pizza stone in the oven all the time. It will not hurt either the oven or the stone itself.
If your oven is old, the pizza stone can help even out the hot and cold spots and make the oven cook much more evenly.
Make sure you don’t overheat your oven when your pizza stone is in there because it might damage the stone, even to the point where you have to throw it away.
Pizza Stone Smoking | Summary
Once you learn the basic rules of cooking with a pizza stone, it becomes much easier to have all of your dishes come out perfectly every time. Pizza stones can smoke if they absorb too much water, fat or are not cleaned regularly. Grab yourself a scraper and a brush and you can keep your pizza stone clean.