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I have heard that you can leave a pizza stone in the oven all the time, essentially storing it there. What are the considerations to keep in mind when doing this (type of oven, placement of stone, etc.)? I currently have a gas oven with the element located inside the broiler drawer below. Can I put the stone directly on the bottom of the oven, or should I keep it on the lowest rack? Are there reasons to remove the stone from the oven, if you're cooking certain things?

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4 Answers

Actually I do this, and I do it because my oven is old and tempermental.

Adding a heavy heat-sink (like a pizza stone, or a half dozen fire bricks) to your oven will increase your pre-heat time, but it makes your ovens temperature much more stable. It's a good thing to do if you're planning on cooking anything that is really temperature sensitive.

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It is supposed to help in 2 ways regarding stabilizing the heat. 1) it helps distribute the heat more evenly through the oven (the heat from the heating element goes into the stone, then the heat radiates from the stone to the rest of the oven). 2) it is supposed to help with heat retention, key benefit here is recovery from opening the oven door. Normally most of the heat is just in the air and goes rushing out when the door is open, having to heat up new air when closed. The pizza stone doesn't hop out of the oven and instead stays inside helping that new air get up to temperature faster. –  ManiacZX Aug 2 '10 at 19:31
    
@ManiacZX: The biggest problem with mine isn't recovery, it's that the thermostat is old, and causes the elements to kick on more often than normal. For the most part, it's not a big deal, but for bread or muffins, or whatever, I make sure to keep the stone in the oven. –  Satanicpuppy Aug 2 '10 at 19:35
    
true, keeping the heat curve tighter is another benefit. I figured you knew the benefits, was just trying to toss in some more detail for OP and others beyond "more stable". –  ManiacZX Aug 2 '10 at 19:49
    
I also have an old oven and I use the pizza stone for heat storage and to protect my dishes from the direct radiation of the exposed coils in the oven. (shameless plug) After I started using the stone, my biscottis no longer burn and baked dishes work out as recipes claim. –  papin Aug 24 '10 at 3:19
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If you're cooking something that is likely to spill over, you might want to remove it. They can be difficult to clean.

Otherwise, just make sure it isn't blocking airflow (possibly a problem with the very bottom of the oven, but depends on the design). I leave mine on the bottom rack all the time...

See also: What are other uses for a pizza stone?

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I keep my pizza stone on the bottom rack all the time, as well, and I lay aluminum foil over it when baking something that might spill over. –  Iuls Aug 2 '10 at 20:00
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Note that storing a pizza stone in your oven permanently will rack up your energy bill. As Satanicpuppy says, it's a heat sink that you need to heat up every time.

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I wonder how much this is offset by the faster recovery time, as mentioned by @ManiacZX in the other comment. –  mbyrne215 Aug 3 '10 at 17:43
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Recovery time is only relevant if you are baking multiple batches of something like cookies or if you open the oven door allot like if you are basting a turkey or roast. –  Janelle Aug 3 '10 at 20:24
    
I'm sure the "bill" consequence has to be insignificant. Increased kWh it's due only to net system specific heat increase and should only happen the one time a day, when most of us are likely to be cooking at home for dinner. Especially in light of mbyrne215's point. –  zanlok Dec 9 '10 at 23:32
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I do this as well. It's a good idea for ovens which have hotspots, or which are small/cheap and may drop too much in temperature when you open the door.

For a gas oven like yours, you want to put a rack in the lowest position and put the stone on the rack. Do not put the stone directly on the bottom metal of the stove; it will get thermal shock from rapid heating and crack. The baking stone will get a lot of carbon on it from food dripping and burning on its surface; turn it over about once every to months to minimize carbon accumulation.

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