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According to the top-rated answer to this question, you cannot wash the baking stone (or else you can, using baking soda and a lot of care and time, which is not practical). I am mostly interested in baking at the temperatures of cr. 180°C (360°F), although sometimes I use 450°F (230°C) regime.

I wanted to compare three options that could potentially be put on top of a baking stone, to avoid hygiene concerns:

  1. Silicone sheet - it's stated to be safe for temperatures up to 500°F (260°C), but I have read that the safety of silicone at high temperatures is disputed. Other than safety concerns, I see no downside;
  2. Baking paper - it's stated to be safe for temperatures up to 420°F-450°F (210°C-230°C), and is single-use;
  3. Thin steel tray - I have made it up myself, it's obviously safe, but does it negate the advantages of baking stone?

Is my analysis correct? What am I missing? What are your recommendations?

As per this webpage, a lot of people are using parchment paper to avoid sticking, and discuss silicone as an alternative.

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    I've never used any of these on my baking stone. What do you mean by hygiene concerns? – moscafj May 27 at 11:54
  • @moscafj: I guess bits of food or dust can make it dirty with time? – Yulia V May 27 at 12:41
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    A simple wipe with a cloth (when cool) or use of a bench scraper usually does the trick. – moscafj May 27 at 12:45
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    In oven all of the time. I don't clean, other than my suggestions above...a wipe or scrape on occasion, when necessary. – moscafj May 27 at 12:46
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    What do you plan on baking? I could see a sheet of parchment being helpful under a sourdough, or wet dough. That is not usually necessary for pizza. That said, I have baked plenty of loaves with no paper. – moscafj May 27 at 12:49
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Ideally you'd use nothing. Direct contact with the hot stone delivers the heat to the food best. Spilt food on the pizza stone can be scraped off when cold and any residue will be sterilised when the stone is preheated, as it should be for some time. It's best to leave the stone in the oven after removing the pizza (or put it back in) as the considerable residual heat will help char the residue to a loose charcoal/ash mix that can be brushed off, leaving what's effectively a seasoned surface.

Although I store mine in the oven, I usually take it out when I'm using the oven and not the stone, as it's 5kg of granite and that takes a lot of preheating, slowing my cooking and increasing energy consumption. If I'm not planning to use it for a while, or haven't used it for a while, I might leave it in while baking bread, being sure to preheat generously. You can also bake off residue by putting the already-hot stone under the grill (broiler). This can get a bit smoky though.

Having said all that, I have been known to use non-stick cooking liner, when I want to cook something on the stone but don't want to risk imparting a flavour to it (or picking up a flavour from it), or when cooking a really sticky dough like naan.

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  • Could I ask what non-stick cooking liner you are using is made of? Silicone? – Yulia V May 27 at 13:07
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    @YuliaV this one ("PTFE-coated fabric"), or a similar but unbranded product, as bought it more than once, and cut it to fit some favourite containers – Chris H May 27 at 13:43
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FYI, I use my baking parchment multiple times—until it crumbles in my hands. I’ve never used it on my pizza stone, tho. As for cleanliness, my pizza stone is almost black (I figure from grease and oil in what I bake on it) and things that bake on to it (cheese, etc) scrape off with a plastic scraper I have.

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  • I am not sure if the black substance you describe is food-safe. This could be a good question actually, if it has not been asked yet :) – Yulia V May 29 at 17:13

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