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I'm trying to cook "authentic" pizza in a home oven. The recipe I'm following asks that you preheat the oven to the highest it can get (500°F/260°C for me) with the stone inside. So, I follow this instruction. For the first 15 minutes, everything's fine. Then, I see liquid forming at the top of the stone. Soon enough, tons of smoke is coming out and I have to turn on the fan. I decided to abandon my plan to create the perfect pizza because of this problem with my stone.

I think the liquid coming out of the pizza stone is oil that's been absorbed from past times I've cooked with it. It wasn't a problem then because I didn't preheat my pizza stone previously and only cooked at 425°F/220°C. Then, the oil heats up and evaporates into smoke.

How can I fix the issue of oil coming out and smoking up everything when I'm preheating my stone at high temperatures?

Edit: Just found out that my mom puts oil on the stone every time she cooks pizza D:<

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    You shouldn't be oiling the stone.
    – GdD
    Nov 7, 2022 at 8:46
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    Some people may think that you oil the stone to keep the pizzas from sticking, which isn't the right thing to do with a baking stone. Using cornmeal or coarse semolina is the way to go on that, but you may be right @ChrisH.
    – GdD
    Nov 7, 2022 at 13:45
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    @GdD even flour is better than oil in domestic ovens that don't get too hot, though I use semolina by choice. But there are instructions out there for seasoning stones with oil (there are probably instructions for all sorts of far dumber ideas as well)
    – Chris H
    Nov 7, 2022 at 13:54
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    Semolina is much tastier isn't it @ChrisH, plus a nice crunch.
    – GdD
    Nov 7, 2022 at 13:55
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    Start using less oil in your pizza dough. If it's soaking into the stone, you're using way too much.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 8, 2022 at 17:22

1 Answer 1

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You'll have to burn it off, but you can do it quite slowly, then it should be fine for future use.

Although 425°F (220°C) is rather cool for pizza, it's around the smoke point of many oils. But as you didn't preheat the stone when you used it at this low temperature, it probably never even got that hot (BTW you sound like you've learnt this by now, but if you're not going to preheat it, there's no point using a stone).

So you should probably start by putting it in a cold oven and turning on to 425°F. When that temperature has been reached and held for a good few minutes, and it's not smoking, increase by 25° and wait until it stops smoking. Keep going until you reach the maximum on the dial.

You can do all this on a day when you can ventilate well, not just before use. Alternatively it's not unknown to use pizza stones in barbecues, so you could try and burn it off outside, but without the temperature control.

If there's any chance that water could have soaked in, from even a brief dip or a wipe with a dripping wet cloth, start with a couple of hours not far below boiling point (say 80°C or 200°F) to dry it.

New stones are supposed to be baked with nothing on top before first use anyway. I think mine wanted the drying step when new as well.

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    I think this answer is valid even if the stone was deliberately oiled, it will just take longer to burn it off.
    – GdD
    Nov 7, 2022 at 13:59
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    @SomeGuy that depends on where the oil is coming from. Pizza is crust on the bottom, and (classic) pizza crust dough doesn’t contain oil. So what went wrong?
    – Sneftel
    Nov 7, 2022 at 21:55
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    Alternately, if the OP has a grill, that's a great place to burn the pizza stone clean.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 8, 2022 at 17:23
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    @FuzzyChef grill as in barbecue (which I mentioned) or as in broiler (which is how I broke my last pizza stone making naan bread)? English vs. English!
    – Chris H
    Nov 8, 2022 at 17:24
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    @Sneftel Found my problem, apparently my mom has been oiling the pizza stone every time she bakes pizza this whole time
    – Some Guy
    Nov 8, 2022 at 19:23

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