Pizza Steel vs Stone

Are you a pizza lover searching for the ultimate crispy crust? Look no further, as we delve deep into the battle of pizza steel vs stone.

Pizza lovers have long debated the merits of pizza steels versus pizza stones for achieving the perfect crisp crust in their home ovens. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of each material and help you decide which one is right for achieving your ultimate homemade pizza experience.

Get ready to dig in as we break down everything you need to know about pizza steel and stone!

What Is a Pizza Steel?

Pizza Steel, also known as baking steel, is a cooking surface made from steel. Its primary use is for baking pizza in your home oven, mimicking the effect of a brick oven.

The steel’s high thermal conductivity allows it to store and transfer heat more efficiently than other materials, leading to quicker cooking times and a much desired crispier crust. It’s durable, virtually indestructible, and requires minimal maintenance, making it a favorite among avid home bakers.

What Is a Pizza Stone?

Pizza stones, on the other hand, are made from natural materials such as ceramic or clay. Similar to pizza steel, its purpose is to mimic the cooking style of a brick oven by absorbing heat and distributing it evenly throughout the crust.

While not as efficient at conducting heat as steel, pizza stones have been a popular choice among home cooks for their ability to produce a crispy crust and evenly cooked pizza.

Pizza Steel vs Stone: What Is The Difference?

Both pizza steel and stone have their strengths and weaknesses, but the main difference lies in their material composition. Steel is a highly conductive metal while stone is a natural insulator. 

So which one should you choose for your homemade pizzas?

1. Size

Both pizza steels and stones come in a variety of sizes to fit different ovens.

Pizza stones typically come in round shapes with a diameter ranging from 13 to 16 inches. Their round configuration is suitable for traditional, round pizzas, but the size may limit the quantity or size of the pizzas you can bake simultaneously.

On the contrary, pizza steels often come in a square or rectangular shape with dimensions typically around 14×14 inches to 16×14 inches. The benefit of this shape is the increased surface area, allowing for more pizza to be cooked at once.

When it comes to size, your choice between pizza steel and stone may depend on your oven size, the number of people you typically cook for, and your preferred pizza style.

2. Conductivity

Pizza steels excel in the conductivity department. The metal composition allows the steel to heat up more quickly and transfer that heat to the dough far more efficiently than a stone, resulting in a faster cooking time and crispier crust.

They can reach high temperatures in a shorter amount of time, typically around 20 minutes, hence reducing the overall baking time. The higher heat from the steel promotes rapid dough expansion, leading to a crust that’s crisp on the outside, yet soft and airy on the inside.

The steel’s heat transfer ability also contributes to a more pronounced oven spring – the rise of dough during the first few minutes of baking – which results in a more desirable texture.

Pizza stones, while not as conductive as steel, still perform well when it comes to heat retention and distribution. Their porous nature allows them to absorb moisture from the pizza dough, which promotes a well-baked crust.

However, they need a longer preheating time, typically between 30 minutes to an hour, to reach the desired baking temperature. Once heated, they distribute heat evenly, ensuring a consistent bake.

3. Thermal Mass

In terms of thermal mass – the ability to hold and maintain heat – both pizza steels and stones perform well, but there are differences.

Steels tend to hold more heat, meaning they stay hot for longer. This is particularly useful for cooking multiple pizzas in succession. This makes pizza steel particularly advantageous when you need to bake several pizzas for a gathering or party. 

Moreover, the high thermal mass of pizza steel is not only beneficial for multiple pizza sessions, but it also promotes a more stable oven temperature, enhancing the overall baking environment.

Stones, while they may take longer to heat up, can retain the heat quite well. However, if you’re cooking several pizzas back-to-back, you may find that the stone loses some heat after baking each pizza, requiring some additional time to get back up to temperature.

4. Clean Up and Care

When it comes to cleaning and care, the difference between pizza steel and stone is quite significant.

Pizza steels are incredibly durable and less susceptible to damage. After use, allow your pizza steel to cool completely before attempting to clean it.

Wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any food residue, and dry it thoroughly to prevent rusting. Avoid using soap as it can strip the seasoning off the steel. Apply a thin layer of oil after cleaning, and store it in a dry place to maintain its seasoning and prevent rust.

Pizza stones, in contrast, require more delicate handling. They should only be cleaned once they’re completely cooled down.

Do not use dish soap or detergent on your pizza stone as it can absorb those flavors, affecting the taste of your pizzas. Instead, use a stone brush and warm water to gently scrape off any food residue.

If stubborn stains persist, a baking soda paste can be used for a more thorough cleaning. Remember, pizza stones should never be soaked in water as they can absorb moisture which might lead to cracking when heated.

To dry, leave the stone out at room temperature, allowing it to air-dry naturally.

5. Cost

Price is another important factor to consider when choosing between pizza steel and pizza stone.

Pizza stones generally range from $30 to $60. On the other hand, the cost of baking steel is usually between $89 and $100.

This cost difference cannot be overlooked, especially considering the added value that comes with the steel’s multi-functional feature – it can be used as a cooling agent when frozen. However, if affordability is your priority, a pizza stone could be your go-to option.

But for those who appreciate an all-rounder tool, pizza steel may be worth the extra cost.

Pros and Cons Of Pizza Steel 

Pros of Pizza Steel

1. Quick cooking times: Due to its high thermal conductivity, pizza steel heats up faster than traditional pizza stones, allowing for quicker cooking times.

2. Durable and low maintenance: Pizza steels are virtually indestructible and require minimal maintenance compared to other materials such as stone or ceramic. They can withstand high temperatures and can be easily cleaned with a simple wipe-down.

3. Produces crispy crust: Pizza steels are known for their ability to produce a perfectly crisp crust, thanks to their efficient heat transfer and retention.

Cons of Pizza Steel

1. Heavy and bulky: Pizza steels are heavier and bulkier than traditional pizza stones, making them more difficult to handle and store.

2. Expensive: Pizza steels can be more costly than pizza stones, making them less accessible to budget-conscious consumers.

Pros and Cons Of Pizza Stone

Pros of Pizza Stone

1. Inexpensive: Pizza stones are a more cost-effective option compared to pizza steels, making them accessible to those on a budget.

2. Produces evenly cooked pizza: The porous material of the stone allows for even distribution of heat, resulting in a perfectly cooked pizza with a crispy crust.

3. Versatile: Pizza stones can also be used to bake bread, pastries, and other dishes, making them a versatile addition to your kitchen arsenal.

Cons of Pizza Stone

1. Fragile: Pizza stones can easily crack or break if not handled properly. They must be preheated slowly to prevent thermal shock and should never be placed under cold water after use.

2. Longer preheat time: Pizza stones take longer to heat up compared to pizza steels, resulting in longer cooking times.

Which One Should You Need?

No matter which one you choose, pizza steel vs stone, both pizza steel and stone have their unique advantages, so choosing between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific needs. 

When choosing between pizza steel and stone, consider your baking needs, budget, and storage space.

If you prioritize quick cooking times, and durability, and crave a crispier crust, then investing in pizza steel might be worth it despite the higher cost. However, they are heavier and bulkier, requiring more storage space.

On the other hand, if you’re seeking a cost-effective option that offers versatility and even heat distribution, a pizza stone could be your ideal choice. Do remember that pizza stones are more delicate and require a longer preheating time.

Ultimately, both options will result in delicious homemade pizzas, so it’s up to you to decide which one fits your needs and preferences best. Whichever you choose, remember to follow proper care and handling instructions to ensure optimal performance and longevity.


In conclusion, the choice between the battle of pizza steel vs stone rests on your personal preferences, needs, and budget. Pizza steels, known for their durability, quick heating, and ability to deliver a crispy crust, are more expensive and heavier.

Pizza stones, in contrast, are cost-effective, versatile, and provide even heat distribution, but require more careful handling and take longer to heat. Both tools are designed to enhance your homemade pizza experience, and with the right care, can last for years.

Remember, the aim is to enjoy the process and savor the delicious results. So, whether you choose steel or stone, may your pizza-baking adventures be filled with joy and tasty outcomes. Happy baking!

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