A LOT of people ask me how they should clean their pizza stone. “Clean your pizza stone?”, is my typical response as I don’t clean mine.
Seriously though there are times when you need to clean the stone be it from a spill or just cooking some messy foods. This is how I clean mine.
First, I get a really hot fire going. I typically will bring it up to 900+ degrees. Next I take a stiff spatula and simply scrape the stone removing any food remnants. Using the same spatula I scoop up the debris and throw it in the trash. NOTE: Please wear heat protective gloves so you don’t burn yourself!
Once the fire is out and the pizza oven has cooled I either use a small brush and sweep out any leftover scrapings or I use a compressor and blow the scrapings out.
- Use any type of soap as it will be absorbed by the pizza stone
- Use any type of oven cleaner or any cleaner for that matter
- Use water although I sometimes will use a slightly damp rag to wipe down the stone
Don’t worry about stains on the pizza stone. Stains are virtually impossible to remove and there really is no need to.
Making your first Pizza Oven Pizza
I make a fair amount of pizzas. At least 1 day per week I fire up my pizza oven and make one or more (sometimes many more) pizzas.
The following are the simple ingredients and tips to making your first wood fired pizza. Most of these ingredients can be purchased at your local supermarket.
The pizza dough – Fortunately there is a bakery near me and I am able to purchase some really good pizza dough inexpensively not that it is terribly expensive to begin with. Most supermarkets have frozen pizza dough on hand. Make sure you take it out of the frig a few hours (3-4_ before you will be working with it.
Pizza Sauce - There are several pizza sauces available. I prefer my own but I also like Palmieri pizza sauce. It is made in new Haven, Connecticut (pizza capital of the USA!). Unfortunately, this is available in the Northeast and a few other places only. Ragu pizza quick sauce isn’t too bad as a last resort. I use that from time to time. Also you can opt to use spaghetti sauce or make a white pizza (no sauce just some olive oil and maybe some herbs like garlic, basil etc).
Cheese 2 cup bag of shredded mozzarella cheese or the cheese of your choice. I usually buy Kraft or Cabot. I like the Cabot better. You can also mix it up with some cheddar or Monterrey Jack.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I use Berio.
Corn meal and flour – Any brand is fine.
Making the pie
- I usually start my fire before I begin making the pizza. By the time I am done it is usually up to temperature or very close.
- Remember the dough must be at room temp. before you begin working with it.
- Spread flour on the table so the dough doesn’t stick to the table. Begin pushing on the dough with your hands to form the size pizza you will be making. I will sometimes use a rolling pin but typically I will just use my hands. I like thin crust pizza so I usually keep the crust the same thickness or a little thicker than the rest of the pie.
- If you will be placing your pizza on a cookie sheet make sure you put it on the sheet after the dough is rolled out and before you add the sauce/toppings!
- Spread a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on the top and bottom of the pizza. Use a basting brush to spread it somewhat evenly.
- I use about 4-6 ounces of sauce for a large pizza depending on my mood.
- Next I add about 1/2 a bag of Mozzarella cheese. Add more or less depending on your taste. Spread it evenly.
- I then add any meat toppings first. When using sausage I break it up into 1/2 inch chunks and spread it in a circular fashion starting at the outside and working towards the center. Once any meat toppings are applied I add vegetables the same way.
- If you will be using a pizza peel to place the pizza in the oven be sure to flour it or cornmeal it. I like cornmeal better as I get less “stiction” but I use flour about 50% of the time.
- If you will be cooking your pizza on a cookie sheet be sure and flour it.
- That’s it! Slide your pizza peel under your pie and put it in the oven!
Clearly, this is a tutorial for new pizza oven owners. I decided to post this when I was remembering my first experience making and cooking a pizza. I didn’t flour the table (I never worked with dough before). I didn’t let the dough sit. I pulled it right out of the fridge and began rolling it out.
Yes I should have taken the 1 minute togoogle “How to make a pizza”.