If you’re like many people, your kitchen is full of specialty items that serve one main purpose, and some of them sit collecting dust between their rare uses. That mandolin you never bother with comes to mind. And what about that juicer that was supposed to help you stay on track with your healthy eating plans? Or the avocado slicer, pineapple cutter and apple corer in the back of the junk drawer?
Save your pizza stone from the same fate. Can you use pizza stones for other recipes? Absolutely. Not only do they help your homemade pizzas come out crispy and perfect, but they also work for other recipes. Try these alternate uses for a pizza stone. You may be so impressed with the results you never make homemade pizza again.
What Makes a Pizza Stone So Great?
Let’s talk a little bit about the characteristics of a pizza stone and why those features might work well for other types of culinary creations. The ceramic or stone slab can handle the heat of the oven and the grill. Most stones are safe to use to your oven’s maximum temperature, but there may be lower temperature recommendations from the manufacturer, so always check first. That intense heat is part of what makes your homemade pizza crust get so crispy.
Pizza stones have other benefits, too. The porous material helps distribute the heat evenly to prevent hot spots, unlike metal pans, which can cause uneven browning. The result? A perfectly, evenly browned baked good every time. It also pulls moisture from whatever you’re baking. No one wants dry food, but, in this case, that moisture-wicking activity helps things cook quickly with a crisp texture. Too much moisture left in the food causes sogginess.
When deciding to use a pizza stone for other recipes, think about the desired results. Do you want the food crispy? Are you tired of unevenly browned baked items? A pizza stone may be a good alternative to your regular baking sheets for those. Keep reading for inspiration on things to make with your pizza stone.
Healthier Homemade Potato Chips on a Pizza Stone
Who doesn’t love the crispy, salty crunch of potato chips? There’s nothing wrong with the taste of deep-fried potatoes — but, oh, that fat content. Have your crispy chips and eat them, too, without hours of guilt-induced exercise afterward, when you make them at home on your pizza stone.
Start with your favorite type of potato. You can go with the standard russet, but you can also get creative with Yukon golds, red potatoes or even fancy purple heirloom potatoes. Even better, try veggies like sweet potatoes and other root vegetables. Slice them as thinly as possible. You can even dust off that aforementioned mandolin you never use to make them extra thin.
Toss the potato slices with just enough olive oil to lightly coat them. Spread them out in a single layer on your pizza stone. Top them with a little salt, or get creative with different seasonings to spice up your homemade chips. Pop them in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F. Bake them until they’re crispy and golden brown. They should be ready in about 20 to 30 minutes.
Pizza Stone Roasted Veggies
Eating your vegetables may not be your favorite thing in the world, but roasting them in the oven definitely makes them a little more appealing. There’s something about that caramelized yumminess that suddenly makes us okay with eating our veggies. Take your standard roasted veggies up a notch by cooking them on your stone.
Prep the veggies the same way you normally do. The standard option is to cut them into small pieces, add a bit of olive oil, and season them with salt, pepper and other favorite herbs and spices. Spread them in one layer on the stone, and roast them as you usually would. Flip the veggies at least once during roasting to get them evenly crispy on all sides. Keep an eye on them, so you know when they reach that perfectly roasted stage.
Evenly Browned Cookies on the Pizza Stone
Baking the perfect cookies at home is no easy culinary feat. Take them out too soon, and they’re a gooey mess. Wait even one minute too long, and they’re hard as rocks. And don’t even get us started on how uneven the browning is when you use a regular baking sheet.
If you like your cookies perfectly browned and a bit on the crisp side, try making them on your baking stone. The even heat distribution helps them cook to your preferred doneness, and the bottoms aren’t nearly as likely to burn as they are on a regular cookie sheet.
Plop your favorite cookie dough — homemade or store-bought — onto a preheated pizza stone, just like you would with a baking sheet. Bake the cookies per the instructions. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time. Watch the cookies closely, and pull them out when they reach your preferred level of doneness.
Want to make it a party? Spread your entire batch of cookie dough onto the pizza stone to make one giant cookie. Leave space around the edge of the cookie to give it room to expand as it bakes. Cut the browned cookie into slices for the perfect post-pizza dessert.
Rustic Crusty Bread on the Pizza Stone
Think of the best loaf of rustic, crusty bread you’ve ever tasted. If you’ve ever tried to replicate that at home, you know it can be challenging. Your pizza stone can help in that department.
The even heat from the stone helps you get that golden crust you love, much as it helps your pizza crust. Use your favorite bread dough recipe and prep it as normal. The only difference this time is how you bake it. Place it on the heated stone and bake it like usual. You can also bake things like homemade soft pretzels, pita bread and naan bread on the stone.
Pizza Stone Toasted Buns
One of the best parts about ordering a sandwich or burger at a restaurant is the perfectly toasted bun. It just adds that little extra touch that pushes your meal over the top. Place the cut sides of the buns on the hot pizza stone surface in a 350-degree F oven. They only need a few minutes in the oven to start toasting. Keep an eye on them closely, so they don’t burn. Top the toasted buns with your signature burgers or sandwich fillings to complete the meal.
Crispy Chicken on a Pizza Stone
You can’t fry chicken on a pizza stone, but you can use the tool to get a crispy coating on baked chicken. You can use the stone for chicken with just about any type of oven cooking if you’re looking for crunchy results.
Make homemade chicken strips as a healthier version of the deep-fried kind. You can make your batter out of different ingredients, like crushed crackers or crushed flake cereal. Dip the pieces of chicken into beaten eggs and then into the chosen crust material. Bake the homemade chicken strips in a 350-degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Cut open a piece to make sure the chicken is fully cooked.
You can also roast a whole chicken on a pizza stone. Season the chicken based on your taste preferences. Place it in the middle of the stone. Roast the whole chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 F, so you don’t make anyone sick. Instead of soggy chicken, you get a crispy outer skin all over.
Refrigerator Biscuits and Rolls on a Pizza Stone
You don’t need to make biscuits or rolls from scratch for a delicious flavor. Grab a can of your favorite refrigerator biscuits or rolls, and cook them on the pizza stone. This trick works for biscuits, rolls, cinnamon rolls and any other refrigerated dough products you can find in the supermarket. You don’t have to worry so much about burnt bottoms and undercooked tops, and the baked goods tend to have a more even brown to them when you use a stone instead of a baking sheet.
Quesadillas on the Pizza Stone
The secret to the perfect quesadilla is a crisp outer tortilla and gooey melted cheese inside. Your pizza stone helps you pull off the ideal balance of crispy and gooey. Layer your cheese and other fillings inside the tortillas. Put them on a hot pizza stone in the oven, and let it do the work.
You can carefully flip the quesadilla halfway through the cooking time to get an even brown on both sides. If you’re cooking for a crowd, keep a steady stream of quesadillas going in and out of the oven.
Pizza Stone Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Looking for a new way to make your grilled cheese even better? Get a little help from your pizza stone. Start by melting butter in a skillet. Brown one side of each piece of bread lightly in the butter. Assemble the sandwich with cheese between two slices of pre-toasted bread. This is where you can get creative. Try different types of cheese if you’re not a fan of the traditional American. You can also add other fillings with the cheese, like deli meat or veggies.
Pop the sandwiches in the oven on a heated pizza stone to let the cheese filling melt. The stone keeps the bread crisp without getting burned. Bake them at 400 degrees F for about five to seven minutes.
Reheat Leftovers on a Pizza Stone
Having trouble convincing your family — or yourself — to eat those leftovers? Make the food taste almost as good as it did the first time around by reheating them in the oven on your pizza stone.
The even heat distribution returns the food back to its original crispy state instead of a soggy, unappealing version of the original. Ideal candidates for reheating on a pizza stone include:
- Fried foods
- Roasted veggies
- Other foods you want to be crisp
In other words, anything you might cook on a pizza stone for the first time or foods best cooked in a deep-fat fryer get a boost from reheating on the stone.
Use the Pizza Stone for Crispy Convenience Foods From the Freezer
Some days call for quick, easy comfort foods. Frozen convenience foods satisfy those needs, but they don’t always turn out as great as they taste fresh at a restaurant. That’s where your pizza stone comes into play.
Heat it up, and toss your favorite frozen chicken strips, mozzarella sticks, potato skins and other convenience food staples on top. They cook quickly with a crispy edge similar to what you might get if you fried them yourself. The stone helps soak up all those ice crystals that form on frozen food, so they turn out crispier than they do with other cooking methods.
Employ the Pizza Stone As a Warm Serving Tray
A pizza stone isn’t just great for cooking. It’s also the perfect way to keep your food warm after you cook it. Exceptional heat retention means that stone is going to stay warm for a while, even when you take it out of the oven.
Preheat the stone to get it nice and toasty. If you want a prettier presentation, top the stone with a placemat or other decorative cover. Arrange your fresh rolls, cookies, muffins, pastries, appetizers or other food you want to keep warm on top of the stone. Your guests will be impressed with how well you’re able to keep your creations warm. We’ll let you decide if you tell them your secret.
Tips for Using a Pizza Stone
If it’s been a while since you’ve used your pizza stone, it may be time for a refresher course before you start testing out other uses for a pizza stone. Even though they’re tough and versatile, these items do need a little TLC to last as long as possible. Keep these pizza stone tips in mind:
- Always preheat: Putting a cold pizza stone into a preheated oven can cause cracking. The stone can’t handle the huge, sudden temperature difference. Instead, place the stone in a cold oven, and let it preheat slowly. A preheated stone helps you get the crispy finish you want on your food.
- Remove the stone from the oven after cooling: Another tip to avoid cracking is to wait until the stone is cool before removing it from the oven. If you take it directly out of the hot oven and put it on your counter, the temperature change may be too much. Instead, remove the food from the stone, and leave the stone in the oven to cool slowly.
- Read the instructions: Pizza stones are made with different materials and in different ways, so check out the instructions and warnings that come with yours. Some stones have a max temperature of 450 degrees F, for example. Heating the stone higher than that increases the chances of it cracking.
- Skip the soap: The normal routine for dinner cleanup is to pop things in the dishwasher or in a sink full of soapy water. Because a pizza stone is porous, it absorbs everything, including soap. Unless you like a hint of dish soap in your baked goods, it’s best to skip the soap. Use a brush to remove stuck-on food. You can rinse the stone, but it can take a while to dry. If you use the stone frequently, it may not have time to fully dry between uses if you soak it with water.
Get Creative With Your Pizza Stone
Test out other ways to use a pizza stone, or give it a rest completely. Giordano’s has you covered with fresh, hot pizza — no pizza stone required. Bake a perfectly browned giant cookie or crispy appetizers on your stone to go along with your Giordano’s pizza. And tomorrow, you can heat up your leftover Giordano’s pizza to enjoy it again. Order your Giordano’s online for delivery or carryout.