You want to enjoy a delicious and crispy pizza at home? Then you should definitely think about getting a pizza steel! A pizza steel (also known as baking steel) is an alternative to the pizza stone for baking excellent pizzas at home in the household oven! In this post, we will talk about what a pizza steel is, what you can do with it and touch on many other questions as well.
What is a pizza steel?
Similar to a pizza stone, a pizza steel’s has a high heat conductivity and heat storage capacity and therefore ensures that the pizza is baked faster and crispier in the household oven. Like the pizza stone, it is also placed directly on the baking rack of the oven. You can bake the pizza directly on the steel.
Why should I use a pizza steel?
Similar to a pizza stone, a pizza steel has a high heat conductivity and heat storage capacity and thus brings two advantages:
- The steel transfers the heat better and more evenly to the dough. This makes the bottom of the pizza crispier and the crumb rises higher.
- With the steel, the baking time of the pizza is shortened. In our experience, it only takes about 6 – 8 minutes until you can enjoy the pizza. This keeps the pizza topping juicier and more aromatic and the crumb stays soft inside. The shortened baking time also saves energy from the oven.
“So what’s the difference between this and a pizza stone?” you may be asking yourself. Unlike a pizza stone, a pizza steel can store four times more energy than a comparable pizza stone due to its thermal properties and conduct heat about 18 times better than a pizza stone. I.e. the two advantages mentioned above are even more pronounced with a pizza steel than with a pizza stone.
You want to learn more about pizza stones? Make sure to check out our article about pizza stones here.
Which pizza steel should I use?
Pizza steels, as the name suggests, are made of steel. Depending on the manufacturer, the exact composition of the steel varies, for example, they can be made of carbon steel or stainless steel. The common pizza steels are between 6 to 8mm thick. At the same time, do not underestimate the weight! Depending on the thickness of the steel, it can weigh between 5 – 8 kilos – so you should really be careful that it doesn’t fall on your feet!
Our recommendation: this pizza steel*
How do I use a pizza steel?
The common pizza steels that are available for purchase fit perfectly on the baking rack of a household oven in terms of size. The pizza steel is placed on the baking rack, so pushed into the oven on middle or top rail and preheated directly with. You can, but do not need to, use baking paper or the like, as the pizza can be baked directly on the steel.
How long do I preheat the pizza steel?
You should preheat the pizza steel for at least 20 – 30 minutes at maximum temperature with top and bottom heat. It is best to check the temperature of the steel with an infrared thermometer*. Before using it, the temperature should be at least 250 degrees.
How do I get the pizza on the pizza steel?
To get the pizza or dough on the pizza steel, a pizza peel is very helpful. We recommend wooden pizza peels, because the dough glides very well on them. You can top the pizza first and then pull it onto the pizza peel, or you can top the pizza directly on the peel. Either way, follow these steps to bake the pizza on the pizza steel:
- Flour the pizza peel first before you put the dough on the pizza peel so that the dough does not stick to the peel.
- Before you place the pizza on the pizza peel, a light shaking motion with the pizza peel in your hand to make sure that the dough slides well and no part of it sticks to the peel. If a spot does stick, add a little flour and make the shaking motion again. The dough should not stick to the peel at all.
- Now, with a loose and quick thrust, pour the dough onto the steel and bake.
How do I clean and maintain a pizza steel?
During baking, of course, some ingredients will land on the steel: be it dough, cheese, tomato sauce or any other ingredients. Unfortunately, this also leaves stains on the steel that you can’t remove easily. However, the stains have absolutely no effect on the quality of the pizza steel! If solid residues should remain on the steel, then proceed as follows when cleaning the pizza steel:
- Do not clean the steel during baking or while it is still hot. Always allow the pizza steel to cool completely first.
- After it has cooled, use a ceramic field scraper* to carefully remove the stuck-on residue from the stone.
- Use a dry kitchen towel to sweep loose residue from the steel.
After that, the steel can be used again or stowed away. If the pizza steel is very dirty or greasy, you can also rinse the cooled pizza steel under running hot water, even with a little detergent. Then immediately dry it well and it’s also advisable to rub the pizza steel with a thin layer of linseed oil or other vegetable oil. Because like any steel, pizza steel can rust, which must be avoided.
By the way, it is completely natural that the steel will change color over time. The longer it is used for baking, the darker it becomes.
What are the baking results?
Now that we’ve cleared up all the theoretical questions, you’re probably wondering what the baking results are when using a pizza steel. Here are the pictures of a Pizza Margherita (baked with this recipe), which we baked in the household oven for about 8 minutes. The result is definitely something to behold! You can see nicely how high the crumb has risen due to the good heat dissipation from the pizza steel.
You’d like to start making pizza right away, but you’re wondering where to start? We have summarized the most important information on the following page for you.
Thanks for reading! I hope this article about the pizza steel was valuable to you. If you have any unanswered questions, feel free to let me know in the comments. I’d appreciate it if you could share this content with your friends.