Pizza stones are brittle things and often crack for a variety of reasons. You’ve probably come to this article because yours has cracked and want to find out how to fix a broken pizza stone. Luckily I’ve done the time researching if its possible since my own stone broke, and can share it with you here.
So can my pizza stone be repaired? You need an adhesive to glue it back together, but this needs to be both heat resistant to oven temperatures, and also non-toxic or ‘food safe’ as its called in the industry. These properties don’t usually come together, so it isn’t easily possible to do safely. However, there are some alternative things you can do to get back cooking that I’ll show you.
Can You Find A Safe Adhesive?
In my search to find an adhesive, it quickly became clear that a glue that was labelled food safe did not readily come available as a heat resistant glue. This was my best find which is permitted under regulations of the Food and Drug Administration to allow incidental food contact. As for the heat it can withstand temperatures from -70F to +400F once it is cured. So its almost there, but a typical home oven would go to 500F (250C) when cooking pizza so its a bit out of range – and so I can’t recommend it.
I know of people who have used glues such as this on their bread/pizza stones and claim to have no bad affects. But for me, cooking directly on glue which isn’t designed to go to that high temperatures, didn’t sound too tasty – especially because pretty much the whole pizza would be touching it.
If you do need to fix your stone, then you might be able to find a glue which meets the criteria needed. But for the time and effort – I would check some of the options below. If you do decide to glue it, I would just get some advice and test it out thoroughly so you make sure its safe.
What Can I Do?
The pizza stone is essentially just a solid object that gets really hot to cook something on. You can just put it back together on one of the wire racks in the oven and heat it up and it will be fine. Just make sure that you push it together well before you heat it up, as you don’t want to be messing around with it when its red hot.
The downsides is that it isn’t flat any more so I’ve found your pizza peel hits the edges when you are transferring your pizza to the oven. I’ve ruined some pizza attempts by leaving my dough in a soggy ball in the middle more than once. Its then a pain to clean it as the toppings fall down all the cracks.
Another idea I read was to glue the stone (with hopefully some fairly heat resistant, food safe glue mentioned earlier) and then put foil over the stone. This would prevent your pizza from coming into direct contact with the glue. Its an option, but again might not be so safe. And because you are putting foil over the stone, you lose the effect the stone has in drawing moisture from the dough as it cooks. That is one of the main benefits of using a pizza stone to get the base nice and crispy.
A Replacement That Doesn’t Crack
If you’re looking for a replacement, then the first thing you are thinking is one that won’t break again. Traditional ceramic pizza stones are made from clay and fired in a kiln. You could get another one of these as they are cheap but risk breaking again, or you could go cheaper and pick up an unglazed ceramic tile from a builders shop which will be a fraction of the price.
The next step up is a cordierite pizza stone, which is made from the extremely heat resistant mineral cordierite. These are sold slightly more expensive, usually a bit thicker, and generally are build to last longer than a normal ceramic stone. Check this one out on Amazon – pizza stone made of cordierite.
A newcomer in fairly recent years is the pizza steel. This has been used by bread makers for longer, but has gained traction from companies targeting them for pizza makers. I have this pizza steel and can fully recommend it (click to see on Amazon). For the context of this article, they are perfect as they are basically indestructible metal – no worrying about being brittle from heating up too quickly or shattering when dropped. They also have other benefits that they heat up quicker, are easier to clean, and reach higher temperatures so cook your pizza faster and mimic pizza oven results. They also have less downtime between cooking multiple pizzas as they are faster to heat up. They are slightly more expensive, but the prices are dropping.
Stop Pizza Stone Cracking
There is a whole load of reasons why your pizza stone cracked. The main reason is that ceramic is brittle to start with, and then becomes even more fragile when heating and cooling, especially if done quickly. Getting it wet can also cause problems as ceramic is porous and the water turns to steam and tries to evaporate when heated. Maybe your stone was just too thin and poor quality – a thicker one is probably better.
Some things to stop it cracking
- Don’t move it when its hot or cooling – leave it in the oven all the time
- Don’t put a cold stone in a hot oven – warm it up from the start
- Don’t get it wet – just scrape and wipe it to keep clean
- Don’t put cold dough on top – warm it to room temperature
- Don’t pre heat for too long, and turn off the oven when finished
As you can see, ironically pizza stones aren’t actually that good at getting hot. You might need to handle your stone with a bit more care, and make sure that you aren’t heating it up unnecessarily – maybe you are just getting it too hot for too long.
Pizza stones are great pieces of kit, but they really are fragile. You can just about get by with putting your stone back together, but it gets annoying that the peel or your pizza catches on the edges. It also gets dirty pretty quickly now that it has more exposed edges. I would recommend getting a pizza steel as they are pretty indestructible, and will probably save money in the long run from broken stones. Hopefully this has answered your question on whether a pizza stone can be repaired, and how to fix it.
Can pizza stone stay in the oven?
Yes it can. You are putting it under more stress by heating it up and cooling it more often, but you are handling it less which is the biggest risk to breaking it. Its convenient to keep it in the oven at all times rather than moving it. You do need to keep it clean to ensure it doesn’t fill your oven with smoke.
Can you still use a broken pizza stone?
Yes. Arrange the stone in its usual shape on a wire rack in your oven and try to minimise the gaps between the cracks. The stone will heat up as normal but you may have problems catching your dough or pizza peel on the cracks, and the cracks will collect dirt.
Can a pizza stone get wet?
Yes it can get wet but it isn’t advised. The ceramic material is porous meaning it will absorb water easily, take a long time to dry out and be hard to identify when it is fully dry. This excess water can cause damage to the stone when heated as it evaporates as steam. Try scraping debris with a knife, then use a damp baking soda mixture to scrub the surface clean.