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Why a Square Baking Stone Beats a Round One

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2016

While a round stone might seem practical since one of a baking stone’s most popular uses is baking pizzas, there are good reasons to opt for a rectangular model instead.

During our testing of baking stones, we eliminated circular models early on. While a round stone might seem practical since one of a baking stone’s most popular uses is baking pizzas, there are good reasons to opt for a rectangular model instead.

BIGGER TARGET: While round and rectangular stones usually have roughly the same depth, rectangular stones are wider, giving you more wiggle room for mistakes when loading a pizza into the oven.

GREATER VERSATILITY: We commonly use baking stones to lend intense, sustained heat to foods beyond pizza, many of which get baked in rectangular pans (such as our Easier Roast Turkey and Gravy (see related content) and baking-sheet pizzas) that would overhang a circular stone. Similarly, many breads (such as baguettes and long bâtardes) are not circular.

BETTER BROWNING: Since round stones offer less surface area than even similar-size rectangular stones and are thus lighter than rectangular ones, they are less able to retain heat (and release it to the food being baked on it), which translates to inferior browning and slower cooking.

LESS WIGGLE ROOM: Round stones are narrower than rectangular stones, so even though they’re the same shape as pizzas, they make it harder to hit the target.