The Ultimate Pizza Setup: Baking Stone Plus Baking Steel

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2017

We’re big fans of baking stones for cooking not just pizza and bread but also our Easier Roast Turkey and Gravy.

Baking steels didn’t rank as highly as baking stones in our testing only because they throw off more heat, so in general, you have to watch food more closely. That said, if you are a serious pizza maker, a baking steel is great to have. A steel will cook a pizza about 30 percent faster than a baking stone, and the faster a pizza cooks, the crispier its bottom will be. But we’ve learned that the best results don’t stop with a steel. For the ultimate setup, place your baking steel on top of a baking stone, and then preheat your oven (the temperature will depend on the recipe). The stone acts as a heat sink, keeping the steel hotter for longer, which allows you to bake multiple pizzas in a row without having to wait for the steel to heat back up. Just be sure to preheat the stone/steel combination for at least an hour to give it time to absorb enough heat.