Make your own Pizza Stone

September 4, 2010

As promised, a post about my homemade pizza stone. Here it is in action, baking yesterday’s lunch: roasted duck,  caramelized onion, sage and mozzarella pizza. (No, I did not roast a duck for this pizza. As I said in my pizza post, think leftovers and get creative with your toppings!)

Caramelized Onion, Duck & Sage Pizza

Where to start:

  • Measure the barbecue or oven you’ll be using the stone in, and find the the best-sized tray to fit your space and your needs, the heavier duty the better. I use an undersized cookie sheet only because I have yet to locate a 16″ x 22″ industrial baking sheet.
  • Locate enough firebricks to fit your tray. The ones I found are 4 3/8″ x 9″ x 1 1/4.” If I remember correctly, they were only a few dollars each. Bought them at Willamette Greystone, a local vendor for concrete and rock products.Fire Brick

Now all you have to do is get the bricks to fit into the tray. Owning, begging or borrowing a wet saw makes this whole process easier, but it’s also relatively inexpensive to rent one. If you’re only clipping corners, a cheap masonry bit on a circular saw will do your trick. Even better: Find your fire bricks at a hardware store that offers a few free cuts with a purchase, and they’ll do the work for you. If none of the above is doable, find a tray that will fit full-sized bricks without making any cuts.

WELL-Seasoned Pizza Stone

Here’s another idea: Maybe the bricks could be placed directly on the grate. They’re weighty enough that they’re not likely to move around to much during the cooking process… Only time I see it as a hassle is when you’re baking bread just before barbecuing a main course, but a heavy-duty hot pad and sturdy metal spatula might make it simple enough to remove them one by one. No cuts. No tray. Hmmm…

As with just about everything, there’s room for improvement here.

My brother is currently experimenting with bricks cut down to half their thickness. If this doesn’t make them too fragile, may be the way to go as they’ll heat faster and therefore cut down on prep time for breads and pizzas. Also need to make sure they don’t heat too quickly in relation to the barbecue’s ambient heat, meaning the bottom of a pizza or loaf would overcook by the time the top is ready…

If only the process of removing one pizza and inserting another didn’t let most of the heat out of my barbecue… but until the time comes to build one of these, my homemade pizza stone will do just fine.

Forno Bravo Pizza Oven

Forno Bravo Pizza Oven


P.S.  Coming soon: Pesto! Pesto! Pesto!