Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Care and maintenance of your Pizza stone and Heat Deflectors

Everyone that cooks on their Joe’s using pizza stones or heat deflector must of ounce experience or know someone that has experience the horror of having a stone crack while handling it or grilling with it. I decide to wright this nice little tutorial to prevent this from ever happening to you and on how to properly maintain them.

Here are the top reasons why your stones will break or crack on you:

1.            Thermal shock: This is the biggest mistake grillers usually do. It’s basically putting a cold stones straight into a hot grill. Lots of us store our stones outside then light the grill and wait till the temp reaches around 300 plus degrees then place the stone inside the hot grill. This practice is a big No-No! Pizza stones and heat deflector’s can’t handle large temperature changes if subject to these large temperature changes it will cause its ceramic to crack or break.

You should always warm up the stone with the grill and this will prevent the thermal shock from it.

Removing your hot stone from your Joe and placing it on a cooler spot can also cause the stone to break or crack. Also placing cold food such as frozen pizza dough on the stones can also cause them to fracture.

2.            Moisture: Never let moisture build up in your stones or never wash them in water. The moisture will cause thermal expansion inside the stones which can cause your stone to crack.

However if you ever get it wet place your stone in your Joe and bake at 200 degrees for a couple hours this will properly dry your stone. Also I strongly recommend storing stones inside your house instead of being exposed to the elements.

I have place wet stones from exposure to heavy rain before in my Joe but warm her up slowly and held it for a while at a low temp before bringing her up to desired temperature. It’s a little time consuming but it’s what you have to do to prevent her from fracturing and to properly dry the stone out.

Never use soaps on pizza stone for cleaning because your stone are porous and will absorb the soap in its pours and will leave a permanent soap taste to your stones.

Never use any cooking oil on your pizza stone or heat deflectors.

Here’s the proper way to clean your stones:

1.            Ounce your stone is completely cooled off carefully take it out of your Joe and place on a solid surface such as a counter top. Then use a wire brush or a stone brush to brush off any burnt on food.  You can also use a scraper tool or plastic spatula to do this but be very careful not to scratch your stones;

2.            If your stones gets too stained all you have to do is put the stained side facing the hot coals and slowly bring your Joe to 600 degrees and hold the temp there for approximately 1 hour and it will basically self-clean your stone;

As you can see the care and maintenance of your stones is pretty easy. If you plan in storing your stones outside ensure that you place them in a water tight storage container. However if it’s very cold bring them inside your house to warm up to room temperature. Then warm them up with your grill. It’s important to remember that your stones will always have a little bit of staining it’s what I call a good seasoned stone.

When using your stones or heat deflector for indirect cooking always cover them with heavy duty foil. This will prevent your stone from getting dirty and save you lots of work.

Happy Grilling.

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