How to Season Your Pizza Stone… Or Should You?

Pizza stone on top rack of the oven

If you do a Google search for “season pizza stone”, you’ll find a long list of how to season a pizza stone guides, luckily you clicked on this article. Because adding oil to a pizza stone is not a good idea!

You should not season your pizza stone! The reason is that pizza stone manufacturers says their pizza stones doesn’t require any seasoning. Or even advice you to not add any oil to the stone, as this can ruin it. In addition to that, seasoning of a pizza stone doesn’t really have any benefits.

What Does Seasoning Mean?

Seasoning, in the context of cookware, is the process of adding oil and bake it into the cookware by applying heat. The goal of seasoning is to add a protective layer, that will both reduce sticking and protect cast iron from rusting.

An example of an item that you should season is a cast iron skillet. Cast Iron skillets are made from cast iron (obviously!), that may rust if not if it’s exposed to water. To season a cast iron skillet, you add a thin layer of oil, coating the whole pan, then bake it for 30 mintues to an hour in the oven. What’s happening when you apply heat, is polymerization and carbonization of the oil, that creates the protective layer on the pan.

Does a Pizza Stone Need to Be Seasoned?

I’ve been really curious about this. I’ve read so many places online that you need to season your pizza stone. A lot of forums, blog posts and articles. But after digging i a little deeper, I started see some pizza enthusiasts warning people from seasoning pizza stones with oil. I therefore decided to get to the bottom of this!

The short answer is no, pizza stones don’t need to be seasoned. Actually, I haven’t found any pizza stone manufacturers that recommend seasoning their their stones with oil. Several of them discourage you to do so, or even claim that application of oil can ruin the pizza stone.

What the Pizza Stone Manufacturers Says

I have looked through a long list of pizza stone manufacturers, and here are some examples of what they’re saying about seasoning their pizza stones:

The only manufacturer that that’s talking about seasoning of their ceramic pizza stones is Pampared Chef (their homepage: pamperedchef.com). On their website (here), they’re talking about how baking of high-fat food will naturally season their Pampared Chef Round Stone. So I reached out and asked Pampared Chef if they recommend to season their pizza stone with vegetable oil. And got the answer:

“For stones that are new, you can build up the seasoning:
1. Brush lightly with oil (Vegetable is fine) Or
2. Bake high-fat foods (e.g. refrigerated biscuits).
This will help season.”

But as you can see from their answer, they don’t actually recommend to do it, just mention it as an option.

In conclusion, most manufacturers don’t recommend to season their pizza stones. There are however some manufacturers that don’t explicitly advice you not to. Some stones can be seasoned with out being damaged, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it.

Why You Don’t Need to Season Your Pizza Stone

I have talked a lot about whether you can season a pizza stone, but the real question is perhaps do you need to? There are two main reason why you want to season cookware: to make it last longer and to make food stick less.

Seasoning Your Pizza Stone Doesn’t Make It Last Longer

I haven’t found any information that supports that seasoning of a pizza stone will make it last longer. Whenever seasoning is mentioned, it’s always about creating a non-stick surface on the stone.

Pizza Will Not Stick to the Pizza Stone

Actually, pizza will not stick if a pizza stone is used properly. The reason is that a pizza stone needs to be really hot to bake pizza on it, and at that temperature, the pizza will get crisp and not stick (I’m explaining this in detail in the article: How to Preheat Your Pizza Stone). Therefore, you don’t need to season your pizza stone to achieve a non-stick surface.

Natural Seasoning

The pizza stone may however be seasoned whether you want it or not. Natural seasoning can occur when you bake food that contains a lot of oil on your pizza stone. When this oil drips on the stone, it will be absorbed. This may cause odour and and flavors from those fats to contaminate other food that you’re baking on the stone. This is most common for pizza stones made from clay, because they absorb oil more than ceramic stones.

So, Should I Oil My Pizza Stone?

From what I’ve found most pizza stone manufacturers doesn’t recommend to apply oil to their pizza stones. Some even advice you to not do it, due to the fact that most pizza stones will retain oil, something that can result in smoke and bad odors.

In addition to that, I haven’t found any benefits of seasoning a pizza stone. Seasoning doesn’t appear to make the stone last longer, and creating a non-stick surface for pizza baking is not really necessary. I therefore personally don’t season any of my pizza stones.

You should however not be too scared of natural seasoning of your pizza stone. It will retain some oils, but I haven’t experienced any smoke or bad odors just from the few drops that has ended up on my pizza stones.