How to make a pizza stone from clay?

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Are you in a mood for pizza but don’t have a pizza stone to bake it extra crispy? Well, you can make one at home from clay. Pizza stones are basically cooking surfaces that are portable in nature and used for baking purposes. It is made of stone, ceramic, or even salt. You place your pizza on the stone and pop it inside the oven. In some cases, depending on the recipe, it is preheated first. Pizza stones are similar to cookie sheets that absorb extra moisture to ensure that you get a crispy base.


Before you create your very own pizza stone from clay, you need to understand how pizza stones work for your cooking purpose.


How does a pizza stone function?

Given the pizza stone’s thermal mass, the material serves as a poor conductor of heat. This ensures that the food doesn’t burn as opposed to the burning issues seen with glass or metal bakeware. Pizza stones are a variation of the hot stone technique for cooking. This technique is among the oldest known in history.


Flour or cornmeal can also be sprinkled on the pizza stone to ensure that the crust doesn’t stick to the surface. Additionally, you can also use parchment paper to help with the same.


Properties of the pizza stone

Pizza stones can be glazed fired or unglazed, depending on how you plan on using them. To prevent any type of fracturing issues due to thermal shock, some potters would bake the stone within a cold home oven and then heat it for a minimum of 45 minutes. Next, it should be allowed to cool down inside the oven after the baking is completed to avoid temperature shock.


It can be cleaned with the help of a scouring pad or dry brush followed by some hot water. Given that pizza stone is porous, it might absorb some fluid, and this includes detergent used to clean the stone as well. Moreover, using detergents might also taint the sturdiness and properties of the stone. It might also make its way to the flavor of the food.


Porosity Porous; Tends to absorb liquid


Heat Treatment Required Yes; For 45 minutes


Prone to Cracking Yes


Heat Insulating Properties Yes; It Prevents the burning of the crust


Color Changes It turns dark after a few uses; Serves as a natural seasoning



Is clay the right material for pizza stone?

If you are wondering which material is best for making pizza stone is, no doubt it is clay. This is because clay absorbs a good amount of moisture. This results in you getting a crispy and crunchy crust. Another material which is the next best choice is cordierite. It resists heat & prevents cracking issues. Lastly, you can also use ceramic as another option for a pizza stone. However, ceramic might require some preheating to prevent cracking.


Steps to make a pizza stone from clay

Pizza stones should be able to handle as much thermal shock as possible to validate the proper baking experience. A regular clay slab won’t work as well in this case. If you create the pizza stone from any regular clay, it might crack due to thermal expansion. So, your best bet would most definitely be flameware clay.


If you do not wish to create one on your own, you can always get yourself a kiln shelf. The best recipe to create a pizza stone from clay is to use the following ingredients:


  • Talcum Powder: 20 percent
  • Mullite: 55 percent
  • Tennessee Ball Clay: 25 percent


All these ingredients mixed together and when fired at cone 10 will give you the desired result. In terms of glazing, you need to stick to an unglazed surface. You never know what ingredients are added to the glaze and whether they have any flaking or leeching potential. It could be a health hazard and should be avoided at all costs.


Start by molding smooth dough with the help of your hands. Do not mold the dough too much, or it might turn out to be too soft and prevent you from rolling it out properly. So, understanding consistency is very important.


Next, place two wood strips on two sides of the clay. This will help you achieve an even layer as you roll out the clay. Do not place them too far apart. Keep it at a distance that is as wide as your rolling pin’s length. Depending on how thick you want your pizza stone to be, you can place the wooden strips with a similar thickness. Ensure that both the wooden pieces have the exact thickness.


If you are looking for an ideal choice, the Fat Daddio Leveler Set would be a perfect choice. This set of 3 pair levelers is available in 3 different thicknesses. Although it is made of plastic, it is just as sturdy and seamless as wooden levelers.


Start rolling the clay and keep doing that until you achieve the desired size. Next, remove the sticks from the sides and take a plate or similar circular item to cut out the desired shape. Make sure the diameter is enough to help you bake the pizza of your desired size.


You can now fire this piece as it is or build the sides to create a structure that keeps the pizza in place as it is being baked.


If you are good at using the pottery wheel, you can throw a pizza stone using the same as well. However, throwing flat plates can be very tricky, and you need to be really good at it to achieve success. The easiest option is to craft the piece with your hands.


Make sure the thickness of the pizza stone is enough to act as a thermal insulator. It shouldn’t be too thick, or it might not cook the pizza properly.


Why should you make a pizza stone at home?

Pizza stones made of clay tend to be fragile, and you might accidentally drop them or see cracks developing due to thermal expansion. So, a store-bought piece might be just as fragile as the ones you make at home. Plus, the ones you make at home would be cheaper, and you can decide what goes into making the pizza stone.



A pizza stone is a traditional way to help you cook an authentic pizza that brings about the perfect Italian taste to your home. Moreover, creating one at home will save you some extra bucks. So, it definitely is a win-win situation for you.

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