Is a pizza stone substitute a much better solution than simply going for a pizza stone?
That’s the important question that we will answer in this post. The simplest way to do that is to review the best pizza stone substitutes and see how they compare in terms of performance, price, and versatility.
What Is a Pizza Stone?
Before going for that, let’s define what exactly constitutes a pizza stone. We have to understand exactly what product we’re searching alternatives for.
The traditional pizza stone is one pretty much all of us know about: it’s made of ceramic and it’s usually round although rectangular shapes are just as popular.
To better understand what I’m talking about and how much money you are expected to pay for one, check out the Honey-Can-Do Oven Round Pizza Stone, which is one of the best.
You can also check out my article on the best pizza stones.
You are expected to spend $30-$40 on a 14-inch or 16-inch pizza stone made of cordierite.
Choose one made of cordierite
Cordierite is the preferred material because it’s a type of ceramic that’s more resistant. It can handle extreme temperatures without cracking, which is essential when it comes to making pizza.
But it can still crack easily so, you need to be careful with how you handle it. That’s one con against traditional ceramic/cordierite pizza stones.
Plus, some people complain about the smell that some of these stones can emit.
Those are the cons that might make you wonder if you would be better off searching for a pizza stone alternative.
And there are some really interesting ones that you can buy. Or you can use something that you probably already have in the kitchen.
Best Pizza Stone Substitutes
Among pizza stone substitutes you’re going to discover quite the mix of alternatives.
The options include cookware and bakeware that you might already have in the kitchen or in the house.
But, in my opinion, the best pizza stone substitutes represent a few buying options that might be more expensive than the traditional stone but also more long-lasting, very durable, and very versatile in some cases.
1. A Versatile Cast Iron Baking Pan – Lodge P14P3 Cast Iron Baking Pan
This pizza stone alternative in the shape of a cast iron baking pan with handles has a lot going on for it. It’s one of my favorites and I decided to make it my first recommendation.
The price can be a bit high but if you manage to get it on sale, it’s quite excellent.
Why do I like it so much?
There are quite a few reasons:
- durable since it’s made of cast iron
- very easy to handle since it has two handles
- only weighs 9.5 pounds so anyone can cook and bake with it without any worries, it can work even for people who don’t have strong wrists
- has a 14 inch diameter – it might be a bit smaller but that also means that it fits smaller ovens perfectly
- can be easily used in an oven or on the grill or on the stovetop, it’s quite versatile and I love that
- there’s no need to preheat it for 30-40 minutes – you can preheat it for about 10-15 minutes and you’re ready to make the most awesome pizza
- handles temperatures well over 700 degrees Fahrenheit and it reaches 400 degrees in 4 minutes
- good for back-to-back pizzas
- once you’re done, just turn off the oven and let this pizza stone alternative cool off inside
- the cleaning is easy too, wash it by hand and dry it completely with a towel and then rub it with vegetable oil
- it comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil
2. Choose a Baking Steel – NerdChef Steel Stone
If you want a pizza stone substitute that follows the exact principles but that’s also going to last a lifetime and beyond then you should check out the wonderful world of baking steels.
Baking steels can be rectangular or round and they all have one thing in common: they’re made of steel, hence the name.
They’re pretty much fantastic and all the other superlatives. But the price is pretty high. And they’re all pretty heavy since they’re made of steel.
For example, one of the best of them, the NerdChef Steel Stone weighs 32 pounds.
I couldn’t handle it, I’m not even 4 times heavier than it so, it’s definitely too much for me. Now you see why cast iron baking pans like the above one are my favorite.
You can definitely find lighter ones, like the Artisan Pizza Steel, which only weighs 16 pounds and it’s also more affordable.
The NerdChef Steel Stone is pretty much a beast and very popular. Just remember that you need to preheat if for at least an hour, this is a large very thick peace of metal.
It has an incredible thickness of 1/2 inches and it’s a 14.25 by 16 inches rectangle. If you want the best and you can carry it and can afford it, go for it.
If not, check out the Artisan Pizza Steel or the Conductive Cooking Round Pizza Steel.
Each of these 3 baking steels can be excellent gifts for bread bakers and pizza lovers.
3. Traditional Pizza Pan – Wilton Pizza Pan
Pizza stones and baking steels are definitely famous for being the best replacement for a wood-fired oven.
But if you’re not obsessed with creating the perfect pizza without a wood-fired oven, you can definitely go for the traditional pizza pan as the perfect pizza stone substitute.
Pizza pans can be found everywhere and there are a lot of models to choose from.
A pizza pan has a few characteristics that makes it great:
- very easy to use
- non-stick but you can use olive oil when you’re making fresh pizza or parchment paper if you want to avoid any cleaning
- you can load your dough with as many toppings as you’d like and you won’t make a mess in the oven since a pizza pan is not completely edgeless
- you can even cut the pizza inside them and most of them won’t be damaged
- cleaning is effortless but if you want to ensure that a pizza pan will last a very long time, it’s best to wash it by hand
- amazing for making pizza from scratch and for quickly baking a frozen pizza in a few minutes
The Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Pizza Pan encompasses all the characteristics that I’ve enumerated above.
It will fit in any oven because it has a 14-inch diameter.
What I really like is the fact that it’s made of steel and there’s no warping.
Aluminum pizza pans will also work perfectly and last a lifetime.
The price is pretty good although there definitely are cheaper pizza pans.
But if you’re into getting a really crispy bottom, try a pizza pan with perforated surface, like the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 14-Inch Pizza Pan.
4. Inverted Baking Sheet – Nordic Ware Baking Sheet
This is actually another cheap pizza stone substitutes and for many of you it won’t cost a think because you already own a baking sheet.
It’s also one of the most versatile and it’s definitely a top recommendation from me.
If you don’t own one and you want to check out how an inverted baking sheet would perform when it comes to making pizza then check out the Nordic Ware Baking Sheet.
Since we’re talking about making pizza on an inverted baking sheet there’s one thing to know for sure: you’re going to make rectangular pizzas. It will make pizza cutting a lot more easy and fun.
The Nordic Ware Baking Sheet has an awesome price, is unbelievably popular and pretty much awesome.
It’s quite large, it measures 21 x 15 inches on the exterior and it’s pretty light. If you want a smaller size, check out the USA Pan Half Sheet Pan.
It’s made of pure aluminum and they promise that it will never rust, which means that once you buy this baking sheet you won’t buy another one.
The advantage that this baking sheet brings to making pizza is the promise that foods bake and brown evenly because aluminum has superior heat conductivity.
There’s also no risk of warping thanks to the reinforced encapsulated steel rim. It’s also made in the USA.
Taking good care of it is easy: wash it by hand with warm soapy water. Just don’t use metal utensils so definitely don’t cut the pizza directly on the inverted baking sheet.
5. Cast Iron Skillet + Dutch Oven Combo – Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven 5 qt
The words Dutch oven might frighten you because they usually mean very expensive prices. But that’s not true at well when it comes to the Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven.
This set is not only really affordable but it most definitely has the highest versatility score.
You can basically make anything in a Dutch oven from the most delicious breads to stews, meats, soups. If you’re interested in discovering everything that you can cook in this pot with a lid, check out my post on Dutch oven cookbooks.
The Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven doesn’t have a simple lid that only has the purpose of sealing off the pot.
It actually has a lid that can be used as a cast iron skillet. You can definitely use the lid as a skillet and that’s pretty impressive.
The lid is a 10.25 inch skillet.
I would say that it would be easier to make the pizza in the cast iron skillet, which also has two loop handles. The size is pretty small but if you just occasionally bake pizza for a small family, it will work perfectly.
I think it’s a pretty good solution if you’re looking for a bakeware and a cookware in one at an affordable price.
You can also make pizza in a Dutch oven so, if you already own one, definitely give it a shot as a pizza stone substitute.
6. Cast Iron Skillet
You can use the cast iron skillet either in the oven or on the stovetop.
If you use it on a stovetop, put a lid on after 4-5 minutes to get the toppings cooked and the cheese completely melted.
Just remember to preheat it until it gets as hot as it can.
You can also place the cast iron skillet upside down, like you do with a baking sheet, and bake the pizza on the inverted skillet. It will rival a baking steel.
When you’re preheating anything always place them in a cold oven and let them gradually absorb heat as the oven gets hotter.
7. A Hot Grill
Those who love grilling, will absolutely have to try making pizza on a hot grill.
It works both on charcoal and gas.
You already know what kind of high temperatures a grill can reach and that’s exactly what pizza needs: very high temperatures that will bake it in minutes.
The flavor will be delicious, too and you can feed a whole crowd without problems.
Whatever pizza stone substitute you end up choosing there’s just one very important factor to consider: all must be preheated until everything is as hot as possible, making delicious pizza depends on very high heat, that’s what truly matters.