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    I Tried Making Pizza On A $40 Pizza Stone Versus In A Fancy Pizza Oven

    There may be no better value product for making pizza at home.

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    Making pizza from scratch is one of my absolute favorite home-cooked meals. Not only is homemade pizza words more delicious than the frozen stuff, but it's a fun activity for a family night or date night.


    There's a huge range of at-home pizza ovens on the market, but even the most affordable will set you back about $300. So when I stumbled upon this very highly rated Pizzacraft ThermaBond stone ($39.99), I was curious to try it out for myself.

    A homemade pizza on the Pizzacraft stone on an outdoor grill.

    The Pizzacraft stone comes in two shapes, a square and a circle. I opted to buy the square shape for no particular reason, but besides for the shape, the two pizza stones work identically.

    In order to see how this baby really works, I decided to test it against some serious competition. A few years ago, my father fulfilled a lifelong dream of his and bought himself a fancy pizza oven. It is his pride and joy, and we attended pizza school back home in NYC to learn how to make restaurant-quality pizza at home. You can read more about how to make pizza from scratch here.

    My father putting a pizza into his pizza oven.
    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    This gas-fired pizza oven has a top and bottom burner, reaches up to about 700 degrees Fahrenheit and cooks a charred, bubbly pizza in about three minutes. Could a mere pizza stone hold a candle?

    Anyway, I knew I could never afford (or fit) a sophisticated pizza oven like my dad's back in my New York apartment. But a $40 pizza stone — that I could definitely work with. So I ordered it on Amazon and gave it a try.

    My brand new pizza stone, preheating in the oven.
    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    I made a single batch of homemade pizza dough and divided it into two. That way, I could fairly judge the quality of the cooked pizza crust on the stone versus in the pizza oven. Then, we made two pizzas.

    My father expanding dough to make a pizza pie.
    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Then, we assembled the pizzas with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. The only difference between the two is that we put sausage on the pizza stone pizza because my family demanded it.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    We used a wooden pizza peel to place one uncooked pizza onto the pizza stone and the second pizza into the pizza oven.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Following the instructions on the pizza stone, I turned my oven up to 500°F. I let the pizza stone heat up in the hot oven for 30 minutes before adding the pizza to the stone.

    I cooked the pizza for about 12 minutes on the pizza stone until the crust was beginning to turn charred and the cheese was thoroughly melted and slightly brown. Then I topped it with some fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    Simultaneously, we cooked the second pizza in the pizza oven for about three minutes.

    A freshly cooked pizza, just out from the pizza oven with charred crust and golden brown cheese.
    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    So, how did the two pizzas may be wondering?


    The major difference was in the crust. While the pizza dough was identical, the pizza cooked in the oven had a chewier, more charred crust, similar to a Neapolitan pizza. The pizza cooked on the pizza stone was a bit crunchier with a bit less oomph to it.

    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    That being said, the pizza stone produced a very solid pizza: crispy crust with delicious golden brown cheese. It was much better pizza than any frozen pizza I've ever had, and for just $40, I don't think you could find a better value product for making homemade pizza.

    A pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausage, and basil just removed from the pizza stone.
    Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

    If you're not prepared to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a pizza oven, this pizza stone is the perfect addition to your kitchen. It works wonderfully and it's a huge step up from frozen pizza.


    If you don't want to take my word for it, the reviews speak for themselves. This pizza stone has 4.3 stars from over 1,200 different reviews.

    "This is a solid, heavyweight, large stone. It is big enough to make baguettes. It will only make one medium pizza at a time, though you could fit two small ones. The pizza comes out with the crust crispy on the bottom and just perfect overall! Takes about 8 minutes to fully cook a pizza with toppings. Yum!" —artcat

    "I've been using this stone for a couple of months now and I absolutely love it. I use it to make fresh pizza, and I get beautifully crispy crusts. I cook my pizza as high as my oven will go (at 550 degrees), long enough for the stone to get up to full temperature before sliding the pizza on. It has held up the leaks and spills just fine. There were no smells or fumes the first time I used it. It stays in my oven on the bottom rack when not in use." —Aaron B. Milligan

    "My wife and I love this product. Pizza night has now become a regular event at our place. The stone cooks pizza very well. We have not used it on our grill yet, so I can't vouch for that, but it works wonderful in the oven. I worked at a local pizza place for about seven years back in high school and college. This stone is the closest I've come to replicating that same pizza store quality at home." —Amazon Customer

    So far, I've only used the Pizzacraft stone to make pizzas, but I can't wait to bake on it as well. According to the reviews, you can cook anything from sourdough to baguettes.

    Two loaves of bread cooking on a pizza stone.
    Kevin via Amazon / Via

    Ready to make delicious pizza at home? Get the Pizzacraft ThermaBond stone from Amazon for $39.99.

    Two rectangular pizzas cooking on a pizza stone.
    Amazon / Via

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