Looking for that crisped bottom crust with a light char that gives coal-oven fired pizza its great taste and crunch? Then a pizza stone is a must. Unfortunately, pizza stones from kitchen supply stores can cost $50 or more — an outrageous price tag when you consider that you can hack your own for no more than $5.
What makes a perfect pizza stone? You need an organic material that retains heat and wicks away moisture, which sends us to the hardware store. All you need for your pizza stone is the right piece of stone:
Unglazed quarry tiles are a must. The glaze used on tiles can contain lead, which is something that should be avoided when it comes to cooking surfaces. These tiles are incredibly cheap and look like red clay shingles.
They need to be thick, but not too thick. Choose tiles that are between a half-inch and one-inch thick. The tiles need to be strong enough to withstand a long pre-heat in a 500 degree F oven, but not so thick that they are unwieldy or take eons to warm up.
Wash and dry your tiles before using. Be sure to wash your stone with soap and water before using. These tiles are porous though, so rinse thoroughly to avoid soap-flavored pizza. Finally, be sure to dry your tiles completely before heating in the oven, or else they are likely to crack.