Cornmeal On The Pizza Stone — Do You Really Need It?

When it comes to cooking pizza, it is important that the pizza does not stick to the surface it is being cooked on.

Whether this is an oven pan, the bottom of a pizza oven, or an oven stone, if the pizza sticks to it, you will end up with a big mess, rather than the pizza you intended.

This is why it is important to ensure you are taking steps to help prevent the pizza from sticking to the pizza stone.

If you are new to using pizza stones, then from basic research, you may have noticed that cornmeal is often used. 

However, do you really need it?

In this article, we will be exploring this idea in more detail to help you along.

We will be discussing the purpose of cornmeal, its importance, and what can potentially be used as an alternative if you do not have any in your pantry.

What Is Cornmeal?

To begin with, let’s take a closer look at what cornmeal is. As its name suggests, it is created using corn, and it is particularly popular here in the US.

It is created from dried corn into a meal ground and is commonly used in cooking. It has a slightly thicker consistency in comparison to wheat flour. 

What is great about cornmeal is that it can be used to make cornbread, and it adds sweetness to a bake.

In addition to this, it acts in a similar way to flour and can be sprinkled on dough and surfaces to help prevent the dough or ingredients from sticking. 

What Is A Pizza Stone, And How Is It Used?

What Is A Pizza Stone, And How Is It Used

A pizza stone is a type of stone that is used to cook pizzas on. It can often be called a booking stone, but there are specific pizza stones available too.

They help to improve the baking of the pizza and provide it with a more authentic bake and texture. 

The pizza stone heats up when placed in the oven, and it will then help the pizza to cook from the bottom to the top.

It is a slower process, but one that is far better than using a standard over. The bake will be more even, and it helps to prevent the pizza from cooking too quickly. 

Do You Really Need Cornmeal On A Pizza Stone? 

Cornmeal is commonly used in the United States when it comes to cooking pizza, especially if a pizza stone is used. When thinking about thin-based pizzas, this is completely understandable.

The dough can be quite sticky, and if the thin dough sticks to the bottom of the pizza stone, this can cause the pizza to tear or fold in on itself. 

By sprinkling a dusting of cornmeal on the dough and the pizza stone, you will help to prevent this from happening. As a result, many chefs recommend using it.

It is an inexpensive option, and it helps to prevent the pizza from becoming damaged. The protective layer that is created by the cornmeal is useful.

However, some people may not be as keen on the taste of cornmeal, or will not be able to eat it.

This leaves the question of whether or not you really need to use cornmeal on a pizza stone. In short, no, you don’t actually have to use cornmeal if you don’t want to.

While it is a foolproof way of stopping the pizza from sticking to the stone, it is not always necessary.

When a pizza stone has reached the correct temperature, this helps to prevent the pizza from sticking to the stone at all, which is useful.

As a result, cornmeal is not always used. Even so, there is no harm in it being used as a precautionary method, especially for those who are new to using a pizza stone. 

If you cannot use cornmeal due to allergies, you can use other methods, such as semolina, or fine polenta. These will work in the same way and help to prevent any sticking from occurring.

While they are not always needed, it is something we would recommend unless you are sure that your pizza stone is of a good quality and at the correct temperature.

The cornmeal helps to prevent the pizza from sticking to other surfaces.

This includes the preparation surfaces when you are adding the toppings, and also the pizza peel, which is used to place the pizza on the pizza stone and to remove it. Given this, it is always useful to use where possible.

Why Do They Put Cornmeal On Pizza Crust?

While cornmeal is a great option to use to prevent the pizza from sticking to the pizza stone and the pizza, you may have noticed that many restaurants choose to add it to the pizza crust too. There is a very valid reason for this. 

As we have already discussed, cornmeal is great at adding texture and flavor to a dough.

This is why it is often added to the pizza crust. It helps to improve the crunch of the crusts, which many people find enjoyable. 

While cornmeal doesn’t have an overly strong flavor, it does add some level of flavor to the pizza crust.

Often, pizza crusts can taste slightly bland, and the cornmeal improves this with the slight sweetness that it brings. 

Even so, it is not necessary to add cornmeal to the crust of the pizza if it is something you are not fond of. It doesn’t take away from the overall flavor of the pizza if you choose not to include it. 

Do I Need To Do Anything To A New Pizza Stone?

If you have recently purchased a pizza stone, it is only natural to wonder whether or not you need to do anything to the pizza stone before using it. 

While some people may state that you need to season the pizza stone before using it, this is not actually the case.

It is worth cleaning the pizza stone before and after each use, but nothing needs to be added to it. 

Summary

We hope you have found this article useful. As you can see, it is certainly useful to use cornmeal on your pizza stone and in your pizza dough. However, it is not completely necessary.

If you are not fond of the taste, or you have allergies, then you can skip using it.

It is worth using cornmeal or a suitable alternative if possible because it will help to prevent the pizza dough from sticking to any of the surfaces.