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Welcome to the TKJ Test Kitchens: where we put quality cookware to the test. Today we worked with the Emile Henry Pizza Stone
French cookware company Emile Henry has emerged as the maker of some of the finest ceramic ovenware on the market. This elegant pizza stone exemplifies many of the reasons Emile Henry ovenware has earned such prestige with professional chefs and home cooks.
We received our pizza stone as a wedding gift a year ago, but haven’t gotten to play with it much. Today we tested it as we baked a rich plum and goat cheese pizza with whole wheat crust–a tasty treat especially for morning snacking.
Emile Henry products, including the pizza stone, are made of Burgundy clay, which is harvested in French wine country. The company claims the clay is optimal for even heating and withstanding high heats.
Unlike other pizza stones, the Emile Henry is safe to use even on a gas grill or over scorching charcoal briquettes, which means you can achieve the taste of delicious barbequed pizzas at home.
Anyhow, we used the pizza stone both as a prep surface and to cook the pizza in our electric oven.
The first and perhaps most striking thing about the pizza stone is its aesthetic. The stone is available in four colors: black, red, olive, and figue. We have it in figue, which is a deep purple.
The glaze is rich and smooth, and added a real pop of color in the kitchen. For a product that costs under sixty dollars, it looks far more expensive.
While the cooking surface and handles are glazed, the clay is exposed on the underside of the pizza stone. You can feel the quality of Emile Henry’s signature material as the clay isn’t chalky or unpleasant to the touch.
This is a big difference between the Emile Henry stone and lower quality pizza stones available from big box stores that are made from cheap ceramics.
The understated but rounded handles are also a pleasantly surprising part of the design. They made the pizza stone easy to hold both with and without oven mitts.
It’s important to know that when cooking fresh pizza on any stone, the stone needs to be allowed to heat up with the oven before the pizza is put on.
When you turn the oven on to the proper temperature (around 350), put your stone in too. When the oven is up to temp, your crust is ready to go on the stone.
Once we had stretched our whole wheat pizza dough (a quick solution from Trader Joe’s ) out on our well floured counter, we got the hot stone out of the oven and put the crust on to partially bake it before adding our toppings.
The dough, which was room temperature and tossed out thin, didn’t stick to the stone at all.
We brushed it with a mixture of olive oil and honey for sweetness, then put it back in the oven.
After five minutes, we removed the stone and put it on pot holders to protect the counter. We added our toppings: sliced plums, crumbled goat cheese and a liberal drizzle of honey.
Handling the stone when transferring it to and from the oven was comfortable overall. At 14 ½ inches round, the stone is not intended for large pizzas. It fit in the oven and on the countertop easily.
Stonewear is dense, but the stone felt solid, not awkwardly heavy.
Of course, unlike an aluminum or steel pizza pan, pizza stones are breakable. The glazes used by Emile Henry create scratchproof, easy cleaning surfaces, but the stoneware itself is not immune to drops. This pizza stone won’t crack from high heat, but could from being dropped. We were definitely aware of this while cooking with and moving the stone around.
After a little over ten minutes in the oven at 350 with our chosen toppings, we decided to turn the broiler on to get our goat cheese crumbles golden. It was nice to know the pizza stone could withstand the broiler, and to see it working well. This means you can get really crispy pizza toppings and golden brown cheese without risking a cracked stone or warped pan.
Once the goat cheese was cooked to our liking and the kitchen filled with the sweet aroma of honey and baked plums, we removed the stone with the pizza on it from the oven. When we cut into it, we found the crust baked evenly from edge to center, just as we’d hoped. None of the crust was burnt or soggy. We dug in!
All in all, we loved our time in the TKJ Test Kitchen with the Emile Henry Stone. Now we’re looking forward to getting it out on the grill!
- An appealing looking piece of cookware
- Will fit in kitchens large and small
- Cooks evenly
- Handles well
- Can withstand high heats including the grill and broiler
- Reasonably priced, but not cheap
- Spots of the glaze may discolor with continued use
Pizza dough of your choice
4 to 6 Fresh Plums
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 tbsp Olive Oil
All purpose flour
Ground Clove (optional)
1 tbsp Brown Sugar (optional)
- Prepare pizza stone by setting oven to 350 and putting pizza stone in
- While the oven heats, slice fresh plums
- Flour your prep surface
- Toss pizza dough thin
- Mix 1 tbsp olive oil with honey to taste; heat in microwave or small sauce pan so honey can be whisked into oil; mix well
- Once the oven reaches temp, remove hot pizza stone
- Place pizza crust on the pizza stone
- Put back in the oven for five minutes to partially bake the crust
- After five minutes, remove pizza stone with crust from the oven
- Dress the pizza with sliced plums
- Sprinkle a dash of ground clove and/or brown sugar if desired
- Cover plums with goat cheese crumbles
- Drizzle with honey to taste
- Place back in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes based on desired crispness
- After 8 to 10 minutes, turn on your oven’s broiler to get goat cheese crumbles golden
- When goat cheese crumbles appear soft and golden, remove stone and pizza from the oven
- If pizza was baked on the Emile Henry pizza stone, use it as a serving surface; no need to worry about scratching with a knife or pizza cutter
About the author
Understanding the science behind cooking helps me to figure out which tools are best suited for a particular job.
I like to help people better understand exactly what it is that they need when it comes to buying for the kitchen.
Making the right choice is easier when you know what it is you need to get.