What's Wrong With My Pizza Stone?

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Q: I got a pizza stone with the convection oven I bought at Kohl's and online instructions said to 'condition' the stone first. But as it was heating, the smell was awful. It got worse, and started stinging my throat and eyes. After I turned the oven off, it continued to smell bad. This morning, my eyes are still burning! What could cause this?

I conditioned the stone by coating it with vegetable oil (I used canola), and put it in a cold oven, turned the temp to 350°F, and once it reached that temp, left it heating for 20 min. Then I turned off the oven and let the stone cool overnight. Repeat the next day.

Sent by Judy

Editor: The smell could have been the oil burning, but that doesn't seem likely to have caused the kind of extensive stinging and bad odor you mention. I don't typically season my new pizza stones — just wash it, let it dry, and it's ready!

Had you used your oven before this point? New ovens often need to be heated a few times before actually using them to burn off whatever solvents, cleaners, and chemicals were used during assembly. You'll need to turn on your fan and open a window!

Readers, what other thoughts do you have?

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Related: Want Awesome Pizza? Turn Up the Oven

(Image: Sur la Table)

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