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?
Related: Want Awesome Pizza? Turn Up the Oven
(Image: Sur la Table)