The slower heat transference you get through an unglazed ceramic, clay, or tile baking stone makes it much easier to emulate flame-cooked pizza crusts in a conventional oven. The bead-blasted, sand smoothed NerdChef Steel Pizza Stone ($70) is designed to speed the process up while still providing a more even heat, by transferring heat energy through to the crust 20 times faster than traditional methods. Whether pre-heated or started cold, a pizza tossed on the NerdChef will result in a firm crust and chewy center.

There are three thicknesses to choose from. The .25″ stone weighs 16 lbs, the .375″ model weighs 23 lbs, and the thickest is a full half inch thick and is a hefty 32 pounds. They are initially seasoned with flaxseed oil and should only be cleaned with a brush and plain water. The NerdChef stone can also work in reverse; by putting it in the freezer it also serves as a chilled presentation tray.