Pizza is a meal that is all about low effort and mega flavor. Preparation shouldn’t be any different. It should be easy to make with no additional stress. Pizza peels are nifty tools that make inserting and removing pizzas from the oven simpler.
They are shaped as flat paddles, making it perfect for building a pizza on top, ready to be transferred straight onto a hot pizza stone!
These handy gadgets are made from either metal or wood, depending on where you get them, or your specific needs. Some are more for aesthetic purposes than proper functionality.
Is a Pizza Peel Necessary?
No, pizza peels are not a necessity in all households. However, they are highly recommended for anyone who hosts pizza evenings regularly or for someone who enjoys the art of making beautiful pizzas with ease.
Pizza peels are great tools for preventing your pizza from breaking when removing it from the oven. It makes light work of maneuvering your pizza around. Whether you are using a conventional oven or an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven, pizza peels help make the entire creation and moving process fun instead of cumbersome!
Is a Wooden or Metal Pizza Peel Better?
There are pros and cons to all materials used when it comes to pizza peels. The most significant difference between a wooden pizza peel and a metal peel is the practicality.
- Wooden pizza peels are excellent for serving and presenting pizzas for Instagram perfect pictures. They are not fireproof and risk burning when used in a woodfire oven. Wooden peels are mostly used as a pizza board instead of practical peels.
- On the other hand, metal pizza peels are great for easily sliding under pizzas in the oven. They are long-lasting, easy to maintain, and clean. Of course, each material has its downside. For example, dough tends to stick to metal peels, and should be used with cornmeal or parchment paper to avoid sticking.
What Size Should Your Pizza Peel Be?
Size matters when it comes to pizzas. When you're picking out the best pizza peel for your needs, consider how big your pizzas are: do you only ever make portion size pizzas of between 33-36 cm? Or do you opt for the bigger, better 40-50 cm bad boys?
Most people don’t need the large peel known as a super peel, as these do not fit conventional ovens.
Once you have figured out the perfect size peel for your needs, consider the handle length as well. This is an essential factor, as you don’t want to reach deep into the oven to fetch a pizza.
You should be able to comfortably insert and remove the pizza without the risk of accidental burns. Typical handle lengths are between 30-60 cm.
Considerations When Using a Pizza Peel
Practice makes PERFECT pizzas every time!
Keep in mind, the first few times you use a pizza peel, you might feel strange – however, you’ll pick up the concept quickly.
And once you master the technique, you will be able to use it anytime you want to make a new pizza!
Here’s how it’s done:
- Stretch your dough out onto a floured worktop. Dust your peel with semolina or cornflour, lift your dough, and slide the peel underneath it.
- Stretch your dough again to ensure it is the correct size and reshape where necessary.
- Brush your sauce onto the dough and generously top with toppings and cheese. It is essential not to get any sauce on the peel, as this will make the dough stick. Just like you would shake a pancake in a pan to make sure it doesn’t stick, do the same with the pizza peel.
- Open the oven and pull your pizza stone out. With a swift back and forth motion, like scraping ice off a windshield, slide the pizza onto the stone.
- Reshape once the pizza is on the stone, and cook the pizza.
- Once your pizza is cooked, slide the peel underneath it and pull the pizza out slowly. Remember to keep the peel flat. Otherwise, you run the risk of dropping your pizza straight on the floor.
Practice really does make perfect. Try practicing by repeatedly sliding your dough onto the kitchen counter. This will give you extra time to learn proper technique and not risk flopping an entire pizza.
Perfect Pizza is Priceless
If you have ever been hungry and felt like the only thing that will satisfy you is a slice of pizza, then you will understand the art behind what seems like a simple meal.
Fortunately, you now know how to make a homemade pizza without the tricky effort of inserting the pizza and removing it! There’s no doubt that a pizza paddle should be on your wishlist.
These tools are not just for impressing guests – they also make the entire pizza-making experience faster, more efficient, and most importantly, more fun!
Just remember to flour your peel before using it and keep it dry at all times. If any pizza does get stuck to the peel, scrape it off.
Try using dough at room temperature, so it has less condensation and less chance of sticking.
Keep it Simple
The golden rule of pizza making is: keep it simple.
Try not to overthink using the peel. Pizza is supposed to be fun! Just keep your toppings minimal to prevent your dough from breaking and sticking.
Once you have perfected this process, your house is sure to become the local pizza hotspot for your circle of friends and family!