What is a Pizza Peel and How to Use it?

If you’re making pizza from home, you have a lot to worry about. The ingredients, the pizza stone, making sure the dough is “right.” Now you hear about a pizza peel? What is it? Essentially, a pizza peel is an XL spatula that will act as the vessel for moving your pizza.

Hey there, pizza lovers! My name is Michelle, and I have been baking pizzas for as long as I can remember. It can be a little tricky at first, especially using all of the new ingredients and tools, but I promise it gets easier. It gets a lot easier when you use a pizza peel.

A pizza peel is a pizza-making gamechanger, but it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t know what it is. That’s why I’ve decided to create this article to teach other pizza fanatics about what a pizza peel is and how to use it the right way.

Who’s ready to use their pizza peel?

What is a Pizza Peel?

Let’s start with the basics – what on earth is a pizza peel? Well, it’s nothing like your potato peeler. There is no “peeling” taking place with a pizza peel. Pizza peels look nothing like other peelers, either. They more closely resemble oversized spatulas in wood or metal.

A pizza peel will act as the vessel for your pizza to move from the counter to the oven or grill and back to the counter. It will also be used to turn the pizza regularly while it’s baking without the fear of burning your fingertips. 

Pizza peels typically come with short or long handles. Some find that the short handles are better initially as they won’t get in the way while you’re crafting your pizza on top. However, long handles are essential for placing your pizza in and out of the oven.

So which one is right for you? You can get both, but I would suggest opting for the longer handle. It will provide you with far more security when maneuvering your pizza around the kitchen. 

How to Use a Pizza Peel

Okay, so now you’re familiar with a pizza peel and which type I suggest you buy. That’s great and everything. But how do you use this thing? Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. Just follow these few easy steps, and you will be making pizza like a pro.

1. Flour the Pizza Peel

Remember – the goal of your pizza peel is to move the pizza from the countertop to the oven or grill. It does you absolutely no good if your pizza sticks to the peel. That said, it’s important to dust your pizza peel with a good amount of flour.

I also recommend adding semolina to the flour too. Semolina will help the pizza slide off of the pizza peel easier. 

Another tip for avoiding a sticky mess is to use wood pizza peels rather than metal. Metal is notorious for holding onto ingredients such as pizza dough. So, choose wood, and you won’t have to worry as much about your pizza clinging to the peel.

Metal pizza peels aren’t the enemy, though. They are quite lightweight and easy to clean, which is great for newbies. If you have a metal pizza peel, check out this great video on avoiding sticking.

2. Make Your Pizza

Now, you’re going to make your pizza – right on top of the pizza peel. Start by placing your dough on the peel and rolling it around in the flour and semolina mix. Stretch out the dough to your desired shape and size.

Next, add your toppings. Excessive amounts of toppings can cause the pizza to weigh down and get stuck on the peel, so try not to overdo it with the toppings. Be careful to avoid getting sauce on the peel, too, as this can also cause sticking.

While you are handcrafting your pizza, it is important to shake it around a pinch. Just give the pizza peel a quick little jolt but not so much so that the pizza goes sliding off the peel entirely. The goal is to reduce the chances of sticking by moving the dough around regularly.

3. Place Pizza in the Oven/Grill

Be careful during this step. Two things can potentially go wrong. One, you don’t use the pizza peel correctly and end up burning yourself anyways. Two, your pizza goes sliding off the pizza stone. Yikes!

When placing your pizza onto the preheated pizza stone, it’s important to move strategically. Your pizza should be shimmied, not slid, onto the pizza stone. When using a wood-fired grill, you can simply slide the pizza right onto the grill.

4. Turn the Pizza

While your pizza is baking, don’t forget to turn it every so often! Turning your pizza will allow for an even bake with no charred spots. Think of that delicious pizza you’d get from your favorite pizza parlor – they turn their pizza, and you should, too.

5. Remove and Enjoy

When your pizza is done baking, it’s time to remove it! Use your pizza peel to slip right underneath the pizza. Then, pull it out slowly and carefully. This step is pretty self-explanatory. The only way for things to go awry is if you drop the pizza. 

FAQs

As you can see, a pizza peel may be exactly what your home pizza-making experience needs. Below are a few more commonly asked questions about this fun topic.

What do you put on a pizza peel?

Basically, everything you need to make your pizza is going to be placed on the pizza peel. Start by dusting with a blend of flour and semolina to reduce the chance of stickiness. Then, add your dough and all your favorite toppings, and it’s ready to be slid into the oven or grill!

Do you build the pizza on the peel?

Yes, you build the pizza right on the peel. Think of a pizza peel as a workspace for handcrafting your tasty pizza. Just be careful not to overdo it with the toppings. Too much weight can lead to the pizza sticking to the pizza peel (thus rendering the peel useless!).

Is a pizza peel worth it?

Definitely! A pizza peel will make it so much easier to bake your pizza from start to finish. Without a pizza peel, you are more prone to burns and pizzas that have gone haywire. Plus, you can’t rotate a pizza without a pizza peel, so you may end up with charred spots.

Can you cut pizza on a pizza peel?

Yes! When your pizza is ready to be served, you can leave it right on the pizza peel and cut and serve. Just make sure you give it a good clean afterward.

Final Words

A pizza peel is a gateway to great pizza that’s exquisitely cooked, just like the professionals. Wood and metal are great options, but wood is less prone to sticking, and metal is more lightweight. Whichever option you choose, use the pizza peel to place, turn, and retrieve. 

Do you use pizza peels? What are your favorite pizza peels to use? Are you team wood or metal?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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