Pizza is a dish that requires little work but delivers a lot of flavour. It shouldn’t be any different when it comes to preparation. It should be simple and stress-free to prepare. Pizza peels are handy equipment that makes putting pizzas in and taking them out of the oven a breeze.
What is a Pizza Peel?
A pizza peel, also known as a pizza paddle, is a tool used to transfer the pizza from the work area to the hot oven. It’s also used to turn the pizza for an even bake and remove the finished pizza from the oven.
A flat carrying surface and a handle are the two essential components of pizza peels.
The pizza peel`s carrying surface, also known as the blade, is where you place the pizza. As a result, this space must be large enough to accommodate the pizza you’re baking. Typically, the carrying surface is constructed of wood or metal. When we talk about a wooden or metal peel, we’re referring to the substance that makes up the carrying surface.
The handle has two purposes: to offer a secure hold and to increase the peel`s reach. A pizza peel is designed to be used in a hot oven, for this particular reason it must have a handle so that you can push the pizza inside without burning your hands.
Pizza paddles aren’t required in every home. They are, nevertheless, strongly recommended for anyone who hosts pizza nights on a regular basis or likes the skill of preparing exquisite pizzas quickly.
Pizza peels are useful for keeping your pizza from breaking when you take it out of the oven. It’s a breeze to move your pizza around with it. A pizza paddle will make the entire baking and cooking process exciting, whether you’re using a regular oven or an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven.
If you’re looking to find the best pizza peels then you can see some of the best-selling pizza paddles here.
What are Pizza Peels Made From?
Pizza peels come in three basic materials, Wood, Metal, and Composite.
Wooden Pizza Peels
Wooden pizza paddles have a lovely appearance, along with being an ideal material for preventing raw pizza dough from sticking to the pan, which is necessary for putting a raw pizza into the oven without upsetting the toppings. Without hurting your knife or pizza wheel, you may cut and serve your pizza right from the peel. However, there are some significant drawbacks. It’s a headache to keep up with maintenance. To avoid warping, the peel must be gently dried after washing. To keep it from absorbing odors or stains, massage it with mineral oil on a regular basis. Furthermore, hardwood peels are not fire-resistant. If used on a grill or in a wood-burning oven, even with extreme caution, it will develop burn marks. Last but not least, wooden peels are thick. There’s no avoiding it. Thick peels make slipping under a half-baked pie to rotate it, or even a completely cooked pie to retrieve it, extremely difficult. To slide it up onto the peel, you’ll have to go into the oven with a tiny spatula or tongs.
Metal Pizza Peels
The majority of metal pizza peels are made of stainless steel or aluminium. They’re more durable and easier to clean than hardwood peels, and they require less maintenance in general. Metal peels are also thinner than wooden peels, which makes them ideal for getting beneath the dough. As a result, metal peels work well for turning the pizza in the oven and pulling it out when it’s done. The biggest disadvantage of metal peels is that raw dough adheres to them more easily. You can obtain a perforated metal peel to overcome this flaw. Due to the numerous microscopic pores in the transporting surface, dough sticks to these peels significantly less. These perforations allow air to circulate beneath the dough. This avoids the creation of a vacuum between the dough and the peel, which is the primary cause of dough sticking to the metal.
Composite Pizza Peels
Composite pizza peels are easier to maintain and slightly thinner than wood peels, but they still have the same core flaw: they are overly thick. Pizza peels made of composite materials are produced from a combination of wood and polymers. Because the peels’ bodies are strengthened by the resins, they can be thinner than wooden peels, making them easier to slide under finished pizzas and bread. Composite pizza peels are usually dishwasher safe, making them considerably easier to maintain than wooden peels. Composite pizza peels can be hefty, and the handles on them aren’t as long as those on wooden or metal pizza paddles. In low-volume businesses, this may not be an issue, but in high-volume kitchens with deck ovens that hold numerous pizzas, a short handle can make moving and retrieving pizzas from the deck’s back end difficult.
What Size does your Pizza Peel Need to Be?
When it comes to pizzas, size is important! Consider how big your pizzas are when choosing the ideal pizza peel for your needs, do you just cook pizzas that are 12-15 inches? Do you prefer the 15-20 inches mouthfuls, which are bigger and better?
Most people tend to find that 12 inch pizza peels are more than adequate for their needs however if you want a really big one then take a look at the super peels. Although fine for commercial purposes super peels are huge pizza peels that don’t fit in standard-sized pizza ovens.
Consider the handle length after you’ve determined the ideal size peel for your purposes. This is important because you don’t want to reach too far into the oven to get a pizza.
You should be able to insert and remove the pizza with ease and without the risk of burning. Handle lengths typically range from 30 to 60 cm.
How to use a Pizza Peel?
A pizza peel is used to transfer the raw pizza from the workstation to the oven, as well as to recover it.
Roll out the dough to the appropriate size on the work surface. Lift the dough onto the peel after dusting it with flour and semolina. It will have shrunk slightly, so stretch it back out to its original size.
Toss in your sauce, cheese, and garnishes. Avoid getting sauce on the peel since the moisture will cause the dough to stick. Give it a small shake every now and then to make sure it hasn’t stuck.
Now comes the difficult part. Open the oven, remove the rack with the pizza stone, and drop the pizza on the stone with a quick back-and-forth wrist action. Consider it like to the tablecloth magic trick: pull back fast and confidently. If you tilt the peel too far down, the dough’s edge will get trapped on the hot stone, and the toppings will fall off.
Once on the stone, give it any little strains to return it to its circular shape, but be careful not to hurt your fingers. Don’t be concerned if it has flopped over the edge. Close the door and wait a few minutes for it to finish cooking. Then, using the peel, lift it up and set it in the center of the stone – don’t worry, the crust will blend in with the rest of the crust as it cooks.
Apart from dropping it on the floor, there isn’t much that could go wrong now that the pizza has cooked and firmed up. Slide the peel firmly under the pizza while keeping it flat. It’s now ready to be pulled out and placed on your pizza platter.
What to do if your Pizza gets Stuck on your Pizza Peel?
If your pizza gets stuck on the peel, use a rapid back-and-forth motion to remove the pizza from the peel. With a smooth action, thrust your peel in front of you, aiming for the middle-rear of your stone, then swiftly jerk it back. The motion of the pizza will propel it forward, allowing it to effortlessly slide off the peel and onto your stone or steel.
How to Stop Your Pizza from Getting Stuck on Your Pizza Peel
To stop your peel from sticking dust the peel with a 50/50 flour/semolina mixture. The semolina resembles little balls that aid in the pizza’s sliding.
Pizza dough sticks to metal considerably more, so if you’re worried about sticking consider buying a wooden peel.
Other tips on stopping your pizza sticking include:
- Stretch the dough on the counter before transferring it to the peel to be topped
- Don’t pile too many toppings on the pizza as this will make it heavier
- Move quickly on the peel, spending as little time as possible to prevent the flour from absorbing water from the dough
- To avoid condensation and moisture, make sure the dough is at room temperature
- If you’re using a cold metal peel, warm it under the hot tap for a few seconds to avoid condensation and moisture
So that`s a little run-through on pizza peels and how to use them successfully when trying to get pizzas in and out of the oven. This is easier to understand and perform. Just a little care can help you in avoiding any burns and injuries and also an effective transfer.
If you love this article then why not take a look at our articles on the 6 best pizza stones, best pizza oven tables and don’t forget that you’ll need to get your oven up to temperature with Best Pizza Oven Thermometers 2021.