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Attn: pizza makers - are pizza peels worth it? Which one?

kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,603Member Member Posts: 21,603Member Member
Because I don't have a pizza peel to transfer uncooked pizza, I haven't been preheating my cast iron pizza pan like several of my recipes say to do. I did preheat the pan when I made pita bread last weekend and really liked how the pitas came out. However, when I went to Amazon to buy a peel I was overwhelmed by all the choices, plus: wood or metal? Long handle or short?

I've also seen suggestions to use an upside-down baking sheet, and parchment paper, which I could try, but after going through the trouble of making pizza dough, I want to be confident in my method of getting the pizza into the pan.

Thoughts?

Replies

  • pinuplovepinuplove Posts: 12,908Member Member Posts: 12,908Member Member
    just_Tomek wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Because I don't have a pizza peel to transfer uncooked pizza, I haven't been preheating my cast iron pizza pan like several of my recipes say to do. I did preheat the pan when I made pita bread last weekend and really liked how the pitas came out. However, when I went to Amazon to buy a peel I was overwhelmed by all the choices, plus: wood or metal? Long handle or short?

    I've also seen suggestions to use an upside-down baking sheet, and parchment paper, which I could try, but after going through the trouble of making pizza dough, I want to be confident in my method of getting the pizza into the pan.

    Thoughts?

    I dont have one. I dont see a need to. I simply preheat the stone, and make my pizza on parchment paper. I lift the paper up and place the ready pizza on the stone.

    This method works just fine for me as well. I usually put it on the back of a half-sheet pan and slide it onto the stone (parchment and all) from there. Extraction can be a bit trickier, but same idea. Line sheet pan up with over rack, grab edge of parchment, and pull :smile:

    That said, pizza peels are nice, and I used to have one (it was wood and cracked - I opted not to replace it). Unless you have a full-blow pizza oven, short-handled is fine.
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,040Member Member Posts: 1,040Member Member
    This is similar to the one I have. The advantage for me is that in a domestic oven it’s harder to make perfect pizza because the oven won’t go high enough for the blistering heat of a traditional pizza oven. Anything that means I can get the pizza in there more quickly to keep the maximum heat in the oven when the door is opened is good. It’s also much quicker and easier to whip the pizzas out as they’re ready without cooling the oven for the next batch - no burned fingers/arms either!

    I went for the metal one with the collapsible handle for storage reasons.

    I love my pizza stone and use it for a lot more than just pizza but I also love having the peel! Not essential but definitely a pleasure to use.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chase-Carter-Non-Stick-Aluminium-Detachable/dp/B07GDPN2Q7/
    edited January 9
  • BarbaraHelen2013BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,040Member Member Posts: 1,040Member Member
    By the way, before I bought it some years ago, I used to use Tomek’s method but found if you make a very thin crust pizza, as I do, there’s a tendency for the dough to fold/roll towards the middle when I picked the paper up to put it in the oven! Frustrating!
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,603Member Member Posts: 21,603Member Member
    Thanks all! I will try the half-sheet pan / parchment method.
    By the way, before I bought it some years ago, I used to use Tomek’s method but found if you make a very thin crust pizza, as I do, there’s a tendency for the dough to fold/roll towards the middle when I picked the paper up to put it in the oven! Frustrating!

    Yes, that's the sort of thing I am afraid of. But I don't have the patience to roll very thin crusts, so that may not be an issue for me :)
  • mrschwartenmrschwarten Posts: 150Member Member Posts: 150Member Member
    I got one as a gift years ago (I don't remember the details though...white elephant, maybe?). It's wooden with a short handle. I absolutely love it! In addition to keeping my hands and arms safe from accidental burning, it's just fun! To me, it makes pizza night even more fun for the family. Transferring both the cooked and uncooked pizza is much easier than any other method I had used in the past.
  • puffbratpuffbrat Posts: 2,793Member Member Posts: 2,793Member Member
    I don't even have a pizza stone :'( For pizzas in the oven, we put cornmeal on a cookie sheet and the dough on top of that. I slides out really easily. For the grill, I pre-cook my crusts so I just gently toss the dough on the grill and use a large metal spatula and tongs to turn it over and remove it, and again to melt the cheese and warm the toppings.
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Posts: 7,907Member Member Posts: 7,907Member Member
    I have a wooden peel. I don't use it much for pizza but I use it a lot for bread. I frequently make coarse, rustic bread which is a much softer dough. It is easy to deflate it when transferring it to the preheated stone or cast iron dutch oven without a peel. I used to have an open sided cookie sheet that I used but it finally warped too much to use.
    edited January 9
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,603Member Member Posts: 21,603Member Member
    earlnabby wrote: »
    I have a wooden peel. I don't use it much for pizza but I use it a lot for bread. I frequently make coarse, rustic bread which is a much softer dough. It is easy to deflate it when transferring it to the preheated stone or cast iron dutch oven without a peel. I used to have an open sided cookie sheet that I used but it finally warped too much to use.

    For transferring bread to a hot Dutch oven I do use the parchment paper method but in my brain the shape of a loaf of bread seems to lend itself better for this than a pizza crust.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,732Member Member Posts: 7,732Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Thanks all! I will try the half-sheet pan / parchment method.
    By the way, before I bought it some years ago, I used to use Tomek’s method but found if you make a very thin crust pizza, as I do, there’s a tendency for the dough to fold/roll towards the middle when I picked the paper up to put it in the oven! Frustrating!

    Yes, that's the sort of thing I am afraid of. But I don't have the patience to roll very thin crusts, so that may not be an issue for me :)

    Just put the parchment paper on a cutting board before you make the pizza, then tug one edge to slide the parchment paper from cutting board to the stone or iron pan. Don't lift. Reverse when cooking is done (tug paper with pizza from stone/pan to cutting board).
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,603Member Member Posts: 21,603Member Member
    Well, after all this thinking about a pizza peel, when I got "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast" from the library I saw that his recipes for pizza in a cast iron pan use a cold pan so that is the method I used last time.

    I had used the ATK "Food Processor Perfection" pizza recipe, which calls for bread flour - the crust was pretty stiff, so next time I'm going to use the FWSY recipe, which calls for all purpose flour. My OH really liked it though.

    I really loved the pizza/foccacia sections of FWSY and am geeking out over the bread sections now.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,497Member Member Posts: 3,497Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Well, after all this thinking about a pizza peel, when I got "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast" from the library I saw that his recipes for pizza in a cast iron pan use a cold pan so that is the method I used last time.

    I had used the ATK "Food Processor Perfection" pizza recipe, which calls for bread flour - the crust was pretty stiff, so next time I'm going to use the FWSY recipe, which calls for all purpose flour. My OH really liked it though.

    I really loved the pizza/foccacia sections of FWSY and am geeking out over the bread sections now.

    Also for what it's worth, the author of Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast is a lovely person and his bakery and pizza places are awesome.
  • AlexandraFindsHerself1971AlexandraFindsHerself1971 Posts: 488Member Member Posts: 488Member Member
    When I made full size pizzas, I used a peel onto a hot stone in my oven. Nowadays I'm making much smaller pizzas and I make them on a foil covered baking sheet and just put that in the oven.

    Handle length has to do with your oven situation. I had a short handle and was fine with my household oven. I think if you've got a commercial oven or a woodfired oven in the back yard, then you want the long handled peel.
  • just_Tomekjust_Tomek Posts: 8,487Member Member Posts: 8,487Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Well, after all this thinking about a pizza peel, when I got "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast" from the library I saw that his recipes for pizza in a cast iron pan use a cold pan so that is the method I used last time.

    I had used the ATK "Food Processor Perfection" pizza recipe, which calls for bread flour - the crust was pretty stiff, so next time I'm going to use the FWSY recipe, which calls for all purpose flour. My OH really liked it though.

    I really loved the pizza/foccacia sections of FWSY and am geeking out over the bread sections now.

    Make sure you get Tipo 00 flour for your pizza. You will never make it any other way.
  • extra_mediumextra_medium Posts: 1,509Member Member Posts: 1,509Member Member
    It's not like they're a giant investment.. I got a good one from amazon for about $30, it definitely helps move the dough around on the stone as it's cooking.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,732Member Member Posts: 7,732Member Member
    just_Tomek wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Well, after all this thinking about a pizza peel, when I got "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast" from the library I saw that his recipes for pizza in a cast iron pan use a cold pan so that is the method I used last time.

    I had used the ATK "Food Processor Perfection" pizza recipe, which calls for bread flour - the crust was pretty stiff, so next time I'm going to use the FWSY recipe, which calls for all purpose flour. My OH really liked it though.

    I really loved the pizza/foccacia sections of FWSY and am geeking out over the bread sections now.

    Make sure you get Tipo 00 flour for your pizza. You will never make it any other way.

    Good advice, but also use a recipe calling for tipo 00 flour, because it has significantly less protein than AP flour.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 21,603Member Member Posts: 21,603Member Member
    It's not like they're a giant investment.. I got a good one from amazon for about $30, it definitely helps move the dough around on the stone as it's cooking.

    The problem was there were too many choices on Amazon ;)
    edited January 21
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