You are here: Home / tips / cooking tips / How to Use a Pizza Steel, a Pizza Peel and Parchment Paper to Make the Best Homemade Pizza Ever! I will say that from watching it in action: it seems like the shortness of the handle and the proximity of your hand to the stone when operating the conveyor belt would be a problem if you are using a really hot oven (550 degree +). It also seems like although you can transfer the pizza to the stone, you’d need a separate peel to rotate and remove the pie, as the super peel is pretty thick, and the cloth would not make it conducive to sliding under a cooked pizza.
Before I start talking about baking methods, keep in mind, I’m not going to discuss grilling pizza in this post but only because I have a tutorial about it already Grilled pizza is a great way to beat heating up your house for homemade pizza and we usually grill our pizza through the summer/warmer months (that’s only about 3 months were I live, seriously) and use the oven for the rest of the year (yep, basically winter for 9 months around here, or at least it feels that way!).
Yes, I’ve considered getting another pizza stone and sticking it in the bottom 2/3 of my oven (I have one of those standard oven/range combos where the oven is split into a small oven on top and a larger oven on the bottom) but haven’t justified it yet and honestly don’t really want two heavy pizza stones hanging around, so if I need more baking power, I’ll use the pizza stone in the top part of my oven and an overturned baking sheet (method described below) in the bottom oven.
Is a pizza stone worth it: yes and no. ‘Yes’ in that it will heat up to the oven temperature and ensure that you get a crisp base on your pizza; ‘No’ in that they crack and break so easily, I’ve broken about six (not all my own, very embarrassing) and you’re better going cheap with a thick unglazed terracotta floor tile no more than 2/3’s of the breadth of the oven.
Things like – playing with your naan or flat bread, pushing at your roast or lifting it up and transferring it out of the tray so you can make gravy, popping a little breakfast-y, pizza-y, muffin-y thing in the oven when you just want a quick snack, turning over a whole pile of roast potatoes or other vegetables, cutting into meat to see if it’s done, pulling sausages apart; the trowel’s small enough to just sit there quietly on the bench, nice and close and handy and just generally useful.
When you place the rolled out dough onto the peel, gently slide the peel back and forth to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. A neat trick I learned from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is to make your pizza on parchment paper. Saffitz says the point of making a pizza at home is that you have the opportunity to use quality ingredients. I do flour up the parchment paper, but not as much as I would flour up the pizza peel since there is less friction. You can grill food alongside the pizza stone as it pre-heats, but keep the hood closed as much as possible. We leave ours in the dish drainer overnight to make sure they’re completely dry.
Any grains that slide off the peel will need to be removed from your pizza stone later, as they will burn eventually. It sidesteps problems with dough sticking to the peel, and it makes a better pizza overall because the crust doesn’t get soggy from the ingredients piled on top of it. A baking tray doesn’t need as much time, but whichever one you choose to bake on, both Saffitz and Perry say fuggedaboutit when it comes to pizza peels for transferring the pizza from your cutting board to the oven.
To get the pizza to come off, make a short, sharp movement forward with the peel and then pull the peel back towards you quickly. Or make things even easier and make a raw sauce: The BA test kitchen likes puréeing tomatoes, garlic, basil, and anchovy in a blender before spreading on pizza. A drizzle of olive oil once the pizza comes out of the oven is a very good thing.
Close the grill lid and cook the pizza at 500°F for about ten to twelve minutes or until the crust is browned. Allow the oven to cool before removing the pizza stone and follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning it. This pizza peel is constructed of 1/2-inch rubber wood with a tapered design for ease of use. I have my peel nearby and sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal onto the peel, using a diner-style salt shaker. Bake it until it’s just firm enough to stand up to the extra weight, then make your pizza pretty.
As I have worked with my new peel, I have been so pleased to discover that it is remarkably easy to use: Start by generously flouring the peel—you don’t want gobs of flour, but you want the surface to be well-dusted (I actually rub the flour lightly into the peel). While the first pizza is in the oven, you can roll out and top your next pizza on the parchment paper.
I don’t know why the fact that my pizzas are now better should surprise me. Obviously the peel and stone are the implements of choice for serious pizza cooks everywhere for a reason. IN CONCLUSION: The more we know about your oven, the better we can make your tools, so please don’t hesitate to write or ring to discuss this subject – we want to get it right! Most of the commercial peels sold seem to be designed for pizza and are too wide and make it very difficult to place and manipulate several loaves on to the stones at one time. Marc, really enjoyed the return to a basic project video using minimalistic material (I love scrap projects) and tools.
It is true that the dough will stick to the wood more than to the metal – one tip is to get everything ready first – sauce and toppings, then stretch out the dough on the peel and put everything on it and get it right in the oven. It’s important that the crust cooks quickly and completely to avoid soggy, soft pizza crusts. Spbrez, if your goal is beauty, there’s really not much you can do with a peel.
The GI Metal Pizza Peels are made from stainless steel construction or with aluminated materials, for ease of use and will be long lasting. Also, I don’t have a pizza peel, so I use a large square piece of mdf board and it works great. In order to help the pizza slide off easily, you need to do a little preparation. Pizza sauce does not need to be cooked ahead of time, and is so simply prepared that there is no reason to use the store-bought variety.
Picture 4. Ready for business – Carbon burn-off full heat up. I started the fire at the front then moved it to the back and then across ready for pizza cooking. The peel is awesome and your method is a lot easier than some of the other methods I’ve seen. It’s shame that by now several generations have grown up thinking some pimple faced kids at pizza hut, pappa johns, little ceasars… makes pizza. The small, long handled peel is used to rotate the cooking pizza and to remove it when it is cooked. In one quick motion, move the peel forward just slightly and then jerk it back, laying the pizza onto the hot stone as you pull the peel out of the oven.
Some people find the metal peels easier to use when taking the pizza out of the oven, while the wooden ones work best when placing the pizza in the oven. Sprinkle the pizza peel with corn meal or flour so that the pizza will slide off easily when you move it to the grill. This peel is a quality product at a very reasonable price compared to other peels out there. You don’t need to add anything to the dough (which will make it taste gritty or add too much flour, making it dry), and it keeps your baking stone perfectly clean.
The only addendum I’d make to the grilling pizza tutorial is that instead of grilling right on the grates you can put your pizza stone, if you have one, onto the grill and it makes the process even easier! After final rollout of pizza dough, put it on a cold stone, put it in the oven for 5-7 minutes, then plop the crust onto the back of a cookie sheet and put the stone back in the oven. While the stone is heating, set out the cheese, pizza dough and any other ingredients to bring them to room temperature before assembling the pizza. While the pizza bakes, dress some greens with a nice olive oil and some lemon or vinegar and you are done.
Similarly, if you are getting a pizza shovel (whatever shape!) knowing the measurement across the narrowest part of your oven opening (be it the door space or the flue cavity), will help us ensure that your peel face is exactly the right width for you. Some are great and others are not so great and so we are here to help you make better choices when it comes to choosing what is best for you and your cooking style. All that’s left is to remove the cool pizza stone from the top of the pizza and close things back up.
If you copy it and then paste it onto your blog here on LJ’s, we’ll be able to see the video instead of having to follow the link (which some people dont like to do). A lot of your decision as to what to use will boil down to your store concept, and what you want to convey to your customers who might be watching you open your dough into pizza skins as they wait for their pizza to be made before them. Check the overall length of the peels you select to make sure you can freely use it to slide pizzas into your oven.
Then I can transfer the whole pizza with the parchment paper back to my counter or directly onto our kitchen table to cool & cut. After 5 minutes or so, you will be able to lift up hte parchment paper and slide it out and keep cooking the pizza directly on the stone – although I have to say it seems to cook just the same if you just leave it on the parchment paper until it’s done.
Find out which hardwoods to use (maple, walnut and cherry were used in project shown in the video), how to lay out the wood and the tools that make this project a snap. So take time to assemble all the ingredients you’ll need to make the pizzas beforehand. Another option is to freeze the dough using this incredibly easy freezer dough recipe Make it, put it in the freezer in a freezer-safe plastic bag, and then move it to the refrigerator on the morning of the evening you want to cook.