Why You Should Move Fast When Using A Metal Peel To Make Pizza

Pizza peels, also known as pizza paddles, are must-have tools for homemade pizza making. These paddles, often featuring long handles and wide surfaces, come in wood, metal, and plastic varieties. They are used by pizza makers to transfer their pies from their work surface to the oven and back after cooking (via Food & Wine). Using a peel encourages a seamless transfer and provides extra distance between the pizza maker and the very hot oven, helping to avoid burns. 

According to legendary Chicago pizza restaurant Giordanos, metal pizza peels are thin and easy to clean, but they can also be terribly sticky. Still, their site continues that peels made of metal are durable, easy to use, and don't require very much upkeep, making them a popular choice. Though pizza peels are helpful for your authentic homemade pizza cooking process, they can require a bit of speed in order to use them effectively. This is especially true if you choose to use the metal variety.

Avoid the stick, transfer quick

According to Giordanos, your unbaked pizza dough can quickly adhere to the surface of a metal peel, making the transfer into the oven especially difficult or even impossible if you don't move fast enough. The problem is, the longer the pizza dough stays on the peel, the more of a chance there is that the wet dough will stick. Additionally, metal peels get very hot very quickly, says Alive & Kickin' Pizza Crust. If you transfer your pizza off of the peel too slowly, you also run the risk of the crust starting to bake onto the peel, which could also cause it to stick.

Aside from working with speed, America's Test Kitchen recommends dusting your pizza peel with either cornmeal, breadcrumbs, or flour to discourage the dough from clinging to it. It's a delicate balance, though. America's Test Kitchen adds that too much flour can add an unpleasant flavor to your crust, and using cornmeal can add a grainy texture. To further reduce the risk of having your dough stick to the peel, Serious Eats suggests reserving a wooden peel for pizza preparation and a metal peel to remove your pizza from the oven. 

Regardless of which kind of peel you use and how you choose to dust it, we have plenty of homemade pizza tips for making the most delicious pies that will satisfy your palate.