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Old 04-03-2014, 03:40 PM   #1
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Which Peel Is Most Appealing?

Pizza peels. They are made of wood. They are made of metal. They are cheap. They are expensive.

Reading the pros and cons online I find the wood peel is downgraded for being too thick thus making it difficult to turn a pizza in the oven. The metal ones are criticized because raw dough tends to stick a bit more than on a wood peel.

I have only ever used a $10 wood peel. I don't really have a major issue with it. I'm on my second one. I got curious about the metal ones as they look easier to use. I don't turn the pizza once it's in the oven. I am concerned about sticking so I use a ton of coarse corn meal on the peel.

I also have seen the super peel that uses baking cloth with a mechanism that allows you to easily slide the pizza onto the stone. Not interested.

What do DC's experienced pizza makers think? What do you use and why?
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #2
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wood works best.

wood usually does not work in the home kitchen because:
it is infrequently used.
it gets washed to death to ensure no one dies of the dreaded flour germ.

properly used wood peels build up a "flour patina" - check out your local pizzeria.

I use parchment paper - with an aluminum cookie sheet "peel" - at least 4-5 times a year......
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
wood works best.

wood usually does not work in the home kitchen because:
it is infrequently used.
it gets washed to death to ensure no one dies of the dreaded flour germ.

properly used wood peels build up a "flour patina" - check out your local pizzeria.

I use parchment paper - with an aluminum cookie sheet "peel" - at least 4-5 times a year......
Why??

Thanks for your response.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:25 AM   #4
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wyeknot what?

(missing the question here . . .)
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
wyeknot what?

(missing the question here . . .)
I think he's asking why you use parchment and a cookie sheet instead of a peel.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:32 AM   #6
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Andy, I use a peel that is neither wood nor metal. I am not sure what it is made of, but I got it at Bed Bath and Beyond. It is made of the same material that some of their cutting boards are made of. Some sort of composite I think. It is the best peel I have ever used. It is thin (not as thin as metal, but much thinner than wood. It is hard and pretty indestructible. It does not absorb water when washed. It is lightweight. it washed very easily when needed. And it was not expensive. I bought it years ago, but I would guess it was in the $20 range.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:41 AM   #7
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Andy, I just looked it up and the one I have is called 'Epicurian" and is a little more expensive than I remembered, around $35. I would absolutely recommend it.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Pizza peels. They are made of wood. They are made of metal. They are cheap. They are expensive.

Reading the pros and cons online I find the wood peel is downgraded for being too thick thus making it difficult to turn a pizza in the oven. The metal ones are criticized because raw dough tends to stick a bit more than on a wood peel.

I have only ever used a $10 wood peel. I don't really have a major issue with it. I'm on my second one. I got curious about the metal ones as they look easier to use. I don't turn the pizza once it's in the oven. I am concerned about sticking so I use a ton of coarse corn meal on the peel.

I also have seen the super peel that uses baking cloth with a mechanism that allows you to easily slide the pizza onto the stone. Not interested.

What do DC's experienced pizza makers think? What do you use and why?

I think you and me both use the same type of peel. I also have a 10 bucks peel, and I am also on my second one. I looked into metal ones, but some how I think wood ones are just fine.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
wyeknot what?

(missing the question here . . .)
Sorry.

You started your post recommending wood peels and telling us why. Then you said, "I use parchment paper - with an aluminum cookie sheet "peel" - at least 4-5 times a year......"

I wonder why you use a cookie sheet and parchment paper at least 4-5 times a year. Also, do you use a wood peel at all or is 4-5 times a year all you ever need a peel?
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:53 AM   #10
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>>don't need

bingo.
just don't do enough pizza making to justify keeping one around.

typically I do two pies, roughly 14" diameter
I make my own dough, and here's my experience:

when rolling out on a granite top, do not leave it 'sit' for any amount of time; it sticks

I can roll it out on a big wood cutting board - but I need that space after the first pie comes out of the oven, it cools on a rack so the crust goes not soggy, then it's cut on the board.

"prepping" the second pie directly on the alum sheet,,,, it sits and it sticks. cornmeal be danged.

my theory is the wood will 'wick away' any moisture from the (raw) dough keeping the 'interface layer' between the surface and the dough 'dry enough' to handle.

non-porous/non-wicking surfaces appear to 'condense' any moisture from the raw dough and in combo with flour/cornmeal/etc makes a paste that glues the dough to the prep surface.

so, after rolling out the raw crust goes onto parchment and gets 'finger adjusted' prior to putting on toppings/etc. also prevents 'stickies' should anything overflow...not that I've ever overstuffed a pizza....

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Old 04-04-2014, 11:54 AM   #11
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I use wood for assembling and putting pizza in the oven. And I use a small 8" diameter metal turning peel for turning and retrieval.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:57 AM   #12
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Thanks, dcSaute, got it.

I use a wood peel in and out. I hand stretch the dough for the crust so it never really has a chance to stick to the counter top. The evidence appears to support the wood peel as the preferred one.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:05 PM   #13
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I have 3, wood, metal. and lemon Peel, I like wood the best. But lemon tastes the best!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:40 AM   #14
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Wood peel - no recollection of the price. Corn meal acts like ball bearings to slide the raw pizza off and onto the stone. Once cooked, it's easy to remove the pie from the oven. I generally make smallish pies - No more than 8". I'd rather do several than wrestle one big one. That also makes it easier to customize for different tastes.

I learned to do it that way when visiting Italian friends in Varese, Italy (just north of Milano). They had the full setup, with an outdoor wood fired pizza oven that cooked at about 600 F - Alberto put the pie in for about 90 seconds, turned 180 for another 60-90 seconds and out. That was maybe the best pizza I ever ate. It didn't hurt that the ambiance was ideal, with a long table, a dozen Italian friends and acquaintances, plenty of wine and a mix of Italian (which neither my wife nor I speak) and English conversations. It's one of my fondest memories of our 3 weeks in northern Italy.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:14 PM   #15
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I use a wooden peel, but it really makes no difference since I make the pizza on parchment, making it easy to get it in the oven.

After about a minute I hold the pizza in place on the stone and remove the parchment (it slips right out) so that the dough is directly on the stone.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:39 AM   #16
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I use a wood peel and parchment together. Because--- I don't really want the corn meal under the dough and I can slide the parchment off the peel straight onto my baking stone, and easily slide the parchment back onto the peel when the pizza is ready.
Long story short, my oven is really hot, I don't want to move a hot baking stone, and getting the pizza out using the parchment and peel is the fastest way for me to get the oven closed again.
I am sure using corn meal instead of parchment is the choice of many. I just like dough without it.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I don't want to move a hot baking stone
Why move the stone. Put the stone in the oven and leave it there. Keeping the stone in the oven all the time makes your oven perform better by regulating the heat even when you are not using the stone directly by cooking on top of it.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:16 PM   #18
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I use a cheap wood peel and semolina to keep the crust from sticking. I think "cheap" is the keyword for me. I don't make enough pizza in the course of a year to require an expensive implement.
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