There are several types of pizza peels, but for a classic and traditional feel, the wooden pizza peel is your best bet. Typically, this version is easily identified with a shovel-like shape and a thick wood slab.
With many types of peel out there, the wooden version brings unbeatable non-stick performance, thanks to its uneven and rough surface. Also, they are more readily available and at a lower price compared to their competitors.
Sadly, it requires constant maintenance, which includes an arduous cleaning process to improve the wooden peel’s efficiency and increase its lifespan.
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How to Use a Wooden Pizza Peel
Basically, a pizza peel is a baking tool designed for transferring your baked goods from your workspace onto the oven and back to the table once it’s done. While this might sound like an easy thing to do, some factors and steps creep into trouble.
So, without further ado, here are helpful tricks and tips on how to use a wooden pizza peel:
Size of the peel matters. Most people prefer to cut their pizza into eight equal parts immediately after the delectable food is out of the oven. This technique offers a more efficient way of slicing your pizza. This technique works best when the pizza peel has the right size to hold the pizza – you don’t want your food falling off from the tool.
Limit the amount of topping used. Sure, we all love to fit as much topping as we can lay our hands on. However, this comes with a downside. The more topping you add, the more the dough gets pressed to the peel causing it to stick and thus ruining the shape and quality of your pizza.
When using a wooden peel, it is best to steer clear of any form of moisture like sauce or ketchup, which increases the chances of the dough sticking to the peel.
Instead of using any sort of moisture or oil, you should sprinkle some flour or cornmeal for a better food release performance.
Here’s the tricky part: putting the pizza into your oven requires a technique, moving the wrist back and forth swiftly to place the pizza perfectly on the stone. While performing this swift action, you want to avoid the edge of the dough landing on the blazing hot pizza stone first – why? The pizza is likely to trip over, and your toppings are scattered all over the oven, creating a mess and a ruined product.
You expect a learning curve with this technique. So, it’s best if you practice the wrist action with your wooden pizza peel for a couple of minutes to ensure you have mastered the technique and build your confidence for proper execution.
Also, you can place a folded tablecloth instead of the dough while practicing the flicking action with your wrist to hasten the learning process.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to use a wooden pizza peel:
- Add cornmeal or flour to the peel’s surface
- Place the pizza dough on the wooden peel
- Shake the peel slowly to allow the dough to slide around on the tool without sliding off
- Add toppings and sauce
- Shake the peel again repeatedly until you place the dough on the preheated pizza stone
- Bake to taste in your oven
- To retrieve your pizza, slide the peel while lifting quickly to prevent ruining your food.
How to Properly Clean a Wooden Pizza Peel
Here are several reasons why you should keep your wooden pizza peel clean and hygienic. To start with, a clean pizza peel offers you a low probability of dealing with your dough sticking to the baking tool.
Also, baked-on particles won’t get burnt and alter your pizza taste and flavor. Dirty peels may predispose your next pizza to a bitter and unpleasant flavor.
So, using a wooden peel to make your favorite homemade pizza demands sanitization. However, this does not translate to the traditional ways of cleaning your bakeware. This peel is made of wood; soaking them in water or a soap solution only predisposes your tool to warp and shortens its lifespan.
Instead, clean the peel with a sanitizing wipe and add some mineral oil to help seal the wood peel’s pores. This way, you can protect your dough or grain from creeping moisture.
So, dip your wooden pizza peel into the water, then scrub off the debris gently. Next, rinse it with water, then clean it with a sanitizing wipe before drying the peel with a clean towel.
Now, you should apply a small amount of mineral oil to help seal the pores of the towel-dried pizza peel. Each time you use the wooden peel to make your favorite pizza, this cleaning process should be done.
Is a Wood or Metal Pizza Peel Better?
When choosing a pizza peel, people are usually left with wood or metal options. The formal is a decent option for transferring pizza onto your oven with a fuss. This type of peel has a porous surface to absorb moisture from dough to ensure an easy food release experience.
However, the metal peels are best for retrieving your baked pizza since they slice under the pizza effortlessly – thanks to their thin design. Sadly, they are more likely to stick to your dough, making them a hassle to use.
Hence, we recommend you own both types of peel for a fuss-free experience. But if you are limited to a tight budget, stick with wooden models. Besides, they are a decent pick for beginners – easy to use and low maintenance.
One of the essential baking tools for making sumptuous homemade pizza is a peel. This tool lets you transport your baked goods safely from your workspace onto the oven and out once it’s done.
If you are a beginner or want a classic, traditional feel, you might be better off with the wooden model. Hence, it’s essential to properly use a wooden pizza peel to ensure you get the most out of this handy tool.