You may have encountered a pizza peel filled with small holes and wondered what they are for. This is what’s called a perforated pizza peel. This type of peel has several advantages over a traditional, filled pizza peel, and this article will teach you everything you need to know. The advantages and disadvantages of perforated pizza peels, how to use them, and how to pick the best pizza peel for your needs.
What Is a Perforated Pizza Peel?
The word “perforated” means a surface covered with small holes. So a perforated pizza peel is a metal peel with a lot of small holes on the carrying surface. The purpose of the holes is to get rid of excess flour from the pizza dough to avoid that it burns in the oven. A perforated peel is also lighter and prevents the pizza from sticking to the peel.
Perforated vs Non-Perforated Pizza Peel
Traditionally, non-perforated, solid pizza peels made from wood were used to transfer pizza. Pizza dough sticks less to wooden pizza peels than peels made from metal because the slightly rougher surface allows air to pass under the dough. This also results in less condensation (more on condensation later) when you take the hot pizza out of the oven. But wooden pizza peels have one huge drawback: they can’t be very thin.
Ideally, you want the pizza peel to be as thin as possible, to make it easier to slide under the pizza. This can be a real challenge with a thick wooden peel. A metal peel is therefore a better choice when you want to turn the pizza and get it out of the oven.
So the question is, is it possible to get the best of both worlds? A pizza peel that is thin, and at the same time, sturdy, lets raw pizza dough slide off easily, and doesn’t have a problem with condensation. A perforated pizza peel is the answer!
So, Is a Perforated Pizza Peel Better?
A perforated peel is the best choice if you want one pizza peel. It combines the non-sticking from a wooden pizza peel and the thin carrying surface of a filled metal pizza peel.
Perforated pizza peels also have a few other benefits over both wooden and non-perforated metal peels.
Why Use a Perforated Pizza Peel – The Benefits
The main benefits of a perforated peel are that it gets rid of excess flour, lets the pizza slide off the peel easily, and is the lightest option. In addition to that, it also causes less condensation and sticking.
Gets Rid of Excess Flour
As mentioned above, the main purpose of a perforated pizza peel is to get rid of excess flour from the pizza base. But why do you want to get rid of the flour?
When you’re baking pizza on a hot pizza stone or steel, you don’t want flour on the baking surface because it burns. Fine wheat flour, like Tipo 00, which you most commonly used for baking pizza, burns at fairly low temperatures. It’s this flour that causes trouble. Dusting your pizza peel with semolina, which can handle higher heat better, is not a problem!
Burnt wheat flour will make the oven smoky. The first time I used my pizza steel, I failed to remove the flour from the dough. And the result was an oven completely filled with dark, gray smoke. The next thing that happened was that the smoke detector went off when I tried to open it to save my pizza. A pretty unpleasant experience! In addition to smoke, the burnt flour will also add bad flavors to the pizza.
Burnt flour will result in more cleaning work when you’re done baking. The burnt flour tends to stick and can be a real pain to get rid of. Especially on an unglazed pizza stone. And if you’re not able to clean the stone properly, the flour can keep smoking next time you use the stone.
Less Contact Surface – Less Sticking
A perforated peel has a smaller surface that is in contact with the pizza dough. This means pizza is less likely to stick to a perforated pizza peel. The reason is that the larger the contact surface is, the more friction there will be between the peel and the pizza. And more friction means it is more likely to stick.
A smaller contact surface also means that you’ll need less flour when you’re dusting the peel. Like I mentioned in the previous section, you want as little flour as possible in the hot oven. So in addition to removing more flour from the dough itself, the peel needs less flour due to the holes.
One thing to be aware of is the size of the holes. I’ve tried a cheap, no-name pizza peel that had way too large holes. What happened was that the dough sank into the holes, making all of them hold on to the dough. This made it impossible to slide off the pizza. Needless to say, that pizza night was a total failure… I, therefore, can’t stress the importance of investing in a proper pizza peel. And it’s important to keep an eye on the size of the holes. You don’t want the holes to be too large, as this will make the dough sink into the hole and get stuck. Big holes will therefore be counterproductive, and you would’ve been better off just using a solid peel.
Perforated pizza peels are also lighter than solid pizza peels, due to less metal on the carrying surface. This will make it easier to use the peel.
Less Condensation – Crispier Pizza Crust
When you take a hot pizza out of the oven, you may have noticed that water sometimes is formed under the pizza. This moisture makes the pizza less crispy, or even soggy. Using a solid pizza peel may create condensation when the hot pizza meets the cold (room temperature) surface. This is mostly a problem with metal peels since hot air is trapped between the pizza crust and the smooth carrying surface. Condensation happens when this hot air is cooled down to a certain point (its dew point), and water drops are created. When you’re using a perforated pizza, on the other hand, you will experience less condensation. The reason is that the holes let’ the hot air escape through the peel.
The Best Perforated Pizza Peel
The Perforated Pizza Peel for Home Use – Homevibes 12″ Perforated Pizza Peel
The best perforated pizza peel for home use is the Homevibes 12″ Perforated Pizza Peel. With this peel your pizza will not stick, it will taste better due to less burnt flour, and you’ll not need to mess around with multiple peels.
Home Homevibes Perforated Pizza Peel is also a lightweight aluminum peel, that makes moving pizza super easy.
The Homevibes pizza peel is a sturdy, well-made peel, with a nice smooth finish on the carrying surface. This combined with the holes makes it super easy to slide off pizza, and you don’t need to worry about sticking. And at only 1.7 lbs (770g), it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver.
The Homevibes 12″ Perforated Pizza Peel is super high-quality and easy to use. It’s therefore favorite perforated pizza peel for the home chef!
The Best Professional Perforated Pizza Peel
The best professional perforated pizza peel is the Gi.Metal Aluminum rectangular perforated pizza peel. This is an extremely solid pizza peel, with a sharp edge, making it super easy to slide under your pizza. It also comes in a variety of different sizes and with different handle lengths, to meet any needs.
Gi.Metal is an Italian pizza tool manufacturer that makes equipment for professional pizzerias. They are well known for their quality products, especially amongst pizzerias around the world. Their pizza peels were also used during the AVPN Olympic Games.
The pizza peel is unfortunately not available through Amazon anymore but can be ordered directly from Gi.Metal’s webshop.
Gi.Metal Aluminum rectangular perforated pizza peel, is however not the cheapest option out there, ranging from around 100 to 170 dollars. If you don’t work as a professional pizza baker, it might be a bit overkill, and I recommend checking out some cheaper options, that will work equally good for home use.
How to Use a Perforated Pizza Peel
Using a perforated peel is not different from using a solid peel. I recommend preparing your pizza on the counter. Before topping the pizza, try to remove as much flour as possible from the dough. Even though the peel will help you get rid of more excess flour, you want as little as possible.
When your pizza is ready, simply drag it over to the peel, and transfer it into the oven. I recommend avoiding leaving the dough on the peel for too long. If you do, it is more likely to sink into the holes if it’s left there.
When the pizza is done, simply slide the peel under the pizza, and lift it out to a serving plate or cutting board. I don’t recommend cutting the pizza on the pizza peel. This is both bad for your peel and pizza cutter.
If you want to about pizza peels and how to use them, have a look at the article: Pizza Peel: Everything You Need to Know.