Author Topic: what wood to use for pizza peel  (Read 7811 times)

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Offline spbrez

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what wood to use for pizza peel
« on: December 06, 2010, 09:56:58 AM »
I was wondering if anyone had any insight on what is a good wood to use to make a pizza peel.  I am going to make my own and did not know if there is a preferred species of hard wood i should use or avoid.  any info would be great.


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2010, 10:08:22 AM »
How big of a peel? Mahogany, Maple, Cherry are all great woods for making a peel. Maple is the hardest smoothest wood but Mahogany has the deeper color which looks nice. Are you making one for a WFO?

Offline Crider

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2010, 04:17:04 PM »
I have a commercially-made pizza peel and it is made with alder. Alder is light and porous.

cornicione54

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2010, 05:18:26 PM »
I have a commercially-made pizza peel and it is made with alder. Alder is light and porous.
Is porous a good thing? Light I understand.

Offline spbrez

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 06:19:10 PM »
no wood fired oven...just my home baking on a baking stone.  this site seems to have some great knowledge and figured someone could point me in the right direction.  i will post some photos once i pick the wood and cut it.  thanks for the info.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010, 08:19:17 PM »
Honestly you'd be better off buying a peel from a restaurant supply store if you are using it in your home. It will be a lot cheaper.

Offline scott123

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 10:30:44 PM »
Honestly you'd be better off buying a peel from a restaurant supply store if you are using it in your home. It will be a lot cheaper.

I agree.

Spbrez, if your goal is beauty, there's really not much you can do with a peel.  You don't want to sand it too fine and you definitely don't want to put a finish on it, because the pizza won't slide off as well.

If, on the other hand, your goal is thrift, I haven't priced out wood lately, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that much cheaper than your standard $18ish 18" peel. You could look into formaldehyde free plywood, but, it's hard to track down and may warp.

The other thing that many people aren't aware of is that peels aren't flat.  It takes some serious equipment to get a gradual taper from end to end (40 or so inches, including the handle).

I'm a big believer in DIY, but when it comes to wood peels, I think it's a losing battle.  Metal peels for WFOs... now that's another story.

Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 04:18:53 AM »
mahogany will turn a very deep chocolate color if you leave it sit in an oven at 450 for half an hour.
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Offline spbrez

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 09:16:49 AM »
i hear you on the price, but I am a carpenter so any excuse to make something works for me.  guess i will be headed to the store to check out the tapered designs you are talking about to see if I can replicate it.  thanks for the info

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 11:43:03 AM »
I made my own peel, its not that big but its big enough for the home oven user. 

It took about an hour to make and taper with an electric sander, it's also a very even taper. you just need to stop and check how you're doing so you don't go too deep in places, but you will know this being a carpenter  :D


Offline barryvabeach

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2010, 08:36:38 PM »
I have used poplar several times, mainly because it is cheap.  One benefit of home made peels, is you can use contrasting wood inlays to match the size of your stone.  That way when you are stretching your pie, you can see when it is just the right size.    As you can see, the one on the left is for a rectangular stone, on the right is one for a smaller round stone. 

Offline smarttowers

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 10:36:23 PM »
I have used poplar several times, mainly because it is cheap.  One benefit of home made peels, is you can use contrasting wood inlays to match the size of your stone.  That way when you are stretching your pie, you can see when it is just the right size.    As you can see, the one on the left is for a rectangular stone, on the right is one for a smaller round stone. 

Wow your peels are amazing. You should consider selling them. I'll throw a question in here since the reason I stopped visiting was because of the peel i was using. I have a cheap peel and every time the pizza's were sticking to it when i tried to put it into the oven. Any suggestions how to make the pizzas not stick so much I tried corn meal still had problems. I was using a I natural starter dough that would sit in the fridge for 2 days. It was a great tasting dough but was a nightmare getting it onto the stone to cook. I got so frustrated I gave up and just stopped making pizza for awhile. I need to figure out what will make the peel release better.

Offline cranky

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2010, 10:14:21 AM »
  I have a cheap peel and every time the pizza's were sticking to it when i tried to put it into the oven. Any suggestions how to make the pizzas not stick so much I tried corn meal still had problems.    I need to figure out what will make the peel release better.

Norma had a good idea for you.  Use rice flour for your bench flour and flour your dough balls well before streching them.  Rice flour is slipprier than wheat or cornmeal.  Many pizza makers use a blend of rice flour and semolina.  Also make sure your peel is well floured.  Before you try to unload your pizza from the peel you can shake the loaded peel to make sure the pie is not sticking anywhere.  It should slide back and forth just a bit.  If it is sticking you can lift an edge off the peel just a bit with your fingers and blow under it.  The air pressure lifts the skin off the peel where it is stuck.  Then shake it again to see that it is not sticking.  If you are trying to land the pie on a stone that is too small, the same size as the pie, you have to hit the bullseye or you have a mess.  In an pizza oven there is more room for error.  So be sure your stone is big enough to give you some margin for error.  Also as the pizza starts moving forward you can lift the handle a bit as you start to pull the peel back.  That makes gravity help you.  The weight of the back of the pizza is higher than the front and pushes the front off.  Its kind of like a dump truck.  The higher end pushes off the lower.  When it seems like the pizza is starting to move off the peel give the handle a quick jerk backwards as you lift it a little.  You might also use a pizza screen.  You can prepare your pie on the screen and just pop it in the oven onto your stone. You can remove it fron the screen after it bakes a little, or move the entire screen from one rack to another, higher to lower or vice versa, to get the crust and top evenly baked.  Or you can leave it on the screen for the entire bake.

Offline spbrez

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 04:39:53 PM »
Barry those are some nice peels!  i went with a 14" square peel.  has been working great so far.  i typically coat heavy on the edges with ground corn meal and don't have any sticking problems if i give a good whip.  next one i make a may try the poplar board.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: what wood to use for pizza peel
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 09:31:57 PM »
Thanks,  one slight problem with the peels that I made, is that if someone is straightening up, and your stone falls over and cracks,  the inlays don't work so well unless you buy the exact same sized stone.  Would be great to say I thought of that possibility a few weeks ago in theory, instead of figuring that out due to necessity .


 

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