Author Topic: Wooden Peel Care Recommendations  (Read 1208 times)

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Offline Biz Markie

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Wooden Peel Care Recommendations
« on: November 09, 2011, 06:06:44 PM »
I just bought a 20''x21'' wooden peel from WebRestaurantStore.  Apparently it's made of rubber wood (a.k.a. parawood) and made in China (ugg).

As my first "nice" peel, I am wondering:

1) can I clean it with something like vinegar, or even just a week dish detergent to remove any melamine or whatever other nasty china-ness might be on it?  It's also got a little bit of an off-odor

2) should I "season" it with some kind of cooking oil?  (I have grapeseed, hazelnut, olive, and soybean)

Any other tips?  Seems like it can't be too big of a deal - it's just a hunk of wood - but I want to be sure I take care of it and get the most out of it.

I noticed someone mentioned seasoning with walnut oil on another thread, which is what got me thinking.  All help appreciated!!!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 06:33:41 PM by Biz Markie »


Online barryvabeach

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Re: Wooden Peel Care Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 10:03:07 PM »
Can't help much with the cleaning, though you might try diluted Murphy's soap if you have it on hand. As for oil, the best is a little bit of mineral oil, it will never go rancid.  When you are ready to use it , sprinkle some cornmeal, rice flour, or seminola flour on it so the pie doesn't stick.

Offline scott123

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Re: Wooden Peel Care Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2011, 10:07:24 PM »
Absolutely no vinegar or dish detergent. It'll get into it and you'll never get the smell/taste out.

If you're going to season it, as Barry stated, go with mineral oil, as any other oil will go rancid on you. I wouldn't season it, though, as I find a dry peel to be the most slippery. As long as you only use the peel for launching (never retrieving or cutting a cooked pie), then you'll be able to wipe it with a dry cloth.  If I ever do get something on it, I'll clean it with a light sanding.  Even if I don't spill something, I'll give it a light sanding every handful of uses.

Offline Biz Markie

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Re: Wooden Peel Care Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2011, 08:43:34 AM »
Thanks guys.

Yeah, a quick Google search resulted in mineral oil being the choice if I were to season it.

I do plan to only use it for launching, so perhaps I may not even season it.

Online barryvabeach

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Re: Wooden Peel Care Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2011, 01:34:53 PM »
Scott,  I never cut a pie on a peel, but not sure I understand why you wouldn't retrieve a pie on the same peel you used to place it on the stone.  I have played a little with a pizza screen for getting the pie on a stone ( due to narrow space ) but decided I don't like the texture of the bottom, and so am going back to using just a peel to put the pie on the stone, and retrieve it. I lightly dust it with cornmeal or rice flour when loading it, but nothing on it when retrieving.  Is there something different you do to the retrieving peel?   BTW, having another peel is not a problem, I make them myself so the cost is minimal.

Offline scott123

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Re: Wooden Peel Care Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2011, 07:07:01 PM »
Barry, I recommend retrieving with a metal peel for two reasons:

1. I've given a lot of thought as to why wood peels are more effective at launching than metal ones and my prevailing theory is that the porosity of the wood allows it to grab lots of flour, which in turn, creates a bed of flour for the skin to slide on. This flour grabbing trait makes it ideal for launching, but, unless you wipe the peel vigorously, there's a good chance you might get some raw flour on the cooked pizza, which, imo, is to be avoided.

2. Although, over time, as you launch more and more pies, you'll eventually stop making errors/seeing calzones, cheese and sauce are going to occasionally get on the stone, either by boilovers, holes in the undercrust or an errant piece of cheese on the rim. Just as you don't want to use vegetable or nut oils to season a wood peel, you also don't want to get butterfat or pork fat on it, because that, too, will go rancid.

I guess, if you wipe the peel carefully, with a cloth, between launching and retrieving, go with a thickness factor that never produces a hole and position your sauce and toppings in such a way that you never have a boilover, then, using the same peel should be fine.  I guess, also, if you make your own peels, you can worry less about the boilovers and just replace them when they absorb too much fat.

At the end of the day, though, imo, one metal peel for retrieving and one wood peel for launching is the simplest and most hassle free approach.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 07:10:22 PM by scott123 »

Online barryvabeach

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Re: Wooden Peel Care Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 08:51:26 AM »
Scott, good point about raw flour,  that is a good enough reason to make another peel for retrieving.  As for blowouts,  I have been making pizza for a very long time, and had a pretty bad blowout last week, and an even bigger one the week before -  one of the dangers of going very thin on the screen for a minute and a half, then taking it off the screen and baking it on the stone - in the process of removal you can get tears that definitely leaves lots of sauce and cheese on the board. So I can't really plan on not having blowouts.