8 Ideas How to Use a Pizza Stone Without a Pizza Peel

If you are reading this article on how to use a pizza stone without a pizza peel, then you are a full action person. And we are sure that our review will help you achieve your aim.

In the days of old, a pizza peel was indispensable. How else would you put a pizza in a deep wood-burning oven? It was a must-have tool with a long handle, sometimes up to a meter.

If you are the lucky owner of such a brick oven, you still can’t do without the traditional pizza peel. But if you’re using a regular oven or pizza oven, there are several options for how to use a pizza stone without a pizza peel.

How to Use a Pizza Stone Without a Pizza Peel: 8 Tricky Ways

What Is a Pizza Peel

To move your pizza from the work surface to the pizza stone, you have to overcome two challenges. The first is sticking the dough to the surface and deforming the pizza. The second is not getting burned by the extremely hot pizza stone and the oven itself.

A pizza peel can handle both perfectly. You must have seen these more than once in pizza shops or restaurants.

A pizza peel is a shovel-like tool consisting of a wide part and a handle. The wide flat part holds pizzas up to 16 inches in diameter. The sturdy handle is up to a meter long. All together it somewhat resembles a paddle or a very big spatula.

By the way, 16 inches corresponds to an extra large pizza size. Although there are pizzas that are even larger. To learn more: Pizza Sizes Inches: 5 Reasons Why It Matters.

In the days when pizza stones were represented by whole stone ovens, pizza peels were the only way to put in and take out a pizza. These days, a long handle is no more required for a regular oven. But it is still necessary for the surface on which the pizza dough is carried to be smooth and slippery.

Next you will find some tips on how to avoid pizza dough sticking to the pizza peel. These hints can also be applied to other utensils that can substitute for a pizza peel.

pizza peel for wood fired pizza

Pizza Peel Alternatives

The pizza stone is the main accessory for the perfect pizza, and the pizza peel, or what is also called a bread peel, is only an auxiliary. There are sure to be a few simple things in your kitchen that will be a good pizza peel substitute.

The main thing is to make sure they fit your pizza diameter in inches. Try on in advance what dough diameter you will be rolling out and what size your kitchen utensils will be. It’s important that the dough doesn’t hang down, otherwise the toppings will fall off the pizza.

And let’s mention something that definitely can’t help the situation. A cold pizza stone is not an alternative to a pizza peel. The purpose of a pizza stone is to accumulate heat, so don’t take it out of the oven and don’t use it merely as a baking sheet. Only a preheated pizza stone will yield a pizza crust you can dream about.

Tips for Pizza Peel Counterparts

The substitute should be large enough to hold your pizza, and at the same time it should fit well inside your oven. Make toppings beforehand.

In terms of size, consider that there should be left room for your hands, you will have to hold the pizza peel substitute firmly. Perhaps your hands will also be protected by gloves so as not to get burned.

The surface of the substitute should be smooth and flat so that the pizza dough slides in as well as possible.

The substitute should be easy to wash and dry. You will have to wash the pizza peel counterpart before and after use. Raw pizza dough should be placed only onto dry and clean surfaces.

The substitute should hold its shape well and not sag under the weight of the pizza dough. Flexible plastic or silicone mats are likely to be unsuitable. Although if you take two or three layers of silicone cutting boards, maybe it will work. But to avoid an epic fail, check in advance.

It would be good if the substitute material was heat resistant. So that accidental contact with a hot pizza stone won’t melt down plastic or other similar material. That way you can use it not only to quickly load the pizza, but also to take it out.

Parchment as a Pizza Peel Alternatives

Rimless cookie sheet

If your kitchen appliance drawer has a sheet with no borders, this is the way to go.

A flat, smooth cookie sheet usually has only one side with a raised edge to hold it comfortably. Less common are baking sheets with three raised edges. But in any case, one side is designed to make cookies slide off the baking sheet with ease. The same is true for pizza.

Any kind of rimless cookie sheet will do: just steel, or non-stick surface, or enameled cover.

Rimmed baking sheet

A rimmed baking sheet can also be a good pizza peel substitute. When all four sides are up, take a closer look, one of them is probably curved less.

If the rims are too high, you can turn the baking sheet upside down and use its bottom. The main thing is that the surface on the back was not concave or scratched. This will make it difficult for the dough to slide.

Rimless cookie sheets are of course more convenient than the rest, but other flat surfaces will do as well. In fact, there’s nothing difficult about it, just transfer the pizza from the tabletop to the oven.

Rimmed baking sheet for pizza

Professional cutting board

The next handy pizza peel alternative is cutting board. This is a good choice if your cutting board is wide, wooden, and has a handle. That’s basically the description of a pizza peel, isn’t it?

Also, it’s great if you have a high density plastic cutting board. Made of polypropylene or polyethylene BPA-free, professional cutting boards can withstand temperatures up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (120 d C), they can be washed in the dishwasher and steamed.

Short-term contact with a hot stone should not damage your plastic board, although it is better to check with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Additionally, the material of the cutting board affects the sharpening of knives and pizza cutters: How To Sharpen A Pizza Cutter: Guide For All Cutter Types.

Silicone chopping board

What about flexible boards and silicone mats is an issue.

On the one hand, silicone is resistant to high temperatures, perhaps some of your baking molds are just made of silicone. Also, silicone is smooth and provides a good glide.

But on the other hand, this material is too thin and flexible. It can bend and ruin the pizza shape or even drop your pizza. If you do decide to use a silicone cutting board, put something under it to make it stiffer.

Metal or wooden tray

Have a serving tray? That’s good enough! Anything with a shallow shape and a low rim is fine. As a last resort, just flip your tray the other way around and use its bottom.

wooden tray

Serving platter

Continuing with our list and the next is serving platter. A ceramic or wooden serving platter won’t be harmed if it quickly performs the role of a pizza peel. And when the pizza is ready, the dish can be used for its intended purpose.

Stiff piece of cardboard

When super pizza crust is the goal, there can be no obstacles in the way. Just take a stiff piece of cardboard instead of a pizza peel. A pizza box cardboard will work great, it’ s just the right size.

I know a guy who used the bottom of an overturned kitchen drawer as a pizza shovel. There was really nothing to stop him.

Parchment paper

Parchment paper is also a worthy option instead of pizza peels. Parchment can be used alone or in conjunction with any of the above methods.

If you’re using only baking paper without hard support, you’ll have to get crafty and move the pizza as neatly as possible. Parchment paper doesn’t support the weight well and sags.

But at the same time, there is a bonus. You can put the pizza right with the parchment paper onto the pizza stone. Read on, and we’ll reveal the parchment paper method in full.

Pizza Peel Counterparts

Frying pan

Pan frying is what gives you the crust you want without any other gadgets. This method is good for fresh dough, for frozen pizza, and for store-bought dough but your toppings.

Take a steel skillet or a cast-iron pan. If you don’t have a nonstick coating, grease with a little oil. Place a small ball of dough on the heated pan and knead it with your fingers to form the base of the pizza.

Fry very slightly on each side and simply flip again to the bottom. Stove top frying will be very quick, so have the tomato sauce and toppings ready in advance. Grease the pizza dough with the pizza sauce, spread all the toppings, add the cheese last.

Frying pan pizza is good if you have to cook in an unequipped kitchen. For example, you’re moving and haven’t yet got a full-sized home oven, pizza stone and pizza peel.

How to Prevent Pizza from Sticking

We all need help with how to deal with sticky dough. Sometimes it seems like the dough tends to stick anywhere it can reach.

Let’s distinguish between sticking to the table and sticking to a pizza peel alternatives.

Sticking to the work surface

Before you take dough ball out of the bowl or package, dust the table surface with all-purpose flour. Knead and roll out the dough gradually adding flour as needed. All surfaces should be dry; water creates stickiness. As a last resort, you can grease your hands with olive oil.

When the pizza is already formed but stuck to the table, use a dough scraper, a long thin knife, or the thinnest sheet you have. Do not try to tear off the pizza, this may rip the dough, but cut the dough strands with the table.

Prepare a pizza peel or its counterpart in advance and lead it to the freed edge of the pizza.

Sticking to the peel

First of all, dust the surface you are using to transport the pizza with all-purpose flour or semolina flour. Semolina is preferable; coarse grains work better than powder. Don’t be afraid that semolina flour will somehow ruin the taste of the dough because it is also made from wheat, just like flour.

Some use cornmeal, but it gives off a foreign smell when baked. Semolina flour does not burn and does not give off odors.

The second important thing to avoid the pizza sticking to the peel or its counterpart, try to have the pizza spend as little time on the peel as possible. That way no stickiness has time to form.

There’s something useful about overcoming sticky dough in this article: Sticky Pizza Dough: 7 Reasons to Suspect.

Prepare all toppings and sauce in advance and spread everything out as quickly as possible. Oh yes, making pizza is a long wait for the dough at the beginning, but a super race at the end.

Don’t let the dough rest on the pizza peel or its substitute. Make small shaking motions back and forth. Transfer the dough to your pizza stone quickly to keep the heat inside the oven.

Parchment paper method

Parchment paper comes in handy not only for transporting the dough to the pizza stone, but also for dealing with stickiness. Whatever pizza peel substitute you find, place parchment paper under the dough. Simply drag the pizza onto the stone by pulling on the paper.

You can leave the parchment inside while the pizza is baking. But then the paper will become brittle and tear. Don’t rely on it when you take the finished pizza out. Use tongs or a spatula with a cutting board.

I personally prefer to pull the paper out when baking because the crust comes out better when in direct contact with the baking stone. I wait two to three minutes for the dough to evaporate some liquid, and then I easily remove the parchment from under the pizza with literally one swipe. The dough stops being sticky at all.

Important warning: do not confuse baking paper with wax paper!

Waxed paper is not designed for high temperatures at all. It’s good for wrapping sandwiches, for cold desserts, and for keeping the kitchen clean and tidy. At high temperatures, the wax on the pizza stone will spread, which can spoil the pizza.

Parchment paper rolling

Rolling out the dough

Homemade pizzas are even easier if you use parchment from rolling out the dough to baking. If you roll the dough right out onto the paper, you won’t have to dust the surface with semolina flour and struggle with stickiness. Try putting a sheet of parchment on top of the dough as well, then rolling it out will be even easier.

Fold the edges of the paper sheet under a cutting board to keep the parchment from sliding on the table and you’re good to go! On the same parchment-lined board, you can transfer the dough to a pizza stone, then remove the board, and leave the parchment inside the oven.

I think the combination of parchment and cutting board is the best way to use a pizza stone without a peel. However, instead of a chopping board, you could use a wooden serving board, a rimless cookie sheet, or a rimmed baking sheet, or anything flat and large enough.

A Couple of My Tricks

If a cut piece of parchment rolls up, then crumple it up with your hands into a lump and flatten it back out. It will stop fidgeting.

Every pizza recipe includes that you need to pre heat your oven, since the pizza stones heat up for about an hour. Since the oven heats up anyway, I set out to cook the second dish.

I cook the pizza on medium, so I put my pizza steel stone in there. On the lower level or almost on the oven floor, I bake vegetables. I take a mold with thick walls and bottom to prevent browning.

For the future, I planned to upgrade my oven and buy telescopic rails for the oven, something like these. By sliding them out, I can easily put in and take out trays, pans, and baking sheets.

8 Ideas How to Use a Pizza Stone Without a Pizza Peel

Frozen pizza is simply baking, and there are no problems carrying it onto the pizza stone. When I’m pressed for time, that’s what I do.

And lastly, I got the idea, why not making a pizza peel by myself? Let’s watch the instructional video together!

FAQ: How to Use a Pizza Stone Without a Pizza Peel

What can I use if I don’t have a pizza peel?

You can use any shallow flat object in your kitchen. Most cutting boards, a cookie sheet, a tray without raised edges, or something similar will work great. You can adapt parchment, as well, which will help prevent the pizza from sticking.

Do you put pizza dough directly on stone?

Whenever I can get my pizza dough to the pizza stone without adventuring, I place pizza directly onto the stone. If I don’t have a pizza peel, I put the pizza on the pizza stone over parchment or baking paper.

Can I make a pizza without a pizza peel?

Yes, of course you can bake pizza without it. You can replace the pizza peel with some handy kitchen items. We have 8 ideas on how to get pizza from the table to the pizza stone and a bonus trick on how to do without the oven at all.

How do you transfer pizza to a pizza stone?

If a pizza peel is not available, I use parchment from start to finish. I start by rolling out the dough on it and finish by carrying the pizza into the oven.

To Sum It All Up

The most important thing to cook pizza is your desire, everything else is substitutable. Making pizza is quite possible without pizza peels, without pizza stones, and even without an oven.

To make do without a pizza peel, use other handy kitchen items. The basic idea is that they should be flat and without high raised edges.

pizza in a deep wood-burning oven

If you have an oven, it probably comes with a grid and a large baking sheet. Use the grid to set the pizza stone and the baking sheet to transfer the pizza. If the high rims might get in the way, turn the sheet upside down.

Make a disposable non stick surface with semolina. In small shaking motions, let the pizza slide from the baking sheet onto the pizza stone. And voila, a little practice and you won’t want to buy a pizza peel at all.

Malena Miller

“If you love pizza as much as I do, then I think we can get along.”

I run this blog and I love making pizza. I have 150 pizza recipes. I want to share with you the secrets of cooking pizza

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