The Pizza Peel
Today I’m going to show you how to make a simple but elegant pizza peel and I’ll throw in a bonus tomato pie recipe! A pizza peel is a giant spatula intended to deliver a raw pizza to the oven as well as pull the cooked pizza out. Professional versions feature long handles that allow the cook to reach the very back of the oven. A version for the average home can be much more compact.
The pizza peel I designed can be made from any wood you like and certainly doesn’t need to be made from expensive woods like bubinga and figured maple. And before you give me crap about it, these were scraps from previous projects that would have sat in the lumber pile for years if I didn’t incorporate them into something useful.
Ever since I left New Jersey, I have been on a quest to find good pizza. In Trenton, we had numerous typical pizza parlors but there were also a bunch of places that specialized in what is known as tomato pie. While there are many variants in the Northeast, the key to a good tomato pie is the focus on the sauce, not the cheese. The Trenton version features an incredibly thin crust and the taste is very clean, not too oily, and absolutely NOTHING like the crap Pizza Hut passes off as “pizza.” Sorry Pizza Hut, your pizza-cake is gross.
All stock should be milled to 1/2″ thick.
Middle Piece: 2 1/2″ Wide x 26″ Long
Inner Pieces: 3 1/4″ wide x 17 1/2″ Long
Outer Pieces: 3 1/2″ Wide x 17 1/2″ Long
Handle Piece: 2 1/2″ Wide x 10″ Long
Keep in mind that the measurements above were primarily driven by the stock I had on hand and the dimensions of my pizza stone. If you are making your peel from one species of wood, you certainly don’t need to use as many pieces to create the primarily platform of the peel.
There are a lot of ways you can tackle a simple project like this. But when it comes to small kitchen items, it’s always best to prepare for making multiples. So instead of gluing the boards together and cutting them to shape directly, I recommend making a template. This way you can make multiples now or in the future. As long as you have a flush trim bit for your router, you’re good to go.
The Tomato Pie Recipe
Disclaimer: We are not professional chefs and I’m sure there are many ways to improve this recipe and our methods. The goal here was only to have some fun and show you how we make some delicious pizza in the Spagnuolo house.