Introduction: Make a Perforated Pizza Peel for Improved Pizza Making

Picture of Make a Perforated Pizza Peel for Improved Pizza Making

This is originally from on my site, If you like DIY projects, follow me on twitter @msenese.

And if you like it, make sure to vote! This writeup is currently in the Instructables Pizza Competition.
The idea behind a perforated peel is that it reduces the amount of flour that gets underneath the dough when placing it in the oven (too much flour will brown up and taste bitter), and helps keep things from sticking by reducing the amount of friction underneath the dough. I discovered the magic of the perforated pizza peel after getting to make pizza with Pizzahacker for an evening, and decided to make a DIY version for myself. These are the steps I took to make it.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

-Aluminum pizza peel (I’m using a 12″x14″ peel that works well for my oven and pizza size)
-Drill press
-Small drill bit (about 1/16″)
-Slightly larger drill bit (~3/16″)
-Larger drill bit (3/8″ or 1/2″) or countersink drill bit
-Flat piece of cardboard (I used a cereal box)
-Two printed pages of the perforation template (PDF) (A grid I made that has the holes place every 1.5cm.)
-Flat piece of scrap wood to go underneath the peel when drilling
-Pencil, masking tape, ruler and scissors

Step 2: Step One: Prepare the Cardboard Guide

Picture of Step One: Prepare the Cardboard Guide

Trace the outline of your peel on the cardboard. Cut the coardboard to match the peel. Find the halfway point (left to right) on the cardboard and mark it with a line.

Step 3: Step Two: Align the Hole Guide Printout on Cardboard

Picture of Step Two: Align the Hole Guide Printout on Cardboard

Place the center dot of the template printout to match with the center line on the cardboard. The center dot is the seventh dot over. I decided to leave a small gap in the front of the peel, so my placement had the printout taped to the cardboard portrait orientation, with the larger margin on the top edge.

The paper won’t be wide enough for the cardboard, so cut a strip from the second printout for the left and right side, and line it up with the dots on the first piece. Tape in place, cut around the the cardboard and tape the whole thing to the peel.

Mark which holes you don’t want to drill – I crossed them out with a pencil to leave a margin on the top and sides.

Step 4: Step Three: Drill the Holes

Picture of Step Three: Drill the Holes

Put the small bit into the drill press (if you don’t have a drill press, a hand drill will suffice but will add some tedium to the project). Place the scrap piece of wood underneath the peel to help minimize distortion. Slowly drill through each dot on the template.

With the 10″ drill press I was using, there was one small section in the center that I was unable to reach. I decided to leave this as-is, instead of doing it by hand. I don’t think it will make a big difference. Also, I used a small bucket as a riser for the handle of the peel, but make sure the level is pretty close – you want the surface to be as flat as possible so you don’t end up bending the aluminum.

Step 5: Step Four: Enlarge the Holes, and Create a Pattern

Picture of Step Four: Enlarge the Holes, and Create a Pattern

Using the middle sized drill bit, carefully enlarge each hole.

At this point I started to wonder if I was going to compromise too much of the peel’s strength so I opted for an alternating pattern of small holes and larger holes, with the front edge and both sides larger holes.

Step 6: Step Five: Deburr and Bevel the Drilled Holes

Picture of Step Five: Deburr and Bevel the Drilled Holes

Remove the cardboard template. The top holes will look pretty good, but you’ll have a fair amount of flanging coming off the drilled holes. Using the largest of the three drill bits (make sure it has a very slightly tapered head), VERY slowly drill the excess off the peel. Bevel the edges by pressing just part way beyond the surface of the peel. Do this for all the holes, flip and repeat on the back side – this will give you a nice smooth surface.

One thing not to do: wire brush on a grinder or drill. This won’t take the flanging off the drilled holes, but will leave a roughed-up, pitted area.

That’s it! Perforated pizza peel ready for action.

To use it, add flour to the peel as normal, but give it a good shake to spread the flour and eliminate any extra. Slide pizza onto peel, place in oven and give a good jerk to remove the peel - you'll notice the uncooked dough will move smoother on this peel than a standard one. And the pies will have a lot less uncooked flour underneath, leaving a much improved flavor.

Remember if you like it, make sure to vote! This writeup is currently in the Instructables Pizza Competition.


mcousineau1 made it! (author)2017-07-01

thanks for Nice project each time I was trying to remove the pizza the pasta would stuck and the topping would fall and burn! even with flower underneath.. I used this dremel bit on each hole the cone did handrail cable fine job and just to be sure give it a buff with this grinder pad

PeterH21 (author)2015-06-03

Great idea! Could you elaborate on the last step, as how to bevel and get rid of the flanging? Are you drilling into the holes again with the large bit?

mikejs (author)PeterH212015-06-03

Thanks Peter. That's exactly right. You can use the tip of a larger bit, or a one of those stubby, triangular countersink bits to taper the edges. Just be careful to not push too hard and blow right through the peel.

PeterH21 (author)mikejs2015-06-03

Thanks Mike! Wish me luck!

PeterH21 (author)2015-06-03

Computothought (author)2015-05-13

That gave me an idea!!

markbob (author)2011-01-24

Nice work and for DIY folks, the instructions and other constructive comments are useful.

You can buy professional perforated peels at a reasonable price though if you're not inclined to drill hundreds of holes yourself. :-) see for some examples. The GI.Metal peels are made in Italy, are anodized aluminum, sturdy handles.

duguyisheng (author)markbob2013-11-06

How do you think this peel performed as compared to the commercial perforated one??

markbob (author)markbob2011-01-24

Here is a video of the GI.Metal peels being demonstrated at a show. Notice how a little flour on the peel, most of it falling through the holes... and the pizza slides on and off really nice.

ZackBlack (author)2010-08-21

Cornmeal is: 1) Yucky 2) Messy 3) Detracts from the flavor of the pizza and finally: 4) Cheating This peel is an awesome idea!

PS118 (author)2010-08-11

Whenever I try to drill thin metal I have major problems. Just as the bit is about to go through, it tends to yank the whole thing out of my hands, bend it up, and leave giant burrs. Any tips?

ReVoon (author)PS1182010-08-18

Best bet is to use something to secure the drill - a drill press, for example. Then, secure the thing you're drilling and you won't have that problem.

obrie021 (author)PS1182010-08-18

2 things to check for. #1 Ease up on the downward pressure of the drill near the end of the hole. As the flutes break through they have a tendency to tear the metal and get stuck thus ripping it from your hands. #2 Use the sharpest bits you have and check the rpm speed of the drill. Don't run too slow. Additionally, even though aluminum is easy to drill even it can benefit from a backer surface of 1/4 inch plywood/particleboard.

vanmankline (author)PS1182010-08-15

Another idea is to sandwich or laminate it to a thin scrap of plywood, luaun , or masonite. This also works well for cutting thin sheet on a table saw.

Kryptonite (author)PS1182010-08-13

Clamp it as well as the other suggestions.

frollard (author)PS1182010-08-12

Along with the other 2 suggestions, use a sharp drill.

ekulmeekul (author)PS1182010-08-12

Don't push so hard and get your drill spinning faster.

steveastrouk (author)PS1182010-08-11

Use a step or cone drill instead.

Ninzerbean (author)2010-08-18

This is fabulous!

richie_fringus (author)2010-08-10

what brand drill do you personally recommend?

He's right about Ryobi being decent for cheap drills, but put Delta in there too. They aren't close to a Craftsman at all. Kobalt is, however.

mikejs (author)richie_fringus2010-08-10

I did this on a Ryobi - not the priciest but it's been fine for the jobs I've needed it for. If you only need the tool for occasional use, go cheap (heck, Harbor Freight is sometimes cheaper than rentals) - but if you've got a list of major projects, you'll want something that will likely be a bit longer lasting. Delta, Craftsman, etc - not too pricey but come with a good reputation for quality. Just make sure that the throat depth is sufficient for the project you're working on. You'll notice on this one that there's a section in the center where the perforation stops - that's not by design, it's just because the drill press I was using couldn't reach the middle.

Arbitror (author)mikejs2010-08-11

And I thought it was just for looks!

mikejs (author)Arbitror2010-08-11

Just a coincidence that it turned out with an interesting look that way. If I were to make another one of these, I'd look into leaving an "X" shaped area undrilled, from corner to corner, to make sure that it retains its structural integrity. This one is plenty strong to handle pizzas, but my unperforated metal peel is capable of lifting/maneuvering my heavy pizza stone.

richie_fringus (author)mikejs2010-08-10

great info, thanks man!

Tornado of Knives (author)2010-08-15

Or you could just use corn meal on the crust instead of flour.

unless you're allergic to corn...

In that rare case, those poor mutants allergic to corn should be placed in a zoo where they can be isolated from the gene pool and observed by biologists and paying customers.

I'll tell that 23% of the population to do just that...

mickryobe (author)2010-08-15

It looks like a super fly swatter too. Nothing like a multi prpose tool.

jongscx (author)mickryobe2010-08-16

Or a paddle for the non-cooperative pizza-boys...

greenplat0 (author)2010-08-16

The secret is... no holes. A peel needs a dusting of flour (dip hand in flour then rub on board) after tossing pie to size by rolling off the back of your knuckles. Place dough on peel then add your toppings ... Get down face to face with edge of uncooked pizza. Lift edge with both hands by finger and thumb.... Then blow air bubble under pizza (releasing, or dropping edge to trap air). Your pizza is now a hover craft that will slide off the peel. Cook and screen your pizza. Remove and enjoy!

brawns214 (author)2010-08-12

As a comment for pizza making in general, I prefer to use corn meal (and plenty of it) on the pizza peel. It doesn't get bitter in the oven, acts like roller bearings to smoothly slide the pizza off and any that gets left on the pizza tastes really good. Cool idea though

Kryptonite (author)brawns2142010-08-13


frollard (author)2010-08-12

I want a) a pizza oven, b) one of these, and c), the uuber version, with an air pump to levitate the pizza like an air-hockey table.

canida (author)2010-08-11

Nice work - looks great!

Illuminati (author)2010-08-10

"helps keep things from sticking by reducing the amount of friction underneath the dough" just fyi, friction is not surface area dependent. friction is only dependent on the coefficient between the two surfaces and the normal force.

steveastrouk (author)Illuminati2010-08-11

That's the classic theory, it is not correct in reality. Classic theory cannot allow for "stiction" or conformal surfaces. The classic theory assumes the surfaces are perfectly plane and smooth, and that Friction = k x normal force. Its wrong,

l8nite (author)2010-08-11

very interesting tool adaption, if you use course cornmeal on the peel it wont stick and adds a nice crunch to the crust. We once accidently received a heavy wire mesh pizza pan from a large chain, I use a large stone in the oven for pizza but the perforated pan works really well for french fries and such... nicely done ible and great pictures !

mikejs (author)l8nite2010-08-11

Thanks l8nite. I have a perforated pizza pan too, which doesn't work well for baking pizzas, but like you've discovered, is great for fries, homemade pita chips, etc. And yes, cornmeal is a good "lubricant" for dough, with a nice crunchy aspect. But some of the pizza traditionalists (neapolitan, specifically) insist you not use it for pizzamaking, that it takes away from the pie. I kind of like the flavor, and find myself using it about half the time I make pizza.

About This Instructable




Bio: I write for magazines, I make TV shows, and I blog about things to build. Check out my website "DO IT" for more DIY fun.
More by mikejs:How to Build a Temporary Wood-fired Brick Pizza Oven with Cheap, Easy to Find MaterialsMake a Perforated Pizza Peel for Improved Pizza Making
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