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Make a Perforated Pizza Peel for Improved Pizza Making

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Picture of Make a Perforated Pizza Peel for Improved Pizza Making
This is originally from on my site, mikesenese.com/DOIT. 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.
 
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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
Perforated-Pizza-Peel03.jpg
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.
markbob3 years ago
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 http://store.brickovenbaker.com/peels for some examples. The GI.Metal peels are made in Italy, are anodized aluminum, sturdy handles.
How do you think this peel performed as compared to the commercial perforated one??
Thanks
markbob markbob3 years ago
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.
ZackBlack4 years ago
Cornmeal is: 1) Yucky 2) Messy 3) Detracts from the flavor of the pizza and finally: 4) Cheating This peel is an awesome idea!
PS1184 years ago
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 PS1184 years ago
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 PS1184 years ago
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.
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.
Clamp it as well as the other suggestions.
frollard PS1184 years ago
Along with the other 2 suggestions, use a sharp drill.
Don't push so hard and get your drill spinning faster.
Use a step or cone drill instead.
Ninzerbean4 years ago
This is fabulous!
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_fringus4 years ago
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 mikejs4 years ago
And I thought it was just for looks!
mikejs (author)  Arbitror4 years ago
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.
great info, thanks man!
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...
mickryobe4 years ago
It looks like a super fly swatter too. Nothing like a multi prpose tool.
Or a paddle for the non-cooperative pizza-boys...
greenplat04 years ago
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!
brawns2144 years ago
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
+1
frollard4 years ago
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.
canida4 years ago
Nice work - looks great!
Illuminati4 years ago
"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.
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,
l8nite4 years ago
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)  l8nite4 years ago
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.