A pizza stone is an essential item for any pizza lover. It’s the best way to get a chewy, perfectly baked crust, but you’re going to have to find a way to get that pizza off of the stone.
The most common way to do so is with a pizza peel. A pizza peel is a large, shovel-like tool with a flat carrying surface that is used to place and remove a pizza from a pizza stone.
If you don’t have a pizza peel, don’t fret, as there are a number of household items that you can use in its place.
How, then, can you use a pizza stone without a pizza peel? If you don’t have a pizza peel, it is important to find a flat, similarly-shaped object to take its place. Our favorite item to use is a rimless cookie sheet, but there are other options as well. You can choose a rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, cardboard, cutting board, or serving platter.
Depending on the size of the pie, getting it off of the stone without a peel can be tricky, but it is by no means impossible.
If you read on, you’ll discover a number of items that can be used in place of a pizza peel, ranging from rimless cookie sheets too, believe it or not, cardboard. We’ll also answer some commonly asked questions about using pizza stones.
The 6 Best Pizza Peel Substitutes
Below are our favorite common kitchen items to use instead of a pizza peel.
1. Rimless Cookie Sheet
This common household item is perhaps the best replacement for a pizza peel. Rimless cookie sheets are completely flat except for one raised side, which is designed to help lift it and transfer cookies.
Its large and sturdy surface is an ideal replacement for a pizza peel, as its shape is very similar to that of a pizza peel.
Additionally, the one raised edge gives you something sturdy to hold onto, making placement and removal from the pizza stone nearly effortless.
2. Upside Down Rimmed Baking Sheet
If you’re not an avid baker, you may not have a rimless cookie sheet on hand. However, nearly every household has a rimmed baking sheet.
These baking sheets have raised edges, ensuring that grease or oil doesn’t spill off into the oven when roasting meats or vegetables.
In the case of having to use a rimmed baking sheet in place of a pizza peel, simply flip it upside down, and its raised edges will give you leverage to push under the pizza.
If your pizza is significantly bigger than your baking sheet, simply join two together to insert and remove your pizza from the pizza stone.
3. Parchment Paper
The parchment paper method is unique in the sense that you bake the pizza on the parchment paper.
After shaping your pizza dough, place it on the parchment paper, and add your toppings. You will then place the parchment paper (with your pizza on top) onto the pizza stone and bake the pizza on the paper, facilitating its removal from the pizza stone.
It’s very important to make the distinction between parchment paper and wax paper. The two have similar appearances, but wax paper won’t withstand the high levels of heat required to make a pizza on a pizza stone.
Your parchment paper will come out of the oven a bit brown and brittle, but no need to fret: simply remove your pizza from the paper using tongs and you’re good to go.
Though this one might sound a bit strange, cardboard can be an ideal replacement for a pizza peel. If you have a large piece of cardboard that is sturdy enough, simply slip it between your pizza and the pizza stone for effortless removal.
An ideal example would be cutting off the top of a pizza box, but if you don’t have that on hand (after all, you’re making pizza, not ordering it), consider cutting off the side of a normal box.
The most important thing is that the cardboard is sturdy enough so that it doesn’t collapse under the heat of the pizza.
5. Cutting Board
Depending on the size of the cutting board that you have at your disposal, this can be a great option if you don’t have a pizza peel on hand.
Large cutting boards have a similar shape to a pizza peel, and as long as your pizza isn’t much larger than your cutting board, it will be a big help in removing it from the pizza stone.
6. Serving Platter
Similarly, a serving platter can serve in place of a pizza peel if you have one the right size and thickness.
Much like a cutting board, a wooden serving platter can easily be slid between a pizza and a pizza stone.
Additionally, in some cases, serving platters are round, making them especially compatible with the traditional pizza pie shape.
Related Questions About Pizza Stones
Now that you know how to replace a pizza peel with any of the items above, we’re going to answer your most pressing questions about pizza stones.
What are pizza stones made of?
Pizza stones can be made of a variety of natural materials, the most common ones being clay, marble, and tile. Depending on how they’re made and what they’re made of, they may be glazed.
Choosing between glazed and unglazed pizza stones really just comes down to personal preference.
Glazed ones tend to be easier to clean, but if you properly prep an unglazed pizza stone, cleaning shouldn’t be a problem.
How do you prevent a pizza from sticking to a pizza stone?
When using a pizza stone, there are a few common methods that you can use to keep your pizza from sticking.
Though your first thought may be to use all-purpose flour, it’s better to use a flour with a coarser grain, which will ensure that it won’t turn into a paste if it gets wet.
Spread out polenta, cornmeal, or semolina flour before placing your pizza on the stone to ensure easy removal.
Are you supposed to preheat a pizza stone?
To ensure that your dough doesn’t stick, you should always preheat your pizza stone. Be sure to place your pizza stone into a cold oven, because if it heats up too quickly, it can be put at risk for cracking.
You want your stone to be plenty hot before placing your pizza on it, so you should preheat it for at least 30 minutes, or up to one hour.
Just because your oven is hot, doesn’t mean that your pizza stone is, so be sure to preheat it enough time so that it is fully heated through.
At what temperature do you cook pizza on a pizza stone?
When it comes to heating up that oven, don’t be shy! Pizza must be cooked on an extremely hot pizza stone, so you might have to crank up your oven to its maximum heat, between 450 and 500 degrees F.
A helpful tip to keep in mind is the thinner the pizza, the higher the temperature.
Thicker-crust pizzas should be cooked at a slightly lower heat (400 degrees F) so that the dough can fully cook through before the surface browns.
How long do you cook pizza on a pizza stone?
Pizzas should only take about 10-12 minutes on a properly preheated pizza stone.
Halfway through cooking, you should rotate your pizza 180 degrees so that it cooks evenly on each side.
Remember that thicker pizza crusts will take longer to cook, and should be done so at a lower heat.
Do you put oil on a pizza stone?
Though you might be tempted, you should never apply oil to a pizza stone. Its porous surface will soak up anything that is put on it, and it is exposed to enough oil and grease from the pizzas as it is.
How do you clean a pizza stone?
You never want to use soap or any other chemicals on a pizza stone, which would put it at risk of permanently absorbing them.
To clean, simply pour some hot water onto a completely cooled pizza stone and scrub it with a stiff, dry brush.
In the case of a serious mess, you can mix baking soda and warm water until it forms a paste and then scrub the stone with the mixture. Be sure that it all gets washed off properly.
Can you cut pizza on a pizza stone?
Perhaps the worst thing that you could do with a pizza stone is cut a pizza on it.
As mentioned, many of the materials that pizza stones are made of are porous and fragile, so cutting directly on the stone can cause permanent damage.
Once you’ve removed your pizza from the pizza stone, check out this article: The 11 Best Pizza Cutters
Can you cook a frozen pizza on a pizza stone?
Believe it or not, cooking a frozen pizza on a pizza stone may be the easiest way to make a pizza on a pizza stone!
Simply heat the frozen pizza and the cold pizza stone at the same time.
You should never place a frozen pizza on a hot pizza stone, as the temperature shock could potentially crack it.
You can also cook frozen pizza in the microwave if you’re in a pinch.
For a super basic but helpful video tutorial on how to use a pizza stone, check out this video by Howcast on YouTube.