Help, My Pizza is Stuck to My Pizza Peel!

Pizza Dough Stuck to a Metal Pizza Peel

The perfect baking stone or steel. The perfect temperature. The perfect pizza dough, the perfect sauce, the perfect cheese, the perfect toppings. All you gotta do is slide your pizza into the oven, and you’re mere minutes away from hot, delicious, homemade pizza.

You take your peel and insert it into the oven, giving it a shake to slide the pizza off. That’s when you realize: the pizza won’t budge!

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting stuck (pun intended) on the very last step of making a pizza at home. We feel you – I once got a text from my father telling me I was in big trouble for giving them a pizza stone without properly teaching my mother how to use a pizza peel, resulting in stuck pizzas, delayed dinners, and one mad momma.

To help ease your pizza’s passage onto your stone or steel, we’ve got some tips for you. Using a metal pizza peel can be especially tricky, so in this video, we focus on the best practices for using this specialized tool.

Tips to Prevent Dough From Sticking

  1. Prep your pizza dough on a separate work surface. Don’t knead or stretch your dough on the peel itself. Use a countertop or a silicone rolling mat, and make sure you sprinkle plenty of flour on your workstation before you get started.

  2. Coat your pizza peel with flour. The loose flour acts as teeny ball bearings, creating a movable layer between the dough and your peel. You can also use a little bit of cornmeal, but use it sparingly: if the cornmeal makes it onto your pizza stone, it can burn and smoke.

  3. Once your dough hits the peel, you have to work quickly. You only have a few minutes before your dough absorbs the flour and starts to stick to the metal peel.

  4. Periodically shake your pizza on the peel while you’re prepping it. It’s a good idea to check and make sure things are still moving throughout the process. If you notice a patch sticking, it’s much easier to slip more flour underneath before your pizza is loaded with toppings.

  5. To get the pizza off the peel, use a quick back-and-forth motion. Thrust your peel in front of you with a smooth motion, aiming for the middle-back of your stone, then quickly jerk it back. The pizza’s momentum will keep it moving forward, sliding easily off your peel and onto your stone or steel.

  6. Act quickly! You don’t want to lose too much heat from your oven by leaving the door open. But you also don’t want a metal peel to linger inside a hot oven too long. The heat can transfer to the metal peel, causing the pizza to start cooking even before it hits the stone! This is another cause of stuck pizzas.

Still need help? Check out some of our other pizza tips: 

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Yeast is a microbe but it’s definitely not a bacteria.


Use 1/2 of our flour recipe and 1/2 Semolina for your peel coating. Much better than Cornmeal.

Pizzacraft Simone

Nick: Sounds like you’ve got it down! We do want to caution users that if you use too much cornmeal, the cornmeal will slide off your peel and onto your stone where it’ll burn. If you use it sparingly, you should be fine!

Barb C: Hi Barb! That’s my preferred method too. Luckily we have all kinds of peels here at the Pizzacraft office, as you know! :-P

Pizzacraft Simone

Laraine Agren: I also like using a wooden pizza peel to prep pizzas about to go in the oven. The wood doesn’t absorb heat as easily so it’s less likely to stick. The metal peels are sharper and better for removing the pizza. Still, some people only have a metal peel, and we want to make sure they get the most out of it! If you’re having problems with your pies sliding off the back of the stone in your pizza oven, check out our Pizza Oven Backstop ( It attaches to the back of your stone so your pizza won’t go past it!

Nevio Andreatta: Parchment paper is also a great idea! We use it when making gluten-free crusts especially.

Pizzacraft Simone

Tim Durham: Yes! Par-baking is a great technique. We’ve used it before for pizzas that don’t have traditional red sauce or that have delicate toppings. (Like the dessert pizzas here: I’m glad the Pizzeria Pronto meets the approval of someone who clearly has real experience in pizza-making!

Jim: Letting the pizza cook on the metal peel for a few moments is a great technique on our portable outdoor pizza ovens because it’s so much easier to let the peel hang there in the oven opening. It can be a bit harder when you’re cooking in a conventional kitchen oven with a big ol’ door, but if you have a stuck pizza, you gotta do what you gotta do! I also got my mom a pizza screen too for the exact reasons you describe. It definitely helped pizza night run smoothly at my folks’ house!

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