As anyone who makes pizza knows, putting the pizza on the stone without it sticking is a very tricky process.
If you’re new to this process, then you may be struggling to find a way to make this work.
The good news is that there is a trick to transferring the pizza to the stone without it sticking!
The best way is to use a lot of semolina flour on the bottom of the pizza so that it easily slides right off the pizza peel and onto the pizza stone.
Keep reading for more tips on getting that pizza onto the stone easy peasy.
Using A Pizza Peel The Right Way
For a lot of home pizza bakers, just knowing the right way to use a pizza peel helps you get that pizza onto the stone without it sticking.
The key to successfully sliding the pizza off the pizza peel and onto the pizza stone is using that semolina flour generously.
You need to have the bottom of your pizza or your pizza dough just completely covered in semolina flour because it acts as a sort of lubricant to help that pizza dough slid right off the pizza peel surface and onto the pizza stone.
Basically that semolina flour eliminates the stickiness of the wet pizza dough, which would normally stick to the peel.
Below is a video that perfectly illustrates this process for you.
Why Use Semolina Flour?
If you don’t have any semolina flour in your kitchen, then you may be tempted to just substitute in regular flour.
That won’t work. You MUST use semolina flour to prevent sticking.
Cornmeal and regular flour are too fine and just end up sticking to the pizza dough in clumps, which doesn’t prevent sticking to the pizza peel.
Plus, regular flour will pull too much moisture from the pizza dough, which you definitely don’t want to happen.
Semolina flour is denser and won’t absorb into the dough or wick away moisture from it.
Instead, the semolina flour lubricates the surface just enough for the pizza dough to slide right off the peel.
Don’t Dust The Pizza Stone!
One common mistake that amateur pizza bakers make is dusting the pizza stone with the semolina flour, or worse – with corn starch, which will burn.
Never dust or coat the pizza stone with semolina flour, or anything else.
Your pizza should slide off the peel and directly onto the pizza stone.
Remember, the semolina flour goes on the pizza dough, not the stone.
Don’t Put Oil On The Pizza Stone!
Another common mistake new pizza bakers make is putting oil on the pizza stone thinking that it will help prevent the dough from sticking.
NEVER do this to your pizza stone because it will crack!
Pizza stones are made of porous materials, which means that oil can get into those porous bits and just hang out there until you heat up the stone. When this happens, it expands and results in cracking of the stone.
This is less of a problem when you have grease or oil leak from an overloaded pizza, so don’t really worry about that happening.
Just avoid trying to oil the stone because it both won’t work and it will damage your pizza stone.
Use Really High Temperatures
Since wet pizza dough is what results in sticking, preheating your pizza stone on a really high temperature is a great way to prevent sticking.
This is because when that raw, wet dough hits that incredibly hot pizza stone it almost cooks and dries out immediately, which means no sticking.
As a result, this is why you should never put a pizza or pizza dough on a cold pizza stone because it will definitely stick.
Just follow the manufacturer directions for your pizza stone so that you don’t cook it at too high of a temperature.
Alternative Method: Use Parchment Paper
If you don’t have any semolina flour, then a good alternative method is to use parchment paper to transfer your pizza to the stone.
For this method, you just prepare your pizza on the parchment paper and lift the entire thing to transfer the pizza to the stone instead of using a pizza peel.
That’s right, you just put the parchment paper down on the stone with the pizza on top.
If you opt for this method, you should remove the parchment paper within around 30 seconds after getting it onto the stone.
It should just slide right out from under the pizza, leaving the pizza on the stone to finish baking.
The reason that you need to remove the parchment paper is that it can burn or even cause bits of it to cook into the pizza dough bottom.
How To Get The Pizza Off The Stone
You may think that getting the pizza off the stone once it’s done baking will be a challenge, but truth is that this is the easy part.
Once the pizza is fully cooked, the dough is dry enough that it should slide right off the stone and back onto the peel when it’s time to remove it from the oven.
And remember, that semolina flour is still there to help lubricate the removal of the pizza from the stone.
If you’re like me, you sometimes overload your pizza with toppings and cheese and some of that oil and grease ends up on the stone while the pizza cooks.
This is when getting the pizza of the stone is a challenge – trust me!
What happens now is that your pizza sticks to the stone in the areas where the toppings and oil have gotten onto the stone.
When this happens, I find that using a regular kitchen spatula to lift and scrape the pizza off the stone helps.
And I just use some tongs to help prevent the pizza from sliding off the back edge of the stone while I work to free the stuck areas.
You also have to be really careful since it can get very stuck and you may tear the pizza crust when trying to dislodge the stuck bits from the stone.
But once you get it off after being stuck, all you have to worry about is the cleanup (that also sucks).
As you can see, the key to getting your pizza on the pizza stone without is sticking is to use a generous amount of semolina flour.
And if you don’t have any semolina flour, then you can use parchment paper to transfer the pizza to the stone.