Stop Using Cornmeal On Your Pizza Peel

andris lagsdin indicating to not use cornmeal on pizza

We get asked about cornmeal every week in pizza class.  Is it ok to use cornmeal on my pizza peel for the launch?  The short answer is yes, it will help accomplish the goal of getting the pizza into the oven and onto your steel.  But remember, cornmeal is literally ground up corn.  Why on earth do you want chopped corn on the bottom of your pizza?  That's kind of gross to be honest.   Instead, use either flour or semolina flour (or better yet a combo of both).  

Confusing?  Let me explain.  The goal is for the pizza dough to easily slide off the peel and onto your waiting Baking Steel in the oven.  The semolina flour acts as a ball bearing between the wood peel and the dough.  In other words, it will help that dough stay "loose" on top.  If the dough gets stuck, your launch is bound to be an epic fail.  We have all experienced that and it's not fun!  So, generously flour your peel, and say hello to launch success!  Our mantra “less is always more” holds true in this instance as well, UNLESS you are just learning to launch correctly.  If you are a newbie, more flour on the peel is actually better!   

You worked so hard to craft your perfect dough-don’t compromise the flavor with burnt cornmeal!  Instead, take your launch game to the next level with flour and stop using cornmeal on your pizza peel.

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7 comments


  • william hill

    Geez- my all-time favorite wood-fired pizza places all use cornmeal. I’m far from thinking it’s gross and actually like the texture it adds.


  • Mike

    Go to new haven and eat that pizza before posting stuff like this. You’ll likely revise your opinion.


  • Mike

    Go to new haven and eat that pizza before posting stuff like this. You’ll likely revise your opinion.


  • Trevor Giannetti

    I disagree with your use of flour on the bottom, semolina or not. What you want is large grain, not fine. Semolina #1 from Durham Wheat will burn when touching a pizza stone or other hot surface leaving you with a bitter tasting crust. The benefit to corn meal, when it’s larger grain, is that you don’t get burned bits of it and it raises the crust a little off the surface of the stone allowing for trapped air to escape thus creating a convection of sorts (this obviously for thin crust pizzas, but doesn’t apply the same to deep dish/Detroit style).


  • Trevor Giannetti

    I disagree with your use of flour on the bottom, semolina or not. What you want is large grain, not fine. Semolina #1 from Durham Wheat will burn when touching a pizza stone or other hot surface leaving you with a bitter tasting crust. The benefit to corn meal, when it’s larger grain, is that you don’t get burned bits of it and it raises the crust a little off the surface of the stone allowing for trapped air to escape thus creating a convection of sorts (this obviously for thin crust pizzas, but doesn’t apply the same to deep dish/Detroit style).


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