Anyone can make pizzas at home. But it takes perseverance and access to the right tools to belt out pizzeria-style pies at home. In today’s article, I’ll talk about one of the lesser-hyped but incredibly useful pizza-baking tools of all time – the pizza spinner.
Pizza Spinner or tuning fork is a tool used by professional pizza chefs to rotate the dough in the oven. It ensures even browning on the finished pie and also helps you pick up fallen toppings. If you use a compact outdoor oven like Ooni, investing in a pizza spinner will be worth your while.
Today, I will be diving deep into the world of pizza spinning and show you why every pizza lover needs one of these nifty tools in their kitchen. While you can always use a metal pizza peel for the purpose, it doesn’t offer the same level of maneuverability.
Keep reading to understand how pizza spinners can be a useful addition to your kitchen arsenal.
What Does a Pizza Spinner Do?
Pizza spinners are specifically designed to rotate pizzas in the oven. Rotating ensures even distribution of heat, resulting in an unformrly browed crust. They are typically made of aluminum, which makes them durable and easy to clean.
Most pizza spinners have a long handle that safeguards your hands from the smoldering heat of the oven. The handle also provides leverage for easy rotation of the pizza.
In general, pizza spinners have two to three teeth or tynes, which help to grip the pizza and rotate it with ease. Apart from rotating the pizza, pizza spinners can also be used to lift the pizza to check the level of doneness on the bottom.
It’s important to note that a pizza spinner is different from a pizza peel. A pizza peel is used to slide the pizza into and out of the oven, while a pizza spinner is used to rotate the pizza while it’s cooking.
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In small ovens, using a pizza spinner is more efficient than using a peel. This is because, with a peel, you need enough space to slide the pizza in and out of the oven, which can be difficult in smaller ovens.
3 Benefits of Using a Pizza Spinner
Pizza spinners offer a variety of benefits that make them a valuable tool in any pizzamaker’s arsenal. Here are three key benefits of using a pizza spinner:
1. Turning the Pizza in the Oven
One of the most important benefits of using a pizza spinner is the ability to rotate the pizza in the oven. This ensures that the pizza cooks evenly and the crust turns out perfectly.
The long handle of the spinner allows you to rotate the pizza without having to reach into the oven, which can be dangerous. Plus, the teeth or tynes on the spinner help to grip the pizza and rotate it with ease.
2. Lifting the Pizza to Check the Doneness Level
Another advantage of using a pizza spinner is that it allows you to lift the pizza to check the doneness level on the bottom. This is especially important when you’re cooking a pizza with a lot of toppings, as it can be difficult to tell when the crust is done.
With a pizza spinner, you can easily lift the pizza and check the bottom without having to move the pizza around in the oven. This can prevent the toppings from falling out of the dough.
3. Keep the Toppings in Place
Lastly, you can also use this tool to distribute the toppings evenly and pick up the fallen toppings without creating a mess. This is particularly helpful when you’re working with delicate toppings that can be easily knocked around.
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With a pizza spinner, you can gently rotate the pizza, which helps to redistribute the toppings and keep them in place. If a pepperoni or two accidentally falls out, you can simply scoop it up with the tool and put them back on.
Who Needs a Pizza Spinner?
Pizza spinners are an essential tool for anyone who owns a small wood-fired or domestic oven. These ovens often have hot and cold spots, often resulting in unevenly browned pies. Moreover, the long handle protects your hand from the heat of the oven.
Plus, the teeth or tynes on the spinner help to grip the pizza and rotate it with ease, something pizza peels don’t have. In short, having a pair of pizza spinners gives you a lot of control over the baking process. So, if you are a person of precision, you will appreciate having this tool on your hands.
What to Look for When Buying a Pizza Spinner?
Are you in the market for a new pizza spinner but not sure where to start? Look no further! In this section, I’ll go over the key features to look for when buying a pizza spinner.
From material to handle, I’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and see what makes a great pizza spinner.
When shopping for a pizza spinner, the material of the tool is an important factor to consider. The best pizza spinners are typically made from thick aluminum alloy or stainless steel.
Aluminum spinners are more common as they are cheaper. Aluminum alloy is durable and can withstand high temperatures. Plus, it’s lightweight, which makes it easy to handle.
The more premium, professional-grade pizza spinners are made of stainless steel. In my opinion, these are the best choice for wood-fired and commercial ovens. It’s also rust-resistant and easy to clean.
Moreover, stainless steel is a non-reactive material. This means it won’t react with acidic ingredients in the pizza and alter the taste of the pizza.
Pizza spinners are usually equipped with a wooden handle. Wood helps to protect your hands from the heat of the oven and provides a comfortable grip. Some spinners also come with hard plastic or silicone handles.
If you are on a budget, opt for silicone handles. Other than the material, also make sure the handle is not loose.
Pizza spinners are meant to be exposed to high heat. So it’s important to ensure the product you’re buying can stand up to the temperature of your oven without warping. This is especially important for professional pizza chefs who use their pizza spinners on a daily basis.
Pizza spinners aren’t supposed to be expensive. A quality spinner usually starts from $10, while the higher-end ones will set you back $25-$30. Anything higher than that is going to be overkill unless you have something very specific in mind.
Ease of Cleaning
Most pizza spinners are dishwasher-safe. Some models even come with detachable handles for easier cleanup. While they are super easy to clean manually, it’s better to opt for a dishwasher-safe model if you are purchasing it for commercial use.
Pizza Spinner vs. Turning Peel: Which Is Better?
A pizza spinner and a turning peel are both tools used for rotating pizzas in the oven, but they have some key differences. A pizza spinner typically has a long handle and two or three “teeth” or tynes, which are used to grip and rotate the pizza.
A turning peel, on the other hand, is a flat paddle with a handle and is used to slide the pizza in and out of the oven.
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While both tools can be used interchangeably, pizza spinners are relatively easier to use in smaller ovens. This is due to their fork-like design. At the same time, a turning peel is more suitable for larger ovens where you have more space to move around the pie.
Using a spinner makes more sense if you are baking in a pizza pan. You can just grab the edge of the pan with the “teeth” and move it around.
The unwritten ingredient for the perfect pizza is precision. And that’s precisely why tools like pizza spinners are important. If you are planning on getting a small wood-fired oven, get a pair of spinners with it. Trust me; you will thank me later. It’s a fantastic little aid for small kitchen ovens as well.
The medium-length handle keeps your hands from burning while rotating the pizza. Pizza spinners are super cheap and don’t take up a lot of space, either. So if you are still wondering if you need a pizza spinner, I’d say go for it.