Sometimes cooking pizza can get messy. Especially when you’ve got a sticky pizza dough and you need to use flour to stop it sticking to your worktop or your peel.
So you might be wondering if you can use some kitchen staples such as parchment paper (also known as baking paper) or aluminum foil to help with your pizza making.
If you need a fool proof dough with detailed step by step instructions then check out my best pizza dough recipe to give yourself the best start.
Can you cook pizza dough on parchment paper?
Yes, you can cook pizza on parchment paper. The paper can help you transfer the pizza to the oven and cook with no mess or sticking. The downside is that the pizza does not get quite as crisp as if put straight onto a pizza stone.
The paper can fall apart in the oven with the heat, and cover your pizza in little bits. So follow my guidelines on how to remove the paper while cooking in my method below. Remember to not use waxed paper as this will smoke in the oven.
Can you cook pizza on aluminum foil?
Aluminum foil can be used to cook pizza on the oven rack to stop it falling through. The foil is not good used with a pizza stone as it stops the stone working by preventing it drawing moisture from the base. Foil also reflects heat away from the pizza rather than transferring it efficiently.
Can You Use Parchment Paper On A Pizza Stone?
Yes. You can cook your pizza with parchment paper and a pizza stone and the pizza will still come out great. The stone was not designed like this, but it is convenient for some people to cook pizza this way.
If you do not use parchment paper, then you need another way to transfer the raw dough to the stone, as the stone should be hot in the oven from preheating. One way is flouring a pizza peel and sliding it onto the pizza stone.
Can You Use Foil On A Pizza Stone?
Foil is not recommended to be used with a pizza stone because it does not allow the moisture to be drawn away from the pizza as it cooks. It effectively steams the pizza from below, as the water has nowhere to go apart from upwards.
The foil is also a good reflector, so it will reflect the heat away from the stone. This means the stone can’t transfer heat to the pizza base as well, so it ends up being wetter and cooler and doesn’t cook as well.
You will not get the benefits of cooking with a pizza stone, and won’t get the crisp base that you aimed for, so I would either get a pizza peel or use parchment paper.
Will The Pizza Get a Soggy Base?
The base will be less crisp if cooked on parchment paper on top of the pizza stone, than if cooked directly on the pizza stone. Although the affects are not bad enough to make the pizza soggy.
A pizza stone works by drawing moisture from the dough as it cooks, so that the pizza crust crisps up nicely. The stone is preheated before the pizza arrives so the high heat transfer and the lack of moisture cooks the dough quickly.
Parchment paper allows some moisture to travel through it, as the material is not waterproof. This will allow the base to retain some of this crispy qualities, and it will overall still be a fantastic pizza.
The foil is waterproof, so no water can be drawn away from the pizza dough. This will mean the foil cooked pizza will be the soggiest. There are a few factors here. The temperature of the stone, how long ago the last pizza was cooked on it, and how long it is being cooked will determine how soggy the pizza will be. My advice is avoid this one, and go for a different method.
How To Cook Pizza On Parchment Paper On A Pizza Stone
Start off with some dough from my best pizza dough recipe. The recipe has all the instructions to prepare your dough properly before you start.
- Preheat the pizza stone at max temperature for 40 minutes on the rack 3/4 of the way up the oven.
- Stretch or roll out your pizza on the worktop, and cut a piece of parchment paper that can comfortably hold the pizza but without too much excess paper.
- Place the pizza on top of the parchment paper and add tomato sauce, cheese and toppings.
- Open the oven. You can pull the rack with the pizza stone out fully for ease of access. Pick up the parchment by the edges and drop the pizza and paper in the middle of the stone.
- After 3 minutes of cooking, the pizza will have cooked so it is firm. Spin the pizza 180 degrees to cook the other side. Optionally remove the parchment paper and cook the pizza on the stone directly for a crispier pizza.
- Cook the pizza for 5-6 minutes more, until golden brown.
To make the best pizza you need to cook your dough on something very hot. A pizza stone is more well known, but a pizza steel is a newer method which will produce even better results. The steel conducts heat more efficiently, cooking the base through very quickly. They also don’t shatter like a stone does. I have this pizza steel and can fully recommend it (click to see on Amazon). If you’d rather get something a bit cheaper, then at least get a pizza stone made of cordierite like this one. It is less likely to crack like other pizza stones.
See all the essential tools I recommend on my pizza equipment list guide.
How To Cook Pizza On Parchment Paper Or Foil On The Rack
You can cook the pizza directly on the rack, if the bars on the rack aren’t spaced too far apart. It won’t get direct heat from the bottom, so the bottom can sometimes get a bit soggy, and definitely won’t be as crisp as on a pizza stone.
Start off with some dough from my best pizza dough recipe.
- Heat the oven on max temperature for 10 minutes.
- Stretch or roll out your pizza on the worktop, and cut a piece of parchment paper or foil that can comfortably hold the pizza but without too much excess paper.
- Place the pizza on top of the parchment paper or foil and add tomato sauce, cheese and toppings.
- Pull out a rack on the second to last rack of the oven. Drop the pizza and paper on top.
- Cook the pizza for 4 minutes until it has firmed up. You can now spin the pizza around to cook the other side, and remove the paper or foil from underneath.
- Check the pizza 7-8 minutes later and remove when the crust is golden brown and the cheese bubbling.
Try Using A Pizza Peel
Using a pizza peel is the classic way to transfer a pizza to the oven. An added bonus is a lovely taste and texture from a mixture of flour and semolina that you add to the peel to stop the dough sticking.
Start by rolling or stretching the pizza the same, then place on the peel to add toppings before sliding off onto the pizza stone in one quick action.
You can get a peel very cheaply now, and they are straight forward to use. I wrote a post on How To Use A Peel Properly if you need some help there.
If you don’t have a peel then you can use something else which is in your kitchen. A rimless baking sheet or serving board can work well. I made another post – 7 Kitchen Items To Use As A Pizza Peel Substitute.
Hopefully this answered your questions if you can cook pizza dough on parchment paper in the oven, and if you can use parchment paper or aluminum foil on a pizza stone.
There are a few options you can use here, so go for the one which suits you the best. Most will still produce great pizzas. However, I would avoid using foil. For me, this loses the effects that a pizza stone has on cooking and crisping up the base well.
Another option you might want to look at is called the pizza steel. Here a quarter inch piece of steel heats up faster than a stone, and transfers heat more efficiently, making the crispiest of bases.