If you like making your own pizza and baking in general, how many instances did you need to take out something from the oven without the need for a baking implement? With a pizza peel, you can take out anything from the oven without risking burning your hand in the process.
There is really nothing fancy about this tool. It’s just a shovel designed primarily for baking, but it’s so handy, it makes putting in and taking out pizza from the oven so easy.
While a lot goes into making the perfect pizza, all your effort will be wasted if it’s torn down when you put it into the oven. With this simple equipment, you can serve pizza with pride because you are able to preserve its perfect appearance.
Types of Pizza Peel in the Market
Those who make pizza professionally use heavy duty peels with long handles, usually reaching up to 40 inches, and rounded metal heads. Their ovens can reach a temperature of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s understandable why they need this lengthy peels.
For the rest of us mere mortals, peels this long and heavy is counterproductive. If you just want to host an occasional pizza party, what kind of pizza peel do you need? Even if pizza is not really our lifestyle, who says that we can’t use quality peels?
- Handle length
Again, for professional, a round headed peel makes more sense because they need to maximize the space of a large and really hot oven from a single door. All corners of the oven must be utilized and it can become difficult to maneuver due to the awkward angle of insertion. For them the round shape of the head of the peel is more of a necessity.
For home cooking, a square-headed pizza peel makes more sense because we only need to attack a single grill or oven from one direction. We have an easier time inserting and removing pizza so a shorter handle also makes more sense.
There are basically three materials used in making pizza peels: wood, metal and composite.
- Wood: Wood peels evoke that homey feeling of tradition and heritage. In the past, there was nothing but wood peels and brick ovens and if you want to get a taste of this kind of original attachment, you can opt of wooden peels. Just remember though, wood is a bit difficult to maintain compared to the other materials. It tends to warp over time especially if it’s not well dried out after use and it tends to be a breeding ground for bacteria when not properly cleaned after use.
- Metal : The most common material for metal peels is either stainless steel or aluminum. The handle is usually made of wood to protect the hand from getting burned because metal conducts heat. Just a little heads up, the dough will stick with metal so you need to sprinkle it with cornstarch or flour to make the pizza slide easily into the oven.
- Composite: Composite pizza peels tend to be thicker than wood and metal, but it’s also more stable. Since it’s made of wood, plastic, and straw, some are concerned whether it’s safe to use in the kitchen. You just have to look for an NSF and FDA-approved pizza peel and you can be sure that it’s safe for food contact.
For home cooking, the handle only needs to be long enough to reach the back of the oven and your hand is safely within five inches from the door. It doesn’t have to be too long like professional peels, it doesn’t have to be too short that you burn your knuckles in the process.
Storage is also another thing that you need to consider. If you can hang it on a nail on the wall, that’s fine. If you can get those designs with fold-out handles that you can just insert in between the fridge, so much the better.
How to Use a Pizza Peel Paddle
To cook really nice and authentic pizza at home, you need to use a pizza stone. This stone is suppose to mimic the environment back when pizza is cooked in a brick oven. The stone absorbs the heat from your oven and transfer it to your dough. It also absorbs the moisture from your dough resulting in a crispy pizza.
After you have formed your dough and placed all the toppings that you want on your homemade pizza, you need to transfer it to the stone using the peel to preserve its integrity.
Don’t forget to pre-heat your pizza stone inside the oven until you reach the temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the pizza is cooked, you need to remove it from the stone using the pizza peel. Without a pizza peel, chances are, you will get a deformed pizza and a couple of burned knuckles.
Some even prepare their pizza on the peel. If you follow this procedure, make sure to sprinkle it with ample flour or cornstarch. This will make the insertion and removal of the pizza easy.
Last update on 2017-11-22 PST - Details
My Top 7 Pizza Peels
Now if you are convinced of the importance of the pizza peel, I have here 7 of what I consider to be the best in the market in as far as home cooking pizza is concerned. The purpose of this review is to make your life easier. You don’t have to review the products yourself, I have done that for you. Read on if you’re in the process of deciding which pizza peel is best for your oven at home.
Kitchen Supply 14-Inch x 16-Inch Aluminum Pizza Peel with Wood Handle
If you use your peel not only for transferring to the oven but also for prepping, the Kitchen Supply 14-Inch x 16-Inch Aluminum Pizza Peel with wood handle is the best choice. It is 14-inch wide and 16-inch long, making it wide enough for all the prepping work that you need to do.
You can also use this peel to transfer delicate bread and pastries where using your hands can easily deform their delicate structure. The handle is 8-inch long allowing you to reach the back of the oven while maintaining a safe distance from its door. Your hands are out of the hottest part of the oven, preventing you from burning yourself.
- Best value in terms of price and quality
- Well balanced and great design
- Can handle heavier pizzas
- The dough tends to stick so make sure to put flour or cornmeal
Heritage Acacia Wood Pizza 22.3 Inch x 14.3 Inch Peel
If wooden pizza peel is your thing, the Heritage Acacia wood pizza peel is the best choice. It’s made from all natural Acacia wood, it’s even good enough to just hang it on the wall. But it’s not created only for decorative purposes, its tapered edge lets you plummet pizza in and out of the oven with great ease.
The handle perfectly fits the hands, I feel like it’s an extension of it. It allows me to serve pizza with confidence. What is more, it can double as a cheese platter or a charcuterie board.
The size of this peel is also perfect for prepping. It is 22-inch wide and 14-inch long, it’s perfect for all sorts of home pizza. The thickness is enough for it not to warp, but at the same time, it’s also thin enough to easily slide the dough into the stone. Touching the peel, I can sense that it is made of top quality Acacia wood.
- It’s just too beautiful to look at
- Thick enough to be sturdy, it won’t warp
- Its thin enough for easy insertion and removal
- Just the right size for prepping work
- It’s wood, so it’s tricky to maintain
Ironwood Gourmet, Acacia Wood, 14-inch by 14-inch Pizza Peel
Another beautiful wooden product is the Ironwood Gourmet, Acacia Wood, 14-inch by 14-inch pizza peel. If you’re really into wooden pizza peel, either you pick this or the one from Heritage.
This is still made from the same Acacia wood that is known for its beautiful contrasting patterns, the thing is just gorgeous. It’s a bit smaller compared to Heritage, but it’s still wide enough for prepping work. The slanted edge makes swooping pizza into the oven a thing for child’s play.
The natural comfort of wood makes the handle so nice and secure to hold, it is almost impossible to slip with this peel.
- Gorgeous to look at, it can double as kitchen decoration
- Wide enough for prepping
- Slanted edge makes insertion and removal easy
- The thickness is just right, it won’t warp
- The wood can be a breeding ground for bacteria, it needs to be kept clean
New Star Foodservice 50196 36-Inch Aluminum Pizza Peeler
If you really like to keep your distance from your oven, or if you just want to work with larger ovens at home, the New Star Foodservice 50196 36-inch aluminum pizza peel is for you. The peel is a whooping 36-inch in length from tip to tip, reaching the back of the oven while creating a real gap from it is a second thought.
The blade itself is made from anodized aluminum while the handle is made from natural solid wood. The edge of the blade is tapered, inserting pizza and delicate bread into the oven is easy. It is also well balanced, lifting pizza and serving it directly is also easy.
- Best for huge ovens
- Long reach
- Prep pizza on the blade itself
- Might be too big for most home ovens
American Metalcraft 3714 37 Inch Length x 14 Inch Width, Metal Pizza Peel
Even bigger than the New Star Foodservice 50196 is the American Metalcraft 3714. It’s a whooping 37 inches from tip to tip and there is no home oven that this monster of a pizza peel can’t reach. If you have a huge home oven this is definitely the one to get.
The width is typical of the pizza peels being reviewed here and that means that it won’t shy away from pizza prepping. Another thing that’s good about this product is that it’s proudly made in the US and so inexpensive of what it can do.
The handle is also made of natural solid wood and it holds well in the hands. The balance is great and the weight is just right to provide stability.
- Good quality, its made in the US
- Really affordable
- Weighs just right and stable too
- Might be too big for most home ovens
Outset QZ10 Pizza Peel
Among the pizza peels being reviewed here, the Outset QZ10 Pizza Peel is the easiest to store. It sports a fold-out rosewood handle which is aesthetically appealing in itself.
It is shaped like a spatula and allows you to confidently serve pizza from the oven to the plate. The length from tip to tip is 21 inches, a good compromise between the 37 inches and the shorter ones at 16 inches. Still, this is an over sized pizza peel which may be too big for most home ovens.
You can also do prepping in this peel, it being large enough for such purpose. Serving pizza and bread with this peel is really easy.
- Good middle of the road size
- Well balanced and sturdy
- Fold-out handle makes it easy to store
- Still too big for most ovens
- Spatula shape is not really an advantage against other peels reviewed
CounterArt Bamboo Pizza Peel
Perhaps the most unique among the pizza peels reviewed here, the CounterArt Bamboo Pizza Peel is made of Grade A edge-grain natural bamboo composite.
The aesthetically appealing design of edge-grain bamboo being joined together makes this peel a good decoration even if you just hang it on the wall of your kitchen.
The tapered edge makes insertion and release easy and it’s wide enough to handle prepping. Even with an extremely hot oven, you won’t feel the heat in your hand because composite material doesn’t absorb heat. This peel can also double as a cutting board.
It features a generous 20-by-12-inch size, it won’t shy away from pizza prepping and perfect for home ovens.
- Made from Grade A bamboo composite
- Aesthetically appealing
- Can double as a chopping board
- The composite material may cause the peel to crack
Although I like wood, my winner for this review is the Kitchen Supply 14-Inch x 16-Inch Aluminum Pizza Peel with Wood Handle. The width and the length of this peel is just right it provides proper balance. I find it suitable for on the spot prepping and its wide enough for most home ovens. The length is just right, it gives me the right distance from the oven door and it’s also short enough to store properly.
If I want wooden peel, I would pick the Heritage Acacia Wood Pizza 22.3 Inch x 14.3 Inch Peel or the Ironwood Gourmet, Acacia Wood, 14-inch by 14-inch Pizza Peel. They both provide more or less the same features including their aesthetic appeal. Both are made of Acacia wood which makes them similar in terms of durability against warping.
I have a couple of gripes against these two though: first, its a bit tricky to maintain and second, unclean wood is a good breeding ground for bacteria. But if you can keep this peels clean, there is really nothing much to complain about.
The rest of the peels are too large as far as I’m concerned. If it doesn’t fit my home oven, then I find no use for it. Beside, I really don’t see the point in using a huge peel when a smaller one will just to the job. The length is also a problem because most homes have limited space and as long as you’re not too scared about the heat, you really don’t need a long handle for a peel.
Do you love to make pizza at home? Do you have a best pick as far as these pizza peels are concerned? Share us your thoughts in the comment section below.