What Is A Pizza Peel
Pizza peels are usually associated with brick ovens and commercial pizza ovens. But, pizza peels are also often seen in households with regular ovens that like to make pizza from scratch. Pizza peels are used to transfer pizzas easily in the oven without spilling the toppings, dropping the whole pizza, or burning your hands.
There are different shapes and sizes of pizza peel and home cooks usually use a smaller size to accommodate the size of their oven. Pizza peels are traditionally made of wood but there are also pizza peels that are made with aluminum or stainless steel.
What Is The Difference Between A Wood And Metal Pizza Peel?
Wooden Pizza Peels
This type of pizza peel usually has a thicker carrying surface so it does not burn in the oven as you transfer the pizza into a pizza stone or pizza pan.
Raw pizza dough tends to stick less in a wooden pizza peel because of its rough texture. This allows more airflow under the dough making it stick less to the surface. But, dusting flour on the surface of a pizza peel makes launching the pizza into the oven easier.
Wooden pizza peels also tend to be heavier than metal peels as they are made with dense wood. Because these pizza peels are thicker, they are often used to put pizza into the oven rather than taking them out.
Metal Pizza Peels
Metal pizza peels are a lighter and thinner version of a wooden pizza peel. These kinds of pizza peel are often made with aluminum or stainless steel so they can be thin but sturdy enough to carry a pizza.
With metal pizza steels being thinner than wood pizza peels, sliding it under the pizza when it is done cooking is a much easier task.
But, will all these advantages of a metal pizza peel, raw pizza dough tends to stick more in these kinds of pizza peels. What people do is dust the surface with a generous amount of flour. This makes the dough stick less and easier to launch in the oven. The carrying surface of a metal pizza peel is also flexible which makes it easier to slide under the pizza.
For these reasons, people usually have two kinds of pizza peels in their house – a wooden pizza peel to launch raw pizza dough in the oven and a metal pizza peel to take the pizza out.
Launching Pizza Peel
As the name implies, a launching peel is used to launch pizza into the oven. These pizza peels can be made of either wood or metal.
Launching peels have a flat and large carrying surface which makes it easier for the raw pizza dough to sit in the peel and launch it in the oven.
Turning Pizza Peel
A turning pizza peel is a smaller and perforated version of a pizza peel. These kinds of pizza peel are made of metal with a rubber or wood handle.
A turning pizza peel is circular in shape and is used for rotating the pizza inside the oven, instead of manually doing it. You don’t necessarily need a turning peel if you bake pizza in a pizza pan.
Wood vs Metal Pizza Peel
If you make pizza from scratch, you are probably thinking about which one is better: wood or metal pizza peel.
Pizza peels come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. The kind of pizza peel you want will depend on your preference but, let’s take a look at some differences between both pizza peels.
Raw pizza dough can be heavy depending on how many toppings you put on top. A durable pizza peel will make transferring pizzas easier as you do not have to worry about the peel breaking when in use.
Metal pizza peels are more durable than wooden pizza peels because of the materials used. Wooden pizza peels can be prone to cracking or warping, especially when soaked in water for too long. To make a wood pizza peel last long, clean it with a damp sponge or cloth and let it air dry. You can also wipe the surface with soapy water.
Wooden pizza peels tend to be heavier than metal pizza peels because dense wood is used in making them. For those who prefer a lighter pizza peel, your best option would be a metal pizza peel. But, if you do not mind a little bit of weight and prefer a traditional look, a wooden pizza peel is for you.
Shape Of Pizza Peel
There are square and rectangular-shaped pizza peels. The square-shaped pizza peel might be more difficult to move the pizza once it is in the oven since there are sharp angles in these kinds of pizza peels. Circular pizza peels are better for rotating the pizza in the oven.
Both a square and circle pizza peel can be made from wood or metal.
Size Of Carrying Surface
There are different sizes of metal and wooden pizza peels. But, the usual sizes are 12 inches, 14 inches, and 16 inches.
The size of a pizza peel will depend on the size of your oven and the size of the pizza that you will make. If you have a smaller oven or often make 12-inch pizzas, a 12-inch pizza peel is perfect for you.
Handle and Grip
Most pizza peel handles are just long enough for you to be able to launch the pizza in the oven with ease. Both wooden and metal pizza peels have different handle lengths so it will depend on whether you want a shorter or longer handle.
The grip of both wooden and metal pizza peels has a different feel.
When making pizzas, we usually have wet or greasy hands. In this regard, wooden pizza peels have more grip because of their rough texture. However, wood pizza peels also tend to splinter, especially if they have been used for a long time.
Some metal peels have rubber or wood handle to prevent your grip from slipping when handling metal peels. If you prefer a more secure grip, go for a wood pizza peel or find a metal pizza peel with a rubber or wood handle.
Perforated Pizza Peel
Another alternative to the usual wooden or metal pizza peel is a perforated pizza peel. There are wooden perforated pizza peels but, these kinds of pizza peels are usually made of metal.
These are pizza peels with small holes on the surface to let air flow through and get rid of excess flour. This makes Perforated pizza peels easier to launch and take out pizza in the oven. If you do not want to own both a wooden and metal pizza peel, you can get a perforated pizza peel instead.
The downside to this pizza peel is, raw pizza might sink through the holes if it is too heavy so you have to be quick in launching the pizza into the oven.
How To Use A Pizza Peel
Using a pizza peel is easy once you get the hang of it but, it can be tricky if it is your first time. A few reasons why using a pizza peel is tricky are that it is sometimes hard to get the pizza dough into the pizza peel and that the dough can also stick to it.
The best way to use a pizza peel is to dust the surface with cornmeal or semolina flour and assemble your pizza on the peel. The flour will help the pizza slide with ease. If you can wiggle the pizza on the peel, it won’t stick when you launch it in the oven.
The general advice is you use a wooden pizza peel to launch the pizza and then take it out with a metal pizza. But, there is still the perforated pizza peel if you don’t want to buy both wood and metal pizza peels.
Both pizza peels both have their pros and cons. Wooden pizza peels are heavier but the pizza dough will slide out easier than the metal pizza peel. While a metal pizza peel is lighter but dough tends to stick more in these kinds of pizza peels.
At the end of the day, it will be up to your personal preference when choosing between a wooden vs metal pizza peel. You can have both of them but, you do have another option which is the perforated pizza peel.
Pizza peels are a great addition to your kitchen tools especially if you make pizza and use a pizza stone often. If you have any other questions, do let us know.