In the modern age of technology, the trend of making pizza at home (and the art behind it) is slowly on the fall. Smartphone food delivery apps have made it convenient to get hot and crispy pizza in 30 minutes or less, to the point where even the thought of making your own pizza at home may sound like a daunting task to you. As a result, for many people, finding the best pizza peel for their own pizza-making pursuits might be an obsolete task these days.
But, true pizza lovers never really got discouraged by these modern day fast food joints (that’s what most pizza enthusiasts refer to the large pizza delivery chains as). The art of making your own pizza at home is still alive and kicking, thanks to these extremely skilled home pizza chefs. As you stumbled upon our guide to choosing a suitable pizza peel for your kitchen, chances are that you are one of them yourself!
Pizza is an extremely delicious dish, and it’s the personal favorite of my two children. In fact, the older one is an absolute pizza fanatic. He’s such a big fan that often times I can sense that he’s basically just obsessed about pizza. Believe me or not, he can smell the scent and aroma of a delicious pizza from as far as 2 rooms across the house.
Being the mother of two pizza loving children, when I first attempted to make pizza on my own at home, one of the worst things to happen on my first try was when I spilled the pizza on the ground. It happened because I was trying to get the raw, uncooked pizza into the oven using my bare hands. I stood there looking like a stupid person to any pizza enthusiast, because I was still not aware of the concept of something specifically designed to carry the pizza in and out of the oven. Enter, the pizza peel!
What is a Pizza Peel?
In simple words, a pizza peel is a fairly simple kitchen tool with two parts - a flat (generally) paddle at one end and a fairly long handle at the other end. What’s its use? Well, it can be safely said that a pizza peel is the tool which makes the whole process of putting in your pizza bread, and all the ingredients on top of it, into the oven and taking the piping hot pizza out of the oven the safest.
As you already know, I didn’t know about the existence of a pizza peel before I accidentally dropped my uncooked pizza on the floor while trying to get it to the oven. Well, it turned out that I was not the only person who struggles with getting a pizza bread in and out of an oven. It was, in fact, quite a common problem for many people across America. That’s when I got to know about the handy little tool called pizza peel.
Still, I was not too sure about buying my own pizza peel before I started making pizza at home more often. Prior to that, we usually ordered fast-food pizza from outside, due to a lack of free time. So, that was one of the main reasons why we didn’t have a pizza peel in our kitchen already. Also, it wouldn’t be a lie to say that I initially thought that the best pizza peel is an advanced tool meant only for restaurants.
How Does a Pizza Peel Work?
No matter how you intend to use it, the end goal of a pizza peel is to enable you to place your uncooked pizza into the oven and take out the cooked beauty out of it. Doing this without getting you into any nasty issue like spilling half of the ingredients inside the oven or dropping the whole pizza onto the ground.
Still, there are three main ways a pizza peel is used by its users:
●Firstly, some people prefer to prepare the pizza on a cold, hard platform (especially granite or marble) and then once the preparation is complete, they slide a pizza peel (mainly metal peels) underneath and place the prepared but uncooked pizza on the peel to transfer it inside the oven.
●The second method is making your pizza on a wood pizza peel (preferably short) itself, and then sliding it onto the placing peel (preferably made of metal) and finally putting it into the oven. This method is very easy for beginners.
●The final method takes help of a long-handled pizza peel (preferably wood-made) to get your pizza ready. Then it needs you to put it into the oven. This method is by far the least mistake-prone, but the rather long handle of the pizza peel may be uncomfortable for some to move around.
10 Useful Benefits of Using Best Pizza Peel
Other than the obvious benefit of just having one of these pizza peels to make your home pizza-making experience a lot easier, there are 10 distinct, significant benefits of buying a pizza peel and keeping one in your kitchen always.
1. Preventing Accidental Spills, Drops and Other Mess - The last thing that you want while making your pizza is to let it slip, either into the oven (when all ingredients may not follow the bread on its way in) or worse, straight onto the floor. A pizza peel is built mainly for solving this very real problem of thousands of home pizza chefs.
2. Transferring Your Pizza from One Surface to Another - it’s a common need for pizza makers to transfer the pizza from a wooden surface to a metal one or vice-versa, often multiple times during the pizza-making process. A pizza peel makes this job a thousand times easier, as opposed to something like a thin knife, which can make things messy by messing around with the thin, tender pizza bread.
3. Protecting Your Hands from the Extreme Heat of the Oven - a pizza peel can come in extremely handy when it comes to protecting your hands (especially if you don’t have and use specialized thermal-resistant cooking gloves) from the massive amount of heat found inside a typical pizza oven.
4. Easy Maneuvering of Pizza in Large Stoves - it’s just incredibly easier when you’re using a pizza peel as opposed to a regular cooking utensil or worse, your bare hands.
5. Reducing the Amount of Hand-handling of Pizza - as you’d expect, human hands aren’t perfect for holding not just pizza, but anything for that matter. They can tremble, they can make things slip off, and they can certainly ruin the perfect garnishing of your home-made pizza if you let them touch the pizza too much. A peel solves this problem by taking over this duty from your bare hands.
6. Pizza Peels Require Little to No Maintenance - these peels are very low-maintenance kitchen tools, unlike more sophisticated pizza-making tools like pizza stones or ovens. Thus, getting a pizza peel won’t make your life any more difficult by needing regular attention from you to stay alright.
7. The Thermal Insulation of Wooden Peels Helps - if you tried using a cooking pan as an intermediary between your pizza slab and your oven, you already know what I’m talking about. Yes, wooden pizza peels were invented for this specific purpose of not letting your uncooked pizza stick to the surface of it easily.
8. You Can Make the Pizza on a Long Enough Peel - if the size of your pizza peel exceeds that of your pizza, you can safely start preparing the pizza right on your peel and use the peel to directly put the pizza into the oven.
9. Specialized Equipment for Extreme Thermal Durability - some pizza stones can get really hot, and traditional cooking utensils simply don’t cut it when it comes to carrying the uncooked pizza inside the oven or on top of the stone. Pizza peels on the other hand are built with this in mind, as they are built specifically to get uncooked pizza inside ovens and on top of stones. So, they don’t suffer from the same problems as your standard stainless-steel kitchen utensils.
10. Pizza Peels are Quite Affordable - apart from all of its magnificent advantages, the cost of a typical pizza peel is definitely a turn on for most people. For them, it’s a no brainer to buy a cheap tool that’s this effective.
Our Top Picks of 8 Best Pizza Peels You Can Get Your Hands On
Pizza Royale Ethically Sourced Premium Natural Bamboo Pizza Peel
The main talking point of this product is its versatility. This Pizza Royale model can be used to move not just pizza, but also other types of bread and other baking goods to and from your oven. It’s even suitable for being used as a cutting board! Oh, and you can even use it as a different tool altogether like a storage block. If you’re unlikely to be satisfied with anything else other than the absolutely best pizza peel, you can give this Pizza Royale model a try.
EXO Non-Stick Polymer Sealed Super Peel Pizza Peel
This extremely popular wooden pizza peel from the staple of EXO comes with a bio-friendly polymer coating, which makes it super efficient and non-sticky for not just pizza, but any kind of sticky dough-based food. This model is so popular that it was even covered on live TV on multiple occasions!
Heritage Acacia Wood Pizza Peel
Heritage is a known brand in the world of pizza baking tools, and it’s a brand that’s used by not just amateurs, but also professional chefs. The Acacia wood peel is extremely durable, lightweight and easy to use. Its amazing design is also loved by most of its users.
Kitchen Supply 14-Inch x 16-Inch Aluminum Pizza Peel
The kitchen supply aluminium-made pizza peel comes in 4 different sizes, to suit the needs of all types of users. Its aluminium head is rounded for reaching even the extreme corners of your oven with ease. If you’re looking specifically for a metal pizza peel, the Kitchen Supply won’t disappoint you for sure.
Pizzacraft Folding Pizza Peel & Pizza Stone Brush
This unit does the job of both a pizza peel and a pizza stone brush by combining both of their features into one foldable design. The handle is made of wood, whereas the other end (the peel and the brush-holder) is made of metal. The foldable design means that you can carry it around quite easily.
Outset QZ10 Stainless-Steel Pizza Peel
Aluminium may be the default option for people looking for a lightweight peel, but stainless steel has its own admirers as well. As it’s evident from its name, the Outset QZ10 boasts a stainless-steel design to ensure the kind of ruggedness you can’t expect from an Aluminium peel.
CounterArt Bamboo Pizza Peel
CounterArt is a name in the cooking world that doesn’t need an introduction. Their extremely popular bamboo-made pizza peel doesn’t fail to disappoint with its stunning design and an endless fleet of utility features.
Cuisinart CPS-445 Pizza Peel
This peel comes as a part of a larger set by Cuisinart (yeah, the world famous cooking utensils brand that you’re already familiar with) - which also includes a pizza stone and a pizza cutter. Known for its reliability, this sturdy pizza peel is also extremely versatile.
How to Use a Pizza Peel?
How you use your pizza peel mainly depends on whether you’re using a wooden peel or a metal peel.
For wooden peels, it’s more common to start preparing the pizza right on top of the peel to begin with. The surface of the peel is usually floured, though wood is pretty non-sticky by default. After you’re done mixing your dough, you need to stretch it thin. Once you’ve got it thin enough, you can safely and conveniently carry the uncooked pizza by the handle of your wooden peel to move it into the oven.
If you’re having a metal pizza peel, however, you have to build your pizza on a flat, hard surface, like granite or marble. Once you’re done stretching your pizza, you need to get your metal peel ready by applying some flour on top of it to make it less sticky, and then slide it under the pizza’s surface and slowly place your pizza on top of the metal peel. Once that’s done, you can safely grab the handle of the pizza peel to insert it inside the oven, where you can leave your uncooked pizza for it to get transformed into a hot, delicious food.
5 Things to Consider While Buying the Best Pizza Peel
#1. Handle of the pizza peel
The handle of your pizza peel is extremely important because it’s the connection between you (your hands) and the surface of the pizza peel holding the pizza.
So, you have to ensure that it’s easy to grip so that it doesn’t slip easily, as well as lightweight to ensure prolonged use without straining your hands.
#2. Size and Weight of the peel
If you buy a pizza peel that’s too small, it may not fit all possible pizzas that you’ll ever make inside of it. Especially if it’s a wooden peel, that means you can’t prepare larger pizzas right on top of the peel from the beginning.
This is something you should keep in mind to ensure that you’re getting the best pizza peel that’ll work for most pizzas. Also, ensuring that your peel is not too heavy will help you to use it for longer duration at a stretch by putting less stress on your hands.
There are a variety of convenience-focused features available in various pizza peels, like - conveyor belt design, handle opening, and a heat-proof handle.
These specifically help in making your pizza-making job a lot easier by eliminating the most common and disturbing problems that you can ever face while trying to make pizza at home.
The shape of your pizza peel is extremely important. If the corners aren’t rounded enough, you won’t be able to reach the corners of a large oven easily with your pizza peel.
On the other hand, if the corners are too round, and you are not as experienced as a professional chef who prefers fully-round peels, it may make the job of getting it under the pizza bread much more difficult.
Wooden peels are beautiful and by far the most non-sticky. But that doesn’t mean they’re always the best for the purpose. When extreme heat is involved, wood isn’t the best option for a pizza peel.
That’s where a metal peel makes its entry. Metal peels are obviously much more heat-resistant than wood, but they do have the stickiness problem, often requiring users to apply flour on its surface before putting the pizza on top of metal pizza peels.
There are also composite pizza peels, but they aren’t as popular as the other two, because they’re still too thick and are hard to reach the extreme corners of a large oven with.
The Final Words
Buying a pizza peel is a must for anyone who cooks pizza at home from time to time, and has no plans to stop doing that anytime soon. It not just makes the overall job a lot easier, but it also earns you its price many times over by not letting your precious newly-prepared uncooked pizza hit the floor due to an accidental slip.
Pizza peels aren’t that expensive, either. That means, even if you buy a model that doesn’t tick all the right boxes for you, it won’t cost you a lot of money to just get another which does. Although, just like in case of any other kitchen utensil, it’s always recommended to go to your local store and try out a bunch of different models to know which one you truly like more than the others.
Buying a pizza peel is such an obvious choice to make for most home-made pizza enthusiasts that it’s becoming increasingly popular with time. Ultimately, buying the best pizza peel for you comes down to identifying what your specific needs are, and picking a suitable model for you based on your own, unique requirements.
Are you curious about pizza stones? Then grab our reviews on top rated pizza stones.