Has the question, “what is a pizza peel,” stuck into your mind? YOu must be some pizza lover and want to get teh healthiest homemade pizza. So, while coming across the pizza-making tools’ list, the pizza peel has infused curiosity into your mind. Not only this, many other questions about pizza peel are demanding an answer.
What if I tell you that shifting pizza in the oven and moving it for an even heat distribution demands or the right tool. There comes a flat spatula with a long handle named pizza peel. Does it satisfy you? NOOOO!
You need a complete answer before getting your perfect homemade pizza, which is here in our article. Let’s begin to find what is a pizza peel; how it can help you, and many other questions like these. Here we begin.
- 1 What is a Pizza Peel? An Introduction to Pizza Peel
- 2 Do you Need a Pizza Peel at all?
- 3 What are the Different Types of Pizza Peels?
- 4 How should you Use a Pizza Peel?
- 5 FAQs about Pizza Peel
- 6 Final Thoughts
What is a Pizza Peel? An Introduction to Pizza Peel
A pizza peel is a shovel- or spatula-like tool that bakers use to move pizza into the oven; turn it; transfer it back to the counter. A pizza peel consists of a handle and a round or square board, a flat carrying surface (like the blade of a shovel) for storing pizza and other baked goods. Some pizza peels can also function as cutting, storing, and serving boards.
There are wooden as well as metal pizza peels. There are other types as well, but more on this later.
Pizza peels come in several shapes and dimensions. The length of the handle usually corresponds to the depth of the furnace or pizza oven and the intended pizza size. However, peels with a long handle can’t support a large pizza, as the handle can bend in the process. A small handle, on the other hand, can burn your fingers while you’re maneuvering pizza in the oven. Is some kind of quantum mechanics involved?
Do you Need a Pizza Peel at all?
Yes, for all practical purposes, you need a pizza peel. If you believe that pizza-making should be hassle-free, you must own a good pizza peel. However, if you’re using a baking tray to make pizza, you can do fine without having a pizza peel. On the other hand, if you’re baking pizza on a traditional coal fire or using a pizza stone or pizza steel, having pizza peel seems a must.
You can try different things to maneuver a pizza in the oven. For example, you can use parchment paper to rotate or remove pizza. But there’s a chance that you could end up burning your fingers trying to do so. You can even use a baking tray to remove pizza from the oven. But we don’t advise doing that. Using a pizza peel to handle a delicate thing like pizza is the most comfortable thing in the world. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel.
Still not convinced? I’ve pinpointed the reasons why you should always use a pizza peel to handle the pizza in the oven:
Pizza Peel Helps with Pizza Placement.
A pizza peel allows you to directly place the pizza onto a hot surface, such as a pizza stone.
Pizza Peel Help you Move Pizza to Get Even Heat.
It allows you to move, rotate, or turn the pizza in the oven to ensure that it receives even heat. Thus, it removes the chance of having uncooked, half-baked, or overcooked surfaces.
Pizza Peel Ensures your and Dear Pizza’s Safety.
It makes the process of pizza making risk-free. In the same way, it prevents damaging the intricate toppings of your pizza. Thus, it also preserves the original taste and integrity of the pizza.
Pizza Peel Affects the Quality of your Pizza.
Pizza peels are of different types based on the material used. Wooden and metal pizza peels each have a set of qualities that set them apart from the other. Based on what kind of pizza peel you’re using, you can change the outcome of your pizza.
Pizza Peel Saves your Time.
Last but not least, using pizza peel saves time. It makes the process easy. If you’ve been making pizza without using a pizza peel and now start using one, it’s a matter of time before you notice that your efficiency has increased.
What are the Different Types of Pizza Peels?
Pizza peels are of different types. One method of categorizing pizza peels is considering the type of material used. A pizza peel can be made of wood, metal, or composite materials. In addition to the material, there are some other pointers to consider when it comes to the pizza peel types, for example, the shape of the pizza peel. Pizza peels can be round, square, or rectangular. In addition to shape, the material’s surface plays an essential role in deciding the type of pizza peel. A pizza peel can be perforated (with holes) or without holes.
Based on materials they’re made from, these are the most common pizza peel types:
Wooden Pizza Peels
As the name suggests, wooden pizza peels are made of wood. Wooden pizza peels provide a decent look and can also be used as kitchen decor items. However, it doesn’t mean that, in terms of function and use, wooden peels are inferior to metal ones. Indeed, wooden pizza peels perform better than the other types.
One of the greatest advantages of using a wooden pizza peel is that the pizza dough doesn’t stick to them. It’s because the porous structure of these peels prevents the vacuum build-up between the peel surface and sticky dough. Metal peels, on the contrary, are hard to use because they stick to the dough and make transferring pizza a mess.
Another benefit of having wooden pizza peels is that they’re cheap and lightweight. Most wooden pizza peels have tapering front and sides, making it a snip to slide them under pizza dough.
Wooden pizza peels aren’t good conductors of heat, meaning that it’s safe to use them for maneuvering pizza in the oven. There’s no chance for oven heat to reach the handle and burn your fingers. In addition, you can use wooden pizza peels as cutting and serving boards.
However, these qualities don’t make wooden pizza peel free of demerits. One of the potential disadvantages of using wooden pizza peels is that they’re difficult to clean. Since the wood is porous, it can retain odors and stains. Furthermore, since wood is not fireproof, charring surfaces and burn signs can have a chance to develop even when you take utmost care.
Another shortcoming of wooden pizza peels is that they crack, splinter, or warp. You can’t clean them in a dishwasher. Washing them using warm water and soap requires utmost care.
Metal Pizza Peels
Metal pizza peels are a better option for making pizza. Most metal pizza peels are made of aluminum and thinner than their wooden counterparts. It’s easy to slot them under the pizza dough. However, metal pizza peels have a serious flaw, i.e., the raw dough easily sticks to the non-porous metal pizza peel surface. One can solve this problem by using a perforated metal pizza peel. Since perforated metal peels contain holes, there’s no chance for the vacuum to develop between the peel surface and dough.
Another benefit of using metal pizza peels is the ease of cleanliness. Metal pizza peels require little maintenance and are also easy to use. Metal pizza peels further come in two types: Pizza peel with holes and no holes. A pizza peel with holes is also known as a perforated pizza peel.
Composite Pizza Peels
Composite pizza peels are made up of different materials that have been put together in a unique composition. These peels have varying physical properties, such as thermal characteristics, based on the type of materials used in their formulation. Fiber composite pizza peels are one of the most common types of composite pizza peels.
Composite pizza peels are durable, sturdy, and thin compared to their wooden counterparts. However, sometimes, these peels can emit odors and show discoloration over time. These things occur due to faulty or poor manufacturing processes.
How should you Use a Pizza Peel?
The purpose of a pizza peel is to maneuver a pizza in the oven. Maneuvering pizza includes placing pizza into the oven, turning or rotating it, and then transferring it back to the kitchen counter. These steps call for different types of pizza peels. The detailed process of maneuvering pizza includes the following:
Moving Pizza into the Oven
When it comes to moving pizza into the oven, wooden pizza peels are the best for the job. Wooden pizza peels don’t stick to the moist dough, so they’re always preferable for this step. You can even assemble the entire pizza onto the peel surface and avoid dough sticking to the peel surface.
If you don’t have a wooden peel, it’s best to shape and top the pizza over the countertop. Transferring the pizza from the countertop to the pizza peel will disrupt the shape of the pizza a little bit, so you can readjust it before you move it into the oven.
Even if you have a metal pizza peel, you can season it a little bit using mineral oil. Oiling the metal pizza peel reduces the chance of pizza dough sticking to the peel surface. When you’re using a wooden peel, dust the peel surface with gluten-free Semolina flour. Adding flour makes it easier to slide the pizza off the peel surface.
If the dough is stuck to the peel, use a dough scraper or spatula to detach it from the surface before it goes into the oven.
When using a metal pizza peel, you should also dust the pizza dough separately. In the case of a wooden pizza peel, dusting the peel alone is enough.
Turning or Rotating the Pizza in the Oven
Maneuvering the pizza in the oven is the hardest thing to do in the entire process of making pizza. Baking pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven and electric oven requires different sets of skills. However, regardless of the type of the oven, a thin metal peel is ideal for moving pizza in the oven.
A wood-fired pizza oven presents a different set of problems than the electric one. It bakes the bottom of the pizza faster than the top surface. Using metal pizza peel to lift the pizza closer to the dome for a while can solve this problem. It’s because the dome is the place where hot air concentrates before it leaves the oven.
Removing Pizza from the Oven
Removing pizza from the oven is a simple operation, and you can use either a wooden or metal pizza peel for this purpose.
FAQs about Pizza Peel
What’s the best pizza peel for commercial use?
Most pizza shops have big, wood-fired ovens. You’ll need a pizza peel with a long handle to reach the back of a big commercial and move the pizza in the high-heat area. Pizza shops use both wooden and metal pizza peels based on their requirements.
What’s the best pizza peel for making pizza at home?
If you’re a novice, a wooden pizza peel is ideal for you to start. It’s because the raw pizza dough sticks to the metal pizza peels, yet it doesn’t to wooden pizza peels. However, you may need more time to clean a wooden pizza peel after each use.
If you’re an expert pizza maker and frequently bake pizza at home, it’s best to have both wooden and metal types.
For home use, you don’t need a pizza peel with a long handle. A pizza peel with a short but sturdy handle will do just fine.
What’s the difference between pizza steel and a pizza stone?
Both pizza steel and pizza stone refer to baking surfaces. The main difference is that pizza steels (also called baking steels) are made purely of steel. Pizza stones, on the contrary, are made of clay, ceramic, or some mineral, metamorphic rocks. Pizza stones, similarly, are sometimes referred to as baking stones.
One of the most important differences between the two baking surfaces is the way they transfer heat. Another significant distinction lies in the price tag.
Pizza steels conduct heat more rapidly and efficiently than pizza stones. They’re also better at retaining heat. For these reasons, you can cook pizza in much less time on pizza steel compared to a pizza stone.
In addition, pizza steel is much more durable than pizza stones. They’re indestructible and won’t break under thermal shock. They can also double as grill griddles.
Pizza stones are also efficient conductors of heat, but they take more time to do so. It means that a pizza on a baking stone will cook evenly, but it will take more time to finish up.
Pizza stones are more likely to break under thermal shock. They can also crack or break over time. There’s little chance for a pizza stone to survive a freefall from the kitchen table.
Should I get pizza steel or pizza stone?
It depends on your needs, cooking style, and budget. If you make pizza few and far between, you should get a pizza stone. There’s no point in splurging on something that you only occasionally need. If you’re an avid pizza maker, you should invest in good pizza steel.
How thick should a pizza peel be?
A pizza peel’s thickness should be between 1 to 3 mm. It’s because the thinner the peel, the easier it is to slide it underneath the pizza dough. Metal peels tend to be thinner than wooden pizza peels. Despite being thinner, they can remain sturdy enough to handle a large-sized pizza.
Overly thin metal peels can become flimsy and bend while transferring a large pizza. The consequence can be disastrous as the pizza might fall onto the floor and get ruined.
Wooden pizza peels are thicker than metal ones, but there’s a workaround to solve this problem. Wooden peels often have tapering ends that make it easy to slot the peel underneath the pizza dough.
It’s best to use a wooden pizza peel to transfer a pizza from the countertop into the oven. However, it would be best to prefer a metal pizza peel to remove the pizza from the oven.
What’s the carrying surface of a pizza peel?
A pizza peel consists of two main components; a handle and a carrying surface. The carrying surface is the place where a pizza is stored. It’s also referred to as a pizza board or blade.
The carrying surface of a pizza peel comes in two types; standard and perforated. The standard carrying surface is flat and continuous. It doesn’t contain perforations or holes. On the contrary, a perforated carrying surface contains holes.
Perforated metal peels tend to stick less to the pizza dough. However, they come with a serious drawback. Excess flour beneath the pizza crust can fall off through holes, burn in the oven, and cause unpleasant odors.
What are the most common shapes of a carrying surface?
Pizza peels come in the three most common shapes: square, round, and rectangular. The round carrying surface is ideal for maneuvering pizza in the oven. Rectangular pizza peels present a more traditional design. Rectangular blades are best for transferring the pizza back to the countertop. It’s because the elongated front end allows you to retrieve the pizza easily. However, a square-shaped pizza peel is best for professional use.
How to clean and maintain a wooden pizza peel?
Wooden pizza peels are hard to clean and maintain compared to metal ones. They are prone to cracking, splintering, and warping.
You should never clean a wooden pizza peel in the dishwasher. Also, avoid soaking or submerging a wooden pizza peel in hot water. If you want to prolong the life of a wooden peel, limit its contact with hot water. Wood is more susceptible to warp when wet.
For simple cleaning, use a dough scraper to brush off any excess dough from the peel. Avoid using a metal dough scraper as it can damage the wood. A plastic or wooden dough scraper is ideal for this purpose.
Instead of submerging the peel in hot water, use a soft, damp cloth, such as a towel to clean the wooden pizza peel.
You should also avoid using wooden pizza peel as a cutting board. But you can use it as a serving board.
You should also oil the wooden pizza peel once every three months. Mineral oil hydrates the wood well and prevents it from warping or cracking.
Why is it called a pizza peel?
Though not the origin of pizza peel isn’t clear yet, the word “peel” seems close to the French word “Pelle,” meaning shovel. Since the shovel is used in pizza and other bakery items’ movement during baking, the pizza peel has got the right name.
What is a pizza peel substitute?
Though not advisable, still, if your pizza peel has been broken, or you haven’t any but want to make pizza, you can use these options:
- Use a rimless cookie sheet
- A rimmed baking sheet with its upside down
- A parchment paper
- Use a hard cardboard
- A cutting board
- A serving platter
- Use a frying pan.
The pizza peel is an essential shovel-like tool needed to keep your pizza cooking journey free from burns while you attempt to transfer pizza in a hot oven. It’s better to use a wooden pizza peel and maintain it properly—Good Luck with getting your best wooden pizza peel.