Peels are baking equipment used by bakers and baking enthusiasts for transferring and removing pie, bread, and any other baked food into and out of the oven.
Pizza peels are tools used for placing pizza into the oven without spilling any of its contents, it is also used for removing the pizza out after baking.
Pizza peels are wooden-made, and sometimes they are made from metal. They can either have a short or long handle depending on the oven type, which is generally wood, to prevent the conduction of heat from the metal surface to the baker’s hand.
It has a flat surface for holding baked products, and this surface material can be either wood or metals. Pizza peels main use is for transferring pizza around tables during preparation.
This does not mean that the pizza peels design is for the oven only.
Types of the Pizza Peel
Pizza peels are made of different materials and are in different shapes which include;
- Wooden Pizza Peel: This pizza peel has a long handle for carrying and is made with wood, the surface depth is also wooden-made. They are pleasing to look at and are perfect for people who love displaying their peels to other people. Pizza handles can either be wooden-wooden or wooden-metal, which means the surface and the handle material can be wooden or the handle can be wood and the surface metal.
- Metal Pizza Peel: This pizza peel surface is made entirely from sheet metal or aluminum and the handle from cast iron or softer metal. It is not aesthetically pleasing and requires little to no care during use.
Difference between Wooden Pizza Peels and Metal Pizza Peels
- Aesthetic Feeling: The wooden pizza handles exhibit this professional baking feeling. It is perfect for people who want their kitchen to have an Italian feel.
- Maintenance: The wooden pizza peel is more challenging to maintain than the metal pizza peel because they warp when exposed to moisture and absorb odors. It causes the pizza peel to transfer this rancid smell to your pizza during cooking; it is also easy to stain because pizza has a variety of colors, and the wood absorbs stains quickly. The metal pizza peel is easier to maintain and requires constant scraping, washing, and drying.
- Fire Resistance Level: They both have the same use but different resistance to fire. Generally, wood is not known to resist fire and can burn easily. Wood peels can sometimes catch fire and char when they get exposed to scorching heat; metals can withstand heat and fire but can also conduct it to your hands if the handles are short.
- Flipping Pizza: Perfect flipping materials are often flat, flexible, or thin, or the combination of all of these qualities. This is not found in the wood pizza peel because of its thick surface. Flipping pizza in the oven with metal wood peels is far better because of the presence of the thin sheet metal’s surface that allows for easy flipping.
- Stickiness: The wooden pizza peel wins this round. This is because freshly prepared pizzas have less tendency to stick in the pans of wooden peels. They will often stick on the metal peels instead.
Which Handle Type is Better?
Each handle has its function, there is no handle type better than the other. Short handles are for transferring pizza around and also for people with small convection ovens.
Long handles are for people with extensive and deep ovens; both function well. But, shorter handles have a less tendency to cause spillage or messing up the pizza, while long handles have a higher tendency to do so because the pizza is faraway from the body.
Uses of Pizza Peels
There are several uses of pizza peels, and they include;
- To transfer pizza around tables during preparation: This use is mostly for big enterprises involved in the mass production of pizza, and these places often have designated pizza jobs. Some parts are responsible for the sauce, some for the cheese, others for the toppings. This pre-made pizza needs to move around quickly, hence the need for a short handle pizza peel.
- To place your pizza into the oven: This is the primary use of the pizza peel. It is for the transferring of your uncooked pizza dough and toppings into the oven for baking. Hence, the need for the long-handled pizza peel comes into use, as it maintains a significant distance between you and the hot oven. Long handle pizza peels help you transfer your pizza into the innermost part of the oven, which is usually the most sizzling, there your pizza will receive the hottest heat the convection oven can provide.
- To perfectly turn your pizza during cooking: When there is a need to turn the pizza to the other side, the pizza peel will do that for you perfectly. It is far easier and better than removing the hot steaming pizza from the oven risking a second-degree burn, all in the bid to turn over your pizza. With the long-handled pizza peel, turning your pizza is more effortless, perfect, and stress-free. It also reduces charring from the hot spot that may be due to improper turning.
- To bring out your pizza from the oven: Your already baked pizza is steaming hot, and those gloves might not do the trick of holding the pizza stone. The pizza peel will ideally bring out your pizza and leave you in no danger of burns or heat.
- To impress your guests: Perhaps you are in charge of a pizza party; a pizza peel adds a touch of class and professionalism to your baking. You would be the talk of the event in everyone’s home.
How to Store your Pizza Peels
Pizza peels are large and need unique storage methods to ensure it doesn’t cause injury to others in the kitchen or cause damage. Getting a pizza peel case from Amazon can help in protecting it.
If you are unable to get one, use a guitar mount to store your pizza peel. Place the guitar stand on the wall and hang in your pizza peel.
How to take care of Wooden Pizza Peels?
- The best way to wash your wooden pizza peel after use is to use warm soapy water or a damp cloth and sponge to get rid of all the pizza oils and crumbs. After washing off the dirt, it is recommended you re-oil your peel every 3 to 6 months with food-grade wood oil and allow it soak overnight.
- Avoid soaking your wooden peel inside water as it tends to absorb it and cause future cracks and breaking when they are to lift pizzas. Wooden pizza peels are not dishwasher friendly, air the peels on a rack before use.
Learn how to make your own wooden pizza peel here.
How to take care of metal Pizza Peels?
- Cleaning a metal peel is far easier than cleaning a wooden peel. They only need scrapping and washing. The advantage the metal peel has over a wooden peel is it allows soaking with no fear of damage.
- If it has a wooden handle, avoid putting the wooden part in water. Wash thoroughly and dry with a towel or air before storing it to prevent rusting or rancid smells. Instructables teaches you how to make a DIY perforated metal peel.
Getting a pizza peel will encourage you to make more homemade pizzas than order takeout. Go to your local pizza store or an online store to get a perfect pizza peel, be it metal or wooden.