The 10 Best Pizza Peels
This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If you've ever suffered the trials and tribulations associated with removing a hot pizza from the oven with something like a small spatula, then you'll appreciate the ease and convenience provided by these peels. With choices ranging from wood to stainless steel, our selections are designed with durability, safety, and sustainability in mind. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best pizza peel on Amazon.
Why You Need A Pizza Peel
The main purpose for this humble and underutilized utensil is removing hot pizzas from the oven, but it's good for much more than that.
Most people probably wouldn't guess what a pizza peel does just based on the name, which is presumed to come from the French word pelle, roughly translating to "peel" or "shovel." And while its name may make the pizza peel sound like a single-use tool, it's anything but. The main purpose for this humble and underutilized utensil is removing hot pizzas from the oven, but it's good for much more than that.
A pizza peel is an excellent tool for moving around delicate doughs that would easily break or become misshapen from being transported by hand, like pastries and loaves of homemade bread. Plus, wooden peels, particularly those made from acacia and other visually-appealing woods, can double as serving boards for baguettes, cheeses, and charcuterie, making them very useful when you're throwing a dinner party.
Pizza peels also allow you to position food closer to the back of the oven without burning your hands or forearms. Their elongated handles make it easy to flip, turn, and move food around during baking without having to remove the tray from the oven. Plus, if you use a pizza stone for your homemade pies, a peel makes it significantly easier to slide them on and off without having to worry about taking the stone out of the oven and burning yourself.
Tips For Choosing And Using Your Pizza Peel
There are a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to consider when choosing your ideal pizza peel. For professional use, you want the longest handle possible, as pizza ovens get much hotter than regular household models. But for home use, you should be more concerned with how it's shaped and what it's made of.
But for home use, you should be more concerned with how it's shaped and what it's made of.
Rounded edges are great for getting into the corners of your oven, but if you only ever bake one or two pies at a time, a square or rectangular peel will do the trick. And when it comes to materials, consider how you'll be using it — wooden peels are aesthetically pleasing, but they're considerably thicker and more difficult to maintain than metal ones, and not nearly as resistant to high temperatures.
You may think that your pizza is only in danger of sticking to the peel when the dough is raw. But sometimes, your perfect, hot-out-of-the-oven crust can get stuck too, which is, arguably, even worse. There are a few things you can do to prevent sticking, both before and after cooking, that will save you a lot of frustration and have you eating your dinner sooner.
When transferring raw dough to the oven, make sure to coat your pizza peel in flour or cornmeal, which will essentially act as a lubricant to allow the dough to slide across the surface of the peel. If you choose to use cornmeal, though, apply it with a light hand, as it can easily burn on top of your pizza stone or baking sheet. It also helps to move as fast as possible — use a quick back and forth motion to transfer the pie from the peel to the oven in order to loosen it up and prevent it from sticking.
After you've removed your piping hot creation from the oven, time is of the essence. You don't want to let it sit on the peel for any longer than absolutely necessary, as the heat can cause it to stick. Plus, the heat trapped between your pie's perfectly crisp exterior and the peel will cause steam to build up, which will make the crust start to soften, and no one likes a soggy crust.
Making Your Own Homemade Pies
The idea of making pizza at home may sound intimidating, and unless you get really lucky, there's a good chance that your first pie (or three) won't turn out perfect. But, with a little bit of trial and error, you'll find that the effort is well worth your while.
First off, know that making your own dough from scratch, while very rewarding, is not your only choice. There are plenty of decent store-bought options out there, both fresh and frozen, but if you want to step it up a notch, look no further than your neighborhood pizza shop. Most people don't know this, but a lot of pizzerias will sell you a ball of house-made dough if you ask.
Choose a few of your favorites that complement one another, and try not to be too heavy-handed — you don't want to overwhelm the flavors of the sauce and crust.
However, if you do want to make your own dough, start by choosing the right flour. You can use all-purpose flour if it's the only thing you have lying around, but a high-protein blend will produce a chewier crust, so you're better off going with a bread flour, and there are even special, extra-fine flours made specifically for pizza dough. And you don't need a fancy stand mixer to make homemade dough — you can also use a food processor, but if you don't have that either, you can simply use your hands, and there are even some no-knead methods out there to make the process even easier.
When it comes to toppings, less is often more. Choose a few of your favorites that complement one another, and try not to be too heavy-handed — you don't want to overwhelm the flavors of the sauce and crust. There are plenty of traditional options, like pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and olives. But if you want to go for something a little more avant-garde, try some unusual flavors, like figs, prosciutto, buffalo chicken, goat cheese, or even greens, like spinach, arugula, and broccoli.
Once your pie is assembled and ready to go into the oven, the simplest thing you can do to improve the final result is to crank up the heat as high as it will go. If the idea makes you skittish, keep in mind that when pizza is cooked in a commercial or wood-fired oven, the temperature can reach as high as 800-1,000°F. This not only helps it to bake faster, but also makes the crust lighter and crispier and creates deliciously charred bits that add a depth of flavor you won't get at lower temperatures.
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