Pizza lovers, and you know who you are, often think about making this heavenly combination of cheese, sauce, and dough in their own kitchens. There’s something attractive about the thought of being able to have affordable pizza any time you feel like it. As number one pizza fans, here at Hungry Howie’s®, we feel compelled to share our pizza knowledge with all you pizza enthusiasts out there.
When you start your home pizza-making journey and learn about the tools and equipment required, you’ll probably wonder what is a pizza peel, what does it do, and do you really need one. We’re here to help.
What Is a Pizza Peel?
You may have actually seen a pizza peel and not even realized it. It’s that long paddle-looking thing used to move pizza from the counter where it is assembled to the hot oven for baking. The peel is also used to turn the pizza for even cooking and remove it from the oven when it is done.
Pizza peels have two distinguishing characteristics: a flat surface (the part that looks like a paddle only wider) called the carrying surface and a long handle. The carrying surface, sometimes called the blade, is a wide thin surface that holds the pizza. It is thin enough to slide under the pizza and wide enough to hold the pizza as you move it from one place to another.
The handle gives pizza makers a stable grip and extends their reach so that they can push the pizza inside the hot oven without getting burnt.
Types of Pizza Peels
There are three basic materials used to make pizza peels: wood, composite, or metal. Home pizza-making enthusiasts have their preferences for many reasons. The more you know about the materials used, the better you’ll be able to decide which one you prefer.
Peels Made of Wood
Many home pizza makers like wood for its good looks and multifunctionality. This is especially true for people who plan on displaying their peel and want a more authentic look if their style is Tuscan or Italian.
A wooden peel can also double as a cutting board, allowing you to cut the pizza right out of the oven. You can also serve the pizza directly from a wood peel, creating a truly authentic experience. However, there are some possible drawbacks to consider before purchasing a wooden pizza peel.
Wooden peels, like wooden cutting boards and other wooden items, are high-maintenance. If not properly cared for, they can warp due to exposure to warping, readily absorb odors, and easily stain. You can’t run a peel through the dishwasher. They should be hand-washed, air-dried, and seasoned with cutting board oil.
Wood isn’t fireproof, which can lead to burn marks or charred surfaces when used on open flames, such as wood-burning ovens or grills. In addition, wood pizza peels aren’t as thin as composite or metal ones. The thicker peel makes sliding underneath pizza trickier and can lead to messes on your floor, in your oven, or on the grill. And, as aesthetically pleasing as a wooded peel is, they can increase the risk of getting the burns they were designed to protect you from.
Peels Made of Composite
While composite peels are easier to take care of than wood ones, they have some of the same problems. They tend to be too thick and cause the unsightly, and quite frankly, tragic messes mentioned above. The handles on most peels made from composite are too short, so they also increase the risks of you getting burnt.
Composite peels aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as wood peels and are usually not the preferred choice of pizza enthusiasts who will be using their peels correctly and often. You can use composite peels with shorter handles for the preparation process, but that means you’ll need another one for turning and removing from the hot oven. A wood peel might be a better option, despite being high maintenance.
Peels Made of Metal
Aluminum is the most common metal used in pizza peels, and it has many benefits. Aluminum peels are thin, so it is easy to move pizza from counter to oven or grill and back again. They are easy to clean and generally need no special care, making them low maintenance.
However, metal peels do have a downside: raw pizza dough sticks to the smooth metal surface. This means you have to work fast once you pick up your pizza with the peel. You only have a few minutes to get it in the oven before it starts to stick.
Order a Delicious Pie for Delivery or Carry-Out
Honing and perfecting your homemade pizza is a labor of love. Stress on the labor part. It takes special tools and tons of preparation. When getting out your pizza peel and assembling a pizza seems like too much work, we are here for you. Simply order a Hungry Howie’s® pizza, and you’ll soon be eating cheesy deliciousness with no muss, no fuss, and no cleanup. Order online for delivery or carry-out, and don’t forget to ask for your favorite flavored crust pizza, breadsticks, and a salad to make the meal complete.