If you are a professional pizza maker, you’d know how important Pizza peels are. It can make your life considerably easier if you make Pizza daily. Even if you are a novice home-based pizza maker, having a Pizza peel at hand can make the whole Pizza-making process easier.
Pizza peels are of different kinds, one is a wooden Pizza Peel, and the other is Metallic Pizza Peel. Both have different pros and cons, but you can use them interchangeably. But before we dive into each one of these separately, let’s first talk about what a Pizza Peel is.
Imagine entering a traditional Pizza shop with a large oven; the chef uses a giant spatula to place and remove the Pizza from the oven. That giant spatula is what we call a Pizza Peel. Pizza Peels can be defined as a wide large paddle-like tool usually used to transfer Pizza in or out of ovens.
Other names for a pizza peel include Pizza shovels, Pizza sliders, and Baking Peels. Pizza peel resembles a flattened snow shovel and has a long handle. If you are a home chef or someone who recently bought a pizza stone or a Pizza Steel, then having a Pizza Peel is necessary.
Pizza peels are made from many different materials, but the most popular ones are Wooden or metallic Pizza peels because of their ease of use and durability. The Pizza peel is made with a flat surface and a long handle attached to it; the flat surface can also have holes in it, but we’ll talk about that later.
The most important factors that you should consider before buying a pizza peel are its durability, ease of cleaning, and heat resistance. You also need your Pizza Peel to prevent the dough from sticking. And if you are using a large oven (like the one in the Pizza shops), you might need a pizza peel with a longer handle.
The material out of which your Pizza peel is made is crucial because different materials interact differently with the dough. For instance, wood usually doesn’t stick because it has a rougher surface than Metal. So, Wooden Pizza peels are a good non-stick option if you struggle with the stickiness of the dough and have to use a lot of flour to keep it from sticking.
Wooden pizza peels don’t stick as much, and It doesn’t matter if you use flour or not. But a question comes to mind “How does the wooden Pizza Peel not burn while in the oven?”. The answer is that Wooden Pizza Peels are made quite thick, so they don’t start catching flames while in use.
But there are consequences for using more wood to make the Pizza Peel thick. More wood means more mass, and the heavier the Pizza peel is, the harder it gets to use it. And the part of the Pizza Peel made thicker is the end that goes directly into the oven. This makes it harder for the Peel to be sled under the Pizza.
The solution? Make the tip slopped. But the extra weight is not a hassle for most people, and the real problem is when it’s time to clean your Wooden Pizza Peel. Wood is pretty good at absorbing liquids. So, naturally, it would get dirtier than metal Pizza Peel. And when it’s time to clean it, the stains don’t leave easily.
The cleaning is made harder because you can’t scrub the Pizza peel. After all, using water can damage the wood and cause the growth of microorganisms that can be harmful when they come in contact with food. But it is worth mentioning that, at such high temperatures as that of the inside of ovens, microorganisms rarely survive.
When Making Pizza peels with Metal, using the right type of Metal is very important. Some metal retains too much heat, others can become rusted, while some are too heavy or expensive. You want a metal that doesn’t absorb too much heat so that when it goes in the oven, it doesn’t become too hot.
The best Metal for this job is Aluminum. Aluminum is a light metal with low heat retention and weight. Lower weight means that using the Peel becomes easier and takes less effort.
But despite having low weight, Aluminum is quite strong, and it can withstand the oven’s high temperatures with ease. Using a strong metal to make Pizza Peel is important because the Pizza Peels are usually made quite thin to slide under the Pizza easily. Aluminum is the perfect candidate for this purpose as it is quite hard and sturdy.
Metal Pizza peels have some advantages over Wooden Pizza peels, one of which is that it is a lot easier to clean the Metal Pizza Peel than the Wooden one. But just like most things in life, it comes at a price. The Metal’s surface is usually very smooth, due to which the dough sticks easily to The Metal Pizza Peel.
And this is a big drawback because we can’t even imagine what can go wrong when tossing a pizza in your oven and then removing it along with the Pizza Peel while dropping all the toppings inside the oven. And this is worse than it sounds because the Topping can leave a nasty burnt smell in the oven if not cleaned up (which is no easy task). But you can always use flour or salmonella on your Metal Pizza pan before throwing the Pizza on top of it to prevent such disasters.
So What’s the Difference Between Metal and Wooden Pizza Peel?
To summarize what we have discussed so far, here’s a list:
- Wooden Pizza Peel is harder to clean than Metal Pizza Peel
- Wooden Pizza peel doesn’t stick to the dough, while Metal Pizza Peels can stick with the dough easily.
- Wooden Pizza Peels are usually considerably thicker than the Metal ones to prevent burning while being used in the oven.
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