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Pizza peels are tools used to pick up pizzas from the work surface and put them into the oven. They may be of different sizes and shapes to suit different types of pizzas and different lengths to fit any type of work areas: pizza peels which are too long may be cumbersome, those which are too short would not allow pizza makers to reach to the back of their ovens. Pizza peels may be made of aluminium, wood or metal. Different materials translate into different performances and features.
The rectangular peel is a safe, traditional choice – it offers a larger surface area in contact with the pizza and the grip point, which is used to lift the pizza, is only milled at the front.
The round peel has an extended grip point with a gentle, regular milling over a large extension of the curve, enabling the pizza-maker to lift the pizza from the size and not only from the front.
The size of the pizza peel head must be selected on the basis of the size of the pizza you intend to make. A standard pizza has a diameter of about 33-36cm. Larger pizzas can be 45-50cm in diameter. There are round and rectangular pizza peels available in many different sizes to suit the size of your pizza.
Creating pizzas larger than the above is when you’ll need to look at pizza-specific peels, such as pizza-by-the-metre peels / Romana peels. These come in many shapes and sizes. One of the largest is the 40x110cm aluminium board, but there are also peels that measure 23x40cm, made specifically for baking bread or long, thin pizza such as Pala Pizza Romana.
The handle size should be selected by the size and depth of the oven you use. The handle should be long enough to reach to the back of your oven while avoiding burns. Handles shorter than 30cm are advisable for tunnel ovens and small ovens. Handles measuring 60cm are suitable for professional electric ovens, while handles measuring 120-200cm are suitable for big, artisanal ovens.
If you need a handle size different than above, perhaps more specific, we are able to cut down your pizza peel handles free of charge to suit your oven/kitchen. Just pop a note in the comments when ordering online with us, stating the total length you’d like your peel(s).
Pizza peels can be made of lots of different materials. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the most common materials:
Wooden pizza peels: Wood is a traditional material than many pizza chefs choose out of personal preference and because of the rustic and vintage look and feel. Other pizza chefs may choose not to use wooden peels because they don’t last as long and are difficult to keep clean.
Stainless steel pizza peels: Pizza peels made of steel last longer than wood and are smoother and stronger – they are resistant to the impacts which may occur when manoeuvring between the work surface and the oven. On the other hand, they are heavier than those peels made of aluminium.
Aluminium pizza peels: Aluminium peels are light and can reduce friction between the dough and the peel head so that picking up pizzas and putting them into the oven may be smoother and easier for the pizza chef. Aluminium peels are made durable and light. However, they tend to be more delicate than other types of peels.
This is usually down to personal preference of the pizza chef. Some chefs prefer to use the traditional solid head peels, whereas others like the benefits of the newer perforated peels. Perforation reduces of the overall weight of the peel which in turn reduces strain on the pizza chef. Another benefit is that the holes in perforated peels are created to allow excess flour to be removed, keeping the pizza oven cleaner for longer, ensuring no smoke is given off from burnt flour and no bitter crust forms under the pizza. Less surface means less friction – holes are smooth and round so even the dampest of dough should slide on a perforated peel with ease.
Small peels are agile and precise – they are used to turn the pizza inside the oven, check that it is cooking by raising the bottom and taking it out when it’s cooked. Choosing the turning peel head depends on the size of the pizza you are baking, and choosing the peel handle depends on the size and depth of your oven and available workspace in your kitchen. Small turning peels are also available in perforated or non-perforated versions, and in many different materials – advantages and disadvantages of each are stated above.