Wooden Pizza Peel vs. Metal Pizza Peel: Which one is better?
To be able to get that irresistibly good, crisp, and well-cooked pizza bottom, you first need to have some means of loading that pizza to the blazing-hot Mighty Pizza Oven. This is when the pizza peel comes into the picture.
What is a pizza peel? To get a clear image, I am talking about the long handled tool with a flat paddle right at the end used to deposit and take out the pizza or bread from hot ovens at pizzerias or bakeries.
As you have guessed, there are a few types of pizza peel on the market, but I will cover only the basic ones: wooden and metal pizza peel.
Wooden Pizza Peel
My first option in terms of the pizza peel material is wood. Wood is the best material to prevent sticking of raw pizza dough to the peel itself. This is essential if you don’t want to disturb your carefully assembled pizza toppings. Your beloved toppings on the floor of your pizza oven or grill – not fun. In addition, wooden pizza peel provides rustic appeal. Let’s admit it, they do look pretty! That’s why most people prefer a wood pizza peel because it exudes a more natural and appealing appearance than its metal counterpart. Moreover, they could also last in time if used, stored, and maintained well.
Do’s and Don’t’s in using wooden pizza peel:
- Make sure to air-dry them first after washing before storing. If you don’t want to waste time air-drying your pizza peel, rub your wooden pizza peel with white vinegar instead of washing it with soap and water. Vinegar is a great disinfectant and stain remover!
- They may be nice to use as cutting board for your cooked pizza, but never try that! Your knife or pizza wheel will surely leave cutting marks on your wooden pizza peel which will result to unevenly textured surface. This may result to sticking of raw dough to your pizza peel and thus preventing the pizza to slide easily.
- In order to prevent different odors or stains from sticking onto your lovely wooden peel, some recommend that it should be rubbed with mineral oil. However, that is not necessary as you can safely use the wooden peel for years.
- The number one thing that you must pay attention to is accidental burning marks. No matter how great they are, wooden peels are obviously not fireproof.
- Some recommend sealing your wood pizza peel; however, that is unnecessary. Raw wood peels are actually better for launching the pizza into the over. What you must do is to dust your peel with a bit of flour or cornmeal. The flour will grab to pizza peel fiber and act as rollers which in turn will make your raw dough slide very easily.
- Be careful not to let your raw dough sit too long on your pizza peel. Prolonged contact with the pizza peel may result to sticking of raw dough. If it unfortunately happened, one trick is to lift one end of your dough and blow a bit of air under it (use a squeeze bottle to blow air for hygienic purposes!). But be very careful as this will make your pizza dough very slippery.
- The main disadvantage of wooden pizza peel is that they are quite thick (to prevent them from burning easily). This makes it difficult to use when rotating half-cooked pies or when retrieving the full-cooked ones.
Metal Pizza Peel
Aluminum is the most popular material for metal peels. It is easy to clean, long-lasting and very easy to use and handle. Being made of metal, they are actually non high maintenance. No need to air-dry them after washing. You won’t also be bothered with unwanted stains and odors – they won’t be absorbed! Furthermore, metal blades are really thin. They can easily slip under your pizza, half-cooked or fully-cooked, and rotate, move, and retrieve them without deforming the whole thing. However, metal pizza peels are not good for launching raw dough into your pizza oven as raw dough tends to stick to metal surfaces more than on wood surfaces.
It’s a tie! You actually need both. We recommend that you use one wooden pizza peel for assembling and launching your pizza to the Mighty Pizza Stone and one metal peel for removing and turning your half-cooked and full-cooked creation.
Some last tips: Always make sure that your pizza peel is the right size for your pizza stone and that it has a handle that you feel comfortable with.