A pizza peel is a kitchen essential for pie-lovers, and can also make an excellent gift for an Italian food-loving buddy. The first thing you need to consider when perusing the pizza peel marketplace is whether you want to go down the wood route or head straight to metalsville. Arguably, metal is the more professional option and offers a thinner design. However, wood has its merits too. It's more aesthetically pleasing, can double as a chopping board and you can take a wooden peel straight to the table to serve.
This ticks all our boxes with a thin, commercial-grade aluminum head, but a wooden handle for heat protection. This boasts the ability to fold up to 12 by 14 inches for easy storage. When you need to extend the peel, you loosen the screw, turn the handle 180-degrees and re-tighten. This gives you a safe-distance-from-the-heat length of 24-inches. Compatible with most specialist pizza ovens, as well as normal household ones, this has a safety back step ledge near the handle to stop pizza sliding off.
A classic wooden option, the Pizza Royale peel is made from ethically sourced bamboo with the attractive boast that it will not split, warp or crack. The lightweight bamboo wood means even if you're moving a fully-loaded monster of a pizza, the board shouldn't be too heavy to manage, especially with the contoured handle design. The large option is perfect for pizzas up to 12-inches in diameter, while the extra-large option has a generous 15-inch width.
This traditional wooden peel comes in a variety of paddle and handle sizes. But we're interested in the option that gives you a 42-inch length. This is ideal for specialist outdoor pizza ovens, where staying back from the heat is essential as temperatures can reach up to 900 degrees. Made from food-safe rubberwood hardwood, this peel measures half an inch thick and has an exceptionally smooth finish for sliding food on and off it. You're advised to give this peel an oil treatment before you first use it to enhance its functionality and durability.
Pizza the action
If we could pick just one peel from this selection, we'd reach for the Chef Pomodoro product. It's well worth getting to grips with how to use a thin metal pizza peel for skillful pie handling.
If you're cooking in an outdoor pizza oven, safety will be a big concern, so something like the Update International Premium Wooden Pizza Peel will appeal with its long handle to keep you well away from the heat.