No matter how you slice it, pizza peels make the process of cooking crusty creations at home much easier. The best pizza peels are correctly sized to fit into your oven and feature a handle long enough to make the transfer in and out smooth. Since peel paddles come in both solid wood and metal, picking the right material will come down to your personal preference. To help guide your search, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Wood Vs. Metal Pizza Peel
Wood peels are more aesthetically pleasing, but beyond that, they have a functional advantage over metal: they are a better insulator, which means raw dough won't stick as easily to them. On the other hand, they are thicker and bulkier, so getting your pie to effortlessly slide on top may be more challenging.
Metal peels, which come in aluminum or stainless steel, are considered more durable and more low maintenance (wooden ones have to be more carefully washed). Plus, you can easily slip them right underneath even the thinnest of crusts. If there's a drawback, however, it's that dough will stick to them, so always remember to coat them with extra flour.
What Size Pizza Peel & Handle Do You Need?
Before you do anything else, measure the width of your oven's opening to ensure the peel you are eyeing will even fit. Next, consider that while your pizza creations are entirely your own, the average size "medium" pizza starts around 12 inches, so the most common paddles start at a 12-inches-wide, too.
Finally, handles are typically chosen by the depth of your oven. If you have an outdoor oven, consider a longer handle to keep your arms safer. For the average indoor oven, though, handles 11 inches and under will work well because they still give enough stability and control. And if you're short on storage space, you'll appreciate a model with a foldable handle.
Now that you have a better sense of what to look for, explore the best pizza peels below and get cooking!