If you want your pizza to have perfectly crisp crusts that have the right amount of charring but still have a base of the well-cooked and cheese that still strings as you take your bite, then you’ll need to follow the authentic way of baking them and put them in a stone pizza oven.
Having a pizza oven is the first step to achieving perfectly cooked pizza every time, however, one of the many questions we get about pizza ovens is how do you place them in and remove the pizza without burning your hands.
Sure, many daredevils amongst us would try their hand with some oven gloves and cook the pizza on a pizza baking tray, however, this may hinder the quality of your pizza as it will cook differently.
The best, and let’s face it, the most authentic way to cook your pizza is with the dough placed on the hot stone and placed in and removed using a pizza peel so you don’t burn your hands.
There are two main materials for pizza peels out there, wood and metal, but which one is better?
We’ll be answering this question and delving deeper into what kind of peel would be best for your cooking situation within this article.
What’s The Difference Between A Wood and Metal Pizza Peel?
Well unless you’re from Mars, then we’re hoping you can navigate that the main difference between wood and metal is that they’re two completely different materials.
However, apart from the materials, there are some other differences between them which offer certain pros and cons when baking pizza in the stone oven.
Continue reading below to find out some advantages and disadvantages of using wooden and metal pizza peels.
Wooden Pizza Peels
Wooden pizza peels are often preferred by pizza enthusiasts as they don’t encounter as many sticking problems with the peel and it’s easier to launch the pizza into the oven without half the base being left on the peel.
They’re also great as when you remove your baked pizza, the wooden material will absorb a lot of the grease and oils from the pizza which makes it perfect for serving, but probably not that great for the quality of your pizza peel.
Another positive of wooden pizza peels is that they make attractive home decor which is great if you have an open kitchen or no space to store in cupboards as you’ll be able to leave it on a surface and pretend it’s part of the aesthetic.
Wooden pizza peel handles are often easier to grip compared to metal ones, as even if you have greasy or wet hands you’ll still have a firm grasp when handling it.
However, one downside of a wooden pizza peel is that they’re built to be heavier and thicker at the end that goes in the oven because it needs to be able to handle the heat and not burn when launching the pizza in and removing it.
Whilst this is good for the end of the pizza peel, it also means the person handling the peel needs to put in more arm work when maneuvering it around.
Not only this, but due to the thicker end, it makes it a lot more difficult to try to slip the peel under the pizza when it’s done baking to remove it out of the often and you can end up spending a lot of time pushing the pizza around the oven whilst you try to remove it.
Another downside of wooden pizza peels is that they’re quite hard to maintain and clean and they’re not as long-lasting as metal peels.
Wooden pizza peels cannot be scrubbed in warm soapy water as this can damage the surface and also encourage bacteria to grow within the wood despite you trying to wipe away food residue.
The easiest way to clean and maintain your wood pizza peel is by spraying or wiping some vinegar solution on the surface and leaving it for 1-2 minutes before wiping it away clean as this will kill any bacteria.
Your wooden pizza peel may need to have some treatments done to it to extend its life and to prevent splintering or cracks appearing in the peel surface where bacteria will be prone to growing as it can be difficult to remove.
Recommendation For Best Wood Pizza Peel
If you’re looking for a wooden pizza peel then we’d recommend this one by New Star Food Service Store as it comes available in various sizes depending on how big you like your pizzas and also has a long handle that will allow you to grip with both hands and also prevent your hands from burning inside the pizza oven.
The peel is durable, sturdy, and less prone to cracking so food debris won’t get stuck and cause any bacterial growth.
Metal Pizza Peels
Many metal pizza peels you’ll come across are made from aluminum as it is a strong and durable material that won’t be damaged from the heat of the oven.
Not only this but aluminum doesn’t hold on to heat for too long which means you won’t have to be overly careful when touching it or cleaning it after removing it from the oven.
As aluminum is a strong material, it can be constructed to be thin enough to get underneath the pizza when trying to remove it from the oven whilst also being sturdy enough to balance the pizza on it without falling off.
Metal pizza peels are easy to handle because they’re so lightweight which means that transferring your raw pizza from your preparation surface into your oven is effortless and can be done by almost anyone.
Metal pizza peels are very easy to clean and will only need some warm water and soap to rinse away any leftover debris on the surface.
They’re also hygiene as any residue from the pizza will be washed away and won’t remain in any crevices as it does on wooden pizza peels.
Once you’ve washed up your metal pizza peel, you won’t have to wait long for it to dry again to be put away in the cupboard and if you do want to put it away straight away then you can give it a quick wipe over with a clean cloth.
Whereas wooden pizza peels can take a long time to dry as the wood absorbs the water.
One of the main disadvantages of a metal pizza peel is that the pizza dough is more likely to stick to the surface when you try to place the pizza into the oven to bake.
This is because steam gets trapped under the base of the pizza and it ends up sticking to the peel.
There is a way you can prevent this from happening and it’s by sprinkling some semolina or flour onto the pizza peel before sliding the raw pizza on there before baking.
However, even then there can be a risk of sticking so it’s something you should be prepared for especially if this will be your first time using a metal pizza peel.
This is not strictly always true, but metal pizza peels tend to be cheaper than wooden pizza peels and more cost-efficient as they’re longer lasting whereas wooden pizza peels will need to be replaced sooner.
Recommendations For Best Metal Pizza Peel
Our recommendation for the best metal pizza peel is Chef Pomodoro Foldable Pizza Peel that’s made of commercial grade aluminum and has a natural pine wood foldable handle that makes storage much more convenient.
Which Is Better?
When it comes to turning your baking pizza in the oven, or removing it then a metal pizza peel would be best as they’re thinner and will be easier to maneuver under the pizza to take it out of the oven.
However, when it comes to launching your pizza into the oven, you should ideally go for a wooden pizza peel.
Wooden pizza peels may be better suited for true pizza enthusiasts who like to dabble in baking homemade pizzas at least every week as it’ll minimize the effort of launching your pizza into the oven, but you’ll also be more inclined to spend time maintaining your pizza peel to keep it in top condition ready for next time.
You will find most professionals using wooden pizza peels despite the effort and maintenance they require to keep clean and also because they add to the rustic aesthetic of an Italian kitchen.
Low-maintenance pizza enthusiasts may want to go for a metal pizza peel as they’re quick and easy to clean after baking and will last a long time.
However, you may need to be prepared to lose your pizza to the oven a few times if you don’t prep the peel with flour properly beforehand.
For convenience, you might want to consider having both a wooden and metal pizza peel in your home to make the process of baking pizza effortless.
However, whether you choose to get both will depend on how often you bake pizza in a stone oven.
So there you have it, there is no true winner when it comes to a wooden and metal pizza peel, and which one is better will depend on the user and their circumstances.
For low-maintenance infrequent pizza bakers, then a metal pizza peel would be best as they’re lightweight, easy to handle, and also easy to clean afterward.
For those more serious about their pizza baking, go for a wooden pizza peel, not only will it look great in your kitchen but it’ll also minimize the risk of your raw dough sticking to the peel when launching into the oven and reduce the chance of broken or wonky pizzas.