A Pizza Peel Is A Needed Tool For Handling Pizza On A Stone
After going through the trouble of getting a nice stone, a lot of people ask us what we would recommend for a pizza peel since they realize that there is a big logistical hurdle in getting the dough onto the stone for cooking. We provide two recommendations and then some general tips if you want to search for other possibilities.
Our First Recommendation For Pizza Peel
The EXO Super Peel Pizza Peel is one of our top choices. It is conveniently available via Amazon, and comes highly rated with 64 (as of 2012) 5 star reviews. It has been recommended by Cook's Illustrated. The peel itself is made of solid white ash, so it is dense and sturdy and of higher quality than cheap maple or bamboo. The company itself is known for good customer service. The unique feature of the EXO is the canvas conveyor belt system that helps one shift even a very wet, lump of dough from the countertop to the peel to the oven. Now, there is a small learning curve which is helped by the availability of online tutorial videos from the company but in the end it works better than using a cookie sheet and flour to transfer the pie. One word of advice: look carefully for the clamps taped to the inside of the box that are needed to fasten the canvas or cloth conveyor belt. The company is kind enough to provide replacements but you should make your own life easier for yourself by not throwing them away accidentally. Are there any cons? A few - some people complain that it is too heavy to hold and there are no instructions on how to clean it. But we have found that if you take off the cloth you can throw it in the laundry machine or hand wash it. Just hang dry it to prevent substantial shrinkage.Our Second Recommendation For A Pizza Peel
The Kitchen Supply 14-Inch x 16-Inch Aluminum or Basswood Pizza Peel with Wood Handle is our second top choice and approved by 43 customers who gave an average of 4 stars of 5. This is a classical peel that comes in a range of materials for the surface! By far the most popular is the aluminum, but one can also buy it in basswood. Sizes are span a good range from 12, 14 to 16 inches. The shape is a square with rounded corners. Why do people prefer aluminum? Mainly because it is naturally thin so people think that it is very easy to slide under a pizza. The wood one is not as thin but the edges are beveled which makes it almost as easy to use actually. One complaint is that there is no hole in the handle to help people hang it somewhere when not in use.Our Third Recommendation For A Pizza Peel
Originally we only planned to review two but many readers wanted an alternative to the two totally functional choices we present above. The last recommendation is for the Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Pizza Peel which has an approval rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 from 43 satisfied customers. This peel also works great like the other two above with the additional feature of being beautifully made. It is deeply colored, fashioned from smooth grained wood and has a grommet hole for hanging. The size is 14 inches plus the handle. A nice beveled lip helps for sliding under the pizza. Customers say that adding oil or wax to the wood prevents cracking and splitting of the wood. Do not use this beautiful peel as a cutting board!
Important Qualities Of The Pizza Paddle
If our recommendations don't satisfy you, consider a few of our tips here. Pizza peels are long or short handled, round of square, metal or wooden trays, designed to put the pie into the oven and out of it. Some people make do with only one, and choose wooden pizza peels to build their pizza on, place the pie into the oven, and take it out. Others have a range of pizza peels, each for different purpose. This is seen at restaurants especially when using commercial pizza ovens. Pizza peels have to be durable, light, to withstand temperatures of more than 500 degrees needed to bake, and non-sticky, so that most of your pie does not stay on the peel.
Learn To Use One
Professionals build their pies on a marble or granite surface, slide one of the square aluminum pizza peels under and place it into the outdoor pizza oven. They also have round pizza peels to turn in the oven so that they bake evenly. Most enthusiasts build their pizzas on short-handled wooden pizza peels and then slide metal peels under to place it in the oven. Others use long-handled wooden pizza peels for both assembly and placement into the oven. It comes to the experience of the chef, the type of the pizza oven, and personal preference. Wooden pizza peels have to be sprinkled with corn meal or rice flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the wood. Aluminum pizza peels are slippery, although this is helpful for keepign the dough separated, it sometimes leads to a catastrophe in the hands of an inexperienced cook.
Pick A Lightweight Metal With A Wood Handle
Fully assembled pizzas tend to be fairly heavy, so, ideally, metal pizza peels should be made of light, but durable aluminum. Very popular are pizza peels are made of perforated aluminum, so that excess corn meal remains on the table, and not burn in the oven. The handle should be light and firm. The length of the handle depends on the size of the oven, and your kitchen. Wooden pizza peels can be made of a wide range of woods, from ash to cherry and bamboo. They also need to be light and easy to handle and should withstand high temperature needed to bake.
It is easy to find pizza peels regardless of your preferred type. Take a look at the ones we list above or find them on the internet directly from their manufacturers. The price ranges from $12, for basic wooden pizza peels, to $90, for the Forno Bravo aluminum or stainless steel pizza peels. Other popular brands are Nopro, Kitchen Supply (which we list above), KitchenArt, and of course, Forno Bravo. You will probably start with only one pizza peel, and accumulate more as you gain experience. Once your family starts enjoying your wonderful pie, you can count on getting more peels and other paraphernalia as a gift.
A pizza stone is smoothed stone made of terracotta or other clay material which permits even heating of pizzas for a crisp texture.
Use a pizza peel (paddle) to put item in or take them out of the large capacity oven.
An outdoor wood-fired oven is perfect for hot days when indoors cooking is unecessarily hot.