Shape, size, materials. There are a lot of differences among pizza peels and choosing one could be complicated. Here is a guide to choose the best professional pizza peel for you and your needs.
What is a pizza peel
Pizza peels are tools used to pick up pizzas from the work surface and put them into the oven. They may be of different sizes and shapes to suit different types of pizzas and of different lengths to fit any type of working areas: pizza peels which are too long may be cumbersome, those which are too short would not allow pizza makers to properly manage the oven.
The same can be said of materials: pizza peels may be made of aluminium, wood and metal. Different materials translate into different performances and features.
Gi.Metal offers a wide range of pizza peels to shove pizzas into the oven and smaller pizza peels to take them out. It was the first company to engineer and produce perforated pizza peels, which allow pizza makers to drain extra flour before pizzas are shoved into the oven.
Pizza peels features
Round or rectangular, small or big, wooden or made of aluminium? Pizza peels have got different features which can satisfy different requirements. Here are some tips for choosing the one that best suits your needs.
1. The shape: round or rectangular?
The rectangular peel is a safe, traditional choice; it offers a larger surface area in contact with the pizza and the grip point, with which to lift the pizza, is only milled at the front.
The round peel has an extended grip point with a gentle, regular milling over a large extension of the curve, enabling the pizza-maker to take up the pizza even from the side and thus not only from the front. Furthermore, as there have bevelled corners, the pizzas are closer to the inside of the oven, ensuring the correct handling and increasing the efficiency of the oven
2. The size
The size of a pizza peel head must be selected on the basis of the size of the pizza you intend to produce. A standard pizza has a diameter of about 33 - 36 cm. Maxi pizzas can get to max 45-50 cm.
When pizzas get bigger we can talk about “Rome Style Pizza, Pizza by meter”. This type of pizzas require the use of big rectangular pizza peels.
The handle size instead shall be selected on the basis of the depth of the oven you use. The handle shall be long enough to avoid burns. Handles shorter than 30 cm are advisable for tunnel ovens and small ovens commonly used in bars. Handles measuring 60 cm are suitable for professional electrical ovens, while handles measuring from 120 to 200 cm are suitable for big, artisanal ovens.
Pizza peels may be made of different materials. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the most common materials:
Wooden pizza peels. Wood is a traditional material: it lasts less and it is difficult to keep clean.
Steel pizza peels. Differently from those made of wood, pizza peels made in steel last longer, are smoother and stronger: they are resistant to the impacts which may occur when manoeuvring between the working surface and the oven. On the other hand, they are heavier than those made of aluminium.
Aluminium pizza peels. They are light and can reduce the fiction between the dough and the peel head, so that picking up pizzas and shoving them into the oven may become fluid and natural movements. The structure of such peels make them strong and durable. Weight is reduced further thanks to the perforated surface of the heads. However, they tend to be more delicate than the other types of peels.
Best pizza peel - Why Aluminum is better than Wood?
Pizza makers preparing hundreds of pizzas every day have to ensure their customers consistent high quality standards, while optimizing time and reducing strain. That is why the tool they use as a natural extension of their arms have to be light, easy to use, long lasting and hygienic.
Over the past few years, the market offer with reference to pizza peels has been revolutionized by the introduction of aluminum pizza peels replacing the more traditional wooden ones.
A good aluminum peel is better than a wooden pizza peel since it ensures a faster pace during work and thus a higher productivity.
Perforated pizza peels allow extra flour to be removed so that ovens stay clean, no smoke is given off and no bitter crust forms under pizzas.
Current pizza peels don't need to be replaced every two months; professional peels can last up to two years thus being definitely worth the investment.
Metal peels can be cleaned better and faster, don't absorb residuals and prevent bacteria from spreading.
Of course, not all metal pizza peels are the same. The best ones, with the most profitable quality/price ratio, must boast certain features:
- Aluminum heads and handles to be light and easy-to-use.
- The aluminum used must be anodized to prevent oxidation and meet the highest hygienic standards.
- Fixed oval tubular handles to ensure the best grip, and maximum resistance.
- Head/handle riveted joints for enhanced durability.
- Heads must be milled at the front with reduced thickness to make it easier to lift pizzas.
- The parts suffering the effects of a higher workload have to be reinforced to make the peels stronger.
- Perforated heads (not fundamental but useful) help draining the flour, reducing friction and decreasing the weight of the tool.