Pizza peels, also known as pizza paddles, are the backbone of any fine pizza establishment. To the untrained eye, they may only look like a flat shovel on a long handle, but chefs know that these instruments are the secret to baking great pizzas.
The main difference to consider is whether you want a wooden pizza peel, a metal pizza peel or a compressed paper pizza peel. Aluminum pizza peels tend to be lighter and more flexible, so they’re easier to handle, but since they’re metal, they can also bend with wear, or even scratch the inside of your oven.
Traditional wooden pizza peels are a great option if you’re looking for the authentic pizzeria aesthetic. They have slightly tapered blade sides to slide more easily under the pizza. These paddles age with your restaurant, absorbing flavor each time, and they can create a taste that’s unique to your kitchen.
Compressed paper pizza peels are softer than metal and don’t absorb bacteria or damage crust if you’re quickly transferring pizzas.
The difference between pizza peel shapes mostly is a matter of preferences. Some people prefer working with a round pizza peel, while others like the flat-shovel shape of a rectangular pizza peel. However, there are very few actual differences when it comes to the way they function.