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Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

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  • Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

    I tossed away all my aluminum pots & pans from college after hearing about health risks but I notice almost every non-wooden peel is made from aluminum. Am I missing something here? Is there a reason that stainless steel peels are not more common?

    I am a newbie here. My oven (a 50th birthday present currently under construction by my architect husband) is almost completed, and I have been assigned to find tools. I searched to see if this topic (stainless vs aluminum) has been covered but didn't find anything.

  • #2
    Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

    Stainless is quite heavy would be my guess.
    Although i'm not sure what your issues with Aluminium are either?

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    • #3
      Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

      I made my peels out of aluminum because it is very easy to work with. I think the jury is still out on the health risks of aluminum. Most of what I read doesn't sway me to avoid it. Granted, when it gets close to melting, it can emit some nasty stuff, but how much of that are we really exposed to, and who cooks at those crazy temps? There is so much out there to get us, I'm leaving this at the bottom.

      JMO

      Les...
      Check out my pictures here:
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

      If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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      • #4
        Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

        Verite,

        My guess it's when you get the cooking pots & pans under a sustained hi heat. I know my wife won't crank up any "coated" pans past Medium for fear of fumes etc. The peels really aren't in the oven that long - just a quick turn and in and out.

        Thanks
        Dick

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        • #5
          Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

          Thanks all for the comments. I remember throwing out all my aluminum cookware for health reasons after college and switching to stainless. I remember something about a connection to Alzheimers, but just read a Alzheimers Society saying it was circumstantial evidence and a link seems unlikely.

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          • #6
            Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

            Originally posted by verite View Post
            just read a Alzheimers Society saying it was circumstantial evidence and a link seems unlikely.
            Thats what I'm thinking - it became urban legend. Then again, maybe the society was bought off by Alcoa

            Les...
            Check out my pictures here:
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

            If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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            • #7
              Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

              Hi guy,

              The good thing about the aluminum placing peel is that it never gets hot. It's a cold peel against cold dough. Whatever problems may (or may not) occur with a hot aluminum pan coming in contact with food while cooking isn't an issue.

              Plus, aluminum is very slippery, which is why it is the material of choice for the placing peel.

              The turning peel gets a little hotter than the placing peel, though nothing close to a cooking pan. Our premium turning peel is stainless steel, for durability, while the mainstream residential turning peel is aluminum.

              The next time we are making pizza, someone should point their infrared thermometer at the turning peel and see how hot it gets. My guess is that it is very, very cool -- as it goes in and out of the oven.

              No worries here.

              James
              Last edited by james; 05-29-2009, 10:38 PM.
              Pizza Ovens
              Outdoor Fireplaces

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              • #8
                Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

                Thanks for the information James. My husband is getting ready for the insulation blanket so this information is helpful in selecting the tools for the same order.

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                • #9
                  Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

                  If you're alumina phobic (I'm not convinced it's a problem) you probably don't want to cook on refractory surfaces, since they are mostly silica and alumina. The fleeting contact with oven tools doesn't strike me as a problem even in the outside chance that aluminum is toxic.

                  My gripe with the aluminum handled fire and cooking tools is that the handles leave black crud on your hands. Couldn't they be anodized? As a side note, my FB turning peel head looks like it's galvanized, not aluminum.

                  -update- I just put a magnet to my turning and placing peels. Absolutely not aluminum.
                  Last edited by dmun; 05-30-2009, 06:33 AM. Reason: update
                  My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                  • #10
                    Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

                    I'm glad I asked this question. You all have been very informative and cured any doubts i had. I bought into the fear of aluminum but as I research it, it seems unfounded in reason. Thanks.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

                      One of the greatest exposures to aluminum is from deoderants. There are deoderants available with no aluminum in them. Alzheimer's runs in my family and tests show that my body has a very high level of aluminum, so I limit my exposure. Environmental factors from living in northern NY state for the first 50 years of my life probably contributed to it. I play safe even though a direct link has not been proven.
                      I do see why an aluminum would be used to minimize the weight when placing and moving pizza.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why are aluminum pizza peels common over stainless?

                        Thanks, I having been using Tom's of Maine (Aluminum free for years). I've even switched water bottles for the family from aluminum to stainless. Health food stores (we eat organic) always stress Aluminum free and after hearing about pots & pans years ago, I just assumed the links had been proven. Consumer safety has been neglected in the last couple years, and like you I prefer to play it safe (especially since I have young children) but as was stated previously, the utensils are used for only a short period and the firebrick surface contains it as well but have been used for generations of baking.

                        Thank you for your comment.

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