Wood or steel pizza peel?
i am at the stage of making/buying tools for the bread-oven.
what do people prefer for pizza - wooden or aluminium peels?
any other hot tips on useful and essential tools you like to use?
thanks for any leads!
This is from our web site.
Should you use a wooden peel to build your pizza and set it in your
oven, or should your make it on a flat surface, and use a metal peel
to place it in your oven? There are two schools of thought.
The mainstream method is build your pizza on a counter or short
wooden peel, then use a metal peel to set your pizzas in the oven.
Aluminum is the metal of choice for the placing peel you use to set
you pizzas, as it is slippery, and your bread and pizza will slide
right off. If your oven is large enough for multiple pizzas, and you
want to put pizzas in the back or sides, you will want a peel with
long handle. Extruded (hollow aluminum is a good handle choice, as it
is lighter than steel and wood and lasts longer.
Make sure your placing peel is large enough to hold the pizza size
you and your guests will want to make, as an uncooked pizza will sag
over the edge of the peel and make a mess. The placing peel should be
square, as you will use the flat front edge to slide under the
already made pizzas. It can be challenging for the home pizzaiolo to
slide a round, or small, peel under a pizza that your friend (or
child) has lovingly made -- we've been there. I like to use flour,
rather than cornmeal, which is the Italian tradition. Besides, I
don't like the cornmeal taste or texture.
An alternate method is to make your pizza directly on a wooden peel,
and slide it in the oven from there. This really only works if you
have either a small oven, where you can place the pizzas without
burning your hand, or you have multiple long-handled wooden peels
(which isn't terribly efficient). We keep a number of small wooden
peels around the house for parties, which guest use to make their own
pizzas.That also works well for kids. You can get a small wooden peel
from Amazon for about $10. From there, I use a steel peel to get the
pizza into the oven.
Regardless of how you placed your pizza in the oven, you will need a
steel (not aluminum) peel to turn it, and pull it out -- you can't do
this with a wooden peel. For turning and moving the pizzas in the
oven, use a smaller peel (preferably round). It can be as small as
8", which makes it easy to turn the pizza around to cook evenly
facing the fire. The small round size also works well for removing
your pizza, as the cooked pizza comes out flat and doesn't sag over
the edge. Many Italian turning peels have a wooden slides that moves
up and down the handle, and makes it easy to control the peel around
inside the oven.
Our peel are Italian made, and very nice. Look here:
Steel vs. Aluminum
I understand the wood to build on and metal to place explanation, but why the difference between steel and aluminum? Why does your example specifically use an aluminum peel to place, but then specifically call for a steel handle to remove a pizza?
It isn't absolutely necessary to use a steel peel for turning and removing you pizza and pots and pans. The theory is that the oven is so hot and aluminum is such a good conductor that the aluminum peel will get too hot if it spends too much time inside the oven. I think if you leave an aluminum peel in the oven for a long time, it can even melt (or lose its shape).
The placing peel is alumimum because it is slippery, where steel is sticky. Plus, the placing peel isn't is the oven for very long.
The turning peel is round because is it easier to work with the pizzas in the oven -- turning and moving, etc. Again, not absolutely necessary, but nice.
There is a lot of personal preference involved as well.
Will you be offering the small round peel in Steel James when you start to sell your professional line of tools.I would like to get a perforated one if available.I have been recommended the Zio Pepe line?Thanks in advance.
We have developed a relationship with the largest Italian tool producer and can get all of their tools for both the home and the professional line, which is very cool. The large placing peels are available in annodized aluminum with the perferation. Those are the peels the Italian national pizzaiolo acrobatics team uses, and they were the company that came up with the perferation design. The holes let extra flour drop on the counter, not in the oven, and they weigh less.
I have all the photos and specs on a sister web site:
Drop me a direct email and I can answer any other questions. The peels are in stock in the states.
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