I’ve said this before but it’s worth reiterating. A good pizza peel is one of the most essential tools for making pizza at home. A pizza peel, of some sort, is literally the only way to get your pizza onto a pizza stone and back off it again. In fact, without a pizza peel you’re stuck making pan pizza, which can get a bit boring after a while.
The best pizza peel to buy, in my experience, is thin, sturdy and large enough to carry the biggest pizza that can fit in your oven. A good pizza peel will be able to easily slide under raw pizza dough and easily slide under a cooked pizza on a hot stone without the use of thongs or risk of burnt fingers.
But that doesn’t mean that all pizza peels are created equally, or that peels that don’t fit my criteria are useless. Let’s go over what makes a good pizza peel and what my experiences have been with some popular peels.
The Problem With Most Pizza Peels Is Thickness
The most important factor I look for in a pizza peel is height. The peel needs to be thin enough to easily slide under the pizza without me needing to lift it up first and potentially squish the crust or burn my fingers.
I’ve also had a few instances in the past when I’ve tried to retrieve a pizza from the oven with a too thick pizza peel and just wound up pushing the pizza off the stone and onto the oven floor. That’s definitely not good.
So when you’re looking for a pizza peel, make sure it’s as thin as possible. And as long as it’s a sturdy peel, there really isn’t such a thing as a pizza peel that’s too thin.
Make Sure You Buy A Pizza Peel That’s Big Enough For Your Oven & Pizza Stone
If you’re looking into buying a pizza peel, I’m going to assume you have, or are planning on buying, a pizza stone. In fact, without a pizza stone a pizza peel isn’t super necessary to begin with.
This should go without saying, but it’s something that a lot of prospective pizza peel buyers overlook. This is especially true when purchasing online where you can’t actually see the peel and put it’s size into perspective.
For example, an 18 inch pizza stone and a pizza peel that can only fit a 12 inch pizza is very limiting. Instead, you want to buy a pizza peel that can fit a pizza as big as your pizza stone, just as you would buy the biggest pizza stone that your oven can fit.
I’ve used quite a few pizza peels in my time but the one I’m using right now by Epicurean is my favorite of them all.
This pizza peel checks all the boxes when it comes to a great pizza peel, and really doesn’t have any negatives.
- Extremely thin
- Very light
- Large surface area (17″ x 10″
- Made of wood so slightly stick resistant
- Smooth surface
- Easily cleaned
- Doesn’t fold for easy storage
I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this pizza peel again because it suits all my needs. And the only reason I list not folding as a con is because I know this is important to some people with smaller kitchens. But I think for most people this peel is easily stored hanging up or on top of a shelf.
I have one of these peels in my kitchen because I received it as a gift along with a pizza stone. It’s big and well-made with high quality materials, but it’s still a bit too thick for me to want to use on a regular basis.
When I’m sliding raw pizza dough onto, I need to physically lift the dough up off the counter or risk tearing it on the edges of the peel. Even the tapered edges are far too steep to allow me to easily slide the pizza dough onto it.
And when retrieving my pizza from the oven, I have to lift it up with a spatula in order to slide this peel under it. It’s simply too thick and if I try to quickly wedge this peel under the cooked pizza I risk pushing it off the stone.
- Large (16″ diameter)
- All-wood construction
- Too thick
- No folding for easy storage
As I mentioned, this peel is too thick for me to use as a pizza peel. But it looks like and is well made so it’s perfectly suited to use as a cutting board or a charcuterie tray.
This is a great peel for a bunch of reasons. It’s ultra-thin, very large and folds up for extra storage.
The biggest downside to this peel is the fact that it’s metal, which some people don’t like because it technically is less stick-resistant than wood. But if you’re pizza dough is properly prepared with enough flour sticking shouldn’t be an issue to begin with.
And in terms of thinness, this pizza peel is actually thinner than the Epicurean one I talked about being my favorite.
- Large (13″ x 16″)
- Foldable handle for easy storage
- Metal, so might stick more than wood
I really like this peel and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it, especially if my favorite one above wasn’t available. In fact, I’m very tempted to buy this peel just to keep it around as a spare.
This might be the perfect pizza peel for anyone with limited storage.
I like this peel for many of the same reasons I like the Checkered Chef one above. The main thing that sets it apart from that peel, as well as all the other ones, is the long broom-like handle which seems more suited for a pizzeria than a home kitchen.
This peel is ultra-thin and ultra-large, coming in at 16″ x 18″ for the largest model. It will easily slide under any pizza crust or raw pizza dough.
This is a great peel, especially if you plan on using it in a wood-fired oven with a deep chamber to take advantage of the long handle.
- Lots of different size options to choose from
- Extremely large (16″ x 18″)
- Extremely thin
- Long handle (if that’s what you need)
- Long handle (if you have limited storage)
- Metal (can theoretically stick more than wood)
This pizza peel is another great choice that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy since I don’t have to worry about storage.
In fact, if you have a wood-fired pizza oven, or really any kind of professional pizza oven at all, then this pizza peel is my number 1 choice since the other ones are just too short for that.
A pizza peel is something you absolutely need to make quality pizza in your home oven. This is especially true if you’re using a pizza stone since there is no way to use one without a peel.
The only thing you absolutely have to remember when buying a pizza peel is to get one thin enough and large enough. All the other factors like storability and build material is secondary, in my opinion.
My first choice is the Epicurean 17″ x 10″ pizza peel. This peel is light, made of wood, well-constructed and ultra-thin. It checks all the boxes and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a new peel.
My second choice is the Checkered Chef peel with the foldable handle. This peel is big and ultra-thin as well. It also has the advantage of the folding handle if storage is an issue for you. I really like this peel and would gladly use it if it was available to me.
And if you’re looking for a pizza peel but can’t afford to buy one, try this DIY pizza peel hack courtesy of Alex from French Guy Cooking: