(Post last updated 19 January 2022)
You may have had, at least from time to time, visions of making restaurant- or take-out-quality pizzas at home. To do so, you’ll need the same type of equipment that is used by the pros.
Among the essentials is a pizza peel. When you start to use a pizza peel, it makes you feel like a pro and perhaps it makes you look like a pro too. Though maybe your friends or family will beg to differ on the latter point.
What’s more though is that using a pizza peel, even with a conventional home oven, makes it easier to get the pizza in and out and it makes it safer to get the pizza in and out.
For a selection of outdoor pizza ovens feel free to read our best outdoor pizza oven reviews for 2021.
(Incidentally, this post contains links to products. Please make the assumption that at least some of the links may result in earning commissions. Thank you.)
What is a Pizza Peel and Why Should You Care?
For many, it’s a belief that when you place your pizza directly onto an oven rack or onto a hot pizza stone.
To achieve this goal, you’ll want a specialty tool. And a pizza peel is that specialty tool. Basically, a pizza peel is a large-sized spatula that is designed in such a way that it makes sliding pizzas into and out of the oven easily accomplished.
Pizza peels have large, flat areas that are rounded and fit well to any size of pizza. This large, flat area is referred to as the blade. Then, attached to the blade is the long handle
And now that you know what a pizza peel is and now that you realize that using a pizza peel for your pizzas will not only make you feel like a pro but also look like a pro, let’s learn about some wood pizza peel tips so you really do feel like and look like a pro.
Some Wood Pizza Peel Tips (to help you to feel like and look like a real pro)
Note that you cannot actually bake your pizza on a pizza peel – at least not on a wood peel. And also note that you should never slice your pizza on a wood peel. If you do that the knife will carve up the pizza as well as the peel.
It is highly advisable to treat your wood pizza peel with food-grade mineral oil or mineral cream on a consistent basis to keep the wood supple. Oiling or ‘creaming’ will reduce any chance of the wood cracking and it helps to preserve the wood’s natural coloring.
Here’s an excellent food-grade butcher’s block cream by John Boos:
When placing the freshly made pizza onto your wood pizza peel, you may find that it has a tendency to stick. In which case, add a copious amount of cornmeal, as opposed to flour. Cornmeal has larger grains than flour so the pizza dough slips off more easily. Shake the pizza peel around a bit to make sure that the pizza dough is not stuck. If it’s stuck, add more cornmeal.
Otherwise, and a further tip is to place parchment paper onto the pizza peel. This is a less messy, though a little more fiddly solution than using cornmeal. After you’ve added your toppings of choice, slide your pizza onto the pizza stone, let it heat up for five minutes, then slide the parchment paper out from under the pizza.
To clean a wood pizza peel simply wash it in warm soapy water and then dry it straight away. Don’t ever leave your wood pizza peel to soak in water and don’t store it in environments with high humidity. If you do, you’ll soon enough have a warped pizza peel, and that’s no fun.
Don’t ever put your wood pizza peel in the dishwasher.
It’s worth noting that there are a couple of downsides to wood pizza peels in comparison to their metal counterparts:
- They scratch easily.
- Typically, a wood pizza peel is thicker than a metal peel. This makes it a little more tricky to slide the peel under the pizza.
As such, you may prefer to invest in a metal pizza peel. Read our best metal / aluminum pizza peel review.
Best Wood Pizza Peels in 2021
Luxano Bamboo Pizza Paddle – 23″ Long x 12″ Diameter
The Luxano large bamboo pizza peel, which measures 23 inches long by 12 inches diameter, is a very attractive-looking peel! It’s beautifully balanced and just the right size.
The easy-grip handle is pleasingly comfortable to hold and as a definitive bonus, the handle will never come loose.
The Luxano long handled pizza peel is safe and sanitary and made from natural organic Moso Bamboo.
Quite unlike acacia paddles, bamboo paddles contain no putty or fillers. There’s no varnish either so there’s never any varnish flaking or wearing off.
No preseasoning is required with this peel.
Your pizza will slide easily with just a light dusting of cornmeal or semolina.
The weight of the Luxano? 2.42 lbs / 1.1 kg.
You can find out more about the Luxano large pizza peel in my own review of the product.
Heritage Acacia Wood Pizza Peel 22 x 14 inch
The Heritage Acacia Wood Pizza Peel, which measures 22 inches by 14 inches, is a nice-looking piece of kit! It’s good-looking enough to have it hanging on your kitchen wall as a centerpiece.
This pizza peel comes with tapered edges which means you can scoop your pizzas and your bread straight out of the oven without any messing around.
The handle is made to comfortably fit in your hands with no rough edges to deal with. The handle is 7 inches in length.
The size – 22 x 14″ caters to all sizes of pizza, while the peel is thick enough (half inch) that it doesn’t warp and thin enough that it’s able to scoop up pizza with ease.
The bevel (edge) of the peel is one-eighth of an inch thick.
The weight? 2.45 lbs / 1.1 kg.
New Star Foodservice 50295 Wooden Pizza Peel – Birchwood
The New Star Foodservice 50295 Wooden Pizza Peel is available in an array of sizes:
- 12 x 14 x 22 inch
- 12 x 14 x 36 inch
- 14 x 14 x 36 inch
- 14 x 16 x 24 inch
- 14 x 16 x 30 inch
- 18 x 18 x 42 inch
- 18 x 19 x 36 inch
- And a round peel that measures 19 inches by 33 inches.
Note that the longest measurement in each case refers to the handle.
The New Star Foodservice pizza peel is made from natural birchwood, hence its light coloring.
It’s an ideal peel not only for pizzas but also for bread, cakes, muffin pans, and cupcakes.
The half-inch edge of the blade makes it easy to slide under your pizza, etc.
It’s easily cleaned by handwashing with warm water and soap.
Weights vary, as they would, given that there are different sizes. But generally, the New Star Foodservice peel weighs in at between 1.25 lbs. and 2.65 lbs.
Ironwood Gourmet 28214 Napoli Pizza Peel – Acacia Wood
The Ironwood Gourmet 28214 Napoli Pizza Peel, made from beautiful acacia wood, measures 14 inches by 14 inches with a 6-inch-long handle.
The wood is sourced, according to the seller – Ironwood – in a responsible manner, from small, family farmers while it is handcrafted in Thailand.
The blade is slanted so you can easily scoop the pizza up and slide the pizza off.
The Ironwood Gourmet Napoli Pizza Peel uses no varnish, no shellacs, no lacquer, no polyurethane, and no types of coatings in the manufacturing process.
This pizza peel comes with a handy grommet so you can easily hang it on the wall.
Weight? 1.6 lbs.
Frederica Trading Premium Bamboo Wooden Pizza Peel Paddle and Cutting Board with Handle
The Frederica Trading Premium Bamboo Wooden Pizza Peel Paddle and Cutting Board with Handle is an interesting option since typically it is entirely inadvisable to use a wood pizza peel as a cutting board since it would gouge the wood. Not so with the Frederica which doubles up as a pizza peel and a cutting board!
The Frederica Pizza Peel is available in two different sizes:
- 18-inch handle and 11.5 x 11.5-inch paddle.
- 21-inch handle and 13.5 x 13.5-inch paddle.
Choose the smaller size for smaller-sized homemade pizzas or for frozen pizzas. Choose the larger size for, erm… larger-sized homemade pizzas.
It’s approximately half an inch thick and it doesn’t bend, nor does it flex (unless you leave it to soak in water which you shouldn’t do since that will cause warping of the wood).
The peel/ cutting board/ serving board weighs in 1.35 lbs. for the smaller version and around 2 lbs. for the larger size.
The Frederica pizza peel/ cutting board/ serving board is non-toxic and it’s fully certified – FDA, LFGB, BSCI, FSC.
The board/ peel is made from bamboo which is sourced in China and it’s also made in China.
You can coat the paddle with vegetable or peanut oil from time to time but that’s not entirely necessary.