Wood vs Metal Pizza Peel

When making pizza at home, one of the most important tools is a pizza peel or pizza shovel, used to slide the pizza into and out of the oven. 

However, there are generally two main types of pizza peels available – those made of wood and those made of metal. 

This blog post will seek to outline some of the key differences between using a wood vs metal pizza peel for baking pizza. Some of the factors that will be covered are ease of use, durability, heat resistance, and how each type of peel affects the cooking of the pizza. 

What Is a Pizza Peel?

A pizza peel is a flat, wide tool that resembles a shovel. Bakers use this tool to gently slide and transfer freshly baked items like pizzas, bread, and other goods in and out of the oven with ease. It’s designed with a flat carrying surface (like a shovel’s blade) for holding the baked goods and a handle extending from one side of that surface.

Traditionally, peels were made of wood, but metal, in particular aluminum, is now common. The word “peel” is derived from the French “pelle”, which describes both a peel and a shovel.

There are peels of many sizes, with the length of the handle suited to the depth of the oven, and the size of the carrying surface suited to the size of the food it is meant to carry.

Benefits Of a Pizza Peel

A peeled pizza brings many benefits to you. From now on, this will be a reliable companion for your kitchen with the following functions:

1. Ease of Use: A pizza peel makes it significantly easier to place a pizza into a hot oven and remove it once it’s done cooking, reducing the risk of burns.

2. Versatility: While it’s known best for its use with pizza, a pizza peel is also ideal for handling other baked goods, such as bread and pastries, making it a versatile tool in the kitchen.

3. Improved Quality of Baked Goods: The thin, flat surface of a pizza peel allows for even heat distribution while cooking, which can improve the quality of the baked goods.

4. Safety: The long handle of a pizza peel provides a safe distance between the user and the hot oven, reducing the likelihood of accidental burns.

5. Convenience: Many pizza peels are designed with a hanging hole, making them easy to store and adding a rustic charm to your kitchen decor.

Wood vs Metal Pizza Peel: Main Differences

To discover the main distinctions between wood and metal pizza peel, we need to take a glance at these aspects below:

1. Length

When it comes to the length of a pizza peel, wood and metal variants can have significant differences.

Traditionally, wooden peels are longer, and designed to reach the back of deeper, wood-fired ovens. They provide a more substantial grip and control over the movement of the pizza or baked goods. However, the length can also make them more cumbersome to handle in smaller, home ovens.

On the other hand, metal pizza peels often come in shorter lengths, making them ideal for standard ovens used in home kitchens. Their handles are usually made of materials that stay cool to the touch, providing a comfortable grip even when the oven is at high temperatures.

However, due to the shorter handle, when used with larger, commercial ovens, they may increase the risk of accidental burns if not used with proper care.

2. Durability

Wooden peels, made from hardwoods like cherry or maple, can withstand high temperatures and continual use. However, they require regular maintenance, such as oiling, to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking.

Additionally, they are not dishwasher safe and must be washed by hand, which might be considered a downside for some users.

Metal peels, most often made from aluminum or stainless steel, are incredibly durable and can handle a lot of wear and tear. They do not require as much upkeep as their wooden counterparts.

Many metal peels are dishwasher safe, making cleaning up easier. However, they can potentially warp or become discolored over time when exposed to extreme heat.

One point to note is that pizzas tend to stick more to metal peels as compared to wooden ones. This is because metal conducts heat, causing the dough to start cooking and sticking to the peel before it even reaches the oven.

To prevent this, extra flour or cornmeal is often used on metal peels. In contrast, due to the porous nature of wood, wooden peels are less prone to sticking.

3. Materials

As mentioned earlier, wood pizza peels are commonly made from hardwoods like cherry or maple. These woods are chosen for their strength and durability, as well as their aesthetics.

Metal pizza peels, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, and even carbon steel.

Aluminum is lightweight and easy to handle, while stainless steel is more durable and resistant to wear and tear. Carbon steel is the strongest of the three materials but also tends to be heavier.

In terms of aesthetics, wood pizza peels have a charming, rustic look that adds character to any kitchen. In contrast, metal peels have a more sleek and modern appearance.

4. Surface

The surface of both wooden and metal pizza peels plays a significant role in their functionality. 

Wooden peels, being porous, naturally help to absorb any excess moisture from the dough, ensuring a crispier crust. However, they can be a bit rough and require a generous dusting of flour to prevent the pizza from sticking.

Conversely, metal peels are smoother and thinner, allowing for easy sliding of the pizza into the oven. But they can cause the dough to stick and start baking on contact if not properly dusted with flour.

5. Weight

When it comes to weight, wood pizza peels tend to be heavier due to the density of the hardwoods used. This can give them a sturdy and solid feel, which some people might prefer.

Conversely, metal pizza peels are typically lighter and easier to maneuver, thanks to materials like aluminum. This lightness can make them more suitable for people who bake frequently or deal with larger pizzas.

However, the trade-off is that they can sometimes feel less sturdy or substantial than their wooden counterparts.

Wooden vs Metal Pizza Peel: Which Is Better?

You’ve already covered the differences between wood and metal pizza peel. But which is good for your needs? Let’s see now!

1. Dough Handling: Consider a Wooden Peel

When it comes to handling raw pizza dough, a wooden peel is often the better choice. The porous nature of wood makes it less likely for the dough to stick to the surface, allowing for easy transition onto the baking stone.

Additionally, wood can absorb any excess moisture from the dough, preventing a soggy crust. While using a wooden peel, it is still recommended to dust the surface with flour or cornmeal to ensure a smooth transfer of the pizza into the oven.

Thus, for beginners or those who bake pizza frequently at home, a wooden peel can be an excellent tool for effective dough handling.

2. Easy Maintenance: Opt For a Metal Peel

If ease of maintenance is a key consideration for you, a metal pizza peel might be the better option. They are easy to clean and resist staining, and many models are dishwasher-safe, reducing the time and effort required for hand washing.

Furthermore, metal peels do not require the same level of care as wooden ones; there’s no need for oiling to prevent drying and cracking.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that pizzas tend to stick more to metal peels than wooden ones, requiring a liberal dusting of flour or cornmeal before use.

3. Firm Hold: Choose a Wood Peel

If you’re looking for a firm and solid grip, a wood peel could be your ideal choice. Wood, while being a lightweight material, is incredibly strong and durable.

These peels are designed to handle the weight of fully loaded pizzas without bending or flexing. Moreover, wood’s unique grain pattern and warm tones add a touch of elegance to your kitchen tools.

4. Budget-Friendly Option: Look At Metal Peel

When comparing the price of wood vs metal pizza peel, the latter would be the wise choice. On average, an aluminum pizza peel can range from $15 to $30, depending on the size and brand.

Stainless steel models, being more durable, are slightly more expensive, with prices typically ranging from $20 to $50.

On the other hand, carbon steel peels, recognized for their strength and durability, are the most expensive among metal peels and can cost anywhere between $30 and $60.

In Which Case Is a Wooden Pizza Peel The Better Choice?

In general, a wooden pizza peel is better for those who:

1. Bake pizza frequently at home

2. Prefer a natural and rustic look in their kitchen tools

3. Want an easy-to-maintain tool that doesn’t require much upkeep

4. Prefer the traditional method of using flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking

In Which Case Is a Metal Pizza Peel The Better Choice?

On the other hand, a metal pizza peel is better for those who:

1. Bake pizzas occasionally

2. Have limited storage space in their kitchen

3. Want an easy-to-clean and low-maintenance tool

4. Prefer a sleek and modern look in their kitchen tools

Do You Need Separate Peels For Different Dough Crust Styles?

While it is not strictly necessary to have separate peels for different crust styles, having more than one can certainly make the pizza-making process easier.

For instance, a wooden peel is typically better for handling raw dough, making it the perfect tool for thicker crust styles. Conversely, perforated metal peels work well with thin-crust pizzas as they allow air to circulate, preventing the dough from sticking.

So, if you regularly experiment with different pizza crust styles, having a collection of pizza peels can be beneficial.

What’s The Best Way To Store Your Pizza Peel?

Whether you have a wood or metal pizza peel, storing it properly is crucial for its longevity. Here are some tips to keep your pizza peel in great condition.

1. Clean it after each use: Regardless of the material, always clean your pizza peel after each use to prevent food residue from building up. This can be as simple as wiping it down with a damp cloth or sponge for wooden peels or washing it with warm soapy water for metal peels.

2. Dry it thoroughly: Ensure that your pizza peel is completely dry before storing it to prevent moisture from causing damage. This is particularly important for wooden peels which can warp or crack if left damp.

3. Store it flat: If possible, store your pizza peel flat to preserve its shape. Hanging it vertically can lead to warping over time, especially in wooden peels.

4. Keep it out of direct sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can cause wooden peels to dry out and crack. Store your peel in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

5. Don’t stack anything heavy on it: Avoid storing heavy items on top of your pizza peel to prevent it from warping or getting damaged. This is particularly important for metal peels which can bend under the weight of heavy objects.


When it comes to deciding between a wood vs metal pizza peel, it ultimately boils down to personal preference, usage, and budget.

Wood brings a traditional, rustic vibe and is ideal if you bake pizzas frequently, appreciate natural aesthetics, and don’t mind the maintenance work. Metal, on the other hand, is convenient, low-maintenance, and perfect for occasional bakers who prefer a modern, sleek tool.

However, irrespective of the material, proper care and storage are key to ensuring your pizza peel’s longevity. Whether you choose wood or metal, both materials have their unique benefits that can make your pizza-making experience more enjoyable and efficient.

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