When searching for the best wooden pizza peel, we’re actually looking for the overall best peel for making pizza. Pretty much everyone prefers the ones made from wood.
However, we also have the option of getting a metal model. There are peels made from stainless steel or aluminum, too.
I know that pretty much everyone prefers the wooden models. But after reviewing some of the best wooden pizza peels, maybe we’ll also debate metal vs wooden pizza paddles, too. Just to see if wood really trumps metal in this world.
Best Wooden Pizza Peel Reviews
Let’s review some of the best wooden pizza peels. You’re going to love these boards. They might look like a giant paddle but they’re smooth so that the dough won’t stick to the wood.
The whole point is that the rolled dough with the cheese and toppings on top is supposed to slide right into the oven without damaging your cheese or your toppings.
1. Winco Wooden Pizza Peel – Overall the Best Wooden Pizza Peel
This is an interesting wooden pizza peel that is definitely pretty overlooked, it’s not very popular.
The type of wood is not mentioned although it has a very light color so it might quite be pine.
Besides that, the size is quite big, this is a 16-inch blade and that’s the only size from this manufacturer.
The 24-inch handle is classic.
So, why did I want to review the Winco as one of the best?
Because there is one review that has tracked its progress over a couple of years. That review states that after more than 2 years, this peel has performed as intended and it hasn’t received any maintenance.
And this is a person who has used it for making more than 100 pizzas in the first few months of use. That’s impressive. Plus, it’s all it takes to make me give it a chance as the best wooden pizza peel.
Where to Buy?
2. New Star Foodservice Wooden Pizza Peel
What do I mean by all the sizes? I just simply wanted to highlight that this manufacturer offers a lot of sizes for all kinds of needs and tastes.
I personally prefer the 14 x 16 x 24 inches one, it’s a nice size.
But you might like a smaller size with a very long handle, in which case you can go with the 12 x 16 x 42 inches.
The good news is that the pictures will make it easier to distinguish between the different sizes. I am pretty sure that you’ll easily figure out which would be the best option for your household.
Those looking for a quite big best wooden pizza peel, can choose the 18 x 19 x 36 inches models.
Now, that we have covered the obvious feature that distinguished this manufacturer, let’s talk about quality and construction.
The manufacturer describes it as a sturdy, durable, and lightweight basswood with a fine, even texture.
It’s also 1/2 inches thick, which is quite the usual thickness for wooden pizza paddles. Some reviewers consider it too thick, in which case you should definitely be looking towards metal options.
The price is quite good but not cheap.
Nevertheless, although the manufacturer ensures us that these peels will last for years to come, I must warn you that there are reviews who claim that the wood is very soft and that it warped and cracker after its first washing.
Where to Buy?
3. Zulay Bamboo Pizza Peel – Nice Quality
There are two options to choose from: medium (12-inch) and large (15-inch). I like this two options, they’re just what we need, whether we cook for 1 or 2 or a larger family.
The medium has a 0.47 inches thickness, while the large has a 0.6 inches. The large is a bit thick but nothing surprising.
The price is also quite good, on par with the entire niche.
Can this Zulay be considered an overall best wooden pizza peel?
That’s my opinion because it looks great and it feels of high quality. Moreover, users praise it for launching the dough easily and for being very sturdy.
I’m quite confident that it can pass the test of time and of multiple washes without cracking.
Someone states that it gave it 3 coats of butcher block oil before using it for the first time. The same person uses semolina flour before stretching the dough. This is top-notch advice.
Where to Buy?
4. Pizza Royale Ethically Sourced Premium Natural Bamboo Pizza Peel
I think those two words “ethically sourced” are a major reason why this board from Pizza Royale is so often found on pretty much all the lists for the best wooden pizza peel.
Is it my favorite? Not exactly but only because there have been quite a few users who have reported that it cracked after only a few uses.
But there are also plenty of people who consider it very good. So, I also decided to review it.
There are 2 sizes: large (12 inches) and extra large (15 inches). Well, I consider the 12-inch small and the 15-inch almost large but we’ll go by how the manufacturer names the two sizes.
I like the overall look, it has a really nice design.
Where to Buy?
5. Ooni Bamboo Pizza Peel
I’m pretty sure that most of you have heard of Ooni. After all, they’re one of the most well-known brands of pizza ovens. Let’s how their wooden pizza peel performs
First thing first, it’s a bit pricey.
It’s a 12 inch peel made of bamboo. It’s definitely on the smaller side while being not the cheapest at all. Until now, it doesn’t sound like it could a favorite for the best wooden pizza peel.
I guess it’s on the smaller side because it is designed for their Ooni outdoor pizza ovens. If you’re a fan of this brans, I’m sure you might be interested in it.
The manufacturer informs us their their bamboo peel features an incredibly smooth surface. That should help prevent the dough from sticking to its surface.
You should still lightly flour the paddle before placing the dough on it.
All in all, it’s a high quality product that’s not the cheapest. But it will be nice for Ooni lovers.
On the other hand, if you have a very big outdoor pizza oven, this peel won’t work for you because it has a short handle. New Star Foodservice is the manufacturer to provide customers with a variety of long handles for their peels.
Where to Buy?
6. Checkered Chef Pizza Paddle
I know that we’re here to review the best wooden pizza peel but I also wanted to introduce the alternative in the form of this Checkered Chef Pizza Paddle.
It’s made of stainless steel and it has a very think paddle. That might be more comfortable for some of you.
There are two sizes to choose from: 9.5 x 13 inches and 13 x 15 inches.
This metal pizza peel is also dishwasher safe.
Another advantage is that this one is also easy to store. The handle folds for easier storage.
Obviously, you still have to lightly flour the surface so the dough doesn’t stick to it. If you’re looking for an alternative, I think you might really like this Checkered Chef Pizza Paddle made of stainless steel with a foldable handle.
Where to Buy?
How to Pick the Best Wooden Peel for Pizza
The main things to pay attention to are related to size, thickness, and wood quality. They’re very easy to choose and most of them have a good price, nothing outrageously expensive.
Frankly, a large cutting board is likely to be more expensive than any of the above best wooden pizza peels.
A diameter of 14 inches can be just perfect for feeding 4 people with big appetites.
12 inches diameter is quite small, it works well for 2 persons.
A 16 inches diameter is considered quite big, perfect for families with plenty of hungry members
The usual thickness is between 1/2 and 3/4 inches. They’re quite thick and some users end up complaining about the boards being too thick, although it’s to be totally expect for those made from wood.
Paddles made from metal are less thick, between 1 and 3 millimeters.
Most models offer short handles, which work very well for the usual pizza oven that is found in most households. Only a very big oven would require a long handle.
There are a number of choices and they’re all really nice:
- bamboo – one of the most frequently encountered
How to Use a Pizza Peel
I have a few small tips, although all the work has to be put in by you. I just hope you can find these suggestions helpful. This applies whether you’re using a wooden or a metal model.
First thing first, you need to practice. To get a feel of the peel and how the dough feels and moves on it. How to load it from the peel into the oven or onto a pizza stone or baking steel.
In order to get a feel for all that, I recommend experimenting a few times with a dough that’s properly stretched but isn’t loaded with any toppings.
But even if you mess it up, you won’t feel devastated that you’ve messed up all those delicious toppings.
That will also give you chance to practice the removal from the oven. If you’re just using a pizza stone in a countertop oven, you won’t have to worry about removing the pizza with the peel. But it takes some practice when we’re talking about big or portable outdoor ovens.
How Do You Keep Dough from Sticking?
Dough is more likely to stick to smooth surfaces because the moisture of the dough will create suction.
If there exists some airflow between the peel and the dough, the chances of sticking are decreased.
To just make sure that this is completely preventable and no dough is going to stick to any surface, just sprinkle a layer of flour or cornmeal onto the peel. It’s what we do with a pizza stone, if we’re not using parchment paper.
I definitely prefer using flour. I was never a big fan of cornmeal because I like the underside of my crust to be perfectly smooth.
You can first try using a mix made from half flour and half cornmeal. If you don’t like this one, next time you can just choose to use just flour or just cornmeal.
How Do You Clean a Wooden Pizza Peel?
I just prefer gently running a clean towel over its surface so that I can slough off the excess flour and that’s it.
If you want a more serious approach, you can use a damp sponge or cloth.
In case something more dirty is going on, wash it by hand in warm water but don’t let it soak in water because it can crack or warp. Let it air dry on the rack.
How to condition it
If you want to condition your wooden pizza peel, then you need mineral oil.
Pour a generous amount and lightly spread it with a dry cloth. Once the wood dries, it can be used again. You can do this as often as you’d like.
Vegetable oil or olive oil are not a good choice because they go rancid. That’s not a good smell.
Why You Need a Pizza Peel
The role of a wooden pizza peel is absolutely obvious: it will help us deliver pizza into the oven quickly, painlessly and without much effort.
Considering how hot those ovens get, the peel is there to assist you in scooting the pizza in without feeling that intense heat. The same goes for when you’re taking it out.
The peel also comes in handy when you have to rotate the pizza to make sure that the cheese is melted uniformly, the crust is done perfectly all round, and all the toppings are equally touched by that intense heat.
It’s especially helpful if you’re baking in outdoor pizza ovens but it works well for those making pizza on the grill, too.
Moreover, it just makes the experience of making pizza at home so much more authentic, it’s a wonderful feel.
If you have guests over, you can impress them with your skills of scooting pie after pie in the oven. It will be done in less than 2 minutes, with the toppings firmly in place.
Nevertheless, you can definitely make pizza at home without needing a wooden pizza paddle.
It’s especially true if you’re using a countertop oven, which is still very capable of making delicious pies, without being all that expensive. Check out my post on the best pizza makers if you want to know more about them.
Another option that doesn’t involve outdoor ovens or using a peel is making thicker-crusts in a cast iron skillet. Or getting a cast iron pizza pan, which can also be used on the grill. There are so many possibilities.
How Do You Use a Pizza Oven Without a Peel?
Well, using a pizza oven has nothing to do with a peel, it has all to with getting it sufficiently hot, for which you might need an infrared pizza oven thermometer.
Leaving that aside, how do you scoot the dough with the cheese and toppings intact if you don’t have a peel?
Well, the thing has a simple solution and if you already own one, you can experiment with it and see how it goes. It will also give you an excuse to fire up the oven and bake some pies.
If you own a large wooden cutting board with a handle, you’re all set. You really don’t need to buy any of the above models that I’ve reviewed above.
If your cutting board is still large enough but it doesn’t have a handle, you can improvise if you have a pair of strong kitchen tongs. Grill tongs can replace the handle but test it before to see if they can hold the board up without slipping.
Other replacements for a peel are:
- use a rimless cookie sheet – it can perfectly replace a metal pizza peel, it’s perfect but it doesn’t have a handle
- turn a baking sheet upside down
- parchment paper – you’ll have to bake the pizza on the parchment paper so it works on pizza stones but not on grills
Metal vs Wooden Peels
When I think of stainless steel pizza peels, I always think of Checkered Chef. It’s definitely not a coincidence that this manufacturer also makes one of the best rocker pizza knives.
So, if any of my above choices for the best wooden pizza peel doesn’t seem the right choice for you, maybe you should check the stainless steel one from Checkered Chef. It’s very popular, even more so than many paddles made of wood.
Generally speaking, metal peels are less thick. This is why they might be a little harder to handle when the dough is loaded with lots of toppings. But the slim design is also what makes them easier to handle when getting the pizza out of the oven.
Another thing to take into consideration is that metal paddles can last longer and they will definitely require less maintenance than wood boards.
Plus, there’s no risk of splitting. That’s a considerable risk with wood, when is washed and then left to dry. Wood can also develop mold if it’s too porous.
If you want to know how to use a metal one so that the dough won’t stick, you can watch this video. It’s short and to the point.
Basically, it just comprises of what I told you above: sprinkling cornmeal or flour. But it can help you with seeing how much is needed.
The person in the video uses a mix of all purpose flour and cornmeal because cornmeal can smoke in the oven if too much is used.
Are they a better choice than their wooden counterparts? I wouldn’t say so. I think there are awesome models for both categories but the best wooden pizza peel remains a favorite for many professional bakers, as well as for us amateurs.