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To achieve that perfect, crisp crust on a homemade pizza, it needs to be baked directly on a pre-heated surface (ideally a pizza stone or baking steel), but transferring a thin sheet of raw dough in and out of a hot oven without the right utensil is a tricky proposition. You've probably watched pizza parlor pros move pies from their work counter to an oven and back using long-handled, paddle-shaped tools. Fortunately, smaller versions of these handy tools, also known as pizza peels, are now available for home cooks and chefs alike.
Most pizza peels are made of either wood or metal, and each material has its pros and cons. To help you decide exactly which model to go with, we sent a handful of top-rated pizza peels to our experienced at-home tester to compare side by side. Dozens of pies were transferred in and out of ovens, including indoor ovens, dedicated pizza ovens, and outdoor ovens. Then, they were rated on design, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
Whether you're a self-proclaimed pizzaiolo or just looking for a safe way to cook your pizza, here are the best pizza peels—tested and approved.
Best Overall: Honey-Can-Do Kitchen Supply Aluminum Pizza Peel
Handle is easily removable
Comfortable to hold
Not dishwasher safe
This Honey-Can-Do pizza peel earned our top spot because it excelled in our testing: It easily slid under uncooked pizzas, was able to transport a variety of pies into the oven, and the cooked pies were removed with ease. The aluminum peel is perfectly flat and features a smooth, shaped wood handle that can be loosened and swiveled sideways to rest on top of the paddle for space-saving storage when not in use. The large wooden screw top is easy to grab and turn, and adds a bit of visual interest to the design.
This paddle is 14 x 16 inches, spacious enough to hold a sizable pizza, and thin enough to easily slide between a crust and baking stone. While it’s not overly heavy, it’s got enough weight to be strong and feel sturdy. In testing, it was robust enough to hold a heavy pizza without bending, so it felt very secure when moving pizzas in and out of the oven. The large handle was also very comfortable to hold. While it’s not dishwasher safe, the wood handle is removable, so the two parts can be hand-washed separately.
Handle Length: 11 inches | Paddle Size: 14x 16 inches | Materials: Aluminum paddle, wood handle
"I liked this peel a lot. It's a bit heavy, but it's well balanced, the handle is good to hold onto, and it feels super-sturdy. This can handle heavy pies, no doubt."
Best Budget: Eppicotispai Birchwood Pizza Peel
Wide, for large pizzas
Easy to store
Wood grain raises with moisture
This made-in-Italy birchwood peel is a great starter peel since it's broad at 15 inches wide and thinner than most wood peels, making it comfortably lightweight. It features a beveled edge, which makes it easier to slide back under a pizza once it’s baked. While it’s not dishwasher safe or as durable as some other options, it’s easy enough to hand wash.
During testing, we found that washing raised the grain on the wood, but it still functioned very well for both placing and removing the pizzas. A light sanding and oiling with cutting board oil would make it even better, but isn’t necessary for basic use. This peel is very affordable and broad enough to hold large pies, while it’s also stiff enough to handle loaded pizzas with ease. Although the handle is a bit shorter than on other models, it was long enough to get pizzas in and out of the oven, and a hanging hole allows it to hang on a hook for storage, if desired.
Handle Length: 4.75 inches | Paddle Size: 14.5 x 15 inches | Materials: Birchwood
"With a little bit of sanding and oiling, this could be a great peel with a long life as long as it's not abused along the way."
Best Wooden: TOSCANA A Picnic Time Brand Acacia Wood Pizza Peel
Easy to clean
Thicker than most peels
This handsome acacia wood peel is shaped like a large paddle and features a smooth finish that helps keep dough from sticking. Its handle is a good length for a home oven, and the curved edge is beveled all around to make it easier to slip under your pizza, although its thickness made it less effective during testing than the thinner peels. Ironically, the sticker that explained cleaning left a residue on the peel that required aggressive cleaning to remove.
At approximately 14 inches wide, this peel has plenty of room for large pies, and the handle has a hole at the end for easy hanging. We love that the peel is attractive enough to double as a serving board for your pizza, although we suggest cutting the pie on a cutting board to keep from gouging the wood surface. It’s also attractive enough to use for a cheese or charcuterie board. This comes with a lifetime manufacturer guarantee, making it a worthwhile investment.
Handle Length: 8.5 inches | Paddle Size: 14 x 14 inches | Materials: Acacia wood
"This is a very attractive board that can double as a serving piece, so it will get more use than the usual pizza peel, making it worth having even if pizza isn't on the menu a lot."
Best Perforated: Ooni Perforated Peel
Nonstick is very effective
Available in two sizes
Not dishwasher safe
Ooni is a leading manufacturer of high-end home pizza ovens, and its anodized aluminum paddle doesn't disappoint. This paddle features rows of narrow slits that reduce the surface area, making it easier to slide pizzas in and out of the oven.
While we normally use cornmeal on a peel to keep pizzas from sticking, the slits made us rethink that process when we tested this peel. Instead, we made sure the bottom of the dough was generously coated with flour. The peel’s nonstick surface took care of the rest, and the pizza slithered off the peel with ease. Taking the pizza out of the oven was just as easy. The handle is made from glass-reinforced nylon that stays cool and is long enough to keep hands away from the heat.
These peels were designed for use with Ooni’s pizza ovens, but they work just as well with a home oven or backyard grill. Available in two sizes (12 or 14 inches wide), it's easy to choose the right size for your desired pie and to fit the opening of your pizza oven.
Handle Length: 12 inches | Paddle Size: 12 x 14 inches | Materials: Aluminum paddle, glass-reinforced handle.
"This was super slippery, which was great for unbaked pizzas, since they slid off easily."
Best Long Handle: American Metalcraft 64-Inch Handle Pizza Peel
Built for large pizzas ovens
Available in different lengths
Pizzas slide on and off fairly easily
Too large for home oven use
Handle not removable
If you’re baking your pizzas in a backyard wood-fired brick oven, then a peel designed for a home oven is not going to do the job. You’ll need a peel that’s built to withstand blazing temperatures and that has a longer handle to keep your hands safely away from the intense heat. These 12-inch-wide aluminum peels from American Metalcraft feature rounded wood handles in a range of lengths, from 26 inches up to 64 inches. The base of the handle is attached to the paddle with three rivets, for sturdy and stable handling.
We tested a paddle with a handle a bit over 4 feet long, which proved to be unwieldy in our home kitchen. The length would also be unneeded for a small outdoor oven—the size is meant for deep pizza ovens where the pizza rests 2-3 feet deep in the oven. Cleaning the peel was also less than convenient, as the long handle needed to be accounted for when turning and moving the peel in the kitchen sink.
For those who have a deep brick oven, this peel is exactly what’s needed.
Handle Length: 4 feet, 1.5 inches | Paddle Size: 12 x 14 inches | Materials: Aluminum paddle, wood handle
"This is a specialized peel for people with deep pizza ovens."
Most Versatile: Q's INN Pizza Peel With Detachable Handles
Handles are removable for different lengths
Handle can double as rolling pin
Peel is front-heavy
This flat, 14 x 16-inch rectangular peel is made from sturdy aluminum and comes with a set of detachable, rounded wood handles that adapt to several cooking situations. The shortest handle, at 16 inches, is good for a home oven, grill, or small pizza oven, and when fully assembled, it works for deep outdoor ovens. In testing, we found that this was rather front-heavy so it was best used two-handed. Also, it flexed a bit as we removed our pizza from the oven, so we had to make sure the pizza was properly placed lest we drop it.
Since the handle is smooth round wood, it could be used as a rolling pin to roll the pizza dough, although the length may not be comfortable for cooks who are used to shorter traditional pins. For storage, this can be disassembled to save space.
Handle Length: 16 inches to 37 inches | Paddle Size: 14 x 16 inches | Materials: Aluminum paddle, wood handle
"This is a versatile peel for cooks who make pizzas in their home oven or grill and who also have a deep pizza oven that requires a long-handled peel to place and retrieve pizzas."
Best for Turning: Chef Pomodoro Aluminum 9-Inch Turning Pizza Peel with Detachable Wood Handle
Can be used for small pastries and baked goods
Multiple handle configurations
Not for loading average-sized pizzas
For those with a backyard wood-fired oven, a pizza-turning peel can turn you into a real pizza pro. Pizzaiolos often use long-handled peels with round metal paddles to turn pizzas as they bake in the oven for even cooking and browning. You can also use this type of peel to gently lift the pie and move it toward or away from hot spots in the oven for the perfect finish.
While this type of peel is more specialized, this particular model from Chef Pomodoro is more versatile than most. It comes with interchangeable long and short wooden handles, so it can also be used in a home oven or a smaller pizza oven. It also features long perforations to minimize sticking. While it is not dishwasher safe, cleaning was simple.
In testing, this was useful for turning pizzas where larger peels were sometimes awkward to swing around inside the oven. It isn’t designed for getting pizzas into the oven since the paddle is so small, but it could be used for placing smaller pastries, hand pies, and other small baked goods. We used this with the shortest handle attached, but for tight spaces it could be used with both wooden handles removed, utilizing the attached 7-inch metal extension.
Paddle Size: 9 inch diameter | Materials: Nonstick aluminum paddle, wood handle
"This is a specialized peel that isn't used for loading and unloading pizzas, but it's great for turning them. This could be used for loading and unloading small personal pizzas or other small baked goods, though."
Best for Beginners: EXO Non-Stick Super Peel Pro
Can be used without cloth
Cloth may stain
The design and performance of the Exo Non-Stick Super Peel Pro—and the fact that you don't have to be a pro pizza maker to use it—earn it a spot on our list. The unusual design of this baking peel makes it easy to transfer pizzas, bread, and even intricate latticed pie crusts without stretching them or damaging their shape. The 14-inch-wide paddle is made from an eco-friendly composite of recycled paper and wood fiber. It’s covered with a pastry cloth that won’t stick to soft doughs and features a clever rod that makes the cloth function as a conveyor belt.
During testing, it was simple to slide pizzas from the peel onto the baking steel, but it did take more effort to get the cloth under the finished pizza to remove it from the oven. The cloth can be removed, however, and the peel can be used like a traditional peel to retrieve the pizza.
Unlike wood peels, the EXO peel is dishwasher safe, washable, and resistant to warping and stains. The cloth is removable and washable, although tomato sauce stains remained after washing during testing, and the cloth wrinkled from wringing it out. It also shrunk a bit, which the instructions said was expected. We don't think those are deal-breakers, though. While it’s a bit pricey, this would be a worthwhile investment for anyone who has difficulty using a traditional peel, and it's a great beginner's tool.
Handle Length: 6.75 inches | Paddle Size: 14 x 14 inches | Materials: Composite peel, fabric cover
"This is a great tool for pizza makers who need to build their confidence getting pizzas into the oven."
How We Tested
After extensive research on a variety of pizza peels, we sent eight top models to our experienced home tester to evaluate them with homemade pizzas. She used them to transport pizzas in and out of a variety of ovens, including regular home ovens, outdoor ovens, and dedicated pizza ovens, and then rated each one on design, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
What to Look for in a Pizza Peel
Just like baking sheets or cake pans, the size of a pizza peel matters. The peel needs to be large enough to hold the pizzas you make, whether you prefer giant pies for the family or personal pizzas for everyone. A peel can be too large, though, particularly if you have a small indoor or outdoor pizza oven with a narrow opening. Not only do you need to load and unload pizzas with the peel, but you may need to turn the pizza around during cooking. If the peel is too wide, turning can be difficult.
Most peels are wood or metal, and each has its pros and cons. Metal peels are easier to clean, but wet doughs are more likely to stick. More flour or cornmeal may be needed to keep the pie moving on a metal peel. Wooden peels are less sticky and require less flour or cornmeal, but if they get wet from spilled toppings, the wet spots can become extra-sticky. While cleaning isn’t difficult, they can stain, and it’s not unusual to see burn marks on the front edge of a well-used wooden peel.
When loading and unloading pizzas, it’s nice to have a handle that’s long enough to keep your hands away from the heat, eliminating the need for oven mitts. However, a too-long handle can get in the way, may be unnecessary for use in a home oven or a small countertop or outdoor pizza oven, and can make the peel harder to store.
What is a pizza peel?
A pizza peel is designed to slide an uncooked pizza into an oven, to turn the pizza for even cooking all around when needed, and to retrieve the pizza when cooking is done. An effective peel has a thin front end so it can get under a pizza and slide all the way to the opposite side without pushing the pizza back into the oven. It also should have a handle that’s easy to hold, and long enough to get the pizza in and out of the oven without burning the cook’s hands. It should also be sturdy enough to hold a fully-loaded pizza and balanced so the pizza won’t tip off the peel.
How do you use a pizza peel?
A pizza peel requires some practice to use, but it’s tasty practice. The uncooked pizza dough is placed on a well-dusted peel (flour, cornmeal, or semolina are often used), then toppings are added quickly to keep the pizza from sticking to the peel. Before moving the pizza to the oven, it’s best to give the peel a few quick shakes to make sure the pizza is moving freely, so that any sticking can be addressed and fixed. Then the peel and pizza go into the oven with the forward edge of the peel at the place where the pizza should be set. The peel is tipped and given a little shake to get the pizza to the edge of the peel and then the pizza slides off as the peel is moved out of the oven, depositing the pizza onto the baking stone or other surface.
To get a pizza out of the oven, it’s simply a matter of pushing the edge of the peel under the front edge of the pizza, then sliding it completely underneath the pizza so it can be lifted. If the pizza is moving back rather than sliding onto the peel, it’s perfectly fine to grab a set of tongs to hold and pull the pizza forward and onto the peel. With practice, it gets easier to get the pizza on and off the peel like an expert.
How do you keep pizza from sticking to the peel?
In order to keep uncooked pizza from sticking to a peel, it’s usually dusted with flour, cornmeal, or semolina to absorb some of the moisture from the dough and to provide itty bitty ball bearings for the pizza to slide on. The choice of dusting product is a personal choice. Flour makes sense because that’s in the crust, but it can burn at the high temperatures of a pizza oven. Cornmeal and semolina are chunkier and add some flavor and crunch, which many people enjoy. For gluten-free pizzas, which can be very sticky, the pizza can be placed on parchment paper on the peel, and the parchment can go right into the oven and then be retrieved after a minute or two of cooking (depending on the oven temperature) once the bottom of the pizza has firmed up enough to slide the parchment out.
Can you cut pizza on a pizza peel?
It’s possible to cut and serve a pizza on some peels, but it depends on the peel’s material and also whether the peel will be used again immediately. Cutting pizza on a wooden peel can get the peel wet from the toppings, which can then make the peel sticky when it’s time to place another pizza in the oven. Those same juices can stain the peel if it hasn’t been treated with oil (similar to how cutting boards are seasoned). It’s best to use the peel to transfer pizzas and do the cutting on a cutting board.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This article was originally researched and written by Danette St. Onge, formerly the Italian Food Expert for The Spruce Eats and a features editor at Cook’s Illustrated magazine (part of America’s Test Kitchen). An avid kitchen appliance and utensil junkie, she spends hours combing the Internet, comparing options, reading reviews, and testing to find the best tool for every job.
Donna Currie, an expert product tester who has also tested several pizza ovens for The Spruce Eats, updated this roundup with testing insights after using each of the pizza peels on this list.