November 1, 2017 |

Respecting the Craft: Pizza Peels, Part III

By Tony Gemignani

pizza peel

The final chapter of Tony’s discussion on pizza peels

Tony Gemignani
World-champion Pizzaiolo and Pizzeria Owner

In the September issue, I began a discussion on pizza peels and how I use them in my pizzeria. I followed up last month by taking a look at a few different types of peels. This month I’ll complete the discussion by offering snapshots of a few more. Let’s get right to it and round out this series!

  • American short-handle solid aluminum peels. These work well and are thin and lightweight. I feel you see these peels phasing out with the newer, imported perforated ones — but there are still many of these out there. Typically, these peels have round wooden shafts that come in short to long varieties. Some are made of 14-gauge aluminum.
    You can build your pizza on these peels or try and pick them up from your work table. These peels are also used for rotating pizzas in your oven. Typically, they are used in gas and electric ovens.
  • Shovel Peels “In Peel”. Also known as loading peels, these peels are typically manufactured in Italy and are used around the world. They are very long in length and made of aluminum or aluminum alloy. The kitchen areas tend to be slightly larger in size to work with these peels. They are light weight, but strong, and are typically used in wood-fired ovens. They can also be used in any oven, however. The head is solid, not perforated.
  • Romana-style or Pizza in Pala Peels. They are made of aluminum, wood or other metal material. These peels are long and rectangular. The aluminum peels are very thin, so you can pick up the pizza from the work top. The wood ones are a little thicker, and you typically make your pizza on the board. They can be up to a meter long with different length- and width-sizes available. These are typically used in electric, wood and some gas ovens. If you’re using the wood version, you would use it just like the American wood peels by adding the dusting grain to the surface to make it easy to transfer a pizza into the oven.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our three-part series on pizza peels. Next month I’m going to get into New York slices!

RESPECTING THE CRAFT features World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and Pizza Rock in Sacramento.  Tony compiles the column with the help of his trusty assistants, Laura Meyer and Thiago Vasconcelos. If you have questions on any kitchen topic ranging from prep to finish, Tony’s your guy. Send questions via Twitter @PizzaToday, Facebook (search: Pizza Today) or e-mail and we’ll pass the best ones on to Tony.