Should You Buy A Short Or Long-Handle Pizza Peel?

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Let's be honest, we've all been disappointed with enough takeout and frozen pizzas to consider just making our own at home. However, we're here to tell you to do it. Pay no attention to whatever is holding you back, whether it's worrying about messing up, which some will, but remember, it's only pizza, or not having the right tools. Why? Because home-made pizza is not only delicious, but it's healthier, more affordable, and more adaptable than takeout, per Spoon University

However, if there is one specialty tool no home pizza chef cook should be without, it's a pizza peel. Before you go building the pizza oven of your dreams, you'll want to familiarize yourself with this essential tool. Think of a pizza peel as something of an exaggerated spatula. Its purpose is to move the pizza in and out of the oven without causing damage to the pie or handler, according to WebstaurantStore. Pizza peels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the overall design is that of a flat surface attached to a handle. The length of said handle is one of the more important characteristics to take into account. However, both short and long-handled peels have their own unique pros and cons that you'll need to consider before making a purchase. 

The pros and cons of a long-handle peel

One of the primary purposes of a pizza peel is to put a degree of distance between your hands and the oven. Long-handled pizza peels, for example, are a suitable option for establishing some space between you and the heat. In this case, according to Giordano's, you're looking for a peel handle that will stretch all the way to the back of your oven. However, you'll need one that provides at least four inches of leeway when standing in front of the oven. These peels are very common in restaurants for this purpose, particularly those with deep brick ovens that reach high temperatures.

In addition, longer-handled peels are best suited for when you need to consistently run an oven, according to Gi.Metal. The company produces long-handled pizza peels that run 60 centimeters long. For reference, that's about two feet respectively. However, that's nothing compared to the Shangpeixuan peel that reaches 40 inches, which is over three feet in length, per Amazon. Now, depending on the kitchen layout, a pizza peel handle that is two or three feet long may not be the most user-friendly instrument to have in the kitchen. However, a long-handled peel would be a great asset if you have an outdoor cooking area where space is not an issue.

The small handle may feel more comfortable in your home kitchen

Fortunately, the short-handled peel's greatest pro is its manageable size, according to Giordano's. All home cooks know that counter space comes at a premium. Therefore, laying down a three-foot-long pizza peel is not necessarily going to be the most space-friendly way to go about making a pizza. However, prepping the pizza on a short-handled peel is far more comfortable, space-wise, than trying to prep a pizza on a long-handled peel and having the handle stick out into the middle of the kitchen. It could be fun to play limbo, but not much else. Additionally, the short handle gives you more control over the pizza when transferring it from peel to oven, as a result of the peel's closer proximity to the maker's body, per Bacino's Pizza.  

However, the short peel size has its cons too. As Giordano's explains, working with a short-handled peel is going to get your hands much closer to the heat source, thus increasing your risk of getting burned. All in all, there is always a give and take when it comes to choosing tools for your kitchen. In terms of pizza peels, the final determination boils down to a matter of personal preference, the consideration of your space, and the type of oven you use.