The pizza shovel goes by several different names.
Some call it a pizza peel, a paddle, or maybe even a spatula.
Whatever name you give it, they are an essential item for anyone using a pizza oven.
We are not talking about those used in a restaurant, as the pizza oven has become a popular accessory for many homes.
If you own a pizza oven, what types of pizza shovels can you find, and which are the best pizza shovels?
Size and Shape
Let us start by assessing the best shape.
You might think it’s obvious because whenever you visit your local pizzeria, you see these large round shovels, but in reality, this is not the perfect shape for the home pizza oven. For that reason, a rounded shovel allows them to reach all corners of their oven.
Those guys are churning through hundreds of pizzas in a large oven, looking at utilizing all available space to make multiple pizzas whereas you are looking to make a great pizza just for you.
A homeowner’s oven isn’t large so using a round shovel is not the best choice.
A flat, square, or rectangular shovel will do the job you need far better.
The size needs to be big enough for the pizza to sit on and not hang over the edge of the shovel, so assess the pizza size you want to make the most before choosing.
The more critical size consideration is the handle.
It would be best if the handle were long enough so it can reach into your oven or grill and allow your hand not to get too close to the door, thus protecting it from burning.
The other key consideration is the material of the shovel.
These are the most visually attractive pizza shovels that can be hung on the wall as a decorative item.
The wooden pizza shovel is also the best choice as the pizza dough is less likely to stick to the shovel.
There are two key downsides to a wooden pizza shovel.
Firstly, the wood is usually very thick, making it harder to use.
The weight of the shovel can be daunting, and getting under the pizza to spin it or pull it out can be difficult.
Secondly is the issue of maintenance. A wooden pizza shovel is harder to maintain.
After cleaning, you need to make sure it is dried thoroughly to prevent warping.
Similar to wooden shovels, composite shovels are better with the dough in that it will be less likely to stick to the shovel.
The thickness of a a composite shovel is less than a wooden shovel, so the weight and maneuverability are greater.
Generally, composite shovels have much shorter handles, which may not be suitable for your pizza oven if it is deep.
The most common shovel used for home use is a metal shovel, with aluminum being the popular choice of metal.
A metal pizza shovel is very thin, so it is easy to lift, maneuver the pizza, clean and maintain.
However, there is a greater chance of having an issue with the dough sticking to the surface of the shovel.
When the dough sticks, it is harder to place the pizza into the oven to cook.
You can use some flour on the shovel to reduce the sticking.
Overall, metal is the best and more cost-effective option for the home pizza enthusiast.
The best pizza shovel will be different per household, but below are the best examples outlining who they work best for.
1. Darebuilt Metal Works Pizza Shovel
This Canadian made shovel is a perfect example of an aluminum shovel that is stylish, easy to clean, and the 7″ base allows the pizza to cook well in a small wood or gas oven.
It is not a bargain price but certainly not at the higher end of the scale either.
This pizza shovel is an excellent choice for those who frequently use the pizza oven, thus needing good quality without professional prices.
2. Argon Pizza Peel
For the person looking for a cost-effective model that will do the job, try the ‘Argon Tableware Aluminium Pizza Peel.’
It comes with a large 60 cm paddle and has a sleek aluminum blade to make putting the pizza in the oven a simple process.
The handle folds for storage and many cook the pizza right on this peel, so you will not need a pizza stone nor have issues burning yourself as you cook your pizza.
It is large, so check that the paddle will fit your oven or grill and that you can store it somewhere in your kitchen.
3. Homefavor Pizza Paddle
A more stylish-looking paddle that is flexible is the ‘GA Homefavor Aluminium Pizza Paddle.’
This shovel has the added benefit of a handle that you can remove for more accessible storage.
Clean-up of this shovel needs to be done by hand as it is not dishwasher-proof, but that is not enough to disregard this option.
It is light and very durable, so while it’s slightly more expensive, it will last.
4. Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Pizza Peel
Potentially the best metal option is the ‘Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Pizza Peel With Folding Handle,’ which, as the title suggests, comes with a foldable handle that is great for storage in the kitchen.
While not as attractive as the wooden options, it still feels solid and durable.
The handle has a rubber coating, making it easier to grip and less likely to get hot in the cooking process.
5. Pizza Royale Bamboo Pizza Peel
For those looking for something a little different and hoping to be environmentally friendly as well, try the ‘Pizza Royale Ethically Sourced Premium Bamboo Pizza Peel.’
It combines good performance with a lovely look, offering excellent durability, and of course, bamboo is an eco-friendly material.
While some wooden-style shovels can be harder to use, this has a tapered edge to make it easier to slip under your pizza.
It is slightly smaller than other pizza shovels, so ensure it works for the size of pizza you usually cook.
Remember, the best pizza shovel is the one that works best for your circumstances.
Factor in how often you’ll use the shovel, how big your pizzas are, how deep the handle needs to be, and then you’ll be able to pick the best one for you and start making lovely homemade pizza.