You want to make a less greasy pizza, for your family or customers. Since there is usually a common reason. Its easy to make a few changes and rid the excess grease from your pizza.
Depending on who you ask, pizza is either suppose to be greasy or not at all. Some might say a little bit of both, or somewhere in between. A pizza with no grease is easy to fix.
A pizza with too much grease can be an issue though. You don’t usually hear people say “I wish this pizza was more greasy”. No its usually the opposite.
With health conscious people, greasy means unhealthy. They are correct it to a degree. But pizza isn’t really a food that is a staple of healthy eating.
There may be a few reasons the grease is ruining a pizza. Either people dislike it (including the pizza maker). The grease is making the crust soggy, or its taking away some of the flavor.
Making the pizza overall mouthfeel and taste not pleasant.
First its important to diagnose what is causing the problem. In this case the pizza is turning out too greasy. Usually there are a few reasons for this. One main culprit and a couple of other items to address.
Why Does Pizza Get Greasy?
Grease that comes out of a pizza is a combination of fat and oil. The fats are heavily present in the cheese and any meat toppings. Where the oil is going to come from the sauce, dough and vegetable toppings.
Fats from the cheese and meat toppings like pepperoni, are the going to create the most grease in a pizza. When the two are baked the fats start to cook and release liquid fat. The grease starts to seep out and onto the rest of the pizza.
A uncooked pizza, either frozen or from scratch. Will not appear greasy at all. The dough should be dry to the touch before cooking. Unless there might be a bit of butter.
It isn’t until after the pizza has been baked that the grease starts to show. This is because the heat makes the oils and fat release out. The cheese begins to melt and the fat contain starts to drain out.
Meat toppings that are precooked, might already be greasy to the touch. It is hard to notice when they are frozen. Wait until they thaw out and then notice how much grease is on the outside.
Pepperoni is notorious for this, since it contains a lot of fat. Sausage is a high fat content food, and is used to make most pepperonis. Beef pepperonis will have less fat, and maybe a little less grease.
Beef when cooked usually the grease either gets cooked away. Like when grilling burgers, or boils away slightly when browning beef. Same with grilled brats or Italian sausage.
When a meat is baked onto a pizza, the grease usually just starts to leak out. Like the meat starts to sweat, the liquid fat has no where else to go and stays onto the pizza.
The pizza dough and sauce soaks up excess grease. When using a thin slice of dough, there is less to absorb it. Making each slice very greasy.
Make a pizza less greasy and a frozen pizza taste better. Read my post on upgrading frozen pizza for more tips.
Why is Pepperoni Greasy?
Most pepperoni is made with pork and beef.. The pork or beef themselves do not contain a lot of fat. So fat is actually added to the pepperoni. This is common for making sausages. Since a fattier sausage is going to be more tender and not dry out when being cooked.
The fat added also produces flavoring for the pepperoni. Sometimes a fattier cut of meat is used for the sausage. This is ground up and turned to sausage meat.
Pepperoni becomes greasy because of the fat content. The grease is actually just liquid fat that looks like an oil. When pizza grease is slightly orange in color, that is usually from the pepperoni.
Pepperoni gets its red color from the spices used in the seasoning (red pepper, paprika). That is why the grease turns orange in color.
1. Use Low Fat/Moisture Cheese
Using a different type of cheese can help your pizza become less greasy. This starts with the mozzarella, since that is the type of cheese used the most.
Most likely its the shredded mozzarella that is used to cheese a pizza. So start by looking at the kind you have been using.
There are different varieties of mozzarella available in grocery stores. So if your trying to make a homemade pizza less greasy. Then you should know the difference in the types of mozzarella.
There are usually three main differences:
- Whole Milk Mozzarella (More Fat)
- Part Skim (Less Fat)
- Reduced Fat (Fat Free)
The other important option to look for is low-moisture, this available for whole or part skim cheeses. The reduced fat kind doesn’t usually have a low moisture version.
The reason cheese creates grease is from the butterfat. Similar to pepperoni the fat is usually the culprit.
One problem is that less fat in the cheese changes the flavor and melting characteristics. More fat means more flavor and easier melting.
So if you want to continue to use a whole milk mozzarella, try the low-moisture version. If your pizza is still too greasy go down to part skim and so on.
Try a low-moisture part skim and see if the grease is reduced without changing the flavor.
Experiment between the three varities of cheese to see which one works out. If you are already using a lesser fat and lower moisture cheese, and the pizza is still greasy.
Then you may have to try some of these other methods.
2. Bake Pizza at Higher Temps
Considering a pizza oven, they can cook pizzas at very high temperatures. A pizza oven can get up to 700 degrees. A standard kitchen oven will not get near that hot.
Still you can try to cook your pizza above 400 degrees. If you can bake the pizza at 500-550 degrees.
Preheat the pizza pan you are going to use with the oven. Also a pizza stone works very well for retaining heat. When you open the oven to put the pizza heat is lost. A pizza stone will stay heated very well.
By baking at a higher temperature, you will speed up the cooking time. The longer the pizza bakes the more oil/fat will be released. The cheese only needs to be melted and slightly cooked.
When cooking at 500 degrees the pizza should take around 10 mins or less. A slightly overdone pizza will be less greasy. Think of a baked pizza vs a microwaved pizza.
The microwave pizza is going to softer, also more greasy. The heat should cook away a lot of the oil and grease.
3. Precook Pepperoni
A microwave cooked pizza is going to be very greasy. But you can still use a microwave to help make a pizza less greasy. Only you are going to just cook the pepperonis.
Another method to use, since pepperonis contribute a lot of the grease. Is to precook the pepperonis first. The fat can be taken out before using them on a pizza.
One way to do this is to microwave the pepperonis. Lay the slices out on a paper towel. Then cook them in the microwave for half a minute.
The paper towel will start to soak up some of the excess grease. Use a napkin or another paper towel to dry them further.
Don’t over cook the pepperonis though, since they are still going to be baked with the pizza. Cook to the desired level or softness or even crispness.
All the grease that comes out won’t be on the pizza. You can also skip microwaving them if you prefer.
Heat a pan on the stove top to medium. Place the pepperoni slices in the pan and fry away some of the grease. This is a good way to get them slightly crispy if you like them that way.
Take them out and put them on a paper towel to soak up some more oil.
4. Use a Thicker Crust
This isn’t always a option, but if you are going to be making the pizza from scratch. Try to use a thicker crust if your toppings are making a lot of grease.
Thin crust works great for a pizza with little toppings. Since the crust absorbs much of the sauce and oils from the cheese.
A New York style pizza is a thin crust slice. Usually they are greasy and the crust is not very crispy. When making dough from scratch, try not to stretch it out too thin.
You can make a thicker crust and this will absorb much of the grease. Its still there but it won’t be dripping off the bottom.
5. Serve Pizza On Clean Surface
After the pizza is done cooking. There is some tricks you can do to not let the pizza become to greasy. One common mistake is removing the pan and serving the pizza on the same pan.
When the pizza remains on the pan it was cooked on, any grease remains on the bottom. The pizza sits on top of the oil and grease that came off while cooking.
Its best to use a cutting board (also makes slicing the pizza easier) or another pan to serve it on. So remove the pizza off the pan after baking, don’t allow the crust to soak up any more grease.
It is also best to let the pizza sit for a couple of minutes. Letting it cool slightly, the toppings will settle better and the oils will thicken. Makes eating a lot safer and less messy.