Pizza is probably associated with a tasty, beautifully cooked pie with a golden-brown crust, a light sheen on top, and deliciously melted cheese… Yum. Yum. Furthermore, there is the grease that goes along with it. It could be too much grease. You can minimize grease on homemade pizza by substituting ingredients or changing cooking techniques. You can find out the cause of excess grease by looking at each ingredient individually. The crust, toppings, or cheese might be responsible for excess grease on homemade pizzas. Luckily, we have a few techniques that can fix this problem once and for all! Read on to learn more about what causes greasy pizzas.
What Causes A Greasy Pizza?
A grease is a mixture of fats and oils produced by the heating of ingredients. There are fats and oils in every component of a pizza, whether it is pepperoni, crust, or cheese. The quantity and quality of each ingredient will determine if the pizza is greasy or not. Grease can also be formed by cooking pizza on low heat, while adding toppings, such as a high-fat cheddar cheese, can also make the pizza greasy.
It’s important not to eliminate the grease completely from the pizza as you might end up with a very dry, cardboard-like pie with chewy toppings. In order to achieve the best of both worlds, it is always best to find a middle ground. Pizza grease levels vary depending on who you ask. Some prefer their pie to be just sufficiently greasy, while others prefer a bit more.
People don’t think about having greasy pizza consciously; they may just choose the middle option, which is what most good pizzas are already like. So that the flavors of the ingredients shine through without leaving you with an oily aftertaste, only the extra grease in the pizza should be curbed.
It is important to remember that a pizza is simply an assembly of ingredients, so you must inspect each ingredient and troubleshoot the problem. The meat in pepperoni should not have a lot of grease, but some brands will add animal fat to make it taste better. When this fat is heated, it renders and accumulates on the pizza. Cheese and crust are usually suspects of grease. But this is only one aspect of a bigger issue.
The mozzarella cheese can contain quite a bit of grease; after all, it’s high in fat! If you add a lot of mozzarella to the pizza, you might end up with an oily crust. Also, if you brush more oil or butter on the edges of the pizza to improve its appearance or taste, excess oil could leak out as it cooks.
It can also result from too much oil being used to lubricate the pizza stone, which soaks into the pizza as it cooks and then releases back as the pizza cools.
5 Ways To Fix Greasy Pizzas
It’s not just a matter of using less of everything to solve these problems. There’s nothing wrong with extra toppings or cheese, especially when you’re making homemade pizza. You want to treat yourself.
Method 1: Precook Pepperoni
If we’re being completely honest, neither do most people when it comes to pepperoni. Instead of reducing the amount of pepperoni on the pie, try cooking the pepperoni separately in the microwave before assembling the pizza. If you want a little science experiment, you can see just how much grease pepperoni slices release when heated by releasing the excess oils and fats from the pepperoni.
Place a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate and place the pepperoni slices on it. Turn the microwave to its highest setting and cook the pepperoni for about 20-30 seconds. You should be able to see the excess fat on the paper towel! You should cook the pepperoni for longer, but since you’re going to cook it on the pizza in the oven, don’t microwave it thoroughly or it might dry out. Nobody wants cardboard pepperoni.
It’s just a matter of knocking a bit of grease off the meat so that it doesn’t accumulate on the pie. This strategy also works for bacon, sausage, or beef.
Method 2: Use High-Quality, Low-Moisture Mozzarella
A mozzarella cheese is supposed to release oils and spread out, which is what gives it its signature taste, texture, and appearance. When low-grade or high-moisture mozzarella is used as a topping, it is usually unnecessarily greasy. It can work on some thicker crusts, but it will almost always leave the pizza too greasy.
If you want to fix this problem, we recommend using high-quality or low-moisture mozzarella. You can also use low-fat cheese, but that would not address this issue and would lead to a less tasty pizza. The culprit here is not the cheese itself, but its moisture content.
Using frozen cheese rather than thawed, room-temperature cheese creates the same moisture problem. Some brands add additives to give their cheese a fluffier, chewier texture. Additionally, other types of cheese (such as cheddar cheese) can release more grease as they cook since cheddar is high in fat.
In order to reduce the grease content of cheddar, we recommend adding it right after the pizza sauce is applied to the crust, so that the excess grease is immediately absorbed. To be on the safe side, only use a moderate amount of cheddar in the first place, since cheddar’s flavor can be overpowering when compared to mozzarella or even other toppings.
Method 3: Go Easy On The Oil
An overly greasy pizza is almost always caused by excess oil. You’d be surprised at how often this small factor is overlooked. To prevent the pizza crust from sticking to the bottom, oil is sometimes added to the baking tray or pizza stone. Using too much oil can be a problem. You will rarely need to add more than 2-3 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of a pizza to fix this problem. Instead of eliminating oil, lightly oil the cooking surface until it is adequately covered.
A light brushing of oil will work just as well as a heavier brush, and will make a big difference in the grease content of the pizza. Additionally, if you are adding flavored butter or oil to the sides of the pie, use a brush to lightly cover the corners rather than letting them drip with excess butter. It may sound appealing, but it will result in an overly greasy pizza.
Method 4: Try A Different Crust
Pizza crusts come in many different thicknesses. Unfortunately, thin crusts tend to accumulate grease more quickly. It stands to reason that a thicker crust will soak up more grease than a thin crust. A thin crust will just release the excess oil to the cooking surface. It is important to remember that even when everything is done correctly, thinner crusts might still have visible, but acceptable, grease levels.
If the crust is thick, you might not be able to tell if the pizza is greasy since it will absorb and redistribute the grease evenly across the pie, but bread has a limit to how much grease it can tolerate. If you plan to make a thinner crust, then follow all the other best practices we have mentioned in this guide to minimize grease as much as possible.
Secondly, you may want to adjust the topping quantity on a thinner crust to avoid getting overly greasy. Plus, if you add too many toppings to a thin crust, it will become heavy and toppings will fall off when you lift it. As long as you follow the tips in this guide, you can appropriately increase the toppings for thicker crusts.
Method 5: Cook At High Temperatures
When you’re reading this guide and are already doing all the things mentioned above, but are still getting greasy pizzas, the problem may simply be in your cooking method. If you look at famous pizzerias, they have huge brick or electrical ovens that cook pies within minutes. This isn’t just for efficiency; it also minimizes excess grease from gathering. During slow heating, pizza molecules become “excited,” causing grease – and moisture – to be released.
The moisture and grease remain on the pie when the temperature is not high enough to evaporate or absorb it. Cooking both at low heat will result in excess grease, and this applies to both homemade pies and microwave pizzas. When cooking a pizza, don’t be afraid to use the maximum settings on your oven or microwave. The maximum heat output of most home ovens is between 450°F and 500°F, which is much lower than commercial pizza ovens.
In most pizzerias, ovens can exceed 800°F with great success, and the pizza cooks beautifully. Cooking times are adjusted accordingly to avoid drying out or burning the pizza. When making pizza at home, preheat the oven and cook the pizza at the highest setting (450°F) for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
For your first time using the highest oven setting, check the pizza every 5 minutes through the oven glass (without opening the door) to ensure that it doesn’t burn. You will soon realize that the pizza cooks and tastes better at high heat than it would at 250°F to 300°F.
The problem with greasy pizzas is that they can be a real turn-off. Now that you know how to fix them, let’s answer a few related questions.
Can I use meat substitutes or low-fat toppings to reduce grease?
It is possible to use substitutes to reduce the amount of grease. However, substitutes might affect the flavor of the pizza. But if you are only making these changes to reduce grease, there are other ways to do it without sacrificing your pizza’s quality or taste.
Can you microwave a cooked greasy pizza to fix it?
The crust of a microwaved pizza will become soggy, since microwaves don’t heat food like ovens. The pizza will cook from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Alternatively, you could end up drying it out, which would give the pizza an unappealing, cardboard-like texture without addressing the grease problem