There has been an age-old debate about the glossy grease that typically floats on top of every pizza. Everyone loves pizza, right? It can, however, be annoying to see grease all over your pizza! This makes you wonder, what makes pizza greasy?
Grease is simply liquid fat that looks similar to oil.
There are signs that the pizza just delivered to your doorstep is greasy. If you see oil and cheese overflowing, for sure the pizza is greasy.
When you touch the upper layer of your pizza and your finger becomes super oily, your pizza is greasy.
Lastly, take a small bite from a slice of pizza. Biting a soft pizza crust means the pizza is greasy because grease softens the hard pizza crust.
Do You Know What Makes Pizza Greasy?
Lots of things!
1. The Thickness of the Crust
Many people consider the crust as their favorite part of the pizza. Others do not. Regardless the crust is one of the biggest culprits that makes your pizza greasy. The thin crust has more grease than the thicker crust.
The thinner crusts cook faster and allow the cheese to melt faster and giving the oil more time to slide across the entire pizza making it not just greasier but soggier, too.
2. The Toppings
Toppings vary on pizzas, so do their greasiness. The toppings of your pizza can make it more or less greasy. Cheese and pepperoni are two of the main culprits. So are the other toppings.
Pizza will not be pizza without cheese. The type of cheese used in your pizza contributes to the production of grease, no matter the amount, and even if the cheese used is low-fat.
When pizza with cheese cooks, cheese melts, and its fat content leaks out to your pizza.
Some cheese has more oil, especially those that are not made with whole milk. Thus, when the pizza is cooked, the high level of fat in the cheese melts and will make the pizza greasy.
Pizzas with cheese in their crusts, make the whole pizza greasy.
Almost everyone loves pepperoni. While it is tasty, it is one of the biggest contributors to pizza grease. Pepperoni is typically made with beef or pork which has high levels of fat. These fats turn to grease when baking pizza.
Beef and pork do not contain lots of fat. Fat is added to the pepperoni for flavoring.
The spices added to pepperoni (paprika and red pepper) makes it color red. When you see slightly orange-colored grease, often, that is coming from the peppermint. When pepperoni is cooled, it releases liquid fat.
Most pepperonis are made of sausage. Sausage has a high-fat content. Beef pepperonis contain less fat and probably slightly less grease.
When pepperoni and cheese are baked, their fat contents will also cook, release liquid fat, leak out, and spread unto your pizza.
When pizza is baked together with its meat and toppings, their grease will leak out. The meat will sweat and the liquid fat released will stay onto your pizza. This is so because heat allows the fat and oil to leak out of the meat. The same thing happens with the cheese.
3. Baking Method
Pizza can be baked with heat coming from the top, the bottom, or both the top and bottom.
When pizzas are baked in the oven, heat comes from the bottom, thus these pizzas are greasier. This is so because heat from the bottom makes butter in the cheese break down allowing the fat to liquefy and turn into oil.
When the heat comes from the top, only the cheese will melt so the pizza will not be too greasy.
Most pizza parlors bake pizzas using conveyor-style ovens where the heat comes from the top.
4. The Dough was not Well-Kneaded
Well-kneaded allows the dry ingredients and water to mix well. If the dough is not well-kneaded, some portions will be moist and some will be dry. The portions of the dough that have retained moisture will be sticky and greasy.
Knead your dough for at least 14 minutes and stretch it whole you knead so the dough will not stick to the pan. Once you bake dough that sticks to the pan, it will be greasy.
5. Wet Dough
Wet dough causes greasy pizzas. When making the dough, pour water a little at a time. Pouring water at once may make your dough water. The water in the dough will make your pizza feel greasy.
Some of the water in the dough will evaporate during baking but a huge portion of the water will be retained inside the dough and will make it greasy.
6. Keeping the Dough Too Long after Adding the Toppings
Many people tend to alter the taste of the dough because they do not like its doughy flavor. The tendency is to brush butter, as well as herbs and toppings.
The longest you should wait after adding the toppings to your dough is 10 minutes or the ingredients will make the dough soggy. The soggy dough will become greasy.
How To Make Less Greasy Pizza
Knowing the factors what makes pizza greasy, how do you stop it from being such? Who does not like pizza but are you willing to consume all those grease? Well, you can enjoy your favorite pizza, minus some of the grease.
Here are some ways you can make your pizza almost grease-free:
1. Use Low Fat Toppings
Most toppings added to pizza and cheese are high in fat content. The fattier the topping the more your pizza will be greasy. Fat-filled toppings including anchovies or olives produce more grease. Try topping your pizza with pepper instead, it is a healthier option.
2. Use Traditional Cheese
Mozzarella cheese produces less cheese, especially part-skim mozzarella. Whole milk mozzarella has more fat than part-skim mozzarella, but is grease-free.
Never use cheddar cheese on your pizza because it has a high-fat content. When cheddar cheese melts, it produces very visible grease.
If you love cheeseburger pizza or other pizza flavors typically made with cheddar cheese, try substituting it with half mozzarella and half cheddar cheese.
3. Go for a Thicker Crust
Thick crust is not up to the taste of many but it is one of the best options to keep your pizza less greasy. Thin crust pizzas do not absorb the grease produced by its toppings and will, therefore, end up into pizza that is soggier overall.
Thick crust pizzas work better in absorbing grease while keeping it fluffy just the way you want it to be.
4. Precook the Meat
When you cook meat, it leaks out oil. While it may mean double work for you, cook your meat toppings before adding them to your pizza. Since most of the oil has already been secreted out of the meat, your pizza will have less excess oil.
Take pepperoni, for example. You can cook pepperoni in the microwave with paper towels until most of the grease has leached out. You can also opt to fry pepperoni in a skillet and blot excess oil.
5. Substitute Meat
If you love having bacon toppings on your pizza, try using bacon pieces that are shelf-stable. This type of bacon is precooked and not too greasy, unlike traditional bacon.
Imitation bacon pieces can be a good substitute for pepperoni because they have a savory meaty taste, are still salty , and have a realistic texture, but with less grease. Turkey bacon is also less greasy.
You can use cooked ground beef or ground turkey with Italian seasonings (your local grocery store may have them) instead of sausage. These are lean and flavorful alternatives to greasy pork sausage.
6. Bake Pizza at a Higher Temperature
It takes a longer time to bake pizza at low temperatures. It also allows the meat to sweat, the cheese to melt, and grease to spread all over your pizza. Cooking pizza at higher temperatures will make it fluffy, light, and less greasy.
Baking your pizza at 400 degrees brings out the least grease from your pizza.
7. Blot your Pizza
Regardless of all the controversies surrounding greasy pizza many people still love pizza.
Blotting or degreasing pizza has been a popular thing to do before downing pizza to lessen the grease while enjoying your favorite flavor of pizza. Notwithstanding, there still is much debate on whether to blot or not to blot pizza.
Blotting pizza entails dabbing it with paper napkins to remove the extra grease. Looking at the paper napkin with all the grease from your pizza, you may think that you have not taken off much of the grease.
If you regularly have pizza and dab the slices of pizza before eating, the grease on the paper napkin may helpyou avoid the extra 2 pounds a year to your waistline.
Knowing what makes pizza greasy will help you avoid all the hidden grease and oil. Choose thin-crust pizza. Be meticulous about the pizza toppings, especially the extra cheese on the crust and the type of meat.
Considering alternative ways of preparing your pizza or choosing the right toppings with less grease will allow you to enjoy your pizza without feeling guilty of all the grease you downed down.
Do you know of any more factors that contribute to what makes pizza greasy other than those mentioned above? How do you make your pizza to ensure it has less grease? Share some of your thoughts in the comments section.