There is no question that pepperoni pizza is on the top tier of pizza rankings. It is a staple, a classic, and it deserves all the love it can get!
Yes, you can order a pepperoni pizza from the local pizza takeout, but making pizza at home can be so much better, but in order to make a proper, delicious pepperoni pizza at home, you would need quality ingredients.
What is the best pepperoni for pizza?
The best pepperoni for pizza would be a high-grade pepperoni made from quality ingredients, spiced to perfection, and either served whole for slicing or sliced already. Which is best for you will also depend on your dietary restrictions, as well as the meat you are wanting.
There are many types and brands of pepperoni on the market for you to consider, but only some are really worth topping onto your pizza.
Keep reading to find out more about this delicious topping, as well as some of the best pepperoni for pizza!
What Is Pepperoni?
Before we head on to find out how to choose the best pepperoni for pizza, and the best options out there, it helps to understand exactly what pepperoni is.
Pepperoni is an American variety of spicy sausage, like salami, which is made from a mix of cured pork and beef, and which is spiced with paprika and sometimes other chili peppers.
Pepperoni is red in color and is typically soft and smoky before being cooked. The most popular way to enjoy pepperoni is to slice it thinly and use it as a pizza topping.
As it is a dried, cured sausage, it has a longer shelf life compared to fresh cuts of meat and fresh sausage.
The spicy salami-like sausage is full of flavor, and it makes for a great topping on pizzas.
How To Choose The Best Pepperoni For Pizza?
You would want to choose the best pepperoni for your pizza, to give it the best flavors and textures possible. To do this, you cannot just purchase the first pepperoni you come across, and you do have to put some thought into which one you choose!
Here are the various things to consider when choosing the best pepperoni for pizza:
The thickness of the pepperoni will mostly be down to your personal preference, but the thickness of the pepperoni also determines how it turns out once cooked.
Thin pepperoni slices crisp up beautifully when exposed to heat, and they help to add a slight crunch to the pizza.
Thicker slices of pepperoni do not crisp up as much, and instead give the pizza a chewier finish.
You can find the best of both worlds and use pepperoni slices which are not too thick and not too thin, so they develop a slight crisp on the outside without losing some of the chewy texture.
If you purchase the pepperoni whole as a stick, you can slice it to your preference and even have some thinner slices and some thicker slices.
The ingredients used to make the pepperoni are super important to how it actually turns out.
The quality of the meat and the spices all determine how the pepperoni tastes, and the texture it has.
Other than looking for quality ingredients, you also need to keep your dietary restrictions in mind. If you need to avoid pork, you could look for pepperoni made from 100% beef, or purchase turkey pepperoni.
There are also low-sodium and gluten-free pepperoni options available as well.
Flat Or Cupped Pepperoni
One of the most important decisions to make is whether you like your pepperoni flat or cupped when cooked on a pizza.
When the pepperoni stays flat on the pizza, the natural oils spill out and spread around the surface of the pizza.
If the pepperoni cups during cooking, it retains all of this oil and you get a more intense flavor of pepperoni in each bite.
Sometimes, you have no control over whether the pepperoni cups or stays flat, but often it has to do with the thickness of the pepperoni. Medium-thick pepperoni cups well, whereas thick slices tend to stay flat.
The fat content in the pepperoni is worth looking at, as it determines how the pepperoni turns out.
If the pepperoni does not have enough fat content, then it will likely dry out when cooked, and it won’t spread fatty flavor to the rest of the pizza.
At the same time, you do not want pepperoni pizza which has too high of fat content, as this could cause it to spill too much oil over the pizza, which can be quite unappetizing.
The best fat content to look for would be around 40%.
This gives the pepperoni enough flavor and texture, and it allows some release of oil into the pizza, but it does not allow the pepperoni to dry out quickly, and it will not cause too much oil to spread on the pizza.
There are varying levels of spice between different brands and makes of pepperoni, and you need to decide which spice level you want to include in your pizza topping.
If the pizza is just for yourself, you can pick whether you want a mild or super spicy pepperoni.
However, if the pizza is for sharing with others, then you might want to opt for a milder version.
Pepperoni has a considerable shelf life, but you do need to consider how much you will be able to use before it starts to go bad.
If you enjoy pepperoni pizza often, then buying it in bulk might not be a bad idea.
However, if you only make it once in a while, then you don’t want to buy a whole batch only for some to go bad before you get to use it.
The Best Pepperoni For Pizza
Below are the best pepperoni options to use on your pizza, so take a read-through and find the one that suits your diet and your tastes best!
|1.||Foustman’s Artisanal Pepperoni||Family recipe, natural ingredients, perfectly spiced, sold whole.|
|2.||Bridgford Sliced Turkey Pepperoni||Turkey pepperoni, sliced, less fat.|
|3.||Vermont Smoke & Cure Smoked Pepperoni||Smoked pepperoni, made from 100% pork, forms cups on pizza.|
|4.||Battistoni Cup & Char Spicy Pepperoni||Cups on pizza, slightly spicy kick, authentic spices.|
|5.||Fiorucci Charcuterie Pepperoni||Thicker slices, natural smoked flavor.|
|6.||Margherita Pepperoni Slices||Spiced and cured properly, thicker slices, convenient packaging.|
|7.||Gallo Salame Deli Sliced Pepperoni||Classic flavors, already sliced.|
1. Foustman’s Artisanal Pepperoni
Foustamn’s Salami is a family-owned business, and they have kept the family recipe and flavors going strong with their artisanal pepperoni!
The pepperoni is naturally dry-cured and is made with all-natural ingredients. The pepperoni is free from nitrates and nitrites and is made to high standards.
With the recipe and ingredients used, the pepperoni is chewy, tangy, and perfectly spiced, and it makes for a great topping to a pizza.
You can slice the pepperoni down to your preferred thickness before topping it onto a base.
The pepperoni has a fibrous casing, which is made from plant cellulose, that needs to be removed before eating, so just keep this in mind when slicing the pepperoni!
2. Bridgford Sliced Turkey Pepperoni
Bridgford as a brand pride itself on only using the finest ingredients to make pepperoni, and it shows through the taste and texture of its different products!
If you are wanting to avoid traditional pork and beef pepperoni, then this turkey pepperoni is ideal for you to try out.
It still has that great pepperoni flavor, with the same texture you would want to find on your pizza.
This pepperoni comes already sliced, so you can simply pop it onto the top of your pizza before cooking, or chop the slices down smaller to suit your tastes.
The turkey pepperoni is also a great option for those who are watching what they eat, as it contains 70% less fat compared to regular pepperoni, but you still get all the same flavors!
3. Vermont Smoke & Cure Smoked Pepperoni
The Vermont Smoke & Cure Smoked Pepperoni has a deliciously smoky flavor that instantly enhances the flavor of a pizza.
The pepperoni is made from vegetarian-fed pork, which is raised without added hormones or antibiotics, so you know you are getting high-quality meat.
The uncured pepperoni is smoked the traditional Vermont way, using real cobb and maple wood, which gives the pepperoni an authentic flavor.
Made free from gluten and nitrate, it is suitable for a range of diets.
With the thickness of this pepperoni and the way it is sliced, it tends to make little cups on top of pizza, which might be exactly how you like your pepperoni!
4. Battistoni Cup & Char Spicy Pepperoni
The Battistoni Cup & Char Spicy Pepperoni slices are the best option around for when you want little pepperoni cups to form on your pizza, full of oily, spicy flavor, with a little bit of crispiness on the outside.
This pepperoni is made from a combination of pork and beef and contains all the traditional spices to give it a kick without being overly spicy.
Certified gluten-free, this pepperoni is suited for a range of diets, and will definitely be a crowd-pleaser when used to make authentic pepperoni pizza!
The old neighborhood-style pepperoni will be your new favorite pizza topping to use for curly, cup-shaped pepperoni pizza toppings!
5. Fiorucci Charcuterie Pepperoni
The Fiorucci Charcuterie Pepperoni is an uncured pepperoni with a great taste, which is a result of the slow-aging process, and perfect spicing.
It has all of the classic flavors of spicy, fermented, chewy sausage, without any unwanted additives.
The pepperoni has a natural smoked flavor, which you can pick up on the pizza.
The thicker slices remain chewy and moist on the pizza, but still tend to develop a slight char around the edges, adding more texture to every bite.
For your convenience, the pepperoni is served sliced, so you simply need to open the bag and place the sliced pepperoni onto your pizza, and cook!
6. Margherita Pepperoni Slices
If convenience is what you are after, then these Margherita Sliced Pepperoni pieces are a great option.
The pepperoni slices are slow-cured and masterfully seasoned to have the best flavor and texture possible, and they are sliced thick to retain their texture when used on a pizza.
You can use the pepperoni slices straight from the packaging to top onto a pizza, but they are also great used for sandwiches, snacks, and more!
7. Gallo Salame Deli Sliced Pepperoni
Gallo Salame Deli Sliced Pepperoni is a traditionally crafted pepperoni, made with high-quality pork and beef, seasoned with classic Italian spices and crushed red pepper.
The salami is fully-cooked and ready to eat, but it is still delicious when used to make pepperoni pizza, and you will get a beautiful crisp on the edges of the pepperoni but still enjoy a soft, chewy texture.
Sold already sliced, the Gallo Salame Deli Sliced Pepperoni is convenient and easy to use, and you won’t miss out on any flavors!
What Goes Well With Pepperoni On Pizza?
Pepperoni on pizza alone (with some cheese of course) is delicious and fulfilling, but you might be wanting to try out some new flavor combinations, and be looking for some inspiration to do so!
With the spicy, rich flavor of pepperoni, there are a few different ingredients you can pair it with. To stand up to the rich, savory flavor of pepperoni, you should use a strong-tasting ingredient.
Good options include olives, hot peppers, sausages, pineapple, bell peppers, and chicken. All of these go well with the spicy flavor of pepperoni and add a good depth of texture to the pizza as well.
You could also experiment with the different types of cheese you use to make the pepperoni pizza, and simply changing the cheese can actually alter the whole flavor of the pizza!
Do You Add Pepperoni To Pizza Before Cooking?
Pepperoni should be added to the pizza before the pizza is cooked. This is because the pepperoni will heat up, crisp, and become tender when cooked at high heat with the pizza.
It will also allow the pepperoni to release some fat and juices, which further flavors the pizza.
Take a read through all of our above recommendations for the best pepperoni to try on pizza!
Keep in mind how you like your pepperoni to cook on pizza, whether you want it to crisp up, or to remain chewy, or if you want it flat or for it to cup when it is cooked.
Once you have found your ideal pepperoni, you can start making the perfect pepperoni pizza at home!
What is American-style pepperoni?
There is no American-style pepperoni, as pepperoni is an American-style product. It is a mix of cured beef and pork, spiced with paprika, and served in sausage form.
What is Italian-style pepperoni?
Italians don’t necessarily use pepperoni in their cooking, as it is an American product. The closest Italian product to pepperoni would be Salamino Piccante, which is spiced similarly to pepperoni.
Is New York pepperoni different?
New York pepperoni is different from regular pepperoni as it is large in size and has additional seasoning and flavors too.