How To Fix Greasy Pizza (5 Simple Ways)
When you think of pizza, you probably imagine a tasty, beautifully cooked pie that is balanced in every possible way; a golden-brown crust, a light sheen on top, deliciously melted cheese… Yum. Delish.
Then there’s the grease that comes with it. Potentially too much grease.
How to fix a greasy pizza? To figure out the cause of excess grease on homemade pizzas, look at each ingredient individually. The crust, toppings, or cheese could be responsible for excess grease. Ingredient substitutions or different cooking techniques can minimize grease.
Luckily, we have a few techniques that you can use to fix these issues once and for all! Read on to learn more about what causes a greasy pizza and how to fix it.
What Causes A Greasy Pizza?
Grease is a collection of fat and oils that are released from ingredients when they are heated.
Each ingredient — whether it is the pepperoni, the crust, or the cheese — has fats and natural oils. The quality and quantity of each ingredient can affect your chances of ending up with a greasy pizza.
Other factors play a big role in how grease forms too. Simply cooking the pizza on low heat can cause the pizza to turn greasy, while using additional toppings, like a high-fat cheddar, can also result in the same disastrous results.
However, it’s important not to aim to eliminate the grease from the pizza completely because you might also end up with a very dry, cardboard-like pie with overly chewy toppings.
The goal should always be to have something that is in the middle of both scenarios.
Depending on who you ask, there will be several opinions on how greasy a pizza should be. Some people prefer their pie to be just adequately greasy while others might want a bit more grease.
The truth is, no one consciously thinks of having a greasy pizza. If you give them a choice, they may just pick the middle option, which is what most good pizzas are already like.
Remember, only the superfluous grease in the pizza is what needs to be curbed so that the flavor of the ingredients can shine through without you ending up with an oily after-taste.
Think basics: a pizza is just an assembly of different ingredients, which is why you will have to inspect each ingredient and try to troubleshoot the situation.
For example, pepperoni itself shouldn’t have a lot of grease, but some brands will add additional animal fat to the meat to make it taste better. When this fat is heated, it will render and accumulate on the pizza.
But this is just one aspect of a bigger problem. The other usual suspects of grease are the cheese and crust.
Mozzarella cheese can contain a fair amount of grease; after all, it is high in fat! If you were to add a lot of mozzarella cheese to the pizza, there is a good chance that you might end up with an oily pizza.
Similarly, the crust can also contain excess oil that may leak out as the pizza cooks. This is especially true if you are adding more than a light brush of oil or butter to the edges of the pie to make it look and taste better.
Other times it can be something as simple as lubricating the pizza stone with too much oil, which gets soaked into the pizza as it cooks and then releases back again when the pizza cools down.
5 Ways To Fix Greasy Pizzas
What is the best way to fix these issues? The answer can’t just simply be to use less of everything!
Nobody says “no” to extra topping or cheese, especially when you are making homemade pizza. You want to treat yourself and go all out with the toppings. Let’s talk solutions!
Method 1: Precook Pepperoni
Most people don’t know when to stop when it comes to pepperoni. If we’re being completely honest, neither do we.
This is an easy problem to fix. Instead of reducing the amount of pepperoni on the pie, try this simple technique to get the most out of the topping. Before assembling the pizza, try cooking the pepperoni separately in a microwave.
This will release the excess oils and fats from the pepperoni and will make it way less greasy. You can even do a little science experiment to see just how much grease the pepperoni slices release when heated!
To cook pepperoni, place a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate and place the pepperoni slices on it. Turn the microwave to its highest settings and cook the pepperoni for about 20-30 seconds. Turn off the power and check the plate.
You should be able to see the excess fat on the paper towel!
Ideally, you would cook the pepperoni for longer, but since you’re going to be cooking the pepperoni in the oven on the pizza, you shouldn’t thoroughly microwave it or it might dry out. Nobody wants cardboard pepperoni.
The aim here is to just knock a bit of grease from the meat so that it doesn’t accumulate on the pie. This strategy also extends to other types of meat like bacon, sausage, or beef.
Method 2: Use High-Quality, Low-Moisture Mozzarella
Mozzarella is supposed to release oils and spread out — it’s what gives the cheese its signature pull, flavor, and shine.
Things can get a bit out of hand when low-grade or high-moisture mozzarella is used as a topping. It can work on some thicker crusts as it might absorb some excess grease, but it will almost always result in an unnecessarily greasy pizza.
To fix this issue, we recommend that you use any high-quality or low-moisture mozzarella. Sure, you can also go with a low-fat variety of cheese, but that wouldn’t address the issue and would most certainly result in a less tasty pizza.
Remember, the culprit here is not the cheese itself, but the moisture content of the cheese.
Some brands will add additives that give the cheese a fluffier, chewier texture at the expense of increasing its moisture content. The same moisture problem arises when you use frozen cheese instead of thawed, room-temperature cheese.
Furthermore, the use of other types of cheese (like cheddar cheese) can be an issue since cheddar is high in fat and can release more grease as it cooks.
We get it, cheddar makes for a delicious topping on pizzas. The best way to reduce the grease from it would be to add it to the crust right after applying the pizza sauce so that the excess grease is immediately soaked by the dough.
To be on the safe side, it would be a good idea to only use a moderate amount of cheddar in the first place, since its flavor can also be overpowering when compared to mozzarella or even other toppings.
Method 3: Go Easy On The Oil
This goes without saying, but excess oil will almost always lead to an overly greasy pizza. You’d be surprised by just how often this small factor goes unnoticed!
Oil is sometimes added to the pizza stone or baking tray to avoid having the crust stick to the bottom. This is common practice, but it becomes a problem when you use too much oil to cook the pizza.
To fix this problem, rather than eliminate oil, use a brush to lightly oil the cooking surface until it is adequately covered and not dry. In most cases, you will never need to add more than 2-3 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of a pizza.
A light brush of oil will work just as well as a heavier brush, and will make a huge impact on the greasiness of the pizza.
Also, if you are adding flavored butter or oil to the sides of the pie, use a brush to lightly cover the corners of the pie instead of making it drip with excess butter – it may seem appealing in your head, but it will result in an overly greasy pizza!
Method 4: Try A Different Crust
There are a lot of different pizza crusts. Sadly, thin crusts are more prone to accumulating grease than thicker crusts.
There is a simple logic to this: a thicker crust is more porous and will be able to soak up more grease than a thinner crust. A thin crust will just release the excess oil to the cooking surface or the top of the pizza.
Keep in mind that even when everything is right, using a thinner crust may still result in visible, but acceptable, levels of grease compared to thicker crusts.
With thicker crusts, you might not be able to tell if the pizza is greasy because the dough will absorb and redistribute the grease evenly across the pie, but again, there are limits to how much the bread can take until it becomes too greasy.
Of course, there are a few ways you can fix this issue. First, if you plan to go with a thinner crust, then you need to follow all the other best practices that we have mentioned in this guide to minimize the grease as much as possible.
Secondly, you may have to adjust the quantity of the toppings on a thinner crust so that it doesn’t get overly greasy. Plus if you add too many toppings to a thin crust, it is bound to get heavy and toppings might fall off as you lift the pizza!
For thicker crusts, you can appropriately increase the toppings as long as you follow the tips mentioned in this guide.
Method 5: Cook At High Temperatures
If you are reading this guide and think that you’re already doing all the things mentioned above, but still ending up with a greasy pizza then the problem may simply be in the cooking technique.
A pizza cooked at high heat is less likely to be greasy. If you take a look at famous pizzerias, they have huge brick or electrical ovens that cook pies within minutes. This isn’t just for efficiency; it reduces excess grease from gathering.
As pizza is slowly heated, the molecules within it get “excited,” which causes the ingredients to release grease — and more importantly, moisture.
When the temperature is insufficient, most of this moisture and grease remains on the pie instead of getting either evaporated or absorbed.
This is an extremely common problem that most people face when making pizza and this issue extends to not just homemade pies but microwave pizzas as well. Cooking both at low heat will result in excess grease!
The easiest way to fix this problem would be to turn the heat up. Don’t be afraid to use the max settings on your oven or microwave while cooking a pizza.
Most home ovens are rated for a maximum heat output of around 450°F to 500°F, which is far less than what commercial pizza ovens are capable of.
Most pizzerias have ovens that can easily surpass 800°F and the pizza still cooks brilliantly. Of course, the cooking time is adjusted accordingly to prevent the pizza from burning or drying up.
As a general rule of thumb when making pizza at home, preheat the oven and cook the pizza at the highest setting (450°F) for about 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
If it is your first time working with the highest setting on the oven, hang out by your oven and check the pizza through the oven glass (without opening the door) every 5 minutes to make sure that it doesn’t burn.
Once you get the hang of it, you will realize that the pizza cooks and tastes way better at high heat than if you were to cook at 250°F to 300°F. Like, way better.
Greasy pizzas can be a serious letdown! Now that you know how to fix them, it’s time to look at a few related questions that you may have.
Can I use meat substitutes or low-fat toppings to reduce grease?
Yes, substitutes may be used to decrease the amount of grease. Please note that they might impact the flavor of the pizza as well.
If you want to consciously make these changes for health purposes, go for it! But if you are only doing it to reduce grease, then there are other ways to reduce it rather than sacrificing the quality and taste of your pizza.
Can you microwave a cooked greasy pizza to fix it?
No. Microwaving a cooked pizza will make it soggy as microwaves don’t heat food like ovens. The pizza will cook from the inside-out rather than from the outside-in, which will result in a soggy crust.
You might even end up with the opposite effect and dry it out, which will give the pizza an unappealing, cardboard-like texture without addressing the greasiness.
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