Undercooked Pizza – Can You Eat It & What To Do
Pizzas are fairly easy to assemble but they can be a bit tricky to cook.
A pizza is basically an assembly of ingredients laid out on a layer of dough. It’s the perfect way to customize your food the way you like it. Just a bit of imagination and experimentation is all that is required to build the perfect pizza.
But when it comes to cooking, the more ingredients you add, the more careful you have to be while cooking the pie.
A pizza usually concurrently cooks in layers or stages. First comes the toppings that get that distinct char, and then come the dough and the edges of the pie.
What do you do with an undercooked pizza? Half-baked pies may be edible but they will be harder to digest and can also pose several health risks, especially if the toppings are left uncooked as well. Fortunately, a pizza can easily be recooked or heated until all the ingredients have been fully cooked.
Read below to learn more about uncooked pizzas and what you can do about them!
How To Tell If A Pizza Is Undercooked
Eating uncooked pizza can be an unpleasant experience and may even be harmful to your health.
Just as pizzas are easy to make, they can also be very easy to undercook. But thankfully, this is a very forgiving food and there are a lot of ways you can use to remedy this issue.
Pizzas don’t require that much cook time and usually the ingredients added on top of the pizzas are pre-cooked.
However, if you are going with raw protein and other uncooked toppings then your pie may particularly pose a serious health risk.
The great thing about pizzas is that they are very versatile. They can be cooked using multiple methods but the best way to cook them is in a traditional brick oven.
Of course, not everyone has access to brick ovens so people make do with other cooking mediums like table-top electric ovens or even stovetops.
Here is the difference between a cooked and uncooked pizza:
|Cooked Pizza||Uncooked Pizza|
|Crispy and golden-brown crust.||Soft to the touch and deflated on the edges.|
|Properly risen dough.||Flat or inadequately risen dough.|
|Airy texture of the dough when chewed, with properly cooked toppings.||Doughy and chewy crust with cold toppings.|
|Lightly moist base, but not runny.||Base is very saucy with a runny consistency.|
|Cheese completely melted with some golden-brown patches.||Uncooked or unmelted cheese that is not properly distributed.|
The secret to cooking a great pie lies in the temperature and cook time. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when cooking a perfect pizza.
Pizzas are designed to be cooked at high temperatures.
This is why most pies are usually cooked in brick ovens that can easily reach temperatures as high as 500°C or over 900°F! This is due to the enclosed shape of the brick oven and the wood that is burned and used to heat it.
Similarly, most home-ovens can also be used at their highest setting to cook a pie.
A pizza at home will take about 10-15 minutes at 250°C or the highest possible setting in an electric oven. This high temperature is required to get the necessary characteristics that we have discussed in the table above.
A pizza dough cooks fast and chars quickly as well, especially if it is near a heat source.
Commercially, pizzas are made in large brick ovens that can cook several pies at a time. A pizza in a large brick oven can spend anywhere from 5-8 minutes, as a worker quickly rotates it around with a pizza spinner.
The pie will cook fast and will be ready to eat in no time! However, things can be a bit different at home. Regular ovens can take some time to pre-heat and some tabletop ovens aren’t big enough to cook any more than two pies at a time.
Typically, cooking a pizza in an oven would require 10-15 minutes to cook properly. Of course, there are a few things that you can do to make this process even more precise, efficient, and effective.
Distance From Heat Source
One of the best ways to guarantee a cooked pizza is to manage the distance between the pie and the heat source.
In traditional brick ovens, pizza makers will usually put a pie next to the fire and will slowly rotate it around so that it cooks on all sides. Brick ovens dissipate heat evenly which makes them a great choice for quickly cooking pizzas.
However, when making pizza at home, you need to make sure that your oven has at least two heating elements.
Most ovens have multiple heating elements located at the top, bottom, and sides of the oven. For example, a typical electric home oven will have a heating element on the top and bottom of the oven.
This makes it easy to cook the pie from both sides.
Also, we suggest that you first keep the pie at the middle rack so that it cooks slowly from the top and bottom. You can then move the pie closer to the top so that it cooks the toppings and gets that distinct crispy texture.
This strategy works best for all types of ovens but will require some attention.
For the best results, we recommend that you stay near the oven and keep an eye on the pie to ensure that it doesn’t burn, especially if you keep it near the top of the oven.
As soon as the pie catches on a golden texture and the cheese starts bubbling, take it off the heat and quickly slice it and serve hot.
The type of dough you use will have a huge impact on cooking time and the technique that you use to cook a pizza too.
Fresh Dough Vs. Frozen
Using fresh dough is the best way to ensure a tasty and thoroughly cooked pie. This is because a fresh dough will be airier and you will have significant control over its texture and taste.
A homemade fresh dough will be easier to work with and will cook quickly as well as it is already thawed and ready.
If you use frozen dough, you will first have to thaw it and then assemble the pizza while making sure that the dough cooks thoroughly.
Store-bought and premade pizza doughs can be difficult to work with since they can be bulky and may even have a lot of unwanted ingredients.
Stabilizers and bread improvers are added to pizza doughs to make them last long and cook evenly too. However, when pizza dough is frozen it naturally hardens and retains a lot of moisture.
All that added moisture translates to an increase in the cook time since you will first have to evaporate the water from the dough to cook it properly. This is why frozen doughs are not preferred when making pizza.
However, the convenience of having pre-made dough is what attracts a lot of customers as even people who don’t know how to cook can easily assemble a pizza over a blank canvas.
Furthermore, frozen pizzas can be put directly over a typical oven rack whereas fresh dough requires a pizza stone or a solid base so that the dough doesn’t slip through the gaps in the oven rack/tray.
As far as frozen/cooked dough is concerned, as long as you thaw the dough in a microwave and cook it at high heat in an oven – you should be good.
Thickness Of Dough
Finally, the thickness of the dough will also determine the cooking time of the pie.
Typically, pizzas are either flat or pan-deep. Traditionally speaking, pizzas are usually made with a flat dough that only rises on the edges.
However, a lot of people also prefer to have pan-deep pizzas with a thick dough and a more bready texture.
Some artisanal pizza shops may even offer super pan-deep pizzas that have an unusually voluminous dough with lots of cheese and toppings. When making pizza, make sure you go with a dough thickness that you are familiar with.
Flatbread pizzas cook quickly and have the texture and look of naan bread. This type of pizza cooks within 5-8 minutes over high heat whereas a deep-pan pizza can take as long as 10-15 minutes to fully cook.
Remember, when cooking both types of pizzas in an electric oven at home, start at the middle rack and then move the pie closer to the heat source to get that distinct color on the pie.
How To Fix An Undercooked Pizza
If you find that your pizza is undercooked then you can simply reheat the oven and cook it for 4-5 more minutes at high heat.
Make sure that you are near the oven so that you can inspect the pie. You should only cook a pizza until it meets all the required characteristics of a cooked pie (discussed above).
If you consume uncooked pizza then you might have digestive issues. So long as the toppings are pre-cooked and adequately heated, you should be okay. However, a very important thing to keep in mind here is to not consume raw meat.
Some people like to put marinated chicken chunks on top of their pie and cook it along with the pizza. This approach is wrong and should be avoided because it may pose a big health risk.
The cheese, dough, and even vegetables will cook quicker than meat, so you will either risk overcooking the entire pizza or undercooking the meat.
This is why it is important that you precook the meat that you will use as a topping and then assemble the pizza.
Generally speaking, once your pie has bubbling cheese and is brown on the edges, take it out of the oven and serve it hot. When dealing with undercooked pizzas, you can put it on the top or middle rack, depending on how uncooked the pie is.
If the pie has unmelted cheese with visibly raw dough, then cook it on the middle rack and then move it to the top rack for finishing touches.
If the dough has been adequately cooked but the cheese is still not melted then you can just cook the pie on the top rack at the highest possible temperature.
Don’t forget to keep a close eye on the pie while it cooks near the top of the oven!
Things To Keep In Mind
There are many techniques that you can use to improve the look and taste of your pizza.
For example, if you are using homemade fresh dough, then a simple egg wash on the outer boundaries of the pizza will give it a shiny and golden-brown texture.
It will also help the dough to crispen and give it that distinct and subtle crunch. Also, to cook the base evenly, we recommend that you use a pizza stone, which is basically a circular base where you place the pizza.
For the best results, put the pizza stone inside the oven while it is preheating so that the base gets hot as well. This way, the bottom of the pizza will cook evenly and will also get that beautiful golden-brown texture and crispiness.
You can use any dough recipe to make pizza dough at home.
However, if you are someone who knows nothing about baking or cooking, then we recommend that you pick a pizza dough brand that makes a soft and high-quality pre-cooked dough.
Doughs that are made using high-quality ingredients are a great place to start. You can even go for fully-cooked frozen pizzas, like the ones the brand “Totino’s” makes.
These pizzas are generally easy to cook since you will just have to follow the instructions at the back of the packaging.
Frozen pizzas are easy to use and you can also reheat or recook them if you feel they are undercooked. Just follow the same strategy we discussed above to recook frozen, precooked pizzas too.
Now that we’ve gone over what to do if your pizza is undercooked, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
Are undercooked pizzas edible?
While you may be able to get away with eating a slightly undercooked pizza with just some temporary digestion issues, we would not recommend that you consume any pizza that has raw or uncooked meat toppings.
Always use pre-cooked or half-cooked meat on pizza toppings to avoid serious health problems.
Can undercooked pizza make you sick?
Yes. There is a good chance that a pizza with raw dough and raw toppings will cause a lot of stomach problems. A pizza should always be thoroughly cooked before it is consumed.
Since it is very easy to recook a pizza, we recommend that you just cook the pizza for 5-8 more minutes instead of eating an undercooked pie.
Are frozen pizzas precooked?
Frozen pizza dough is usually half-cooked or fully precooked. All you need to do is assemble the pizza by putting sauce, cheese, and toppings on it.
You will essentially be cooking the toppings with store-bought dough rather than the entire pizza itself.
When in doubt, please follow the back of the packaging of the frozen pizza dough for more information about how to cook it. This goes the same for frozen precooked pizzas as well.