am i using to much cheese

we sauce the pie put on just enough cheese to cover but still see sauce then toppings then more cheese to cover toppings lightly we think its enough but i dont want to over do it. we do 12" and 16" pies any comments would be great

How much cheese are you using? Hard to say if you are using too much or not enough without knowing how much…

ive never weiged it my wife and i will weigh it tommorow but id say 2 handfuls on a 16"

um…time to start weighing…i am sure your wife and you dont have the same handful

Well, yeah - I’d say 16" would be at least two handfuls… :shock:

I’d say try using two handfuls without using your thumbs. Its just a subtle difference but it prevents you from using too much. Let us know how that goes.

I’ll step right out and say, YES, you are using too much cheese. And NO, you are not using enough cheese.

Without at least some sort of weighing at some point, there is almost zero chance of getting the same amount of cheese on each pie. I aim for enough to get sufficient coverage, and still have some stretch after baking. We are ‘throwers’ at our shop, but frequently do tests to measure accuracy. We do sort of okay most of the time.

I now have a scale that we will be working into the make line this week if business is not so busy again that we cannot test with it and get a feel for using it before the weekend rush. It will make a diiference in my life and my cheese costs, I am certain.

Hello pizzabarn,I would use no more than 12 oz on a 16’’ and no more than 8 oz on a 12’’. Hope this helps you.


You and your wife should see a doctor and get one arm swapped from each other. Problem solved. Now you each have the same size two handfuls and if you ever get divorced, you can wear her ring and yours.

I DO hope you didn’t expect at least some humor.

I think PJs used 3 cups. A cup is approximately 4 ounces. Then comes the hard question… were the “cups” we used really a “cup”. Sadly, I don’t know. But hey, 12 ounces seems about right.

A silly question maybe but here goes ( and no smart comments thanks Nick !!).

When you guys mention 8oz, 12oz etc does include cheese on the base and cheese on top, i.e. you put down the sauce, then cheese, add you toppings then cheese on top?

If so how do you measure the cheese out at the start end for the base then at the other end of the make bench for the topping cheese?

I know you do a lot of one or two topping pizzas where we are more of a “menu” pizza where our customers order our named pizzas (Portofino - Mushroom, Prawns and Bacon, or Currambine Special - Mushroom, Ham, Pepperoni, onion, capsicum, tomato, bacon - etc). All have sauce and cheese base cover then the toppings then the final cheesing last of all.

Just curious to know so I can follow the posts with a bit more clarity.


Well guys, I’ll be the first to “eat crow”…

As some of you may know I was a “freehand” cheeser. I believed that if you trained your hands you could get close to the same exact amount of cheese on the pizzas every time. I’ve always thought this and even working for the bigger chains (PJ’s and Domino’s) I was hard-headed enough to only do the proper techniques required by those companies when an inspection was going on. I felt this way because I was convinced that cheesing pizzas freehanded was the fastest way and it saved much-needed seconds when you’re in the middle of a busy rush.

I was wrong.

Recently (about a month ago) I went to Wal Mart and bought a set of cups with handles (I’m sure it’s Farberware brand). I simply pulled the handle off the one cup size and started to use that:

…size…cheese…extra cheese…

10" pizza…1 cup…1 1/2 cups
12" pizza…1 1/2 cups…2 cups
14" pizza…2 cups…3 cups
16" pizza…3 cups…4 cups

Each cupful will give you almost exactly 4 oz. of cheese every time, so you can do the math and figure out how much cheese I put on my pizzas. I’m going to tell you something I never though I’d ever say:

Freehand cheesing is not faster than cups, and not even close to accurate.

I can distictly remember going freehand and seeing a little part of the pizza that looked a little bare and adding cheese there to cover it up. I can also remember pulling little patches off where I might’ve put too much. With these cups, I know the amount is exact and the coverage is so much better that I actually go faster and have the confidence that the correct amount is being distributed.

I also see it in my inventory. I was getting a yield of about $350 per container of cheese. Now my yield has climbed to around $550 per container and I haven’t done anything different but switch to cups. I’m saving about a case every week and a half. This translates to about 39 cases a year or about $3,650/year.

In conclusion:

You’re never too old to learn from your peers. Thanks to everyone who gave me a hard time about it and forced me to try. To all of your who are freehanding your cheese on your pizzas… I’m sorry, but you’re missing the boat. You’re not consistent no matter how good you think you are.


Have you not seen the price of cheese lately? How can you not justify weighing it? I’ll be the ROI on a good scale will be measured in a matter of weeks, for you.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I haven’t even plugged mine in yet (tonight) and it has paid for itself . . . it was sort of ‘donated’ by a generous guy here on the 'Tank. :smiley: I’ll send him something for his effort and shipping, and watch the cheese useage go down like a rock.

Cheese is going up as advertised, so I am converting a little late, but not at all sorry.

I started weighing about two months ago and watched my overall food costs drop from 41% to 33%. UNFORTUNATELY my cost is back up to 36% thanks to the price of cheese going up up and away!!! However, I must say, I probably wouldn’t be staying in business much longer if I didn’t start measuring the cheese on each pie.

Hello Dave, I guess I give the most 'Lamen termed’answers here…lol 1st of all why do you chse. twice?I either put on last if it is veggies or something that will burn or next to last if it is a pepperoni,sausage or something that needs to be baked and therefore looks and taste better.And you’ll never have to play the chse. game w/ your employees its a win win situation.As far as portion controlling goes w/ a scaled or measured cup per size pie,I think this works best in my opinion.

                Niccademo     [keep your dough off da cieling]

Initial testing with the scale is actually rather encouraging. The three test pies were all within a half ounce of target when free thrown. Granted, that was during a known test. that said, a half ounce is worth saving. So, we are going to implement the scale forthwith into the make line. I, too, want to avoid the cheese monster eating my business becasue we are willy nilly putting cheese on a pie.

TOTAL. You can put it on top, on bottom, or both. But that’s the total.

For the love of God if you take nothing else from the Think Tank, get a digital pizza scale. They cost about $500. Mine has an electric eye. I wave my hand in front of it to zero it. I’ve had a scale since day one and wouldn’t do it any other way. All my employees are trained to weight the cheese to 1/10th of an ounce on every pizza every time.

I guarantee it’s as fast or faster than freehanding. Here’s the procedure:

I roll out the dough and put it on a screen
Put the skin on the scale which is in front of the sauce, cheese area of the prep table
Ladle the sauce on the skin and spread it out
Then grab handfuls of cheese and dump it in the center of the skin until the weight is right
Then spread the cheese from center to edges with fingers to distribute evenly

Done this way weighing and spreading the cheese on a 14" only takes about 5-10 seconds maybe.

But here’s the math:

Say you’re an ounce over consistently. My current cheese price is about $0.185/ounce x 100 pizzas a day x 365 days a year. That’s $6744.56 it cost to be an ounce over.

I’d say that more than justifies the investment in a $500 scale.

You guys truly make me want to change my ‘old fashion’ ways and break down and get a scale.Geeze I hate when people do the math…lol

            Niccademo      [keep your dough off da cieling]

yes, scales are great, tho I don’t use one, as I use the dice/cup routine…


which ever method you use, there will be “slackers” and enforcing the “exactness” may be a challenge…

I also do a “spot” inventory every week and get a “cheese cost” as I go thru the month, so I’m not “blindsided” @ months end…