Cheese not cooking with heavy toppings

Hey Guys,

Do you guys have solutions to cheese not cooking up to par with the crust on the heavy topping pizzas? If we get a pizza with about 3 or more toppings, the crust browns well before the cheese even gets a chance to. Last night I had a pizza with 4 toppings and the crust browned, but the cheese didn’t have a speck of brown on it. That order also had a cheese pizza on it, which came out perfectly cooked, and they didn’t match by any means.

Btw I’m using Marsal brick ovens.


Do you know if the toppings were frozen by any chance?

Never frozen, always fresh.

i use a 2 shelf brick oven… when i have a lot of toppings i always put the pie on the top rack… when the top is almost finished i move it to the bottom rack to cook the crust the rest of the way.

Arent both shelves the same temp?

i also use Marsal Ovens, and i see the same results you are talking about. Usually happens with Veggie Toppings as they have more moisture in them

^ So you just leave them as is then?

Hi Steveo:

The problem you describe is common with deck ovens.

The evaporation of moisture causes a cooling effect and that is why the cheese (being cooled by evaporationIs, in many instances, not properly melted.

Just my theory others may differ.

George Mills

That makes perfect sense, are there any solutions?

Hi Steveo:

I don’t bake pizzas so I have no answer to your problem. Most of my clients use air impingement ovens that force hot air down in and around toppings and blowing away the cold air created by the evaporation of vegetable moisture. Therefore I get no feed back on that type problem.

I would be interested to know how deck oven operators handle the baking of pizzas with heavy vegetable toppings.

George Mills

Its a PITA but if you have an additional line of grilled veggies, it helps.


our bloggett deck ovens that we run at 550 have no problem with heavily topped pies, most of our all veggie pies have 3-6 toppings. it may have something to do with the fact that we turn and burn all day so the ovens are opened alot, so the ovens are always cranking.


We used to have that problem a lot several years ago, and now I don’t know if it’s the type of cheese we are now using or if we’re just better at knowing when the pizzas are cooked sufficiently in our deck oven. I remember many times when I’d cut into a thickly topped pie and see all those shreds … you don’t know whether you should try to stick it back in the oven (on a pan) or just scoot the toppings over the unmelted cheese and send it out and hope no one notices … or start all over. I know they make a metal thingamabobber that you can put in the center of pies that are likely not to bake through as well. Never tried it. (Kind of like those baking nails you put in a baked potato to speed it up.)

no, the ovens i have, have one large door to get to both shelfs… so the bottom shelf closest to the burner is the hotest.
also, as mentioned above, the cheese has a great deal to do with it as well. i went through 12 diffrent cheese styles and brands before i found the perfect one.

I can’t change my ovens so i just changed my cheese.

What you mighyt be seeing is what I have said for many years, deck ovens are great ovens, but like everything, they do have their limitations, and the one great limitation of any deck oven is a pizza loaded with a lot of vegetable toppings. In that application, an air impingement oven is much better suited. I know this doesn’t help you at all, so what can you do? You will need to bake your pizzas longer, remove any sugar, eggs, or milk form the dough formula as these will only serve to brown the crust faster, then reduce the bake temperature to something in the 450 to 500F range. If you are still getting too much bottom bake, you may need to put the pizza on a screen to control the bottom bake, these steps should help to lengthen the bake of your pizzas sufficiently to allow the top to dry off and color the cheese.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

As always thanks for the information. We do not add any milk, sugar, or eggs in our dough formula to begin with. I think I’m just going to have to deal with the heavy-toppings pizzas as is, as I do not wish to lower my baking temperatures for any other pizzas because our less-topping pizzas come out beautifully at 550.

Thanks everyone!

At the AIB Pizza School, we also tried some pretty decent pre-cooked roasted vegetables with something like half the moisture content of fresh. It made a big difference with the deck oven pizzas and added flavor. I cannot remember the brand, but maybe Tom will know.

I think Lamb-Weston has some fire grilled roasted vegetables that come frozen. I tried them a long time ago and they were good but I don’t have a ton of freezer space for such things. You could probably do your own roasted veggies on big pans but not the same as grilled… I had some awesome fire grilled portabella mushrooms with other veggies in a spicy sauce at an Italian chain restaurant the other day and the fire grilled flavor was wonderful! Too bad I don’t have a grill…