Cheese too dark


I have had a consistency issue with my cheese when it comes out of the oven. Never had a complaint but would like it to come out not so crispy and dark.
MM Conveyor ovens 500F at 5:35 mins.

Some days the cheese comes out really crispy on top (toppings are placed under the cheese). Does it have something to do with the type of cheese and % of fat ect…

Is there anyway to prevent it from getting too dark? Such as having the cheese colder, spray some cold water on top?

Any tips would be great

Does the colouring vary depending on the amount and/or number of vegtable toppings?..

mainly the cheese only and 1 topping pizzas like pepperoni.

At times the specialty pizzas get too dark as well which have about 6 toppings like a vegetarian.

What happens is the cheese gets really crispy on top but under the crispy bits the cheese is normal and gooey which is what we want.

I wonder if the temperature in the pizza shop has any factor in this? Now that summer is here it gets really hot and on top of that two ovens going at 500F.

Could be the weather. They dry out a little quicker and the crust and the cheese get a little dark. We push the pizzas in the oven a little ways if we know they were sitting out for a bit.

Of course, if you are not pre-making (saucing and cheesing) a stack of pizzas before the rush, than I’m not sure what the problem could be. We have to constantly account for the temperature in our store, however. So that would be my guess.

I would look at the cheese and temp. Specifically, the balance between temp and cheese quality/quantity. I’ve seen where lower moisture cheeses tend to burn quicker than higher moisture cheeses. If you’re throwing the cheese on top of the toppings, not having enough moisture would lead to it not melting into the toppings and instead is simply burning before it can melt through. This might be addressed by lowering the oven temp and increasing the bake time. You might also try some other cheeses/blends to see if they perform better at your current cook set-up.

What is your cheese blend percentage? I have noticed that higher amounts of provolone in the blend will yield a darker outcome.

if that is not the case, perhaps slowing your belt (if you have one) and lowering the oven temp may help as well.


500F for more than 5-minutes is really hard on the cheese. I normally look at about 4:45 to 5-minutes as about the max for baking at 500F. When I go down to 475 to 485 I can go to as long as 5:30, but not much longer. If you want to stay at your present time and temperature you might need to get the top fingers of your oven re-profiled to slightly reduce the top airflow to the pizzas. Yes, using warm cheese as opposed to refrigerated cheese can impact the way the cheese performs in the oven too. You should be using your cheese from a refrigerated prep table.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Not sure if you ever got the answer you were looking for but… Are you using a pre shredded cheese? If you are there is an anti caking agent called rice flour in most shredded cheeses. A handful of cheese with too much rice flour (or the bottom of the bag) will burn like crazy on a cheese or one topping pizza.