How Much Cheese

I am re-thinking how much cheese I put on a pizza. Is there an industry standard multiple that would give me cheese weight per square inch of pizza? For example, a 12 inch pizza is 113 inches, multiplied by (.04) would equal 4.52 ounces of cheese. What are people using for the (.04) multiple? BTW, I use a small diced WMLM Mozz.

Is that John from Skimpy’s Pizza? Just kiddin
We use 6 oz on a 12" and 8.5 oz on a 14"

we are a little heavy on cheese, we do about 11 ounces on a 14 inch

Using whole milk you can get away with using a touch less as it spreads better. Quality of the cheese makes a difference also.

we use the diced whole milk as well! I do love it. For 90 bucks a case it better be great!

We have been working on the cheese issue for several years now, not so much for an industry standard, for which there isn’t, but instead to find out what the minimum acceptable cheese amount is for a 12-inch pizza. We have found that 3.75-ounces is about the minimum, so 3.75 divided by 113 = 0.033-ounces for each square inch. the most common amount that I’ve encountered over the years is 6.5-ounces of cheese for a loading factor of 0.06 (actual: 0.0597345). With all of this said, What I encourage operators to do is to find a cheese amount that works best for them based on the type of pizzas, type of cheese used, and above all else, customer preference/acceptance. then divide the weight of cheese used be the surface area of the pizza you used it on. The cheese loading factor can then be used to calculate the amount of cheese that you should use for larger or smaller pizzas of the same type. We use loading factors all the time for calculating dough, sauce, and cheese weight for the different size pizzas.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks Tom. Very helpful.

WOW! I thought we were generous with our cheese with 4 oz on a 12 and 7.2 on a 14 (random number cuz we go by hundredths of a pound). huh, and we never get any complaints about not enough cheese.

Following the calculation I gave above 4-ounces of cheese on a 12-inch pizza gives a cheese loading factor of 4 divided by 113 = 0.0353982 if you multiply this by the square inches in a 14-inch round pizza (153.86) you come up with a calculated amount of cheese at 5.446367-ounces. To put it in perspective, if you like cheese, the 14-inch pizza, in this case, is a better deal since it has nearly 44% more cheese per square inch than the 12-inch pizza. You just need to make sure all that extra cheese is reflected in the price of the pizza or you’re giving money away with each 14-inch pizza. My observation is that when someone orders a larger or smaller pizza they anticipate getting the same pizza only in a different format.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

In round numbers (practical for use on the line) we use 5 oz, 7 oz & 9 oz for 12", 14" & 16" pizzas. Using Tom’s formula, that is about .045 load factor. Years ago we used to use 2 oz more on each size and we had customers ordering “light cheese” pretty often saying there was too much.

I do not find that attempting to enforce portioning much closer than an ounce actually happens on the line. Generally I can get the crew to use the scale for every pizza and adjust the cheese to the nearest ounce but that is about it. I think if I changed the portion for a 14" to 6.9 oz (nearest 10th using .045 load factor) rather than the 7 oz we tell the crew that there would zero difference in actual use.

A bigger factor for sure is to train the crew to get the portion spread evenly so they are not diving back into the bin for a bit more to cover bare spots.

WOW! I guess we are on the high side
10" - 4oz
12" - 6oz
14" - 8.5oz
Full sheet - 25.5oz

Don’t look at it as being onthe high, or low side, but your calculated cheese weights are as follows based on 4-ounces of cheese for a 10-inch diameter pizza the cheese loading factor is 0.051 (rounded) based on this loading factor, the other sizes calculate out as follows: 12-inch: 5.75-ounces of cheese (1/4-ounce heavy); 14-inch: 7.85-ounces of cheese (about 3/4-ounce heavy) and 18 X 26 (sheet pan): 23.87-ounces of cheese (a little over 1.5-ounces heavy).
You are not all that far off of the mark, but it could add up over time if you are not covering the cost of the extra cheese in your cost. Now, if you were a chain, even a small regional chain, the difference in cost of the cheese could add up to a pretty sizeable sum of money over the course of a year.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Is there a reason you recommend calculating them based on the 10" pizza? What makes that one the “standard”?

No, Just pick one out that you like the looks of with regard to cheese coverage and calculate from there. I used the 10-inch because it was at the top of the list. In this case, depending upon which one we calculated the loading factor with some might now be too light on the cheese application. It should be stressed that you should calculate the factor using any pizza size and cheese amount that you feel is correct for YOUR specific application.
If the dough weight, sauce and cheese amounts are calculated in this manner you can also calculate the cost of a plain cheese pizza using the same calculation. For example, if a 14-inch cheese pizza is 36% larger than a 12-inch cheese pizza, the cost of a plain cheese pizza should be reflected by a 36% cost differential.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Let’s look at this another way. We use pizza ring templates that help us keep the sauce, cheese and toppings off of the pizza crust. When I factor in the size of the pizza that is actually sauced and cheese, it greatly changes the cheese loading factor.
10" - .0748
12" - .0727
14" - .0721
Sheet - .0719
Looking at the numbers this way, we actually use less cheese as the pizza gets larger!
Likewise, there is a larger area of the pizza that is crust for the smaller sizes, and that number decreases as the pizza gets larger.


You are correct, as you are now not covering the entire diameter of the pizza, but instead leaving a portion of the dough uncovered. In that case you would use the diameter of the ring substituted for the diameter of the pizza. This way the loading (amount of cheese/sauce) stays the same for each of the different sizes.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

yeah I never used a formula to figure how much cheese to put on a pizza I just trial and errored till i was happy, guess I should go the way of mathematics…it never lies.