liquid on cooked pizzas

Hi. Wondering if anyone has an issue with left over liquid on their pizzas after it comes out of the oven. We’ve just recently noticed more liquid then ever - especially those with the veggies on it. We’ve taken the insides out of the tomatoes before we cook the pies, all the other ingredients are fresh - not frozen. Should we leave the tomatoes off then put them on after the pie is cooked? Just a little confused. A little advice - please.

This is a common problem with deck ovens when a lot of vegetable toppings are used. It will help to blance some of the vegetable toppings, but then they wouldn’t be quite the same as fresh. Your best bet is to reduce the amount of vegetable toppings to a more manageable level for your type of oven. This is the reason why I’ve always said that you must identify the type of pizza you want to make before actually buying an oven. When lots of vegetable toppings are the order of the day, you really need the air flow to the top of the pizza to help dry it off during baking. This means either an air impingement or Piccard oven where you can adjust the top airflow to get the best finished presentation. With your fresh tomato slices, are you storing them in perforated drain pan? Or do you store them using paper towels to layer them in your storage container? The worst thing to do is to put them into a regular container on your prep table so they just end up sitting in their own juice. What type of cheese are you using? I’ve seen fresh mozzarella let go of a lot of water when exposed to excessively high temperature. If you think this might be part of the problem, try reducing the oven temperature by 50F and extend your baking time. Also, be sure to put the veggies on top of the cheese rather than under it so you don’t trap any water under the cheese, which just aggrevates the problem.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We started having this same problem earlier this year – never had a problem before. Our portions, prep methods and storage did not change. We experimented with all the cheese (that fit our profile) our supplier had and still had the issue. I grabbed some Precious cheese from Restaurant Depot and that solved the problem of excess liquid. Precious cheese is not a good quality cheese for pizza so this was not an option. What we are forced to do with most pizzas is tip each pie and drain the excess liquid before cutting.

I received the same responses to my original post on this same topic – issues with deck ovens and water in veggies. We’ve been in business for years and never had an issue before.

The only suggestion I have is to experiment with other cheeses. We get comments all the time on our cheese and its texture and characteristics so we are not going to change to a cheese that gives off less water if it means sacrificing our product. At some point we will try cheese from another supplier but that’s a headache I am not prepared to undertake at this point.

Like I said, play with the baking time and temperature a little. This can have a great impact upon the amount of water released from the cheese. Anything has to be better than a wet, soggy pizza.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We use whole milk mozz and our tomatoes are cut fresh to order. We cook our pies at 550. Don’t really have time to change the temperature on each order - the other pies don’t have this problem. Everyone loves our cheese so we’re not going to change that at this time. I gues we’l have to lessen the veggie toppings and see what that does.

Thanks -

That will probably help to some extent as the veggies are contributing to the water, but if the cheese is the main culprit, things won’t improve until you address the root of the problem. Back off on the veggies and let us know if that improves the situation.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Restaruant Depot carrys a FRESH MOZZARELLA LOAF that is drier than usual, lets NO water go AND has great meltability and flavor (once melted) The same product is available under CALABRO’S OLD FASIONED MOZZARELLA LOAF.