pizza meat topping questions ~ please help!

Hi, I am hoping the experienced pizzeria owners in this forum can help me with my questions regarding a topping’s shelf life and preparation/cooking method.

  1. Do you pre-cook uncased Italian sausage or let it cook crumbled raw in the oven?
  2. If pre-cooked, how long do they last refrigerated?
  3. Do you pre-cook meatballs or cook crumbled raw pieces in the oven
  4. If pre-cooked, how long do they last refrigerated?
  5. How long does pepperoni last opened?
  6. Would you pre-cook thinly sliced pork (uncured) or let it cook in the oven?
  7. If pre-cooked, how long would they last refrigerated?
  8. Do you pre-cook slices of bacon?
  9. If pre-cooked, how long do they last refrigerated?

I appreciate any advice. I am preparing to open a pizzeria and want to have a better understanding in order to control my inventory and prevent spoilage.

In our shop we top with precooked meat toppings both for food safety issues and speed. Half of the items on our prep table also show up either in sandwiches or salads so we don’t want the risk of cross contamination between raw and ready to eat items. Here is a thread from last week concerning using raw sausage on pizza

we cook fresh italian sausage, cool & freeze for an hour, then slice on the Hobart pelican head…we go thru that in several days…we do keep 5# in the freezer as a back up…

meatballs are not as popular here, so we buy frozen, then defrost 3# as needed & 1/4 slice as a topping…

pepperoni is placed in lexan containers & is used up quickly…

we’ve smoked pork & crock potted it…lasts a week…

bacon is purchased from RD in crumbled form…lasts forever…

only raw veggies on the make line…

we cook random chicken boneless breasts & dice…50# at a time…bulk bag & freeze, but we go thru a fair ammount…

The food code states 7 days on prepared products, so if you cook your sausage, you have 7 calendar days before it has to be used or discarded.

We do fresh in our restaurant, I make 60 pound batches of sausage at a crack using “Boneless picnic trim” it has a great lean/fat ratio, we freeze it in 5-7 pound blocks, and let it thaw overnight in the cooler for next day use .
We also offer an Italian sausage patty sandwich covered in sauce & melted mozz that is very popular


Where do you own your pizza place? If its in the Woodruff / Minocqua area I’m sure I’ve been to it once or twice. My father and I camp at least 3 times a year at Clear Lake Camp ground. If we see pizza anywhere we really dont hesitate.

Back on topic:

Are all of you using a conveyor style oven? I’ve never had a problem cooking sausage under the cheese on a rotating gas oven. However, deep dish pizzas are a different story.

We’re buying our sausage from a butcher. This older Italian guy perfects the spices and the cost is very reasonable

My sister makes an incredible home made meatball. It has a mixture of beef pork & veel along with a few other ingredients

Would raw Italian sausage be ok in small pieces on top of the pizza cooked in a deck oven roughly at 600-700F? Or should I precook it.

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I use raw sausage on top of our pizzas. I like it a lot better as you are getting the whole flavor of the sausage. Im not a fan of sausage and we us to use precooked frozen but after switching to raw I am a fan now

In my second job in the pizza business (Dominos 1979) we used un-cooked sausage. (Yes, it’s true!). It was a pain to handle as the process was to take a handful of the slippery stuff and squeeze out small blobs between thumb and finger and pinch them off with the other hand and fling them onto the pie. I would not want to go there again even though the flavor is great when done that way.

We use a fully cooked italian sausage sliced and put on the pizza like pepperoni. Visual portion control is very easy.

Hi Daisy at what temp is your oven and how long does the pizza bake in the oven for? Also was wondering how long you can keep the sausage refrigerated before going bad?

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Keep it refrigerated as cold as possible, minimize bare hand contact with what you are not putting on a pizza, and you should get 5-7 days in a thawed state, it also depends on salt content and acidity.
My sausage is a cross between an authentic Cudighi and a Sicilian style with both fennel & anise, and a splash of red wine, no cheese in it