Pizza sweats in the box

I sell thin ‘n’ cripsy crusts. During delivery, the pizza stays hot but loses crispiness after about 10 mins. I bought these thermal bags by Ingrid. They only keep pizzas hot, NOT crispy… I cant seem to figure out why its happening

Do you think its something to do with my recipe? (Its my grandma’s homemade recipe with no preservatives or additives)

Also, I live by the coast and there’s high humidity in the air, any way to combat that?

When you get it figured out, let us all know. What you have described is the “golden fleece” of the pizza industry. Physics 101 says that the pizza is hotter than the air surrounding it when its in the box. The heat coming off of the pizza is moisture laden, and when it contacts anything that is cooler, the moisture condenses out and you get water. this can result in a dripping pizza box, especially in the winter if the boxes are stored in a cold place. Under the best of conditions, the moisture laden enviorment of the box will steam the crust (which, by the way is pretty hydroscopic since it only contains about 12% moisture as it comes out of the oven) so, if the air in the box has a relative humidity of 90%+, the crust will exhib an affinity for water. It will absorb water from the air, and in doing so, become more moist, and limp/soggy. There are a number of solutions to the problem, but so far, none of them have proven to be practical or reasonably priced. This has been a great selling point for the new, bake to rise pizzas from the supermarket, like DiGiorno and Freschetta, to name just two. These pizzas were designed to compete head-on with delivery pizzas.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
About the best thing you can do for your delivery pizza is to use a Ripple Board/Sheet or one of the plastic mats under it in the box to allow moisture to escape from under the pizza, and make sure you have steam vents opened in your boxes.

Hi Juno,
All we sell is thin crust had similar problems. There was another thread a few months ago and someone said to leave lip[ of the bag open during your delivery to let the steam out. That has helped tons and the pizza is still hot. It’s still not perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better than it was. That being said, we use a conveyor oven, so I also slowed my belt speed and lowered my temp, added 1/2oz more sauce and the crust comes out a lot crispier. The two fixes have boosted our pizza sales from 10% to over 15% of overall menu items. That’s my two cents, good luck.


we are a thin and crispy place as well!
I posted here about the same problem and had to make a few changes

  1. we use ripple sheets it gets the crust off the bottom and its way cheaper than the plastic. I tried both and saw NO difference at all.
  2. I bought boxes with corner vent holes (just push them in and they release the steam)
  3. when an order is done and waiting to be delivered we put it under the warmer with the box semi opened.
    this has made it almost perfect…only exception is on really cold evenings that have multi pies…but its mostly the boxes that are most on the outside not the crust

Dough Doctor: Thanks for your very ‘crisp’ explanation. Got worried about my pizzas, thought it was just happening to me. Someday, i guess, someone will figure out a way

HannaBannana & Rockstar: thanks for the inputs guys… gonna try them out and let you know how it goes

FYI… I’ve made little holes along the sides of my thermal bags. While they loose heat a little faster, they definitely keep the pizza crisp. which is great for short deliveries

anyone ever try those ‘dessicant’ little pouches you get in stereo equipment. they are labelled ‘do not eat’. They are great for moisture absorption . . . not sure if would be great for food applications, though.

Might be worth a thought in long term development of the “Golden Fleece”

I’m thinkin’ that we’re talkin’ about a lot more moisture than those little silica packs are capable of handling.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor