Room Temperature Tomato Sauce?

I read an article awhile back about someone using their pizza sauce on their skins at room temp instead of keeping it on the cold table line. The proprietor claimed the room temp sauce made his crust better and more crispy. Is anyone else doing this? I came up thru a couple mom n pop pizzerias where we always had the pizza sauce on the cold table so we always applied it cold with a ladel. Just curious if anyone else is doing room temp sauce and if the health dept ever has any issue with it? Thanks for any feedback in advance!

I could see it making a difference in finished product,
But I’d be very concerned about the sauce if it was not used up within a 4-hour period.
But then again, the acidity of the sauce may make that practice acceptable, but only with the blessing of the local HD inspector.
Is it large amounts of sauce that is continually time/temp abused for days on end. Out for multiple hours, then refrigerated, then out again over a several day period?
I could very well see sauce at room temp if it was to be completly used up within 4 hours, or any leftover discarded at the end of the 4 hours.
We make small batches of sauce here because it is not time consuming at all for us to do it. I may fire a pie with sauce that was just made to see if it changes anything.

Good question, and I don’t have an answer. However, the first thought that I had was that I leave ketchup out (on my kitchen counter) at home until it is empty … several decades later I’m still kickin … what’s the difference between tomato sauce and ketchup?

Well back in the day when I was starting out we would leave the pizza sauce out on the counter all day

That’s how they did it where I worked in high school for years and years

I did it starting out and never had an issue but now I keep it in the make line

We have done it that way since day 1 back in the 80’s. You are required to time stamp it. 4 hour max.

4 hour max according to your health dept? Thats great news if so. I’ll try it tonight. Do you make fresh sauce everyday then? Also have you ever tried making it with cold sauce and noticed what the difference is?

We keep it out on the table.

After making our sauce we store it in the walk-in until we need it. Been doing it that way for 20 years now. Never even thought of storing sauce in the makeline before.

Yes, per the health dept. Although we have only had 1 inspector in all these years even check it. And of course they had forgot to put the tag on it. We make sauce every day with a 1 day ahead system. Today we are making the sauce for tomorrow.

With the 4-hour food safety rule you should be able to leave it out at room temperature (time and date stamped) and then discard that which is left in the container, take out more from the cooler and place into a clean/washed container and go on with life BUT what about the sauce you just took out of the cooler? It will be cold so any pizzas now made with it will be made with cold sauce, so now we’re making pizzas with both cold and warm sauce. To tell the truth, we have never seen any difference in bake or finished pizza crispiness between room temperature (70F) and refrigerated (40 to 45F) sauce in a deck oven, or in an air impingement oven where the pizzas are not being baked in the shortest possible time. When the pizzas are baked in an air impingement oven for the shortest possible time even the temperature of the dough can influence the finished pizza.
By the way, your local health department will have the final say in what you can and cannot do (and it doesn’t always make sense). I learned that lesson the hard way.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Should adding minced garlic to a sauce mean it needs to be refrigerated? Wouldn’t the sauce “protect/preserve” them?

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Adding minced garlic to a sauce has nothing to do with the need for the sauce to be refrigerated.
BUT, if you don’t deactivate the enzymes in the minced garlic by heating in some water to above 185F (I like to say to JUST bring it to a boil) the enzymes will catalyze the tomato pectins causing the sauce to thicken upon standing, this will be especially evident on the following day, thus requiring the need to add additional water to thin the sauce to spreading consistency which now reduces the flavor of the sauce and increases the possibility of sauce induced topping slippage.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Counter all day. Always have. Never had a problem

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^^ Agreed. Suppose how quickly you go through it… and store temps are a factor but… ^^ agreed.
Cold sauce supposedly contributes to a gel layer.
I think people who talk about gel layers have too much time on their hands.

I’ve used sauce right out of the walk in and haven’t had a problem either.

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We use it both ways and have never had a problem, except once in a while the food safety people will make us keep it under refrigeration: shoot it, salute it, paint it, and refrigerate it!
By the way, gum lines are a very real problem, I’ve never seen a gum line attributed to using cold sauce but I have seen it attributed to the application of too much sauce.
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor

We use chopped garlic in our sauce. Another way to address the pectins that Tom mentions is to carmelize the garlic. We put the garlic we are going to use in a pan with a bit of oil and run it through the oven before we put it in the sauce.