Topping cups

Do you use them? Would you?

For cheese only.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I took Big Dave’s advice several years ago, when working for a now defunct chain…

I got some jumbo cups in 2 different colors and pre-weighed a hundred portions or so…it worked pretty good…

I was a free-thrower for many, many years…

Started using a scale & will never go back to cups or free-throwing…

Nothing, and I do mean nothing, beats a scale for accurate portion control. After that, the cups are OK, not nearly as accurate as a scale, but a lot more accurate, and consistent, than free throughing.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

With cups the weight of a set volume of diced cheese will vary with the temp of the cheese. The warmer the cheese, the more it settles/packs in when you scoop it with a cup. the same for free throwing. If the cheese is slightly warmer than normal (at least our cheese) it tends to clump a little and more looks like less. The scale never lies.


A buddy of mine asked if a web site selling topping cups would be viable. Not the stadium cups a la Big Dave, but portion cups for things like sausage or pineapple. Would you tell him to go for it?

Probably not. The reason being that these toppings come in so many different sizes, that it would be nearly impossible to standardize a single cup. Even the cheese cups have provisions for using shredded and diced (just two options), but there are many more different options for the size of the sausage pieces that you’re adding. I’ve even seen a lot of variation in pineapple too. About the best I’ve seen in portioning toppings is to use a clear plastic glass and put a weightd/measured amount of a specific topping in the container, then using a permenant marker, put a line on the container. After that, fill the glass to the line, and you will have some level of portion control.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

This is exactly how we do our cheese…just the cheese. We tried setting aside time to weigh cheese, then put that weighed cheese into a bunch of stadium cups. After doing this a few times, it became a little time consuming, especially when we could be doing something more constructive in the shop. After filling cups with the weighed cheese, the cheese always came up to a certain level, give or take 1/10 of an ounce. I just use that mark on the cup, and put that much cheese in the cup while topping the pies.

BTW, we use shredded.

Between free-tossing, and the above mentioned style of cupping, we’ve been able to top stretch our cheese about 25% further. I used to top the hell out of those pies, but now I’m pretty sure all I was doing was coating the fire chamber of our conveyor oven with expensive cheese.