Weighing out cheese?

Right now we are weight out our cheese in 8 oz portions. I was wonder if there is any equipment out to make this job easer and or go quicker. This takes up a lot of our prep time. Also we fill our own sauce cups by hand. Wondering if there is a better way to do this too.
Thanks Ty

When you say you weigh you cheese in 8 oz portions… do you mean pre-portion them with bags or whatever then add to pizza or do you weight the cheese out per each pizza as its made?

And as far as the sauces, what sauces are you talking about? Some are easier then others. If its a thin sauce, just pouring it manually is probably easiest. But if its a thicker sauce, get a salad bag and fill it with the sauce, then cut off the corner and squeeze it into the ramekins.

we pre portion cheese before we open

I like the fact you weight your cheese but wonder why you do not just weigh it as you make the pizza.

Pre-portioning does take extra time, but I think it’s well worth it. An ounce here, an ounce there, it all adds up. I am a big believer of pre-portioning.

Now to your question… All I can say is “I wish”. I have often thought about some kind of machine that could take a heap of grated cheese and portion it into desired amounts. I know they make industrial-sized machines that do this, but I’m not aware of anything that would be practical in a commercial kitchen. If there were such a machine, I wouldn’t pre-portion the cheese anymore, I would just measure it on the fly. My dream machine would allow me to drop a couple of hundred pounds of grated cheese into a hopper. It would need to keep the cheese cold. Then when I need to make a pizza, I just press a button and out drops the exact amount of cheese from the bottom.

I’ve seen a machine in use at a local dominos that drops their cheese right onto a sauced skin (I think it was cheese :? ). However, I’m sure it’s proprietary and won’t work with the cheese I use.

I bet someone will come up with something and make a million dollars on it. I’d buy one. :lol:

Not that I don’t trust my pizza makers, but I just don’t think that they’ll always weigh out the proper amount of cheese if they do it per order. I do not have a bin of throw cheese anywhere on my line, so my pizza makers are forced to use the pre-portioned cheese.

I think it was Big Dave that did an informal study on this and found that he saved some 20% on cheese by preportioning and removing the throw cheese from the line. I think it’s just too tempting to be lazy (especially during a rush).

In my store if you do not weigh, you are fired on the spot. I only had to do that once to get the point across and that was 3 years ago. The staff still tell the new comers that they will be fired on the spot for not weighing.

In my store if you do not weigh, you are fired on the spot. I only had to do that once to get the point across and that was 3 years ago. The staff still tell the new comers that they will be fired on the spot for not weighing.


We have a digital scale on our prep table and weigh as we top. I told my employees that they need to use it and tried to explain why. But food cost doesn’t come out of their pocket so once I turned my back it wasen’t used.
Two months ago I attended a food cost seminar, after the show I stopped by my store and surprized my staff. Every pizza had an extra 3-4 ounces of cheese on them!!! I flipped… I said, @ 20cents an ounce, a few extra ounces on a pizza adds up, whoever refuses to use the scale I can’t afford and they will be let go. We sell around 1500-1800 pies a week, an extra ounce on each= $300-$360 waisted a week!

The next day I instaled a web camera above my scale, and it worked! The first week I had to make a few reminder phone calls and came close to firing one guy. Now every employee knows I’m serious and they are using it every single time.

We use different size cups for our three sizes of pizza and just fill them from the bin when we get an order.

A number of companies make equipment for portioning cheese onto sauced skins, but like you say, they’re al designed for automated production lines. Two companies that I know have attachments to both large wholesale and small, retail manufacturers, are Pizzamatic and Quantum. Both companies participate in the various pizza shows/Expos. It might be a good idea to make a note to hunt them down at the next show you attend and bend their ear with your needs. You never know, they just might come up with something for us. With their capabilities, I could even see Quantum coming up with a machine mounted over a conveyor belt that you would place the sauced skin on, press a button and the correct amount of cheese would be applied as the skin passed through the machine. This is just a vision, but it could become a reality if we all expressed a need.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

This was the best $385.00 I spent on a avery berkel pizza scale
http://www.averyberkelusa.com/index.php … &Itemid=56

That does look nice. I like the touchless feature to tare the scale. My scale has a foot pedal, but it always got in the way so we don’t even use it.

I also use the Avery scale, but the touchless feature has been giving us problems. we have florecent lighting near our prep table and the scale tends to zero out with shadows. I tried adjusting the sencitivity but ended up putting a piece of tape over the sensor and pusing the button manualy.

Pizzafanatic, try attaching your foot tare to your prep table with strong velcro to keep it off your floor. With my older scale I put it at hip level, it gives the staff an option to hip it or hit it with their hand.

WhenI bought mine I had to calibrate the touchless sensor for my kitchen light and the scale had to be calibrated with a 9# weight because the scale was off by 1.5oz. Avery tech support will help you. My other store with the same scale I had to Install a new light above the make line because of not enough light.

I think a second overhead light would fix my problem but I haven’t had time to put one up. The scale works fine in the daytime but at night the shadow zero’s it out when we grab more cheese.

That’s a good idea. I may have to give that one a try. Thanks

Is the labor cost to pre portion less than the money saved? What is your net gain by pre portioning after factoring in the additional labor costs?

Gregster even if there is no savings in food cost after you pay for labour, portioning your cheese will give you a more consistent products…Too much cheese mat affect your bake time…Too little cheese will have your customers compaining…

I don’t know about preportioning, but using a scale every time will not add to labor cost and will save money. I have a Lincoln 1451 conveyor double stack running less than 6 minute bake time and I can sauce and cheese 14" pizzas faster than the ovens can cook. I am close to 50 years old and not in the best shape. And, as Royce said, in addition to saving on food cost, consistency matters.
As far as net gain, the only way you will know is to try it and see how much cheese you use when controlling portioning. I have only met one “expert” who was experienced in large volume pizza shops that thought that free throwing cheese was a good idea as opposed to dozens who swear by scales or cups.