Why is pizza so oily?

Do they actually drizzle oil on top of the pizza, or does the oil occur naturally when the mozzarella cheese is baked?

There’s typically quite a lot of fat in cheese and when you melt it, it separates easily; if the toppings beneath the cheese are water-based (tomato sauce, for example), a lot of the fat is just going to sit there on top.

Who are they? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone drizzling oil on a pizza (aside from a brushing of olive oil), but there is fat in the dough (this usually stays in the dough) and the cheese (the proteins and fat in cheese can separate during melting) and a number of other toppings (notably pepperoni and sausage). Also, pan-style pizzas often have the pan they are baked in coated in oil to prevent sticking.

I’ve been informed that Cheddar makes for particularly oily pizza.

Fortunately, anyone who puts cheddar on a pizza is doomed to damnation.

So, most of the cheap take-aways near me then.
They’ve been conning us poor uninformed brits for years.

The pseudomozzarella they put on fast-food pizza obviously has copious amounts of fat in it; but what blows me away is the additional volume of grease that seeps out of the pepperoni on these pizzas. This stuff must violate a conservation law, or something…How can that much oil fit in those little slices of Italian sausage? I can take a slice of pepperoni pizza from Pappa Gino’s or Domino’s, drop a stack of paper napkins on top of it, and pull off a dripping mess of amber-colored ooze.

Gawd, I love it so.

Pepperoni and most meats also release oil during baking.

Furthermore, Pizza Hut Pan Pizzas are cooked with extra oil in the pan, to aid cooking of the crust and assist release from the pan. Haven’t you noticed how they are even greasier than normal?

Most pizza sauce also has olive oil in it.

I once worked in a pizza place, so I have some knowledge of this.

#1) Typically oil is one part of the the ingredients of pizza dough.

#2) Cheese contains fat, which when heated becomes oily.

#3) As someone mentioned, at some pizza places like Pizza Hut (where I worked) they add oil to the pan. Quite a bit with the deep dish ones.

#4) If you order meat on the pizza, the fat oozes out into oil.

#5) The sauce may contain oil.

As a former Pizza Hut Doughmaster (Yeah, that’s what they call it), you’ve got one oz in the bottom of the pan for a Personal Pan Pizza, 2 oz for a small, 3 oz for a medium, and 4 oz for a large. Or maybe a little less (I haven’t been there for a long time). That oil’s only purpose is to make sure you can get the damn 'za out of the pan (and if your pizza is late, it’s because some driver was lazy and didn’t dry the pan first before adding oil, so it stuck to the pan).

The final step before Pizza Hut shoves its pies into the oven is to spray oil on the crust so it browns.

I’ve heard stories from chain delivery pizza places going so overboard with the oil with coating the pan of their “pan-style” pizzas that they would actually ignite during their trip through the pizza oven.

Pseudomozzarella and the kind of sausage you american guys call pepperoni or italian sausage, are about as italian as a low-riding Cadillac.
In Italy, pepperoni means ‘green chili’s conserved in oil’. They don’t even serve pizza’s with the type of orange-coloured sausage on it. (Maybe they do NOW, some tourist places, but it’s an American invention.)

Pork-sausages, such as salami, chorizo etc. and American Pizza Sausage, are heavily spiced and salted, and are about 50% fat. All these things work to conserve the meat, which works very fine (stays good for several years without a fridge), and was (until about 75 years ago) one of the few ways to have meat during the winter. When you put it on a pizza, the fat melts, along with the fat of the fatty cheese, and there you go.

An ITALIAN pizza is only oily if and because someone sprinkled olive oil on it. Sometimes a little oil/fat runs from the cheese on it, but real mozzarella is not that fat. American-style mozzarella (sometimes even applied in grinded form, which is impossible with mozzarella) has nothing to do with the real thing, which of course doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. Real mozzarella is totally white (NOT yellow), very soft, and should be applied to the pizza in small (about 8 cm), thick (4 mm), oval-shaped slices. A mozzarella cheese has about the size of a tennis ball, has no crest/rind, is very moist (stored under slightly salted water), and contains very little fat.

Pizza-dough should be fat-free. American Pan Pizza’s obviously shouldn’t, just like fried pizzas. But the latter two have nohing in common with the Italian pizza but their appearance. In fact, a real old-school Italian pizza from napoli should be made from wholemeal-dough! (And YES, it’s delicious.)

The amber colouring of the fat on your pizza shouldn’t occur and is 100% artificial colourant.

After the (almost fat-and-salt-free) italian pizza comes out of the oven, they sprinkle a little olive oil on it, with herbs and/or chili’s solved in it, which gives a very gentle, nice flavour and smell, or makes the pizza taste hot. On an American pizza I’m afraid you wouldn’t even taste or smell it, because the ingredients are much salter and/or sweeter, and more stuff has been added to 'em.
Sometimes they put a little olive oil through the Sugo (pizza tomato sauce), because sometimes they use ingredients (like garlic and basil) in the sugo that are fat-solvable, so you need just a little oil in order to be able to taste/smell those.

Pizza’s with amber-coloured oil on them, like e.g. the pizza’s from Pizza Hut? Yech!! Go somewhere else and get yourself a REAL pizza!


Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, et al do not market their pizzas as authentic cuisine and most Americans are aware that the pies they get from those chains are as Italian as Taco Bell is Mexican or chop suey is Chinese so a good portion of your post wasn’t necessary. Our stereotype notwithstanding, we’re not a nation of drooling troglodytes.

But if most Americans are unaware of what real Italian, Mexican or Chinese food is actually like, what are they judging against? The other pizza place around the corner? When I buy a pizza, or a kebab, or a chow mein, or a bhuna, I know I’m buying the English appropriation. Not everybody knows that.

Depends on the cheddar, now doesn’t it?
If we’re talking that orange American stuff, then I can agree.

Agreed. Although true Cheddar Gorge cheddar is throughly unsuitable for pizza anyway, being rather crumbly.

Being familiar with the authentic dish isn’t a requirement in knowing what you’re eating isn’t traditional. For instance, I’ve never had pizza napoletana but I am well aware that it’s nothing like the large linguica, pepperocini, and onion that I often order from the local parlor or the frozen “Mexican” pizzas that I have in the freezer which are neither Mexican nor Italian.

You seem to be under the impression that tomatoes are Italian, despite the fact that they’re not native to the Old World.

For what it’s worth, my great-grandfather, who was a baker in Rome before emigrating to the U.S., never put any topping on pizza other than olive oil and little fishies (his English was never too great; I presume he means anchovies).

And if you’re concerned about greasy pizza, then try to find a place that makes it using (what Americans call) provolone, which is much less greasy than (what Americans call) mozzerella.

From my travels around the world with the U.S. Army I’ve learned that certain cuisines are much better in their American forms than in their native forms.

“American pizza” is much superior in flavor to Italian pizza, Mexican food is much superior when sold in a nice American-Mexican restaurant, and Chinese also tends to be better when eaten in America.

As far as Chinese and Mexican go, most of these restaurants are owned by immigrant Chinese or Mexicans, so it isn’t like it is completely inauthentic.

Foods that I’ve found to be much better in their native lands vs. the U.S. are: Indian, Thai, Japanese, German, Russian (Russian is close though, as I’ve had some very good Ameri-Russian.)