Author Topic: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)  (Read 15150 times)

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Offline vcb

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Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« on: January 24, 2010, 03:08:36 AM »
Hello, Deep Dish Pizzaholics!

I haven't been able to find a thread in here specific to pepperoni, though I've found a few posts that mention it, so I'm starting one.
(please let me know if there's already a thread and I will add to that one)

For Deep Dish pizza, I'd like to find a tasty pepperoni that cooks nicely, but doesn't leave the pizza overloaded with puddles of grease.
I know some of this comes down to technique - pre-cooking, adding part-way thru cooking time, dusting pepperoni with flour, etc.

... so what I'd really like to get from you all is your favorite brand or brands to use,
and what your experience has been with using them.

Here are the brands I've used so far:
My favorite is the Boars Head brand, which I'm luckily able to find at my local Treasure Island Grocery.
It has a great flavor and seems to hold up very well on a deep dish without too many puddles. The downside is that it's expensive.

My second favorite has been a brand called Patrick Cudahy, which I was able to buy a huge amount in bulk from Sam's Club (I'm still using it up!).
It seemed a little higher in fat than the Boars Head brand; very tasty, prone to grease puddles and over charring.
I reduced the over-charring problem by pressing the pepperoni deep into the sauce or burying it under the sauce completely.

I've used Hormel pepperoni and it's not terrible, but not great; way too high in fat, leaving the pizza swimming in grease.

I'd like to start trying other brands or possibly finding out what the Chicago Deep Dish Restaurants use.
Any ideas? What are you guys using?
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2010, 06:53:16 AM »
Ed,

Although you posted mainly with respect to pepperoni for deep-dish pizzas, which is a subject that may be worth pursuing, see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,548.0.html.

Peter

Offline vcb

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2010, 01:59:53 PM »
Thanks, Peter!
That's a great thread! :-)

I'm still interested in hearing everyone's deep dish pepperoni favorites.

Ed,

Although you posted mainly with respect to pepperoni for deep-dish pizzas, which is a subject that may be worth pursuing, see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,548.0.html.

Peter
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scott123

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2010, 03:29:04 PM »
Ed,  puddled pepperoni fat (on a NY style pie) is one of the most wonderful things in the world. At least, when it's the right amount of puddled fat. After cooling to edible temperature, I think it's acceptable for a NY style slice to drip (off the point, as it droops), but it shouldn't pour. With the quantities of pepperoni in deep dish, I could see pouring if you go with fatty pepperoni.

My favorite is the large Hormel Rosa Grande, sliced to a very precise specification (I can be pretty demanding at the deli counter :) ). I've eaten some very expensive artisan as well as homemade cured sausage from someone who knew what they were doing, and, the Rosa is comparable, imo.  I'll do Margarita if the price is right, but it's not as good as the Rosa. Both of these, as you are aware, are fatty pepperoni, though.  Great for NY, not so great for deep dish.

Last week I was in a local supermarket scoping out pepperoni deals.  The Black Bear (Boar's Head competitor) was on sale, so I asked for a taste. As I was eating it, I made a face, and the woman behind the counter whispered to the other "See, NOBODY likes the Black Bear." It was lean, but that wasn't the only thing that offended me.  The spicing was just off. It had that weird taste that turkey pepperoni has (sorry turkey pepperoni lovers).

In the other thread, Peter mentions that the Ezzo is leaner.  If that's the case, it might be better for deep dish. It sounds like you have to purchase an obscene amount, but isn't deep dish pretty pepperoni heavy anyway?

If it were me, I'd probably wait for a sale on Rosa or Margarita, and simmer it, gently, in a minimal amount of water to render off some of the fat. And a little bit of the salt. From the amounts of pepperoni I've seen in deep dish, I'm surprised it not a major salt fest.

I also think you're on the right track by burying the pepperoni under the sauce.  With something like bacon, browning brings a lot of wonderful maillard compounds to the table, but with the cornucopia of spices in pepperoni, browning destroys a lot of flavor.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 03:55:15 PM by scott123 »

Offline rkreske

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2010, 11:20:08 AM »
I've tried a lot and I prefer Margherita brand. It's a little pricier than most, but has a nice spicy flavor & produces minimal fat puddles. Also, I cut it a little on the thicker side.

Offline vcb

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2010, 10:51:38 PM »
I've tried a lot and I prefer Margherita brand. It's a little pricier than most, but has a nice spicy flavor & produces minimal fat puddles. Also, I cut it a little on the thicker side.

I'm trying to locate a local supplier for the Margherita pepperoni in Chicago.
Turns out it's distributed by Armour-Eckrich http://armour-eckrich.com/margheritapepperoni.php, so maybe I'll get lucky.

Found another post mentioning a brand called Sugardale http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7061.0.
The search is on for a Chicago vendor for this too.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 11:02:20 PM by vcb »
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Offline loowaters

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 07:29:37 AM »
I've had the Sugardale pepperoni and didn't care for it, kind of an "off" taste.  Just not real good IMO.  I used it for quite a while though, as I bought the big ol' bag of it at my Sam's Club.  I had so much I thought freezing some would be a good idea and, while I'm not sure it was freezer burn because some in my fridge had this happen too, lots of slices had spots that turned a gray to almost white color.  I threw the affected slices away.  I was definitely within the purchase by or use by dates.

Loo
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Offline vcb

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2010, 08:45:13 PM »
I'm trying to locate a local supplier for the Margherita pepperoni in Chicago.
Turns out it's distributed by Armour-Eckrich http://armour-eckrich.com/margheritapepperoni.php, so maybe I'll get lucky.

Found another post mentioning a brand called Sugardale http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7061.0.
The search is on for a Chicago vendor for this too.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.


Turns out they sell Margherita brand sliced pepperoni by the pound from the deli counter at Jewel-Osco in Chicago, but not pre-packaged.
It's very tasty, and a bit on the spicy side, but I still think I need to keep searching for a slightly leaner pepperoni for deep dish.
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2010, 01:11:28 AM »
hormel makes MANY types of pepperoni.  are you getting it rosa style?
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2010, 02:51:36 PM »
Try a good quality sopressata instead, it beats the hell out of pepperoni for taste and it's not as greasy.
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Offline vcb

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2010, 02:43:47 PM »
Turns out they sell Margherita brand sliced pepperoni by the pound from the deli counter at Jewel-Osco in Chicago, but not pre-packaged.
It's very tasty, and a bit on the spicy side, but I still think I need to keep searching for a slightly leaner pepperoni for deep dish.

http://www.foodservicedirect.com/index.cfm/S/11/CLID/4035/N/115235/Frozen-Margherita-Sliced-Pepperoni.htm


I definitely need to buy a freezer.

Now, I'm thinking there may be a few other possibilities to proper 'pepperoni-ing' on a deep dish.

Concept #1 : varying thicknesses of the slices. The fooservicedirect link above shows that they have pre-sliced Margherita pepperoni at different slice ratios. 9-11, 14-16 , 16-18, slices (per pound?).
Does anyone know what thickness they use at Lou's/Uno ?

Concept #2 : If you use pre-sliced FROZEN slices, perhaps there are two things going on:
 being frozen helps the pepperoni to stay uncharred until the very end when...
 the ice crystals from the frozen pepperoni turns to steam and crisps up the pepperoni.

Any thoughts?
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Offline dms

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2010, 09:05:43 PM »

http://www.foodservicedirect.com/index.cfm/S/11/CLID/4035/N/115235/Frozen-Margherita-Sliced-Pepperoni.htm


I definitely need to buy a freezer.

Now, I'm thinking there may be a few other possibilities to proper 'pepperoni-ing' on a deep dish.

Concept #1 : varying thicknesses of the slices. The fooservicedirect link above shows that they have pre-sliced Margherita pepperoni at different slice ratios. 9-11, 14-16 , 16-18, slices (per pound?).
Does anyone know what thickness they use at Lou's/Uno ?

Concept #2 : If you use pre-sliced FROZEN slices, perhaps there are two things going on:
 being frozen helps the pepperoni to stay uncharred until the very end when...
 the ice crystals from the frozen pepperoni turns to steam and crisps up the pepperoni.

Any thoughts?


It's slices per ounce.  I don't know what anyone uses for deep dish.  15 or so is typical for most flat pizza, though.  Thinner than that, and it tends to char, thicker doesn't curl well.  Sandwich people like it thinner.  But the count/oz depends a whole lot on the diameter of the starting sausage. 

Offline CDNpielover

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2010, 01:08:42 PM »
I use Hormel, which isn't sold where I live in (Calgary, Alberta), so I have to import my own each time I travel to the states.   :-D  I find it greasy, too, so I sweat it before I use it.

You guys should see the crap the pass off as pepperoni here.  It's pretty much a spiced bologna - big diameter, pink/orange, and spongy.   :-X  all of the local pizza shops use this on their pizzas and you can't even get "normal" pepperoni here, unless of course you go to PJs or PH, which I don't. 

Offline dmaxdmax

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2010, 01:17:16 PM »
We like Boar's Head heated in a cast iron pan for 1 minute in the 500 degree oven, then pressed between a couple of layers of paper towels.  YMMV.
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Offline BTB

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2010, 03:44:11 PM »
My brand of choice for a long time has been Boar's Head, too, as I think they are No. 1 on most deli items by far.  And I just microwave it for 12 to 15 seconds between sheets of paper towels to degrease it somewhat prior to its use on pizzas.  Sometimes instead of the precut package, you can get it sliced a little thicker in the deli section (where served) and it really is good that way.               --BTB

Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2010, 10:12:25 PM »
sams club started carrying marghreta (spelled goofy) pepperoni for $3/lb.  that's about .50/# more than wholesale pricing and it is FANTASTIC pepperoni.  just enough grease to it, VERY flavorful, and it's pre-cut.  buy the sticks for 4.50/lb and cut it yourself if you want it cut differently.  looks like 16 or 20/oz slices, but the diam is a little over an inch.
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Offline vcb

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2013, 03:40:11 PM »
I keep trying new pepperoni brands when I find them.

The latest one I've tried is
Dietz & Watson. http://www.dietzandwatson.com/our-products/italian-specialties/sliced-pepperoni/
It was on sale at the Jewel/Osco and available sliced in pouches.

Tasted great! Wasn't as spicy as Margherita, but had good flavor.
Was much less greasy than Hormel.
Did not over-char when used for Deep Dish and Pequod styles.

If Jewel keeps selling this brand, it will be my new 'go-to' brand.  :chef: :pizza:
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Offline mbrulato

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2013, 04:10:53 PM »
VCB,

I also like Boars Head as it is very tasty, but it is sliced a bit more thin and tends to burn easier than a brand I typically use.  It is called Wilson and I find it at my local Stop & Shop.  They make regular pepperoni and turkey pepperoni.  I use the regular on my NY pies and love it!  It doesnt have an obnoxious amount of oil after the bake.  Although I haven't tried Dietz and Watson I'm sure it's good.  It has a good reputation.

Mary Ann
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2013, 05:18:12 PM »
Mary Ann,

I agree with you on the Wilson brand. I cannot find that brand here in Texas, but I can find it when I travel North--at the Stop & Shop supermarkets.

Peter

Offline pythonic

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Re: Best Brand of Pepperoni for Deep Dish (or pizza in general)
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2013, 11:44:11 AM »
I keep trying new pepperoni brands when I find them.

The latest one I've tried is
Dietz & Watson. http://www.dietzandwatson.com/our-products/italian-specialties/sliced-pepperoni/
It was on sale at the Jewel/Osco and available sliced in pouches.

Tasted great! Wasn't as spicy as Margherita, but had good flavor.
Was much less greasy than Hormel.
Did not over-char when used for Deep Dish and Pequod styles.

If Jewel keeps selling this brand, it will be my new 'go-to' brand.  :chef: :pizza:




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