• #1 by patar49 on 29 Apr 2021
  • Hi everyone!

    I'm wondering how everyone does their prep for common pizza items. Are we wasting time & money doing things the "old fashioned way?" Below is a list of ingredients & how we get them ready for service. Sorry for the long post, but I'd like to see how others run the day to day food prep for their operation & if we can find best practices to reduce costs & increase consistency. Easability of training is important as well with labor being a major issue today.

    Cheese: We use Assoluti! part skimmed & whole blocks of Motz. We chop the blocks in half & shred em! We use a vegetable attachment on our Hobart to grind the cheese. I've noticed the cheese is inconsistent with regards to the length of the shred. The cheese falls into a food grade bag & we use this to fill our line.

    My Thoughts: I question why the length can vary from batch to batch. I also question if using food grade bags are practical? Why not use a large food storage box with a lid to clean & re-use after each batch? I'm sure just ensuring the box is clean & maintained over time will allow us to stop purchasing these storage bags. I've noticed with the bags the cheese can "block up" or stick together, my guess is this is caused by the weight of the cheese compressing together. The inconsistency & chunks of cheese from the compression does make it difficult to use a cup to measure out the ingredient for each pie. I've definitely thought of buying a scale for the line so we can get consistent pizza's and control costs a bit more. We do produce a lot of pizza's! So weighing each one could take some time.

    Sauce: We used a variety of canned tomato slices, chunks & sauce in a food grade 32gal bin. Add in some spices & use a Robot Coupe Immersion Blender to break everything down to a smooth consistency.

    My Thoughts: I have no issues with the way we prep this item. Just making sure the storage container is on wheels & is actually food grade.

    Pepperoni: We open bags of pepperoni & stock on the line. Easy peasy :D

    Italian Sausage: We grind pork & beef with our seasoning and press into 3" sheet pans for baking. Once cooked, we cut into blocks, cool & then slice on #11 slicer to then chop into squares for the line.

    My Thoughts: Not super easy to measure how much we put on each pizza. Some days the sausage comes out in clean squares, other days the sausage breaks up and more "chunky." I'm thinking the same scale for cheese can be used for sausage?

    Ham: Deli style Hormel Ham on #11 slicer. We cut the blocks so each cut of the slicer creates 9 thin squares of Ham for the line. I'd like to see these in a hotel pan with perforations to prevent the ham from soaking in water.

    Mushrooms & Black Olives: We have both fresh & canned Mushrooms. Black Olives are just canned. Fresh Shrooms are sliced by hand for entree line, so we share those between our teams. Canned are open into strainer & weighed down to get all the juices out. Besides buying already cut fresh shrooms, I'm thinking this process is pretty solid already.

    Green Peppers: We clean green peppers & slice on #22 slicer. We then take those slices & cut into chunks/dice for use on the line. We usually store these in hotel pan under the line so we can easily refill, I definitely question why we dont use a perforated pan to prevent the green peppers from soaking in the water that is created.

    Onions: Very similar to green peppers. We clean & slice on #22, then dice/chop for use on the line. We fill an entire hotel pan for both products & store under line for use during service.

    My Thoughts: The owners tell me the Hobart Vegetable slicer causes too much water to leave the product & ruins the integrity of the ingredients. I'm thinking the Hobart would be much easier & less labor intensive, I'm definitely worried about the integrity of the product. Do you leave the green peppers sliced or just julienne both peppers & onions and avoid the whole dicing?

    Beef: My nemesis! We currently take a 10lb tube of beef & mix some seasoning for the line. We store the Raw Beef on the line (near toppings to be cooked on pizza). We top the pizza with chunks of raw beef, open the oven door and slide the pizza in our rotating RotoFlex Oven.

    My Thoughts: This is my main issue! I'd like to get away from using raw beef, as cross contamination cannot be easily avoided. Touching the beef & then opening the oven door...wrong! If someone orders extra cheese & we add that on top of the beef...the cheese is now contaminated if used for anything other than a pizza (Cheese on side & doesn't touch an oven...scary!!! NOTE: We use cheese not on the line to prevent any issues, but why have to take the extra step anyways? Plus, new staff may not know this issue if not trained properly) The owners believe cooking the beef before putting on a pizza would cause the beef to dry out during our 25-30 minute cook time. I beg to differ & believe the raw beef actually causes too much grease on the pizza. Do people buy beef already cooked or is anyone still using raw beef as a topping?

    Our other specialty toppings are all stored in a side fridge in 1/6 pans, as they're not used as often & would take up room on the line. Thank you for all the help & I'm hoping this thread can help others find efficient ways to prep their line & reduce waste.

  • #2 by TXCraig1 on 29 Apr 2021
  • Every time you put beef on pizza, Santa Claus kills a kitten.
  • #3 by megan45 on 29 Apr 2021
  • Every time you put beef on pizza, Santa Claus kills a kitten.

    You say that like it's a negative thing.
  • #4 by psedillo on 30 Apr 2021
  • You say that like it's a negative thing.

    I'm not sure which comment made me laugh more, yours or Craig's.  ;D
  • #5 by wb54885 on 30 Apr 2021
  • Every time you put beef on pizza,

    Does this include meatballs?
  • #6 by amolapizza on 30 Apr 2021
  • And pepperoni?  ;D ;D ;D
  • #7 by wb54885 on 30 Apr 2021
  • Patar49, it sounds like you have a mind for problem solving so I think you will figure out the few pesky issues you’re having through daily trials and experiments.

    As for beef, I’ve never seen it go on pizza raw. Always precooked and the grease drained off in my experience. But I’m curious what this means:

    “The owners believe cooking the beef before putting on a pizza would cause the beef to dry out during our 25-30 minute cook time.”

    Is the pizza taking 25-30 min to cook, or the beef? And why would precooked sausage be ok but not beef?
  • #8 by patar49 on 02 May 2021

  • “The owners believe cooking the beef before putting on a pizza would cause the beef to dry out during our 25-30 minute cook time.”

    Is the pizza taking 25-30 min to cook, or the beef? And why would precooked sausage be ok but not beef?

    @wb54885 The pizza itself takes 25-30 minutes to cook. We have a Rotoflex oven set at 450.

    A 12" 1 topping pizza when the oven is empty will definitely cook much faster. Maybe 15-18 minutes. When we're busy with the oven full & door opening, a specialty pizza with 8 toppings will take 25-30 minutes to get that nice crisp.

    That is a great question regarding the sausage. The business has been around for over 60 years. So a big answer is "this is how we've always done things." The thought is, the pre-cooked beef would dry out over 30 minutes. Another note, our guests that have been dining with us for that long know how the pizza comes & may have expectations based on past experiences.

    Trials and experiments are for sure the best option. Might as well just pre-cook some beef & make a pizza to see if they can notice anything different. Thank youwb54885

  • #9 by Jenf_us on 03 May 2021
  • Only thought I have is I will not precook my sausage and everyone knows that after touching sausage you wash your hands or take your gloves off.  My other policy I have in place is the items in the pizza line cannot be used for anything else.  Such as we have a philly wrap that takes green peppers and onions and they need to come from the containers prepped for pizza station not the pizza station.