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Apr 23, 2016

Tips to avoid watery homemade veggie pizza

During my last 26 years of making pizzas at home, I've had my fair share of experiences with adding vegetables to pizza.  Early on, it resulted in the vegetables leaving puddles of water across my pizzas.  I became so frustrated, that I didn't even bother adding vegetables to my pies for years.

As I eventually became bored with crafting only meat pizzas, I started slowly experimenting with veggies again.  If you've experienced the same problem with watery pies, here are a few tips that took me years to figure out on my own..

Brined and preserved veggies
Vegetables preserved in liquid retain tons of moisture.  I always use fresh veggies with the exception of black olives, as well as some peppers like peperoncini and banana peppers.  I take these brined veggies and press them by hand in between two paper towels.  Veggies are also the last toppings I add to the pizza, as they get the longest exposure to the heat.

Adding salt to fresh veggies after prep and well before your cook, can really help to remove lots of water from your veggies.

Salted vegetables that are sautéed in a good olive oil can make for some incredible pizza.  Sautéed onions get a nice caramelization that can really kick up the tastiness of a pie.  Other veggies sauteed alongside the onions will reap the same tasty benefits.

Bring the heat
I've found that not using enough heat, will cause moisture from the veggies (as well as fresh mozzarella) to puddle on the pie, rather than evaporating as it's expelled.  In my oven, I've found the perfect temperature to cook my pizza is between 425 and 450 degrees, depending on how thick the crust is.

So there you go.  A few techniques I learned over the last couple of decades of pizza making.  I wouldn't be surprised if I pick up a few more, and if/when I do, I'll make sure to post them here.


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