The Best Cheese to Use on Homemade Pizza

“I don’t like big stupid puddles on my pizza,” shouted test kitchen manager Brad Leone, bringing up an excellent point. Soggy pizza is the worst, especially when you’re taking the time to make it at home. While most people will point to the sauce as the area of blame here, the real culprit is probably the cheese. Yeah, that fresh mozzarella you sprung for might not be the best for your dough.

Think about fresh mozzarella. It almost always comes packaged in water to preserve the softness of the cheese. That’s a lot of extra liquid, and that liquid makes its way onto your pizza, spreading across the pie when the mozzarella starts to melt. More water means more puddles, which we all know are bad for a pizza’s general health and well-being.

Leone, who is known to make cast-iron personal pizzas like it’s his day job (okay it sort of is), opts for something a little further down the mozzarella totem poll.

“Low-moisture mozzarella is what you want. It sours for a little longer and is dried to remove moisture. Whole Foods 365 brand is great, and so is Galbani,” he told us. Yeah, the plastic-wrapped stuff that feels dense enough to seriously injure someone if accidentally thrown. It’s not fancy, but if you want a puddle-free pizza, with a perfect cheese pull, it doesn’t get any better. Save that super soft fresh mozzarella for salads, sandwiches, and grains.

If you really want to use the fresh stuff on your pizza, we’re not going to stop you, but let us offer a couple of pieces of cheesing advice. Using a combination of fresh and aged decreases the risk of extra water. Spots like Philadelphia’s Pizzeria Beddia have mastered this style to great acclaim. If your aversion to aged mozzarella still won’t allow a combination, you can just use fresh. But please, slice the cheese very thin. This will give you the coverage without the puddles. Removing moisture with a paper towel is also an option, but all that work won’t sop it all up.

You deserve the best, and low-moisture mozzarella is going to give it to you. Don’t settle for anything less than a perfect slice. More perfect slices mean a more beautiful world. It’s that simple.