Pizza Today - December 2016 - 20

with TONY GEMIGNANI

respecting the craft

Raw or Pre-Cooked Sausage?

I

t seems to me that most operators
are scared of putting raw sausage
on a pizza. I hear it all the time.
Sometimes they blame it on the health
department. Or they say that if raw
sausage is not handled properly it can be
a big problem. Of course that could be
true. But as long as raw sausage is kept
at 40 F, it is not expired, your employees
wash their hands before and after use
and it is applied correctly, then it should
be perfectly safe.
Another excuse is that pinching raw
sausage may slow down your line because
of the extra time it takes to pinch each
piece. That's correct as well - but that
little extra time it takes can't compare
to the overall flavor you achieve from
raw sausage that is cooked on a pizza. It
cannot be surpassed by any pre-cooked
product on the market. Back in the
day when pre-cooked sausage (or what
I called rat pellets or droppings) was
introduced, I was never a fan. This was
decades ago and it looked and tasted
terrible. Since then manufacturers have
made several changes including size,

flavor and appearance. The pre-cooked or
boiled type sausage today has made significant improvements in quality. I would
have to admit that you may have seen me
recently testing these pre-cooked sausage
samples at Pizza Expo.
Still, I prefer pinched raw sausage for
any style of pizza. A lot of people say
that raw sausage won't have enough time
to cook thoroughly when you're cooking
at 900 F in a wood-burning oven. That's
not true. Understanding that when you
cook raw sausage at certain degrees
the mass of the sausage is important.
Typically, in higher degree ovens the
raw sausage should be pinched flat in
dime size pieces. This will allow your raw
sausage to cook better, faster and more
thoroughly. You should also apply any
raw ingredient on the top of your pizza
and make it the last ingredient before
going into your oven.
Some pizzerias have pineapple
juice on the side so employees can
dip their fingers into it. This releases

the sausage from their fingers faster,

helps with browning and sweetens the
sausage because of the sugar content.
Remember that this pineapple juice
has to be changed within three hours
of use and employees should wash
their hands before and after. Old timers would use olive juice, too. Olive
juice is typically discarded in pizzerias
- but not for pizza makers that use
raw sausage. That's how I was taught
by a 50-year-old veteran over 25 years
ago.
Remember that the longer the
bake the larger the sausage can be. In
Chicago-style deep-dish pizza that is
typically cooked between 450 to 525
F, sausage can range from quarter size
pieces to half-dollar size. Sometimes
you will even see a large patty size
sausage that can fill the entire inner
circumference of the pan within the
dough. These pizzas are cooked for
25-45 minutes, so there is enough time
for the sausage to be cooked through.
Years ago a friend named Leo Spizziri was using the same tomato sauce
that goes on the pizza to apply his
raw sausage onto his Chicago deep
dish. He was super-fast and would
add the tomato sauce to his fingers
and then apply. It was a cool trick to
see. That was when he was working
for Giordano's in Chicago. The fastest
fresh sausage applicators that I have
ever seen were working at JB Alberto's
in Chicago. These guys were so fast
I couldn't believe my eyes. They have
been around for 50 years and still
today they use raw sausage on all of the
pizzas. They are one of the highestgrossing independent pizzerias in the
nation, by the way.
Next month I'll give you a look at
how and why I actually use several different sausage types in my shops. Q

RESPECTING THE CRAFT features World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco and Pizza Rock in Sacramento. Tony compiles the column with the help of his trusty assistants, Laura Meyer and Thiago Vasconcelos. If you have questions on any kitchen topic ranging from prep to finish, Tony's your guy. Send questions
via Twitter @PizzaToday, Facebook (search: Pizza Today) or e-mail jwhite@pizzatoday.com and we'll pass the best ones on to Tony.

2 0 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6

By JOSH KEOWN


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - December 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - December 2016

Pizza Today - December 2016
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Dough Doctor
Custom Boxes
When in Rome...
Performance Metrics
Road to Expo
2017 Menu Guide
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - December 2016 - CT1
Pizza Today - December 2016 - CT2
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Pizza Today - December 2016
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Cover2
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Commentary
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 4
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 5
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Contents
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 7
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 8
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 9
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Contributors
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 11
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 13
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Interact
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 15
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Conversation
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 17
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 19
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 21
Pizza Today - December 2016 - On Tap
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 23
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Destinations
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 25
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Dough Doctor
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 27
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 28
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 29
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Custom Boxes
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 31
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 32
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 33
Pizza Today - December 2016 - When in Rome...
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 35
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 36
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 37
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Performance Metrics
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 39
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 40
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 41
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Road to Expo
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 43
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 2017 Menu Guide
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 45
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 46
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 47
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 48
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 49
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Pizza Today - December 2016 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 70
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 71
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 73
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Pizza Today - December 2016 - 75
Pizza Today - December 2016 - 76
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Pizza Today - December 2016 - 79
Pizza Today - December 2016 - The Marketplace
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Pizza Today - December 2016 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Cover3
Pizza Today - December 2016 - Cover4
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