September 25, 2012 |

Cooking Pizza Sauce

By Tom Lehmann

Question: Should I cook or not cook my pizza sauce?

Answer: Okay, this doesn’t address dough, but it is a common question nevertheless. I can’t tell you not to cook your sauce, but I can give you some reasons why I personally wouldn’t want to cook my sauce.

1) Cooking the sauce does release flavors, but those flavors are released before the pizza is even made, and those flavors are lost to the air (sure makes the kitchen smell good though).

2) Once you heat the sauce to cook it, you’ve got to cool it back down to 40 F or lower for storage. Your local health department will apply the four-hour rule, so clock will begin ticking once the temperature of the cooked sauce drops below 160 F and it won’t stop until it reaches 40 F. This can be problematic with large batches of sauce, and it also puts an additional strain on the cooling capacity of your cooler.

3) Anytime you cook a sauce, you run the possibility of scorching it and ruining the flavor of the whole batch. Once this happens you don’t have many options except to toss it out and make another batch.