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Apr 29, 2007 08:00 PM

How do I avoid soggy mushroom pizza syndrome?

I make a mean pizza, but cringe every time go to add mushrooms as the results are less than perfect. The mushrooms give off so much water that I end up having to sop up all of it with a paper towel before serving, and this also screws with the browning on the cheese. Any ideas? I would rather not saute before as i like the flavor of fresh mushrooms.

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  1. How long do you cook the pizza for? Can you wait to the last few minutes of cooking before throwing the mushrooms on?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Non Cognomina

      about 15 minutes at 500 degrees. that's actually a good idea!

      1. re: Non Cognomina

        I second this. Throw your mushrooms on for the last five minutes of cooking.

        1. re: Kitchen Queen

          I have one and use it sometimes. How would that change anything?

          1. re: shiromaguro

            Cooks the bottom and keeps it crispy. If that doesn't work, slice shrooms and salt a little, put onto a paper towel and let them sweat a bit. The salt will pull out the water.

        2. I always sautee my mushrooms in olive oil and garlic first... It's an added step but I like the results of the mushrooms being really garlicky. Don't know if that helps...

          1. Two solutions. One is to cut the mushrooms *much* thinner. This allows for less moisture release and also allows the mushroom edges to crisp up a bit too. The other solution is to boil the fresh, sliced (1/8" to 1/4") mushrooms. You then allow them to cool in a colander, and squeeze the water out of them before putting them on your pizza. You'd be amazed how much water comes out of them by squeezing them in your hands or wringing them in a cloth towel.
            The trade-off is taste when using boiled versus fresh. IMO, both methods are good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Cheese Boy

              Ditto on Cheese Boy's Very Thin.raw. The first time I tried it, I worried about sacrificing a toothsome fullness, but the unique feel of the crisped edges, and a (dare we call it) carmelization of the sliced shroom was great

              1. re: FoodFuser

                Third this. Thin raw is the way to go...

            2. I'd go with fewer mushrooms, personally.

              6 Replies
              1. re: ccbweb

                Thanks to all for your tips. I went ahead and tried a combo of two different suggestions: very thin slicing and adding at the very end. It helped a bit, but there was still a bit of the unwanted moisture. I think very thin slices plus ccbweb's rec of fewer mushrooms might be the way to go. I think the mistake with this last experiment was my greediness: I want a lot of mushrooms on my pizza. For that reason i'll probably also try the boiling method.

                I'm guessing restaurant pizza doesn't have this problem due to the extremely hot ovens?

                1. re: shiromaguro

                  Actually, I bet the hotter the oven, the more watery the mushrooms because it takes less time to cook the pizza. Come to think of it, you might try lower heat and longer cooking time. Counter-intuitive where pizza is concerned, but maybe worth a try.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    Interesting. And worth a try, as I make pizza once a week, so plenty of opportunities to experiment. Thanks for the tip!

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      I was going to say just the opposite. The OP said they cooked the pizza about 15 min. Mine is done in about 5 (pizza stone at 500) in a convection oven and I never have trouble w/ the mushrooms releasing water. I don't think they have TIME to start releasing water. I wonder if convection is the key to cooking fast and hot at home?

                    2. re: shiromaguro

                      I worked in a family run pizza joint all through college and we had problems with liquid from mushroom and also, sometimes, peppers. The guy who made the pizzas did this amazing thing where he'd pull the pie out on the pizza peel and tip it to pour off the liquid, then pop it back into the oven for a minute....came out perfectly, but I think that took a whole lot of practice!

                      1. re: shiromaguro

                        How about slicing very thin and throwing on the mushrooms on when you take the pizza out of the oven? I'll bet the residual heat would be enough to barely "cook" the fresh mushrooms.