It’s really annoying when you were looking forward to your pizza and end up wondering, why is my mozzarella cheese not melting?
Surely, that’s the point of mozzarella, it should melt into that gooey stringiness we all love!
Are you using the wrong type of mozzarella?
Maybe the oven isn’t hot enough?
Is there a specific melting point?
Is it too wet or too dry?
Does low-fat mozzarella actually melt?
I guess we had better find out!
The quality and moisture content of mozzarella affects its melting ability. Higher-quality mozzarella with more water content melts less. Choose pizza mozzarella with lower moisture content for better melting. Mozzarella packed in brine or whey has more moisture and melts less. Higher fat content, like whole milk mozzarella, melts better than skimmed milk mozzarella.
Why Doesn’t Mozzarella Cheese Always Melt?
So, there you are, waiting patiently for your pizza, and the mozzarella is just not melting!
You can’t wait any longer; the crust will burn; what’s the problem with the mozzarella?
There are two main reasons why your mozzarella cheese is not melting.
The first relates to the moisture content of the cheese.
For mozzarella to melt effectively, it needs to have a lower moisture content.
And this typically means buying what is known as pizza cheese.
It is specifically created to melt at high temperatures.
The better quality mozzarella is best reserved for salads, as the moisture content could be as much as 50% or higher.
If placed on pizza, all it is going to do is leak liquid everywhere and make everything soggy and unappetizing.
One of the best options to ensure that your mozzarella cheese melts is to use the pre-shredded variety.
It’s certainly convenient, but there are some downsides to it.
To ensure the mozzarella shreds don’t stick together, starch is added to them, and perhaps other anti-caking agents.
This is undoubtedly going to affect the taste, and it also gives the cheese a dry texture.
And, of course, the whole point of mozzarella is that it’s soft and gooey!
Also, the addition of starch means that the cheese is prone to burning rather than just blistering.
So, instead of getting those nice, brown “just-grilled” patches, it could blacken.
What Difference Does the Fat Level of the Mozzarella Make?
Perhaps you didn’t realize that mozzarella could have different levels of fat.
The fat content also affects how the mozzarella will melt.
It’s all down to what kind of milk is used in the cheese-making process.
Basically, you need to consider whether it’s made with skimmed, part-skimmed, or whole milk and to what percentage.
And if it has come from a buffalo or a cow.
Low-fat mozzarella (around 17% fat) will melt to give that lovely stringiness we all enjoy and will have a creamy flavor.
It is also easier to shred if this is what you prefer to do.
High-fat cheese (above 20% fat) won’t be as stretchy but will melt very easily and produce light brown blisters.
One advantage is that it reheats well and retains moisture without drying out.
However, bear in mind that this is saturated fat and not necessarily a healthy choice.
Having said that, mozzarella is still a better choice than hard cheeses such as Cheddar.
Nothing to stop you from mixing the two types of mozzarella together and finding your own unique texture and taste!
How You’ve Been Melting Cheese Wrong
The main reason that your mozzarella is not melting is probably due to the moisture content of the cheese.
If it’s too high, it will just leak liquid into the pizza and not actually melt.
You also need to consider the fat content of the mozzarella.
Higher fat levels will help the melting process.
Remember the golden rule – low moisture and high fat, and you won’t go far wrong!
One thing you may have noticed is that mozzarella has no taste, and my article explains why.