Undercooked Pizza – Oh No, What Should You Do?

Published Categorized as Journal

You sit down to take the first bite of your favorite pizza decked out in delicious toppings only to realize that your dough isn’t quite finished. You may be left scratching your head. But rest assured, there are many reasons for undercooked pizza, most of which are preventable and, thankfully, also solvable.

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Join us as we discover ways to rescue undercooked pizza dough and how to prevent it from happening again.

pizza preparation

What Happens If I Eat Undercooked Pizza?

Eating undercooked pizza can lead to a host of unsavory consequences if you aren’t careful. Pizza dough can harbor bacteria that you may not be aware of, especially the flour within the dough.

Unfortunately, it isn’t only the raw dough that you’ll need to watch for when eating undercooked pizza, but also the undercooked toppings. Consuming undercooked toppings, especially meats like uncooked sausage and raw bacon, can prove disastrous for your health and can lead to sundry health conditions including:

white dough on brown wooden table

I Accidentally Ate Undercooked Pizza

Can You Get Sick From Eating Undercooked Pizza Dough?

Eating undercooked pizza dough may seem innocent at first blush. But actually, you should be very leery of consuming any dough that isn’t cooked.

Similar to eggs and other meats that are uncooked, raw flour may contain harmful bacteria that require baking or cooking to kill.

Though it may seem as though eating raw flour wouldn’t be quite as dangerous as consuming uncooked meat, the fact is that the risks are there. Therefore, raw flour should never be consumed without first having cooked it.

Undercooked Pizza Dough Stomachache

Undercooked pizza can give you a stomach ache, along with several other unwanted symptoms.

If you experience stomachache, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea after consuming undercooked pizza, in an attempt to settle your stomach you’ll want to:

  • avoid continuing to eat the pizza
  • drink plenty of water,
  • eat only dry foods like toast and crackers, along with a carbonated drink if possible

If you are unable to settle your stomach using these means or if you experience these symptoms continually for more than a couple of days, you’ll want to see your doctor right away. 

Remember, undercooked pizza may seem innocent enough, so consuming raw meat toppings along with raw dough can put you at serious risk for foodborne illnesses. Because of this, it is important that you cook your pizza thoroughly in order to kill bacteria that may make you, or anyone else who consumes the pizza, very sick.

sick man

How Long Does It Take For Pizza to Bake?

To properly bake a pizza in order to avoid undercooked dough and toppings will require adherence to a specific time and oven temperature to get a properly cooked crust. 

Certain doughs will require certain baking times, so you’ll want to pay attention to the recipe or the directions given on the package. If you are unsure, you’re best off heating your oven to anywhere between 475 degrees and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on your oven. 

From there, bake the pizza for about 12 minutes while checking the pizza to ensure it is done. Pizzas cooked at a lower temperature, such as 425 degrees Fahrenheit, should be positioned closer to the bottom rack of the oven to ensure proper cooking of the bottom of the dough and to avoid burning the top. At 425 degrees Fahrenheit, the pizza should be cooked for about 15-25 minutes, or until the crust becomes firm and a deep golden brown. 

How Do You Tell If My Pizza Is Undercooked?

A pizza that is undercooked may take on several characteristics. 

  1. First, the dough will likely be light in color. This is one of the first and most prominent signs that your pizza dough isn’t cooked. Cooked pizza dough will take on a golden brown color. Uncooked pizza will often look pale and pasty.
  2. Aside from the color of the external layer of dough, comes the dough underneath the pizza. It’s this part of the pizza that is most susceptible to being undercooked. Therefore, it is imperative that prior to serving your pizza you lift the crust and ensure the bottom is golden brown and firm. If the bottom is soft, squishy, and pale, it is an indicator that the pizza isn’t quite yet done.
  3. Third sign that your pizza is undercooked is texture and taste. Hopefully, you will have discovered that your pizza isn’t fit for consumption long before it enters your mouth. If not, you’ll notice a very soft, chewy, or gummy texture on your uncooked pizza that will taste like eating squishy raw dough, rather than the cooked dough that you’re used to.
  4. Lastly, you can observe the top of your pizza and how the toppings appear. Are the cheese and meat and other toppings raw? Though this isn’t the best way to judge your pizza especially when it comes to determining the doneness of the dough. Still, if the toppings look hot and well-cooked, chances are that the dough is done as well. Still, you’ll want to check the dough using the methods just mentioned to ensure that this is true since looks can be deceiving.

How Do You Reheat an Undercooked Pizza?

How Do You Bake an Undercooked Pizza?

If you bite into a pizza and realize it’s undercooked, you’ll want to take steps to remediate the problem before deciding to throw it out. In most cases, undercooked pizza can be easily solved, but to do so requires making a few adjustments.

To reheat an undercooked pizza:

  1. Adjust temperature

    Adjust your oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pizza on the lowest rack.

  2. Cook

    Cook the pizza at 3-minute intervals in this position and this temperature.

  3. Check

    Frequently check the crust from the bottom to ensure that it is properly cooked before eating. This will allow the bottom of the dough to get done without burning up the toppings and thereby ruining your pizza entirely.

undercooked pizza

Why Is My Pizza Soggy in the Middle?

Why Is My Pizza Floppy?

Pizza that is soggy in the middle is an indicator that the dough isn’t done. Or it is weighed down by too many toppings (or sauce) that it can’t handle.

The most common culprit for soggy, undercooked pizza tends to be a combination of the temperature of the oven, the amount of time the pizza was baked, what kind of toppings were used, and how much sauce was on the pizza. 

We’ve already mentioned how to reheat pizza that isn’t quite cooked. Now the sauce and toppings aspect deserve a little attention as well.

When making a pizza, it is important that you layer toppings and sauces correctly. Properly prepare the dough to avoid a soggy pizza. 

Consider the following steps to ensure your pizza isn’t floppy or soggy in the middle: 

  1. Oil the Dough: Adding a layer of oil over your prepared and already stretched dough before adding the toppings creates a barrier. This makes it difficult for a sauce to penetrate the crust and render it soggy.
  2. Cook (Certain) Toppings First: Certain toppings that tend to be wet will be better off cooked first. Otherwise, they’ll sweat the water they retain onto your pizza whilst cooking and render the pizza soggy. Toppings that are good candidates for cooking ahead of time are any veggies that are frozen and veggies that naturally contain water such as fresh tomatoes and mushrooms.
  3. Watch the Sauce: For some, the sauce is, arguably, the best part of the pizza. As such, you may get a little carried away with how much sauce you add. You’ll want to avoid adding too much sauce to pizza dough. Doing so will make the dough soggy, harder to cook, and the final product will be unappetizing. If you love pizza sauce as much as we do, consider putting only a thin to medium layer of sauce on your pizza to start. Reserve the rest on the side as the pizza cooks. When it is time to finally serve up your pizza, serve it with sauce on the side for dipping. That way, you don’t have to risk eating an undercooked pizza that is soggy. Instead, you can enjoy the perks of having fresh sauce to dip your thoroughly cooked pizza in!
  4. Consider a Pizza Peel: While it isn’t completely necessary, some people love pizza peels as they cause the crust to become crispier and more evenly cooked for pizzeria-style pizza right in the comfort of your own home. Just be sure to preheat the pizza peel in the oven along with the oven when you use it for best results.
undercooked pizza in an oven

What Does Undercooked Pizza Look Like?

What does undercooked pizza dough look like?

Remember, undercooked pizza dough will take on a pasty and off-white color, similar to that of raw dough. When you touch it, it may be soft to the touch. In really bad cases, may still be gooey like raw dough.

When you bite into an uncooked dough, it may yield a raw taste and be squishy. If you push your finger into it and it retains the shape of your finger, the dough likely isn’t done.

Remember also to check the bottom of your pizza for doneness by carefully lifting the edges and poking underneath. If the bottom seems soft to the touch, the pizza isn’t quite ready. You will need to cook it for a few more minutes.

For step-by-step directions on how to fix undercooked pizza dough, continue reading the section below!

undercooked pizza

How to Fix Undercooked Pizza Dough

Fixing undercooked pizza is a relatively simple process. To fix undercooked dough, perform the following steps:

  1. Lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees and wait for your oven to reach the desired temperature. 
  2. Carefully (and with oven mitts), place your oven rack down to the lowest position possible. 
  3. When the oven is ready, place your pizza on the bottom-most rack. Allow the pizza to cook at 3-minute intervals. If the pizza is very underdone, you may wish to bake it at 5 minutes intervals in this position. 
  4. Continue cooking the pizza until the bottom of the crust is firm and golden brown.

Notes: It is very important that you both lower the temperature of your oven as well as lower the oven rack positioning when trying to fix an undercooked pizza. Pizza toppings cook much faster than the dough itself.

The hottest part of your oven is usually the top. As such, by placing your pizza on a higher rack to be reheated, you are risking burning your toppings while attempting to get your pizza dough fully cooked.

Talk about disaster!

However, by lowering the rack, you also lower the risks of burnt toppings whilst directing the heat towards the bottom of your crust. This helps get the crust crispy and golden brown—just the way pizza should be! 

How to Fix Slightly Undercooked Pizza Dough

If your pizza dough is only slightly undercooked, it will be fairly easy to fix. Follow the steps already laid out in the section above to firm up pizza dough that is only slightly undercooked.

Within 3-5 minutes, your pizza dough should have firmed up and should be ready for consumption!

undercooked pizza

FAQs

What Happens If I Eat Undercooked Pizza?

Eating undercooked pizza can lead to a host of unsavory consequences if you aren’t careful. The raw dough and raw toppings can cause you food poisoning, among other things.

How Do You Tell If My Pizza Is Undercooked?

Observe the color of the crust (it should be golden brown if cooked), the texture and taste (cooked pizza should not be soggy), and the appearance of the overall pizza (are the toppings cooked?).

Got Undercooked Pizza? We’ve Got the Cure!

Undercooked pizza is never any fun, but we’ve got the cure to make your pizza edible and worth the effort. Remember that if your pizza dough comes with cooking instructions, follow them carefully. Otherwise, crank your oven up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait patiently for your oven to properly preheat. Then place your pizza in for about 12 minutes before checking for doneness. 

When assembling your pizza, don’t forget to go easy on the sauce. Cook any water out of frozen toppings or toppings that naturally contain water, like mushrooms and tomatoes.

Here’s to a delicious, gooey, and well-done pizza! Cheers! 

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By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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