Why Is My DiGiorno Pizza Soft in the Middle?

Making a frozen pizza should be the easiest thing in the world, but it doesn’t always turn out exactly how you expect. Have you ever asked yourself: why is my DiGiorno pizza soft in the middle?

More often than not, a soft DiGiorno pizza is the result of incorrect oven temperature or cooking time, though there are other reasons why this might occur. It can be to do with the way it was thawed, extra toppings, or the cooking surface you use.

Read ahead in this article to find out how to avoid a soggy DiGiorno pizza!

Why Do Pizzas Come Out Soft in the Middle?

No matter what kind of pizza you are cooking, you might bring it out of the oven just to find it is still soft in the middle – or even a bit soggy! It’s a common problem for many home cooks, particularly when you haven’t had much practice with baking pizzas before.

You want your pizza to have a crispy base, and this means that it needs to get nice and hot, and it can’t be too wet when you start. Ultimately, a soft pizza generally means one of two things:

  • The pizza did not get hot enough.
  • There was too much liquid involved.

These are the fundamental problems that you’re dealing with when you end up with a soft pizza. The tricky part is understanding how to overcome these issues. When it comes to a lack of heat, you may need to adjust the overall temperature of your oven, the amount of time that the pizza was cooked for, or the surface you cook it on.

Liquid content is often a more complicated error. You might have used an overly sticky dough, you might have a watery tomato sauce, or your toppings may contain too much liquid.

Why Is My Frozen Pizza Soft in the Middle?

When you’re dealing with a pre-prepared pizza, it might feel like you shouldn’t have to deal with these issues. After all, the dough and ingredients have been chosen for you, and the temperature and cooking times are written on the box. So, why is my DiGiorno pizza soft in the middle?

Well, cooking a frozen pizza is pretty simple, but it’s not completely problem-free. You can still end up with too much water on your pizza, and might not be getting it hot enough.

In fact, frozen pizzas contain a lot of extra water from the freezing process, and they don’t heat up as quickly as fresh dough, so they are almost more likely to become soggy.

If your DiGiorno pizza is coming out soft in the middle, there are quite a few things that you may need to adjust.

Why Is My DiGiorno Pizza Soft in the Middle?

Your Oven Is Not Hot Enough

The first, and probably most important, thing to consider is the temperature of your oven. If your pizza is still soft when you take it out, it probably didn’t get hot enough, so increasing the oven temperature will often help.

Although the instructions on a DiGiorno pizza are very straightforward, they don’t always work for everybody. Every oven is a little unique, and you might find that “400°F” on yours is not the same as it is for other people. Ovens that don’t have a fan, for example, will need to be cranked up a little higher to hit the same temperature.

Additionally, a lot of people find that a hotter temperature, closer to 500°F, tends to result in a nicer bake. You can try making small adjustments to see what works for your needs and your kitchen.

You Didn’t Preheat the Oven

Another classic mistake is a practical one. Almost every recipe tells you to “preheat” the oven, but we often forget or ignore this little instruction. The problem with adding your pizza to a colder oven is that it then won’t cook as quickly, and it will need longer to finish. If you don’t preheat your oven, you will need to leave the pizza in for longer.

You Are Not Cooking Your Pizza for Long Enough

The preheating issue brings us on to our next potential problem – are you cooking your pizza for long enough? Could you try just leaving it in the oven for longer? It’s possibly the easiest adjustment that you can make to your cooking process, and it works more often than you think.

Even the instructions on the box let you know that cooking times are never exact. Every oven is different, temperatures fluctuate, and each pizza is unique. You can’t trust a single cooking time to work for every DiGiorno pizza, and you might prefer a crisper crust that needs more time than the standard instructions tell you.

You Are Not Cooking on The Right Surface

An important part of the process that is often overlooked is the cooking surface that you are using. Of course, you have to make sure that any and all packaging is removed from your DiGiorno pizza before you start, but where are you putting it then?

For a crispy base on a frozen pizza, you are much better off using the rack in your oven rather than a tray. Oven racks allow the heat to reach the bottom of the pizza and allow any moisture to escape while it is cooking. With a frozen pizza, this is essential as it will have water trapped inside from the freezing process.

On a flat tray, any liquid will collect under a frozen pizza while it is cooking and make it soggy. Also, you can’t effectively preheat a tray to properly cook the underside of a frozen pizza because the pizza itself will cool the surface back down again straight away!

Your Pizza Needs to Thaw

Now, if you really want to up your DiGiorno pizza game and get a great crisp on the base and the crust, you might need to be a little more prepared. Taking your pizza out of the freezer and letting it thaw can make quite a difference.

This will allow a lot of the moisture that has been trapped when it was frozen to escape BEFORE you put it in the oven, allowing you to cook your pizza almost as if it was a fresh dough.

If you thaw your pizza, then you also have the option of using a preheated tray or a pizza stone. Like we said before, a frozen pizza would cool these surfaces down, but a thawed pizza will start cooking as soon as it is placed on a heated surface, allowing it to crisp up straight away.

You Have Added Extra Toppings

Part of the magic of cooking a frozen pizza is that it’s really easy to get a bit creative and customize your pizza to your own tastes. This can, however, backfire quite easily. DiGiorno pizzas are made with a specific mixture of toppings, and the cooking instructions are written with these in mind.

Almost any additional ingredient that you can think of will add some cooking time to the process. Most ingredients contain water that will need to be baked off, they can trap liquids underneath them which will make the dough soft, and they add to the overall thickness of the pizza.

Fresh mozzarella or fresh vegetables are some of the worst culprits. They might seem fine when you place them on, but as soon as you start cooking a whole lot of water pour out onto your pizza.

If you want to add any ingredients to your DiGiorno pizza, make sure to factor that in when you’re cooking. You may need to increase the temperature or leave the pizza in the oven for a little bit longer.

How To Cook Your DiGiorno Pizza for a Crispy Base

If you want the ultimate crispy and crunchy crust on your DiGiorno pizza, you might want to do something a little different from what it says on the box. Why not try out this alternative method?

  1. Remove your pizza from the freezer and allow it to thaw for around 30 minutes
  2. Preheat your oven to 500°F
  3. Preheat a baking tray
  4. Place parchment paper onto the preheated baking tray, and then add the pizza
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes
  6. Turn off the oven and allow your pizza to rest for a few minutes

Make sure to check your pizza before you turn off the heat. It should be nice and crispy, without any liquid resting on the top. You might even want to take a quick look at the underside as well!

Summary: Why Is My DiGiorno Pizza Soft in the Middle?

So, why is my DiGiorno pizza soft in the middle? It’s probably because your oven is not hot enough, or you’re not allowing enough cooking time. There are, however, a lot of other factors that could be involved.

You may want to think about changing the baking surface that you are cooking on, as well as the temperature and cooking time, and extra toppings will make a big difference. If you want to get a super crispy base, you can try thawing your pizza before cooking, and baking it on a heated tray at a higher temperature.

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Sam Brett

Sam Brett is the founder and editor of Pizzachefhq, a pizza enthusiast who writes about what he's learned on the way of being a pizza creator and sharing his advice, tips, and research.

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