Best Stretchy Cheese for a Pizza – (Top 7 Stringy and Gooey Cheeses You Need to Try)

By: the PROs

Best Stretchy Cheese for a Pizza – (Top 7 Stringy and Gooey Cheeses You Need to Try)

Stretching all the way from the tray to our mouths, cheese is known to be one of the top favorite pizza toppings of all time. 

But what is the best stretchy cheese for a pizza?

Although the oldest Neopolitan-style pizza is made without cheese, this ingredient is an essential topping for our favorite snack. 

What is a pizza without the best stretchy cheese, right? 

Keep reading to find out more about the best stretchy cheese for pizza.

Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

Best Stretchy Cheese For a Pizza

Mozzarella is the best stretchy cheese for pizza.

This is because mozzarella has a high moisture content, which allows it to melt and stretch easily when heated.

Additionally, it has a mild flavor that complements the other ingredients on a pizza, such as tomato sauce and toppings.

Best Stretchy Cheese for a Pizza

Imagine thinking about melted magic as the pizza gets pulled out of the slice while reading this article…

Yum, right? 

But ever wondered what kind of cheese was used to achieve the cheese pull magic? 

Cheese pizza
Cheese Pull

Of course, not all cheeses are ideal for a homemade pizza topping. 

Below, we have listed the best stretchiest pizza cheeses.  

1- Mozzarella

Mozzarella cheese is the best stretchy cheese for a pizza; it’s a consistent winner of all gooey melters.

Mozzarella cheese is soft, white cheese traditionally made in Southern Italy from cow or buffalo’s milk using the pasta filata method.

The manufacturing process and the kneading and stretching way elongating the protein chain causes the stringiness in Mozzarella. Making Mozzarella cheese the best stretchy cheese for pizza.

Fresh Mozzarella or any of its variants like Mozzarella di Bufala must be consumed within a few days to achieve the perfect melting effect. Perfect for a classic Margherita pizza!

Fresh mozzarella is the cheese used in Italy by pizza makers. Though all mozzarella stretches the same, the Buffalo milk mozzarella tastes better.

However, if you want a mozzarella variant with a strong flavor that is much easier to melt, you must choose a low-moisture mozzarella cheese. 

Whole milk mozzarella stretches and melts better than part skim mozzarella–but that varies per brand.

You can create the ultimate pizza classic paired with tomato sauce, pepperoni, basil, sausage, or provolone cheese.

Getting a high quality mozzarella is the key! Pre-shredded mozzarella generally has additives like potato starch to give it a longer shelf life and to prevent pieces from clumping together. Unfortunately, the starch prevents it from melting into a smooth cheesy layer.

The bigger the shred or dice, the less likely the cheese will burn, and it will increase its melting qualities.

Low-moisture mozzarella cheese
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Low Moisture Mozzarella Cheese

  • Flavor: tangy flavor, almost like salted butter.
  • Browning Capability: light to medium brown
  • Melting Ability: melts faster and evenly, excellent elastic texture
  • Stretchiness: shows visible strands
  • Fat Content: 30-50% fat in dry, 7 grams per 1-ounce slice.
  • Moisture Content: 45-52%

Fresh Mozzarella
High Moisture Mozzarella Cheese

High Moisture Mozzarella Cheese (Fresh Mozzarella)

  • Flavor: pillowy, soft, creamy, and mild delicate flavor
  • Browning Capability: pale to light browning
  • Melting Ability: low melting point retains shape as it melts
  • Stretchiness: tends to puddle
  • Fat content: 4.8 grams per 1-ounce slice
  • Moisture Content: 52-60%

2- Gouda

Aged gouda is a semi-hard Dutch cheese made from yellow cow’s milk. Younger gouda is another stretchy cheese for pizza that is moister and melts more quickly, while the older type has a tangier flavor. 

Gouda Cheese

Gouda cheese is known for its smooth texture and unique taste; it is among the best stretchy cheeses for pizza toppings, especially grilled pork and chicken barbeque. 

The smokiness of this cheese is paired best with barbecued meats.

  • Flavor: Smokey and buttery
  • Browning Capability: Medium to dark browning
  • Melting Ability: younger gouda melts easily
  • Stretchiness: pools rather than pulling into strands
  • Fat content: 8 grams per 1-ounce slice
  • Moisture Content: 35-55%

3- Monterey Jack

Monterey Jack can be your cheese alternative to Mozzarella. It’s a white Californian, semi-hard cheese made from pasteurized cow’s whole milk. 

monterrey cheese
Monterey Jack

It has an excellent melting property because of its mild, buttery flavor and high-fat moisture content.

  • Flavor: mild, buttery flavor
  • Browning Capability: medium browning
  • Melting Ability: melts well, same as cheddar texture
  • Stretchiness: stretch further before breaking
  • Fat content: high in fat, 8 g per 1-ounce slice
  • Moisture Content: 44%

4- Cheddar

Cheddar is another famous cheese variant categorized as a stretchy cheese for pizza, making it one of the best cheeses. It’s well-recognized worldwide because of its sharp taste and attractive yellow cheese pull. 

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar is an underrated cheese option for pizza lovers. Although it doesn’t melt dramatically, this stretchy and creamy cheese is an excellent addition to the pizza recipe because its lower elasticity won’t result in blisters, unlike mozzarella cheese.

However, it has a more pungent flavor. 

You can also blend yellow cheddar and white cheddar for a flavor combination.

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Cheddar can be most commonly found in specialty pizzas such as chicken bacon ranch and cheeseburger pizzas.

  • Flavor: mild to a sharp, earthy flavor
  • Browning Capability: Medium browning
  • Melting Ability: melts well; fats can separate in high heat
  • Stretchiness: minimal stranding
  • Fat content: 9 grams per 1-ounce slice
  • Moisture Content:34-45%

5- Provolone

Provolone is a favorite stretchy cheese to blend with Mozzarella. It’s a semi-hard type of cheese that increases flavor as its ages. If you want to achieve a sweeter taste and creamier texture, choose the aged kind in a shorter time. 

Provolone cheese

A dryer texture and sharper taste are achieved for a Provolone aged for long. Try it in pizza with fresh tomato, basil, or a solo cheese topping if not paired with Mozzarella.

  • Flavor: mild, milky flavor, sweet taste (young), sharp, piquant taste (aged)
  • Browning Capability: dark browning
  • Melting Ability: melts evenly
  • Stretchiness: stranding depends on the age
  • Fat content: 7 grams per 1-ounce slice
  • Moisture Content: 45%

6- Fontina

Fontina gracefully drips when melted from its semisoft to a hard texture. It originated in Italy and is made from raw unpasteurized cow’s whole milk with an end product of buttery and nutty flavor. 

fontina cheese

The stretching process of Fontina is the same as Mozzarella cheese. 

Hence, the same texture and consistency are achieved.

  • Flavor: mild, nutty, and savory flavor
  • Browning Capability: light browning
  • Melting Ability: melts easily
  • Stretchiness: evenly spaced strands of cheese
  • Fat content: 8.8 grams per 1-ounce slice
  • Moisture Content: 17%

7- Muenster

Muenster is an American semisoft cheese known for its excellent melting properties. However, it is not commonly used as a stretchy cheese for pizza.

muenster cheese

This stretchy cheese is light and almost white with a mild flavor and buttery taste made from cow’s milk.

Try a bite, and you’ll understand the flavor’s depth.

  • Flavor: mild, smooth flavor
  • Browning Capability: golden brown
  • Melting Ability: melts well but loses lots of flavor in the process
  • Stretchiness:
  • Fat content: 9 grams per 1-ounce slice
  • Moisture Content: 46%

Melted Cheese vs. Stretchable Cheese

Melted and stretchable are often mentioned in this article.

The difference between melt cheese and stretch cheese is that melt is when the cheese becomes altered from a solid to a liquid state, usually by heat. While stretch cheese refers to the cheese’s ability to extend or expand by physical force.

Although both almost have the same characteristics or undergo the same process as the other, both cheese methods have differences.

Melted cheese is just cheese that is heated up. Most cheeses that melt are curdled with acid. 

However, not all melted cheese results in a stretchable consistency. 

When it comes to our pie, we all want to get that stringy appearance as we pull pizza slices away from each other. 

The stretchability of cheese also depends on many factors, such as acidity, age, and the stretchy cheese type you will use.

The amount of melt and stretch your cheese can get depends on four different components:

  • Protein– the main protein found in cheese is known as casein protein. In cheese making, a group of casein forms together with fat and water. The oven’s heat allows groups to fuse and give a mouthwatering stretch when heat is applied during baking.
  • Water– moisture is an essential factor when it comes to melting. It serves as a buffer of cheese to make it melt even better.
  • Acid– a certain pH level needs to be correct for quality melted cheese. If the pH is too low, it might not stretch how we want it.
  • Fat can break the groups of protein which causes them to spread apart and allows the cheese to melt at a lower temperature.

How to Choose the Best Stretchy Cheese for a Pizza?

Understanding and checking the properties of the cheeses before picking it as your cheese of choice is a must. To choose the best stretchy cheese for pizza, looking for specific characteristics to achieve that cheese pull magic for your pizza would be best.

  • Melting Ability– It’s essential to find out about the fat content of the cheese because the higher the fat content, the easier it will melt. The melt you would want to achieve is a non-oily or lumpy, whatever cheese you prepare your pie for.
  • Taste – Pizza cheese toppings are typical to mix flavors to enhance the taste. Provolone and Mozzarella cheese are almost the same stretch and flavor.

At the same time, if you are not very particular with the stretch, you can consider other stretchy cheese for pizza, such as cheddar, Fontina, Muenster, Gouda, etc., and pair it with the different toppings you want.

  • Color– Aim to reach the ultimate light golden brown color in the pizza as the cheese is cooked without burning. Also, check for moisture content because it’s an additional factor that impacts the browning of the cheese.

The cheese is likely to burn first in your hot pizza oven.

By choosing the best cheese with suitable characteristics, you may get that mild stretchiness that produces strands when pulled perfectly enough not to break when chewed.

Tips on How to Make Your Cheese Stretchy

  • Use the right kinds of cheese (choose the stretchy ones).
  • Cheese Blends: Combine different cheeses.
  • Cut in small pieces or shreds.
  • Leave at room temperature.
  • Keep everything moist
  • Creating a foundational matrix means that the cheese layering should follow a specific pattern with a strong base that glues the cheese together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is My Pizza Cheese Not Stretching?

Adjust your water temperature and re-immerse the curd if you notice a problem with your curd not stretching as you knead it. Add hot water as needed. If it cools or shows tears, place it in hot water to reheat. If this doesn’t solve the problem, maybe the problem is with the milk.

What Makes Cheese Stretchy?

For a cheese to be stretchy, it has to contain casein protein, have the proper ph, has the right water content, and have the right fat content. Different cheese contains different levels of each of these four elements, making them different.

As you knead your cheese, you must check for your slab’s acidity or pH level. For instance, in your mozzarella cheese, the slab needs to be between 5.0 and 5.2 because more or lesser acid than this will make your hard curd float or disintegrate in water.

A well-stretched and perfect melt cheese has lower acidity and higher pH. You can heat milk and add food-grade citric acid to reduce pH levels.

What Cheese Stretches the Most?

America’s favorite pizza cheese, Mozzarella, is known for being the cheese that stretches the most.

Aside from that, better melting cheese is the young and fresher ones, usually soft like cheddar and Fontina.

What Kind of Mozzarella is Stretchy?

Low-Moisture mozzarella is the kind of mozzarella that stretches the most due to the combination of its low water content, fat content, and acid content.

If mozzarella cheese is your choice of toppings, you can make either high or low-moisture cheese. 

High-moisture mozzarella cheese has a short shelf life and should be consumed within the day.

On the other hand, low-moisture mozzarella cheese creates a denser flavor because of its long shelter life. Its common moisture component is what makes a good cheese melt when baked.

How Far Can You Stretch a Mozzarella Cheese?

You can stretch mozzarella as far as you can hold it without breaking it.

What is the Best Blend of Cheese for Pizza?

Combine Mozzarella, Cheddar, and Parmesan cheese for a tasty and savory flavor. Provolone, swiss cheese, or even blue cheese is a good match for an intense flavor.

Why is Melted Cheese Stringy?

The emulsion and protein structure breaks when heat is introduced. This results in a greasy pool of fat globules and proteins clumping together into a stringy mess.

Is Cheddar Cheese a Good Pizza Topper?

Cheddar cheese isn’t an ideal choice as your only cheese topping on your pizza dough. 

It’s suggested to pair with other cheeses like provolone and Mozzarella to get that stretchy, melted cheese consistency.

How to Properly Melt Mozzarella Cheese on Pizza?

There are four different ways to melt your mozzarella cheese. It could be in a microwave, an oven, a pan, or on a stovetop. 

Microwave melting is the most common and easiest method to melt the mozzarella. If you want to melt it in a bowl, you can slice or shred it, then add a bit of evaporated milk and cornstarch if you want your cheese to stay unseparated. 

You can mix the shredded cheese with the pizza or melt it separately in the microwave.

How Much Cheese Do I Need for a 12-Inch Pizza?

For a 12-inch pizza, you can put as much as 7 to 8 ounces evenly distributed on the crust. It must be placed over the toppings and not underneath.

The Last Slice

Stretchy cheese for pizza is something you really can’t resist. If you are making pizza at home or ordering it by yourself, you should consider stretchy specifics on your pizza. 

As each stretchy cheese type differs in stringy consistency, you could combine two or three cheeses in one pizza top. 

Choosing the best pizza cheese or combination of cheeses for your pizza depends on a few factors: Mealtability and flavor. Melted, stretchy cheese is a must-have on pizza, but it also needs to taste good.

The most commonly used cheese on pizza is classic mozzarella because it melts beautifully without turning oily or lumpy.

One of the most numerous combinations is cheddar and Mozzarella.

If you don’t like cheddar, Mozzarella can shine on its own, but you could also mix this with other cheeses like provolone, gouda, ricotta, and others.

After all, eating pizza is fun! So, create your own cheese blend and surprise your friends and family.

We hope you know that Mozzarella is the best stretchy cheese for pizza. Let us know what you think; we would love to know.

Where to Buy the Best Stretchy Cheese for a Pizza

Best for Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
Fresh Mozzarella - Fior Di Latte

Fior Di Latte is an Italian-style cow's milk cheese made to order and delivered fresh as can be. With a name meaning "milk's flower," each ball-shaped cheese has an elastic texture and fresh, tangy taste thanks to the use of fresh cow's milk (as opposed to the buffalo's milk used in Mozzarella di Bufala). While fresh Mozzarella cheese can be enjoyed by itself, it works wonders spread over pizza or accompanied by salad.

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