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What is your go-to pepperoni?

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    What is your go-to pepperoni?

    For the last few years Vermont Smoke and Cure was hands down my favorite pepperoni. Great flavor, great texture, and it cupped perfectly forming some excellent grease cups on the top of the pizza. But sometime in the last 6 months they have changed their recipe and it is now no longer near as good as it was. The color of the pepperoni isn't as bright red/orange, and the fat content was cut almost in half. I talked to the company and they did change their supplier a few months back and have no plans to go back to the original formula.

    This has made me very, very sad. But also excited as I get to begin a new quest for my go-to pepperoni. So does anyone have a pepperoni they recommend? Of course I can just get Hormel at the grocery store but I want something that is a step up from that. What do you all use?

    Well Hormel has a new "Bold Cups" pepperoni. In my opinion they taste like paint thinner. Just sayin.


      I wish I had one. I've been struggling to find a good source. Lately, I've been having the meat counter at the market slice me some but it's a large pepperoni stick. Hopefully, this thread will point me in the right direction.


        Sorry, I'm in the same boat, there was a momnpop grocery store that made they're own pepperoni in the area.
        Too die for, they closed and haven't found anything close for years now.
        Schnieder's meats up here has a traditional meat line, they're pepperoni isn't bad but costs you a body part to buy.
        Last edited by smokin fool; February 19, 2021, 05:59 PM.


          Boar’s Head is good for sandwiches and/or cold snacking, but does not like high temps on pizza cooking. I’m guessing it has a bit more sugar? I really don’t know, seems like sugar would be the last thing in pepperoni, but that’s my guess.

          We tend to buy just regular Hormel brand, works for us, but would live to find some that cups more. Gonna be following this thread.


            I’ve had good luck with Boars Head. You gotta slice it but it is delicious.


            • JoeSousa
              JoeSousa commented
              Editing a comment
              Jim White I have read Kenji's article on pepperoni cupping a few times and it seems like the biggest factor is how the pepperoni is stuffed. The nozzle on the stuffer needs to be the right size in relation to the casing. At least that is what I remember. Guess I might need to go read it again.

            • RonB
              RonB commented
              Editing a comment
              Boars Head makes two kinds of pepperoni, (at least). One is a sandwich pep and is much larger than the pizza pep. I use the pizza pep and like it although I'm not sayin' that there isn't something better out there.

            • Attjack
              Attjack commented
              Editing a comment
              Kenji also said it had to be medium thick to cup well.

            I've had good taste and moderate cupping with Armour pepperoni. But it only cups under the high heat of a broiler finish. Otherwise it just sits there like all of the others. Sadly its a little too spicy for my stomach. I fluctuate between Boar's Head and Hormel blister packs - usually whatevers on sale. BH tastes better, H burns my innards less.


              Hormel in the red bag. Little store only had the mini's, them things were awesome. Tried making my own, abject failure.


                I don't make pizzas with pepperoni we buy it for snacks and I leave pizza to the pros. But for snacks, if it's a mass produced store brand we like Hormel and Margherita brand, otherwise we really like the large container from Sam's, might be Member's Mark but not sure, comes in the black plastic square bowl. Yum.


                • Dewesq55
                  Dewesq55 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh, and I also bought the Hormel minis since Kenji was raving about them on a recent video. I'm giving pizza another go this weekend. Maybe I'll try them then. Two doughs are in the fridge doing a cold rise right now.

                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Dewesq55 Thanks, spelling corrected above

                • crazytown3
                  crazytown3 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  +1 on the Hormel minis. Awesome.

                Not sure if as a Minnesotan I'm allowed to buy anything but Hormel. I may try making my own one of these days.


                  Several of our local meat shops or deli’s make some pretty good stuff, but i was hoping you guys had a strong favorite as i have not found a good one in the US. I will keep watching.


                    Maybe a restaurant supply company has better pepperoni, you could ask to buy some from a restaurant that has pepperoni that you like. I certainly have not found any in a store that I would recommend.


                      I use Dietz and Watson "deluxe pepperoni". They are the main alternative competitor to Boarshead out here other than Hormel. Pretty decent, carried at the Vons chain stores like Albertsons, Pavilions, etc.

                      EDIT: the Dietz and Watson is named "Legacy Pepperoni" and it is already sliced. I have not tried their stick/unsliced pepperoni. There is also a brand of pre-sliced from a company named Gallo. They make a range of Italian sausages and meats - it is better than the Hormel.
                      Last edited by GolfGeezer; February 21, 2021, 03:04 PM.


                      • SheilaAnn
                        SheilaAnn commented
                        Editing a comment
                        GolfGeezer I’ll have to look for this one.....

                      My first choice is Margherita Stick Pepperoni. It is dense, flavorful, and holds up well on pizza. It can be purchased at Italian Specialty Shops, Giant Eagle Supermarkets, and on Amazon. Stick up for a great pizza.


                      • ssandy_561
                        ssandy_561 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        My go to also with Boar’s Head Stick next in line when I can’t find Margherita

                      Click image for larger version

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                      this one doesn’t suck.....


                      • FireMan
                        FireMan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Great endorsement!

                      • bbqLuv
                        bbqLuv commented
                        Editing a comment
                        False labeling, maybe. "No Added Nitrates, or Nitrites" really, how about Celery Powder. I forgot doesn't count.


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