Philadelphia, PA - If you have wondered, "Why Does Pepperoni Curl?" you are not alone. Most people have this same question. We aren't born knowing the science behind pepperoni's curling behavior. Here are a few factors to consider. A big factor in the cupping process is the direction of heat. Heat applied to a pepperoni's center part creates a large force, pushing the filling in a pronounced longitudinal pattern.
The Science Behind Pepperoni's Curl
Another factor that causes pepperoni to curl is the type of casing. If pepperoni is wrapped in fiber, it will be more likely to curl than one with a collagen casing. Another factor is the thickness of the slices. Thicker slices will cook more quickly than thinner ones. Old-world and rustic pepperonis are likely to curl, so make sure your pepperoni is thick and not too thin.
Another important factor in why pepperoni curls is the temperature differential. The higher the temperature difference, the better. Thicker slices are better at exploiting this temperature differential. Thicker pieces tend to be stiff and won't curl. Lastly, moisture retention plays an important role in curing, but manufacturers of pepperoni don't control the moisture content. So, if you want your pepperoni to curl, you'll need to bake it on steel, or else the slices will become tough.