What kind of cheese should I use for a Detroit-style pizza?

This weekend I'll be making Detroit-style pizza for the first time. I've looked at a handful of recipes online and it seems like Wisconsin brick cheese should be used for this style of pizza.

I'm not sure this type of cheese is available in California. Is there another type of cheese that I can use instead? Or better yet, is it possible to get this cheese at a specialty store?

Peter Lewis
posted about 5 years ago

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Hi Peter,

That is awesome to hear you are making your first Detroit Style pizza!

Your right, traditionally a brick and mozzarella blend is used. Brick cheese is hard to find outside the Midwest region. I am sure you can find it at a specialty store, but can cost upwards to $7 a pound. You can substitute brick cheese with Muenster or Monetary Jack cheese which have similar specs. Some places in Detroit use a prov/mozzarella blend as well. I know of some out west that use white cheddar in their blend.

If you are trying to create an authentic Detroit Style experience you will want to use a brick and mozzarella blend, but the options above would be 2nd best to achieve a true Detroit pie.

Let me now how your first DSP turns out.

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Shawn Randazzo
posted about 5 years ago

I am in the same boat....can't find Brick cheese in Arkansas....checked a lot of stores, no one carries it.....but I did get a hold of some. My brother brought me some back when he was on vacation in Michigan. Brick cheese, a semi soft cheese, not much taste to it....they do make a aged Brick cheese, that may have more flavor. I like it, the Brick along with the moz, gives it a clean bite when you eat the pizza. But my favorite part is the charring of the cheese on the side. I do have a preference of white cheddar for the edge of the pizza, to me it taste the best when charred.

- Mark   almost 5 years ago

I echo many of Shawn's thoughts on this. Many of the reputable Detroit Style places in the Detroit area use brick cheese. The cost of the typically lower cost Wisconsin brick cheese tends to rise the further away from Wisconsin you get. When sourcing/sampling the brick cheese, just like all other cheeses, it's important to keep in mind that not all brick cheeses melt and taste the same. We've sampled many at Via 313 and have found that only a few fit the flavor profile we were aiming for. That being said, pizza is such a subjective thing. You don't necessarily have to use brick if it's not readily available. I am a huge fan of switching things up and having fun sampling different cheeses on a DSP. Try a white cheddar blend, a fontina or asiago, or even muenster as it has a similar texture and stretch as brick.

In the end you may find you prefer the taste of one of these cheeses even more than what is traditionally used in Detroit.

There is no need to be rigid, keep an open mind. Pizza is meant to be fun.

Best of luck to you on your pizza adventures. Post some pics or comments on what you find works best for you.

Uriah Zane Hunt
posted about 5 years ago

I agree that Muenster or Tilset( though Tilset will be more expensive) can be used instead of Brick. Blending some Monterey Jack should would also work. Interesting that both Brick and Monterey Jack though different flavor profiles are some of the few unique USA influenced cheeses . Most others are based on European influences

herb brosowsky
posted about 5 years ago

I've been experimenting with Detroit style pies lately and have tried a variety of cheeses. For the edges, I always use a sharp white cheddar. Cabot is my preference. Cracker Barrel (in the green package) is quite nice too.

For the rest of the pie, I tried a low moisture mozzarella, just because it is what I had lying around. It wasn't bad by any means, but something was lacking. Same goes with Muenster by itself. My favorite so far is a mix of Muenster and Provolone. I'll keep trying.

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted almost 5 years ago

I found Wisconsin Brick Cheese at Gordon's Food Service in a 2 lbs. block, about 6 months ago. Tried to buy again and the manager said they no longer carry it due to lack of demand. He said he would order me a case, if I wanted one. Please increase the demand...

Fred Hinch
posted over 2 years ago

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