What Is Pepperoni Made Of?

How many times have you wanted to learn about the mysterious ingredients of everyday things like salami and mozzarella cheese? Well, now you can, as I’ll show you in this article. What is pepperoni made of?


If I’m being honest, I had no idea until I researched this article. But don’t worry; even if you don’t dream of being a food scientist or nutritionist, you can still learn a great deal about the foods you eat.

What Is Pepperoni Made Of? Ingredients In Pepperoni

Pepperoni is main ingredient is ground pork or ham and pork or beef fat. The meat is mixed with spices such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, and spices. The meat is ground to make sausage which is then combined with other ingredients like water, preservatives, and binders.

The most common spices used in pepperoni are:

  • garlic
  • black pepper
  • sugar
  • mustard seed
  • fennel seed
  • crushed red pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • salt

What Makes Pepperoni Spicy?

Most of the spiciness of pepperoni is mainly caused by the amount of crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper. But there are other spices in pepperoni that contribute to its spiciness.

What Is Pepperoni And What Kind Of Meat is It?

dried pepperoni linksPepperoni is a special kind of seasoned pork and/or beef sausage that is popular in Italian cuisine. It is made from ground pork and beef fat, spices, and other seasonings. However, pepperoni can be made of different meats such as beef, poultry, and lamb. There are beef and pork pepperoni varieties as well.

Is Pepperoni Pork?

No, not all pepperoni is pork. There are several varieties of beef pepperoni as well. The most common pepperoni has pork as the main ingredient though. Pork pepperoni is said to be the original variety of pepperoni.

Is Pepperoni Beef?

Yes, beef pepperoni is also popular. Beef pepperoni starts out the same as with ground pork and beef fat but the meat is not ground. The meat is mixed with other spices such as paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onions, and other seasonings.

Is Pepperoni A Sausage?

Yes, pepperoni is a type of sausage. As mentioned before, it is made from ground meat mixed with seasonings and spices but the seasonings are what make it unique.

A Brief History Of Pepperoni

Pepperoni started being used around the year 1919 and its popularity has continued to grow since then.

It was named after the word peperoni which is the plural form of peperone, which is the Italian word for bell pepper.

Where Does Pepperoni Come From?

Many people believe that this treat was imported to North America from Italy, however it is actually an American-Italian invention. It was first introduced to the United States in the 1900s, but its popularity grew in the United States after the Second World War.

Who Created Pepperoni?

I did some research on this but could not find a specific name attached to its creation. however, I do know that it was created in New York City by Italian immigrants that came over from Italy in the early 1900’s.

How Is Pepperoni Made?

Making pepperoni is quite a process!

  1. It starts with the raw meat which is cut up into large chunks so that they can easily be ground. During this process, the meat cutter makes sure that the meat to fat ratio is ideal in the batch of meat to be sent to the grinder.
  2. The meat is ground into the proper texture.
  3. The ground meat is then transferred over to a mixer where lactic acid is added. Lactic acid helps start the fermentation process which helps develop the flavor.
  4. All the spices and seasonings are added and mixed in.
  5. Once everything is mixed well, the meat is moved to a filling machine that loads sausage casings with the meat to for sausage links.
  6. The sausage links and hung to dry and ferment. At this point, the sausages are smoked which helps the fermentation process. This also helps increase the acidity in the meat to keep away harmful bacteria.
  7. After the smoking process, the heat is raised to make sure that the pepperoni is cooked.
  8. The links are placed in a humidity and temperature controlled room to dry the pepperoni for a few days.
  9. Done!

This video shows the process as well:


Best Pizza Pepperoni

The best pepperoni for pizza is what is sold as “Italian” pepperoni in stores that are imported. The normal pepperoni you buy in regular grocery stores is fine but if you want the really good stuff, you need to look a bit harder.

I don’t have a specific recommendation, but I would recommend looking in specialty stores or Italian style grocery stores for this if you have one in your area.

Final Words

I love pepperoni pizza. It is a perfect topping for pizza and goes great with just about any food. If you think about it, just because it’s salty and spicy pork doesn’t make it pizza, it doesn’t even have to be pepperoni.