What kind of pepperoni does Mountain Mike’s use?

Mountain Mike’s is a popular pizza chain that serves delicious, flavorful pizzas using high-quality ingredients. When it comes to pepperoni, one of the most beloved pizza toppings, Mountain Mike’s has a signature style that sets them apart from other chains.

What Makes Mountain Mike’s Pepperoni Special?

There are a few key factors that contribute to the distinctive taste and texture of Mountain Mike’s pepperoni:

  • They use natural casing pepperoni. This refers to pepperoni that is stuffed into a natural collagen casing, rather than being formed into uniform slices without a casing.
  • It is a thicker style of pepperoni. Each slice is robust and hearty, with a substantial spiced meat filling.
  • Mountain Mike’s uses whole cuts of pepperoni. The pepperoni is cut from whole logs into thick slices, rather than being pre-sliced.
  • It is made from pork and beef. Many pepperoni varieties are all-pork, but Mountain Mike’s uses a blend of spiced pork and beef.

These qualities give Mountain Mike’s pepperoni a bold flavor, prominent spiciness, irresistible curvature from the natural casing, and a pleasing chewy-crispy texture when cooked on the pizza.

Where Does Mountain Mike’s Source Their Pepperoni?

Mountain Mike’s procures their pepperoni from major national meat and food suppliers. According to company representatives, they source the pepperoni from manufacturers such as Hormel Foods, Smithfield, and Tyson.

These major corporations produce pepperoni in large quantities to supply chains like Mountain Mike’s as well as grocery stores. Smithfield, for instance, operates pepperoni manufacturing plants in Wisconsin and North Carolina. The pepperoni is made according to Mountain Mike’s customized specifications and flavor profile.

What Ingredients Are in Mountain Mike’s Pepperoni?

Here is a look at the typical ingredients found in Mountain Mike’s pepperoni:

  • Meats – Pork and beef are the two meats used to make the pepperoni.
  • Spices and seasonings – This includes paprika, garlic powder, mustard flour, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, coriander, and more.
  • Curing agents – Nitrates and nitrites are used to preserve the meat and enhance the red color.
  • Sugar – A small amount of sugar balances the spiciness.
  • Antioxidants – Ascorbic acid, sodium erythorbate, or sodium nitrite help extend shelf life.
  • Natural casings – The spiced meat blend is stuffed into collagen casings to form the distinctive round shape.

The exact blend of seasonings gives Mountain Mike’s pepperoni its signature zesty, lightly spicy flavor that pairs so well with pizza. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Nutritional Profile of Mountain Mike’s Pepperoni

One serving of Mountain Mike’s pepperoni (about 15 slices) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 230
  • Total Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 45mg
  • Sodium: 810mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Protein: 10g

Like most pepperoni, Mountain Mike’s contains a good amount of fat and sodium, which contributes to the rich flavor. Consuming pepperoni in moderation is recommended as part of a balanced diet.

Nutrition Tips

To make your Mountain Mike’s pepperoni pizza healthier:

  • Opt for thin crust instead of pan or stuffed crust
  • Load up on veggie toppings like mushrooms, onions, and peppers
  • Ask for half the cheese to cut down on saturated fat
  • Stick to one or two slices instead of eating the whole pie
  • Pair it with a fresh side salad to increase fiber intake

The Superior Texture of Natural Casing Pepperoni

As mentioned, one of the hallmarks of Mountain Mike’s pepperoni is that it uses natural pork or collagen casings. This gives the pepperoni a round, curved shape when raw. The casing also allows the meat to retain moisture as it cooks, so the pepperoni slices develop a sublime tender-crisp texture.

Compare this to many cheaper pepperoni options that come in uniformly flat, lab-engineered slices without any casing. These tend to end up overly dry and brittle when baked on pizza. The supple, meaty texture of natural casing pepperoni is far superior.

Benefits of Natural Casing Pepperoni

  • Distinctive rounded shape
  • Snaps with a satisfying crispness when bitten
  • Interior remains pleasantly chewy and soft
  • Holds its form and doesn’t buckle or over-crisp when baked
  • Has a rich, vibrant red color

Mountain Mike’s Pepperoni Has the Perfect Balance of Spice

Pepperoni gets its name from the liberal use of cracked black peppercorns and chili pepper in its signature spice blend. While some pepperoni varieties go heavy on the heat, Mountain Mike’s has struck an ideal balance.

Their pepperoni packs just enough punch to tingle the taste buds, without overpowering the other flavors. There’s a subtle warmth, but not so much that it distracts from the meaty nuances. The sizzling spiciness pairs perfectly with the cheese, sauce and dough of the pizza.

Each batch of pepperoni is rigorously taste-tested before being shipped out to restaurants. This ensures the spice blend aligned with Mountain Mike’s standards for the optimal peppery zing in every bite.

Tips for Serving Mountain Mike’s Pepperoni Pizza

  • Have plenty of cold drinks on hand to counter the heat of the pepperoni.
  • Cut pizzas into smaller slices to distribute spice evenly in each bite.
  • Add some extra oregano, parmesan or crushed red pepper to play up pepperoni’s spicy side.
  • Offer a cooling fresh salad or garlic bread as a complement to the pizza.

Where to Find Mountain Mike’s Pepperoni Pizza

You can enjoy the one-of-a-kind pepperoni at any of Mountain Mike’s 200+ locations across California, Oregon and Utah. Use the store locator on their website to find a pizza shop near you.

Mountain Mike’s also offers online ordering for convenient carryout or delivery. You can customize your pizza with mountainous heaps of their famous pepperoni from the comfort of your home.

For a close as possible to the Mountain Mike’s restaurant experience, order the pepperoni pizza unbaked. Finish cooking it at home at a high temperature to replicate the hot ovens the pizzas are baked in.

Tips for Ordering

  • Order extra pepperoni to really load up the flavor
  • For ultimate crispy edges but tender centers, get a thin crust with extra sauce
  • Pair the pepperoni pie with Mountain Mike’s zesty garlic knots or wings
  • Save leftovers to enjoy cold the next day – many say pepperoni tastes even better this way!

The History of Mountain Mike’s Pizza

Mountain Mike’s Pizza traces its roots back to 1978 when the first location opened in Palo Alto, California. Founder Jim Metevier sought to bring authentic East Coast-style pizza to the West Coast.

What started as a single pizza joint grew over the next few decades to become one of the most popular regional pizza chains in the Western United States. There are now over 200 locations throughout California, Oregon and Utah.

From the beginning, Mountain Mike’s has been committed to making high-quality pizza focused on fresh, flavorful ingredients. Their signature pizzas like the Mountain Mike’s House special and the Hawaiian Luau feature their famous pepperoni as a star ingredient.

Mountain Mike’s Pizza Timeline

  • 1978 – First Mountain Mike’s Pizza restaurant opens in Palo Alto, CA
  • 1989 – Expands to over 50 locations in California
  • 1995 – Reaches 100+ stores systemwide
  • 2013 – Opens 200th store, enters Oregon market
  • 2017 – Begins expanding in Utah with franchise partners
  • 2021 – Ranks as #7 pizza chain in the US by total units
  • 2023 – Operates over 200 pizzerias systemwide

How Mountain Mike’s Sources Top Quality Ingredients

From its early days, Mountain Mike’s has been fanatical about finding the best ingredients to make its pizzas. This unwavering commitment is a major factor in the brand’s success and popularity.

For core ingredients like pepperoni, dough, sauce, and cheese, Mountain Mike’s partners with major national suppliers like General Mills, Leprino Foods, and Smithfield. These companies can consistently deliver the volumes and quality standards necessary for Mountain Mike’s large operation.

By leveraging strong supplier relationships and economies of scale, Mountain Mike’s gains access to premium ingredients at prices feasible for a pizza chain. Rigorous vendor compliance procedures ensure each component meets specifications.

Mountain Mike’s also goes directly to the source for some specialty ingredients. They work with farmers in California and Oregon for fresh-picked vegetables to top pizzas.

Key Quality Checks

  • Pepperoni is taste-tested frequently
  • Dough is given 12+ hours to proof and develop flavor
  • Cheese is shredded just before pizza making
  • Produce is evaluated for freshness and ripeness

Mountain Mike’s Pepperoni Is the Star Ingredient

While Mountain Mike’s pizzas always start with hand-stretched fresh dough, zesty vine-ripened tomato sauce, and real mozzarella, the pepperoni is often the star ingredient people rave about.

The one-of-a-kind pepperoni takes center stage in customer favorites like the Pepperoni Mushroom Pizza, Extreme Meat Pizza, and the 20′′ Mountain Mountain Pizza, which piles on almost three feet of seasoned meat in each pie.

Mountain Mike’s pepperoni checks all the boxes:

  • Savory, robust flavor
  • Textural excellence with a tender yet crispy bite
  • Spiced just right to delight pepperoni lovers
  • Quality you can taste in every piece
  • The ideal topping for the ideal pizza experience

When you want the real deal pepperoni pizza done right, accept no substitutes – get the original from Mountain Mike’s Pizza!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Mountain Mike’s pepperoni different from other pizza chains?

Mountain Mike’s pepperoni stands out for its use of natural casings, thicker sliced style, zesty spice blend, and blend of pork and beef. This gives it superior flavor and texture compared to regular pepperoni.

Does Mountain Mike’s offer any pepperoni pizza deals or coupons?

Yes, Mountain Mike’s offers regular special promotions on pepperoni pizzas. Follow their Facebook page or sign up for emails to receive coupons for discounted or free pepperoni pizza.

Can you buy Mountain Mike’s pepperoni in grocery stores?

Unfortunately, Mountain Mike’s proprietary pepperoni blend is only available from their restaurants. You can purchase uncooked pizzas with their signature pepperoni from locations to finish baking at home.

Is Mountain Mike’s pepperoni gluten-free?

No, regular Mountain Mike’s pepperoni contains gluten. However, their gluten-free dough and pepperoni option allows people with gluten intolerance to still enjoy their pepperoni pizzas.

Does the pepperoni pizza come with pork or beef?

Mountain Mike’s pepperoni contains a blend of pork and beef in their recipe for full, rich umami flavor. The mix of meats provides the ideal fat content for baking up crisp yet tender and chewy when served.


Mountain Mike’s pepperoni is a standout pizza topping that has developed a cult following over the years. With its smoky spice, signature snap, juicy meaty bits, and balanced flavor, this pepperoni is the perfect match for Mountain Mike’s handcrafted pizzas.

From the high-quality ingredients to its origins as part of California’s first East Coast-style pizzeria, Mountain Mike’s pepperoni has a pedigree unmatched by other chains. Each natural casing slice delivers pure pepperoni pleasure with every bite.

For an iconic pizza experience built around pepperoni done right, look no further than your nearest Mountain Mike’s location.

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