Sugar Is The Secret For Relief When You Take A Bite Of Pizza That's Too Hot

A piping hot pizza laden with gooey cheese and loads of toppings is hard to resist. Against your better judgment, you didn't wait for it to cool down before taking a bite, and now you've burned the roof of your mouth. Yikes! Chances are that you might be familiar with treating mild mouth burns with salt water rinses to prevent infection or over-the-counter medications to reduce swelling or numb the pain, but what if we told you that a spoonful of sugar might be the best and most multipurpose medicine of all?  

Our mouths — palate, gums, tongue, and the like — are lined with temperature-sensitive tissues. More likely to impact these tissues than other foods, pizza (a dish best served hot) is cooked at high temperatures that range from 500° to 900° Fahrenheit, depending on the oven. Likewise, cheese and sauce are known to have a high heat capacity and be good conductors of heat, which can increase the odds of first-degree burns. Yet, while these types of burns are painful, they can be treated with natural remedies such as applying something sweet like sugar to the tender area. 

When used to treat a mouthburn, granulated sugar can instantly dull pain. According to studies done at the University of Birmingham, it can even speed healing and prevent scarring as it binds with water molecules to create a more effective dressing for wounds. But, if you're out of sugar, honey can also do the trick thanks to its healing microbial properties.

How to prevent burns in the first place

Despite the fact that sugar can be a helpful aid, avoiding burns is the best way to ensure a pain-free and pleasurable dining experience. That said, the only way to prevent mishaps is to patiently wait for the pizza to cool before digging in. As for how long to wait, the consensus is to give pizza about 5 minutes of rest time. In addition to reducing the likelihood of mouth burns, this will allow toppings to set and stabilize, which can lead to a better bite.

Although you can let the pizza cool on the baking tray or stone that it was cooked on, the fastest way to go about the process is to transfer it onto a cooling rack. Doing so will allow air to fully circulate around the pie, reducing temperature in a fraction of the time. You could even place pizza in front of a fan to accelerate things even further!

If you've waited a few minutes and the pizza is still pretty hot, we have one more suggestion: Use a fork and a knife. Rather than grab a slice with your hands and have to worry about steamy sauce dripping onto your fingers or stretchy cheese pulls gone wrong, cut the pizza into bite-sized pieces. Smaller portions won't just cool faster, but the process will also force you to slow down, giving the 'za more time to cool so you can get back to eating and enjoying, without worry!