Why are my calzones always wet after I cut them? If I let them cool, the bottom is wet. Other then runny or soggy they're so good.

  • On what sort of surface are you cooking your calzone, and on what sort of surface are you placing it after taking it out of the oven? I find that if I place a calzone on a wire rack (or a wire pizza pan) after cooking, it's less likely that the bottom gets wet from steam trapped underneath as it cools. – dwizum Feb 14 '20 at 20:49

Possible causes of soggy calzones and their fixes.

The oven is too hot. It seems counter-intuitive, but this browns the crust to golden perfection before the internal temp of the stuffing reaches an ideal point. It won't get hot enough for long enough to steam out the sauce and ingredients. Cook at a lower temp for longer and broil to perfection if needed.

The ingredients have too much water. If you're tossing a ton of onion, mushrooms, green pepper, tomatoes, etc into the diaper, you'll have to adjust your cooking parameters compared to drier protein stuffings. You might want to saute the ingredients before incorporation to give them a head start on temp and water loss.

The sauce is too runny or under-cooked at the start. Make sure to use a thicker sauce, even than with pizza. Pan-heating commercial sauce before baking will help. You can even turn spaghetti sauce into calzone sauce if you simmer it long enough.

The crust is too greasy. While it tastes and looks great, if the crust is too greasy, it can seal in steam instead of allowing it to permeate and escape. While eventually the moisture will find a way out with swelling/bubbling and "geysering", a lot of water vapor will condense on the non-leaky spots and drip to the bottom; think about the sweaty lid of a rice cooker. You can also simply add vent slits in the crust (like buttery pie crusts often sport) if you have otherwise-good results with your current recipe.

Generic methods of reducing moisture include baking/resting on a rack instead of a plate/pan, opening sooner after cooking to allow poofs of steam to escape before it becomes liquid (many restaurants serve them split in half), and resting them upside down to hide some of the juice in the thicker less-soaked top crust.

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    Hey, this is an excellent answer, so instead of supplying another answer, I wanted to add one more common problem and solution to yours: No Vents Cut in Top. Per Cook's Illustrated, unless you cut vents in the top of the calzone, it will trap steam -- even with relatively dry ingredients. You kind of mention this in the Greasy Crust problem, but it would be better to call it out as a separate issue. – FuzzyChef Feb 13 '20 at 21:38
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    Thanks @FuzzyChef, i've added your suggestion to the crust part. I must confess, for some reason i find myself opposed to slits, it's almost cheating, but I do appreciate how they can produce a better result with less prep and effort. – dandavis Feb 13 '20 at 22:02
  • @FuzzyChef I feel like that's worth putting as a separate answer, as it's really a different thing - dandavis is explaining how to adjust the recipe, while you are explaining a different way to solve it. Great answer here, too! – Joe M Feb 14 '20 at 21:38

As one additional point, both I and CooksIllustrated suggest (paywall, sorry) cutting vents in the top of the calzone in order to allow steam to escape. I've personally found that it's difficult to avoid sogginess without slots.

Depending on the size of the calzone, you'll want 2-4 cuts, each 2-4cm long.

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