Sit down with a few dozen freshly-baked pies, and you quickly get a sense of what makes a great frozen pizza vs what's just mushy stuff on bread. A panel of intrepid tasters chomped their way through the excellent, the average, and the downright nauseating, assessing crust, sauce, cheese, toppings and overall appeal in search of the best frozen pizza in all the land. Our findings are divvied into cheese pizzas, topped and specialty pies, ranked from worst to best in every category. Did your favorite make it into the upper crust? Read on.
(Note - in response to some of the comments - none of the pizzas were burnt. We just all happen to like the edges of our cheese a little bit browned. Why didn't we use a pizza stone/pizza oven? Simple -- the vast majority of people cooking pizza at home are going to just use a rack or cookie sheet in their oven, and we wanted to approximate the results. And why didn't we include some brands? Our standard rule of thumb is that if we can't easily find it in our local supermarket, we're not going to include it. We don't want to frustrate all the folks who won't be able to get it in their part of the country.
But that's where the blog comments come in. We may not have access to all these pies, but we love finding out what you all are thinking, and we take your suggestions to heart. Stay tuned, 'cause we'll probably do a Part II within the next couple of months.)
Get the Results of the Frozen Pizza Taste Test
Our friend Casey Fishman reported from the scene:
Nowadays, you can find just about any style of frozen pizza crafted according to your personal preferences. On assignment with the
After blind taste testing 52 varieties, I was left to make decisions without any distraction of persuasive marketing attempts and judge purely on taste. All packaging aside, the winners were not those with the highest dollar signs. In fact, the fancy Frontera Barbeque Chicken Pizza was certainly towards the bottom of my list. The famed
So, what's good about frozen pizza? Aside from conjuring up fond memories of grammar school, the preparation is virtually fool proof. Feel free to ignore the directions on the back of the box. Heat the oven to somewhere around 350 degrees and remove once the cheese is melted.
The lesson I learned from this experiment was that my pizza palate has progressed considerably since second grade. My taste buds now demand more than the frozen pizza served up by lunch ladies with hair nets. Luckily, as a New Yorker, I can roll downstairs and pick up a slice from my local pizzeria. To the rest of the world, California Pizza Kitchen in your grocer's freezer is not a bad alternative!