Pizza Challenge: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? Day 2 - Not Tombstone!
Frozen Pizza Challenge: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? Is it Red Baron?

Frozen Pizza Challenge: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? Is it Totino's?

By Mike Thayer

Pizza - Perhaps the greatest food invention ever and I don't know about you, but I don't know anybody that does NOT like pizza.....

So who makes the best of the cheap frozen variety?  How will your preferred brand stack up?

I like pepperoni, it's my go-to for a pizza topping and my favorite pizza combo is a thin crust, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, with extra cheese.  You won't find that combo in grocery stores, so with that in mind, part of this review/evaluation of pizzas is the ability to doctor it, as in add your favorite ingredients.  Lord knows the bargain basement brands don't exactly get crazy with copious amounts of meat and cheese.  A lot of folks 'doctor' pizzas before placement in the oven and I'm here to assist with that.  No, that doesn't mean I'm a pizza nurse...  Don't go there.....

Totino's Party Pizza
Totino's Party Pizza

It's Day Three and I hope the pizza I review today is a step up from Tombstone.....  Ugh!  Why have I bought that stuff in the past?   Ewww.....   OK, back in the moment....  Today, I'm taking  a trip down memory lane and I'm sampling Totino's.  This is the go-to brand my mom used to keep in the house.  I loved this pizza as a kid.  These day's, it's called a "Party Pizza" and the price is right, I bought a box of four pizzas for $4.88.  That's just $1.22 a pizza for those of you who live in Valley Center.  The pizzas are NOT however, of regular size.  They weigh in at just 10.2 ounces each.  A more traditional frozen pizza size is between 16 and 20 ounces.

20180615_130038Out of the box and not exactly a wealth of pepperoni bits, fake as they are...

So how was the pizza?  This is a fine pizza.....  For a kid......  Most kids don't have a sophisticated pallet and the bland ingredients in this pizza is a kid crowd 'pleaser' for that reason (I'm assuming).   The little cubes of pepperoni (not real pepperoni by the way, not even close) I appreciated as a kid doesn't measure up on adult taste buds.  And why little cubes anyway?  The sauce is just water and tomato paste which the company calls 'tomato puree' on the ingredient label.  There's NO zest to that sauce....  And about the cheese...  It's also imitation, the main ingredients being palm oil and potato starch.  It's gummy.   The crust is where Totino's saves a little grace...  It's not cardboard, it's actually a bit flaky and by design.  Unlike other bargain brand pizza makers, the Totino's process aerates the dough (hence the holes in the underside).  It's not an overly flavorful crust, but at least it's got a bit of flakiness to it.  This crust held up to my added ingredient doctoring, I only had to add two extra minutes to the recommended baking time.  The crust edges were not over baked and the middle underside was baked through. 

20180615_132006The 'doctored' pizza out of the oven, the Totino's crust held up to the added ingredients

The Totino's Party Pizza was friendly on the wallet but you get what you pay for, small pizzas that don't have a lot of flavor and gummy cheese.  The saving grace, at least it wasn't like eating spicy ketchup on cardboard (Tombstone).  Totino's gets just one out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  This is a kid food you definitely grow out of.

1 star

Stay tuned for more frozen pizza reviews, with a complete ranking of worst to best to wrap up the challenge.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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