Frozen Pizza Reviews Feed

Pizza Challenge: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? Day 7 - How good is California Pizza Kitchen?

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.....  

California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen Pepperoni Pizza

It's Day Seven of the challenge and I'm reviewing a pepperoni pizza made by California Pizza Kitchen.  I've never had one of these before and at the first look see they actually use REAL pepperoni!  Bonus points!  For a pizza priced in the bargain range - under $6, this is not normal.   I purchased my California Pizza Kitchen pizza for $5.49 and it weighed in at 13.6 ounces, UNDER the typical weight range of 16 - 20 ounces for a bargain priced pizza.  Must be the California thing, right?  

So how was it? 

Very good, but not great.  Without question, California Pizza Kitchen uses quality ingredients, real pepperoni, real cheese, the pizza has a sauce with some kick and a crust that does justice to the layers of flavor plus my added ingredients.  I only had to add two minutes to the baking time and that crust still came out perfect, light and flaky with every bite from outer edge to the middle point....  But here's what is wrong with the California Pizza Kitchen approach.  They strayed from a classic pepperoni taste.  With all those excellent fresh ingredients they have on hand, they could have made an OUTSTANDING classic pepperoni pizza.  But they went, well, California with it.....  That's a mistake in my book, they could trounce on competitors going classic......  But I digress....  Back to the point, I don't want an overabundance of smoked Gouda cheese mixed with my mozzarella, I don't want an overkill of basil in the sauce.  The pepperoni was excellent, the crust was top notch, the sauce had some kick, but the Gouda and basil was flat out too much!   Do I buy this pizza again?  No.  Despite the quality ingredients, I don't like the California Pizza Kitchen approach.  At this point in the challenge, I'd much rather eat Freschetta.

California Pizza Kitchen
An excellent crust, quality ingredients

The California Pizza Kitchen gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  You get high quality ingredients with this pizza, but it is on the small side and if you don't like to stray from classic flavors, then you won't like this pizza.  You can respect it, but not like it.....

3 stars

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

 

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Pizza Challenge: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? Day 6 - How good is Freshchetta?

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..... 

Freschetta Pepperoni Pizza
Freschetta Brick Oven Crust Pepperoni Pizza

It's Day Six of the challenge and today I'm reviewing Freschetta, a relative newcomer to the frozen pizza game.  I purchased my Freschetta Pepperoni on a Brick Oven Crust Pizza for $5.49 and the pie weighed in at 22.7 ounces, on the high end of bargain brand pizza weight.

So how was it? 

Freschetta rocks!  First and foremost, the crust was perfect, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside just like the box promo claims and it handled the additional ingredients I piled on.  I did have to add 2 more minutes to the baking time but no matter, the crust was perfect.  Freschetta uses real cheese and I can overlook the fake pepperoni.  Even though it includes chicken as an ingredient, it was tasty.  And never mind the disorientation of the meat as a result of shipping, the portion was as advertised on the box.  The sauce was a perfect balance to all the other ingredients, very flavorful, hitting all the classic pizza sauce notes.  This was one excellent pizza bite!  Yes, YUM!  Freschetta pizza is definitely a repeat buy! 

20180617_180944
The 'Doctored' pizza out of the oven, and the crust rocks!

The Freschetta Brick Oven Crust Pepperoni Pizza is the best pizza tasted so far in this challenge.  The only knock I've got is the lack of authentic pepperoni, but to be fair it was good tasting pepperoni nonetheless.  In sampling these bargain range frozen pizzas, only one pizza brand so far has kept chicken OUT of their pepperoni recipe.  With that in mind, Freschetta gets four out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The real cheese, the savory sauce, the excellent crust makes this pizza a repeat buy, and no doctoring required!   With authentic pepperoni, it would be a 5 star pizza.

4 stars

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

Spend Wisely My Friends.....


Pizza Challenge: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? Day 5 - Is it DiGiorno?

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..... 

DiGiorno Original Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza
DiGiorno Original Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

It's Day Five of the challenge and after reviewing the #2 frozen pizza maker based on sales (Red Baron) yesterday, today I'm reviewing the #1 frozen pizza maker on the sales chart, DiGiorno.     My DiGiorno Original Thin Crust Pepperoni cost me $5.49 and weighed in at 22.1 ounces.  That price is on the higher end of 'bargain' pizzas and the first thing I notice is that DiGiorno uses the same not real pepperoni as the cheaper brands that includes chicken as an ingredient.  It's listed plainly on the outside of the box.  Strike one.

So how was the pizza?  The crust is a giant cracker, the kind of crust that gives frozen pizza a bad name.  Strike Two.  The crust was almost too hard to bite into, had no flavor whatsoever and while it did hold up to the adding of extra ingredients, it was indeed the stereotypical cardboard frozen pizza crust.  For $5.49, I expected far better.  About the only saving grace on this pizza was the cheese (and my added ingredients), a generous portion of real cheese.  The sauce was unremarkable, Strike Three.  Considering DiGiorno is on the higher end of pricing in the bargain brand range, you have to wonder how they got to be #1 in sales.  It wasn't because of their thin crust pizza.  Kudos to their marketing department and perhaps their "Rising Crust" versions of pizza, but the original thin crust is NOT a repeat buy. 

20180616_182058The 'Doctored' pizza out of the oven, and a giant cracker crust

The DiGiorno Original Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza was over-priced and of the pizzas I've sampled so far, has THE worst crust.  DiGiorno gets two out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The real cheese and sheer size of the pizza keeps them from getting just one star. 

2 stars

 

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

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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

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.....

20180615_185654Red Baron Thin & Crispy Crust Pepperoni

It's Day Four and after two consecutive underwhelming pizzas (Tombstone and Totino's), I'm looking forward to something better.....  One can always hope....   Today, I'm reviewing Red Baron, a go-to brand for a lot of folks, second only to DiGiorno in sales.  My Red Baron Pepperoni on a 'Thin & Crispy' Crust cost $3.49 for a pizza weighing in at 15.77 ounces.  That comes in under the typical size/weight range, traditional frozen pizza heft is usually between 16 and 20 ounces.  Must be the thin crust, right?

Red Baron Pepperoni Pizza
Out of the box

So how was the pizza?  This is a good but not great pizza.  The pepperoni, not authentic pepperoni...  Red Baron uses pepperoni using beef, pork and chicken (chicken?), but that's not unexpected in a pizza that costs under $5.  The cheese contains real cheese and the sauce is actually pretty decent.  You can taste the onion, garlic and other spices.  The crust, at first glance, didn't look like it was going to hold up to the added ingredient doctoring, but it did.  I had to add four minutes to the baking time, but it didn't come out with overdone outer edges or an underdone middle underside.  It looked underdone, but it wasn't and it didn't taste like cardboard.  Overall, not a bad pizza bite. 

Red Baron Pizza
The 'Doctored' pizza out of the oven, did the crust hold up?

The Red Baron Thin & Crispy Crust Pepperoni Pizza was friendly on the wallet and not bad on the taste buds.  Red Baron gets three out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  For under $5, not a bad pizza, but doctoring is a must.

3 stars

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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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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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...

Enjoy this post?

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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

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.....

Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza
Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza

For the second day of this challenge I went with what is a typical buy for a lot of folks, Tombstone.  I've had a few of these over the years and I buy them not because they're good, but because they were on sale at my local grocer, a 3 for $10 deal (That works out to $3.33 per pizza for those of you who live in Valley Center).  It's that Plan B kind of food, or, sits in the freezer until frost bite starts to set in....

Tombstone Pizza
Out of the box...

So how was the pizza?  I knew what I was getting with Tombstone going in, but I had to include them in this challenge.  This is NOT a good pizza.  The portion of pepperoni is close to the picture on the packaging but it's cheap pepperoni, greasier than a good pepperoni.  Check out the pooling on the 'out of the oven' pic.  The cheese was OK in portion but you could really tell the difference between that and the quality extra mozzarella I put on.  The sauce amounted to spicy ketchup.  The crust, and here is where Tombstone really fails, is cardboard - the very thing that gives frozen pizza a bad name.  It's bland and does NOT hold up to adding extra ingredients, 'doctoring' the pizza.  You sometimes have a bake a 'doctored' pizza longer than package instructions due to that added bulk, but because this crust is SO cardboard, an extra four minutes of baking time meant outer edge over-baked, middle underside of the crust under-baked.  Picking up individual slices resulted in the droops. 

Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza
The 'doctored' pizza out of the oven, check out the pool of pepperoni grease in the middle

The Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza was definitely friendly on the wallet but when it came to the taste buds.....  Not so much.   Tombstone gets just one out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  When you see a 3 Tombstone pizzas for $10 deal, don't grab any.

1 star

 

Tombstone Pizza Crust
Tombstone Crust Sucks

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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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Frozen Pizza Challenge: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? Day 1, Kirkland brand

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.....

Kirkland Pepperoni Pizza
Kirkland Pepperoni Pizza

For the first day of this challenge I went with a Kirkland brand pepperoni pizza.  If you're not familiar with Kirkland, it's the house brand for Costco.  I included them in this challenge because check out this price.....  I picked up a box of four pepperoni pizzas for just $11.99, or $3 per pizza.  That's about as bargain priced as you can get.  If you need to feed a mob of people, here you go....

Kirkland Pepperoni Pizza
Out of the box

So how was the pizza?  It was a good start to the pizza challenge.  The portion of pepperoni - and it's a good pepperoni - after a bit of adjustment (shifting during shipping) was as generous as pictured on the box, no false marketing there.  The cheese was also in good portion and melted nicely.  The sauce was a bit on the sweet side but not bad in combination with the other ingredients.  The crust, while a tad bland (could have used some garlic butter), held up to the addition of other ingredients.  Sometimes when doctoring a frozen pizza, the crust doesn't hold up.  Not uncommon with the bargain brands, the crust edges will over-bake in the time allotted while the middle comes out under-baked.  Not so with this pizza.  It handled the addition of mushrooms, onion and extra cheese no problem.  I baked the pizza directly on the oven rack, per the box instructions.

Kirkland Pepperoni Pizza out of the oven
The 'doctored' pizza out of the oven

The Kirkland Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza was definitely friendly on the wallet and nice on the taste buds.  Kirkland gets three out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

3 stars

Kirkland Pizza Crust
The underside of the crust

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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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Coming Soon: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza?

Bachelor_on_the_cheap_newBy 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.....

In the name of 'Food Science' I'll be evaluating the typical bargain brand frozen pizzas you'll find at your local grocer in the frozen food aisle.

Is there such a thing as a bad pizza?

Stay tuned to find out....

www.bacheloronthecheap.com

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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