Published February 1, 2007. From Cook's Country.
Just how good are frozen pizzas?
Americans spent more than $2.6 billion on frozen pizza in 2006. To find out how good today's frozen pizzas are, we rounded up nine national brands and fired up the test kitchen ovens. Wanting no distractions, we selected plain cheese pizzas with thin or "regular" crusts and no fancy ingredients. We prepared each pizza according to the instructions on the box and served hot slices to our tasters. Our tasting panel rated the crust, sauce, cheese, and overall quality of each sample.
So what did we find out? Frozen pizza is not going to fool anybody into thinking it's fresh. That said, our winning pizza, tastes very good, and several tasters said they'd be happy to have it in their home freezers. As for the remaining pies, they ranged from imperfect (with muted flavors and soggy crusts) to inedible.
What separates the good from the bad? The top-scoring pizzas all tasted fresh (not freezer burnt) and lacked offensive or off flavors--in other words, they didn't taste mass-produced. Most of our winning pizzas had shorter, simpler ingredient lists, whereas the pies with lots of ingredients--including preservatives that are supposed to retain freshness—tasted old and tired.