Month: April 2017

High (Temperature) Times from Reddit

My dad told me about a post he found on Reddit* suggesting an alternate strategy for baking pizza.  Inspired by brick oven pizza eateries, the post recommends eschewing the instructions on your frozen pizza packaging and instead following these 3 steps;

  1. Let your frozen pizza thaw
  2. Preheat your oven to its highest setting
  3. Bake your pizza for a few minutes

*I’ll add a link directly to the Reddit post once I find it.

Edit – here’s the link.

Instead of trying a new pizza tonight, I decided to cook a previously reviewed favorite using this method.  The subject?  Dr. Oekter’s Virtuoso (formerly called “Ristorante”) Pepperoni Pesto.

The box suggested I keep the pizza frozen while preheating, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, then bake for 12-14 minutes.  Instead, I set the oven to 525 degrees (the highest it will go), thawed the pizza, and baked it for 6 minutes.

Verdict: it’s good!

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It’s hard to say if I prefer this method over obeying Dr. Oetker’s commands, but the pizza tasted great.  I’d have to cook two side by side (one following the printed instructions and one following this method) to tell.  Makes me wish I bought that double oven instead of a single.

I was disappointed the crust wasn’t crispier, but this disappoint led to an epiphany; I should let my pizzas sit on the pizza stone for a few minutes after they’re done cooking.  The packaging for this particular pizza didn’t say anything about doing so, but I always ignore such instructions when I do see them because seriously, who wants to eat a pizza in five minutes when you can eat it now?

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but the last four slices I pulled off the stone were crispier than the first four. The first four slices were pulled off about a minute after I removed the pizza from the oven.  They were good but not crispy.  The next two slices were pulled off maybe five minutes later.  Not exactly crispy but no doubt crispier.  When I pulled the final two slices another five minutes later, they were unfortunately no crispier than the prior two although they were just as tasty.

Speaking of the pizza stone, I should say I frequently see instructions recommending I place my frozen pizza directly on the oven rack and not on a pizza stone.  Sorry Pizza Gods, but I’m lazy.  Tried it once.  Got pizza crust stuck to my rack (I’m a guy, no rack jokes necessary).  Took more than a minute to clean it off.  Nope, not doing that again.

I should, however, listen to suggestions on how high to place the pizza (bottom, middle or high rack).  I never do.  Curious to see what difference that makes.

Overall, this was a success.  I think I’ll try this method from now on whenever baking a pizza I’ve already reviewed.  Let’s see if I start to notice a significant difference.

On one final note, Pizza Dog has a knack for waking from a dead sleep and materializing in front of the oven at the most opportune times.

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Too bad he never gets to eat any pizza.  All mine!

Dr Oetker – Pepperoni Pesto

Here’s another old review from 12/18/15, back when I used to type one-sentence reviews.  Please note that Dr. Oekter changed the name of this brand to “Virtuoso.”  Looking forward to tomorrow’s post where I directly reference this one;)

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My new favorite Dr Oetker pizza.  Perfect blend of cheese, pesto and tomato.

4/26/17 update: the above sentence is what I originally wrote over a year ago.  I still love this pizza as much as I did the first time it graced my taste buds, but I think the Spinach pizza is tied with the Pepperoni Pesto as my favorite.  I buy both occasionally through the year.

Purchased at HEB for $3.98.  12.7 oz, $.31/oz.

Monteli – Organic Margherita

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Amazing!  Perfect 10!  So much gooey cheesy goodness.  Tasted like a perfected version of one of HEB’s Taste of Italy pizzas.  That’s about the highest praise I can give a pizza.  This was one of the best frozen pizzas I’ve ever tried.  Cannot wait to try some of their other varieties!

This is a little more expensive than your average pizza, but it’s worth it.  This pizza rang in at $.44/oz ($5.98/13.58 oz, about maybe 10″ in diameter).  Of all the pizzas I’ve tried, the average price is $.34/oz.  Taste of Italy – Monteli’s closest competitor in my eyes – rings in at $.35/oz.  You wouldn’t go wrong saving about a dollar and buying an HEB Taste of Italy pizza, but $1 is a trivial amount to pay for perfection.  Besides, not everyone lives near an HEB.

Purchased at HEB for $5.98.  13.58 oz, $.44/oz.

Home Run Inn – Margherita Sausage

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This one had me intrigued. I don’t like sausage on pizzas and can be indifferent towards the margherita style, but Home Run Inn makes one of the best pepperoni pizzas out there. Imagine my surprise to find out I like this slightly more than their regular pepperoni pizza. Lots of flavor mixed in with the usual extra cheesy Home Run Inn taste. It might just be that this was my first time baking a pizza in a gas oven [note – this is an old review from November 2015 I never posted], so I’ll have to reevaluate my opinion of their regular pepperoni variety. Poor me, an excuse to eat more pizza.

Purchased at HEB for $5.98.  32.5 oz, $.19/oz