Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: Costco Take and Bake Artisan Pizza

Previously on this blog, we reviewed the giant slices of in-store pizza served at Costco. We thought it was pretty good "bad" pizza with a surprising zing to the sauce, generous amounts of cheese and other toppings riding on a puffy sea of thick, chewy, bready crust.
Click on any pic to enlarge

On a recent trip to Costco, we had a $3.00 coupon for this huge (16" or more, we didn't measure) bake-at-home pepperoni pizza in the refrigerated section. So we paid $5.99 for this 45 ounce (almost 3 pounds!) pizza, which otherwise is still pretty cheap at $8.99.

It was covered entirely in overlapping slices of thin but about 3" wide slices of pepperoni. It seemed to me that the cheese would not cook properly without some exposure, so I took off almost half the pepperoni and there was still a LOT on there. While I was doctoring, I added some thinly sliced fresh garlic and some grated Romano Locatelli cheese. The crust seemed dry and fragile and even ripped a little as I transferred it out of the box.
Before baking - blanketed in pepperoni

The instructions called for baking for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees directly on the center rack of my gas oven. I did that for 12 minutes, then switched to broil for about 2 minutes to better brown the top.
Right out of the oven

The sauce was very much like the tangy version used for in-store pizza. The cheese was a little better thanks to my enhancements. The pepperoni shrunk a lot, and I probably took off too much. The crust had about the same flavor as the in-store version, but it was thinner, crisper, and rigid in an almost Trenton-style way. It had no char from the modest heat of my oven, but it did take a nice golden glow to it.

We enjoyed this mass-produced pie, though it was probably no better than DiGiorno frozen pie. The crust gets a 6, the sauce a 7.5, the cheese gets a 5, the pepperoni a 5. Overall, this pie gets a solid 6. Even cheap pizza is often good pizza, and I'd eat this pie again.



Not much character underneath.

7 comments:

  1. We are Costco regulars and have gotten this many times. Can't beat the price and it's one of only a few pizzas our family of three cant finish in a single sitting. Better than digiorno's.

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  2. nice idea.. thanks for posting..

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  3. Everytime I cook it the bottom comes out brown and always delicious. I also never take off any pepperoni. Good review but respectfully disagree with the comparison to the Digiorno, Digiorno are absolutely disgusting and un eatable, these are the opposite of that.

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  4. People have some widely different feedback on frozen pies! I think at the end of the day, I'll take the Costco pie over DiGiorno - but it's OK to disagree on the DiGiorno. Thanks for the comment!

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  5. Using a pizza stone, preheat oven to 500 degrees, will give a crisper bottom. As mentioned, finish it off with a few minutes of broil. We add all kinds of things to it, onion, fresh garlic, some good cheese, spicy salami...etc. Definitely makes it a better pizza.

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  6. Hi Bob, - Pizza stone is a good idea. I use a Pizza Steel to the same effect. Something that improves any pie - add scallion and aged italian cheese after it comes out of the oven.

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  7. Ottima la pizza e te lo dice una napoletana DOC! Se ti va passa nel mio blog http://casaninnamamma.blogspot.it Baci dall'Italia

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