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.


  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.

  2. nice idea.. thanks for posting..

  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.

  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!

  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.

  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.

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

  8. We purchased one of their pizzas probably about 4 years ago for the first time. It was horrible. Apparently, in a moment of forgetfulness and wondering what to have for dinner, we forgot about that. Purchased a pepperoni and brought it home. Following directions to cook, it was not anywhere near done at the end of the cook time suggested. Took another full 10 minutes at the recommended temp before it was done. At first bite, we remembered why we'd never bought another after that first time. Horrible crust and way too much of it. It was a bit too spicy for both of us, sauce was not very good either. Now we are stuck with most of huge pizza that we may end up just tossing. Waste of money. Several frozen varieties of pizza that are worth buying before one of these.

  9. Thanks for the feedback! There is rarely a pizza so bad that I won't eat it, but your mileage may vary.

  10. I've had these pizza years ago and they were fine, not great but fine. Tonight this pizza was the worst pizza I've had and that includes frozen pizzas. The crust was horrible. It just browned-actually beige-ed, kind of cracker like-dry. Maybe it was too long in the store and no life left in the dough. Ours was two days out so that may be the problem. I will never buy this again.
    I'm going to let the return desk know it was a disappointment.