March 20, 2013 at 2:11 PM ET
By Kara Reinhardt, Cheapism.com
Pizzaioli will tell you that a perfect pie with exquisitely crisp crust comes from a brick oven heated to upward of 800 degrees.
If you don’t often have the luxury of eating out (much less a kitchen with a brick oven), pizza is more likely to come from a freezer set to 0 degrees. Frozen pizza may be no match for a Neapolitan pie, but it has its own appeal for cash-strapped parents with picky kids and time-strapped professionals with otherwise dormant kitchens. Cheapism.com set out to find the best cheap alternatives to restaurant, delivery, and pricey cook-at-home pies by conducting a blind taste test of 10 frozen cheese and pepperoni pizzas. All the sample pies cost less than 30 cents per ounce.
Here are the ones that received the highest scores from the nine-person panel:
Panelists rated each pizza on a scale of 1 to 5 based on appearance, aroma, texture, and, above all, taste. While these are undeniably subjective measures, testers tried to assess the pizzas as objectively as possible. Nowhere was this more apparent than in their evaluation of Totino’s Party Pizzas, the cheapest on offer at just $1 per pie, or about 10 cents an ounce. Two panelists gave the brand poor scores and acknowledged the pizza’s low quality even as they called it a personal favorite and went back for seconds. One explained that it brought back memories of college and the other admitted that she loved the fake, processed taste. Some online reviewers likewise seem to embrace the product for what it is, rather than seek out a closer yet still subpar imitation of a proper pizza.
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