Which is the best frozen pepperoni pizza in Australia? We road test frozen pepperoni pizzas available in Australian Supermarkets to see who rises above the pack. Which pizza comes out on top and which one wouldn't we even feed to the dog?
I don't do as many road tests as I use to, and I miss it. Walking through the local supermarket the other day I had the bright (or insanely stupid) idea of road testing frozen pepperoni pizzas.
It’s important to let you know I am not a frozen pizza fan. I am a pizza snob. I do not eat Pizza Hut, I do not eat Dominos or Eagle Boys. I lie, I did eat at Pizza Hut earlier this year.
I like my pizza with minimal topping and the pizza base is critical. Not too hard, not too soft, some lovely air bubbles formed on baking and a slight chewiness when chomped on.
I was safe, minimal topping wasn’t an issue with the frozen pizzas tested. The bases, generally, were less than desirable. Apart from two, the bases ranged from unimpressive to horrid.
How we judged the best frozen pepperoni pizza.
We only chose frozen plain pepperoni pizzas. They consisted of base, sauce, cheese and pepperoni. There could be no additional ingredients like onion or peppers. The exception to the rule was herbs.
All pizzas were baked as instructed on the box in the middle shelf of a fan-forced oven.
We judged on base taste and texture, pepperoni taste and quantity, sauce taste and quantity, cheese taste, stretchiness and quantity, oiliness, smell, appearance, overall quality and overall taste.
We sourced our pizzas from Coles, Woolworths and Superbarn. I didn't visit Costco or Aldi to see if they sell frozen pepperoni pizzas. If Aldi do, we will add them to the list at a later date. Due to Costco being a membership supermarket and their products are not readily available to non-members I may choose not to add them later.
Below are how the pizzas ranked after road testing. Our least favourite is at number seven and the pizza we felt was the best frozen pepperoni pizza is at number one.
No.7 Community Co “It’s Pizza Night” Pepperoni Pizza
Made in Australia from at least 40% Australian Ingredients
390g – 23cm diameter
Cook at 200 Deg C for 10-12 minutes
8 servings @519Kj/serve (approx 49g/serve) or 1060Kj/100g
What the box says: "Stone baked, hand topped, fully loaded frozen pepperoni pizza. “Quicker than takeaway” “Ready before you can find the takeaway menu”
On the pack they state 100% Aussie Mozzarella, the same claim is not made for the pepperoni.
Servings: They state there are eight servings per box. I don't think so, maybe if you are serving pixies. By stating eight serves it reduces the Kjs per serve, nice trick guys. Would feed one person with a big appetite, or three with a huge large leafy garden salad.
Does it look like the picture on the box when cooked? No, the cheese does not melt into a pool of golden melty goodness and the pepperoni, even before cooking, was the wrong colour.
It looked really promising straight out of the box in its frozen state. A generous amount of topping.
Sadly it smells very unappetising when it comes out of the oven. The base wouldn’t brown up, the cooked topping looked good, but that smell! The pepperoni had an unpleasant odour on cooking and the taste wasn't great either. It was baked longer than advised, 16 minutes, the cheese had browned but the base hadn’t. Nobody finished the tasting slice, remaining three slices joined the leftovers in the bin.
Would we buy it again? Not in a million years. Even resident husky foodie Harley wouldn’t eat it.
No.6 Woolworths Pepperoni Pizza
Made in Australia from at least 75% Australian Ingredients
360g – 22cm diameter
Cook at 180 Deg C 10-12 minutes
4 servings @963Kj/serve (approx 90g/serve) or 1070Kj/100g
What the box says: "Hand topped, stone-baked pizza, Neapolitan style with slices of spicy Australian pepperoni." “If you’re not 100% happy with your purchase, we’ll replace or refund.”
Servings: They state that there are four servings per box, which is far more realistic. Would serve one person with an appetite, or two people with large leafy garden salad.
Does it look like the picture on the box when cooked? No, not enough cheese or sauce. As the cheese didn't cover the sauce the sauce dried out on baking making it much darker than the photo on the box.
About the only thing good about this pizza is the price. At $4.00 it was the second cheapest pizza purchased and tested. Plus we could have gotten our money back, but I decided it would have cost more in petrol to head to Woolworths and complain.
They state on the packet it serves four, more like two. It is noticeably the smallest of all the pizzas taste tested. Even though the pizza had been sealed in plastic inside the cardboard box, there was a big slit in the plastic. Most of the cheese was found rattling around the cardboard box with a slice of pepperoni. As you can see from the picture the topping was completely off the pizza when unboxing.
Very minimal topping. The base tastes floury, dense and stodgy. The base was the worst feature of the pizza. But if you take a bite with cheese and pepperoni it’s edible. You just need to find the topping to include in that bite. This pizza was also not finished, and testing slices made their way to the bin.
Would we buy it again? Nope, not even at $4.00.
No.5 Picasso Kitchen Pepperoni Pizza
Made in Australia from at least 75% Australian Ingredients
390g – 23cm
Cook at 220 Deg C 8-10 minutes
8 servings @573Kj/serve (approx 50g/serve) or 1145Kj/100g
What the box says: "Stone baked, Fresh premium pepperoni pizza, stone baked pizza base, Italian crushed tomatoes, a handful of creamy shredded mozzarella and tasty cheese with sliced pepperoni. Bakes in 10 minutes."
Servings: Another manufacturer reducing the Kjs with unrealistic serving sizes. There is no way this pizza would serve eight people. What planet are you on guys??? Would serve one person with a good appetite, or three with a large leafy garden salad.
Does it look like the picture on the box when cooked? It did look rather similar to the box image. The pepperoni was the right colour, the cheese and base also looked similar.
We liked the pepperoni it had taste and a nice heat kick to it.
The base is dense and stodgy, a problem we found with most of the frozen pizzas tried. Once cooked the base has a biscuit quality to it around the edges, and the edges of the pizza base cracked during cooking. It was oily, mainly caused by the pepperoni. It did leave an oily aftertaste and slick and left an oily coating in the mouth.
Would we buy it again? Only to remove the pepperoni and place t it on Dr Oetaker’s pizza. (see below)
No.4 Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza Pepperoni
Made in Australia from at least 20% Australian Ingredients
310g – 23cm
Cook at 200 Deg C 10-12 minutes
1 serving @3450Kj/serve (approx 310g/serve) or 1110Kj/100g
What the box says: “Turn your home into a pizzeria with Ristorante”
Servings: Finally an honest serving size on the box, one serving! Kudos Dr Oetker. It would feed two with a large leafy salad.
Does it look like the picture on the box when cooked? Pretty much spot on, the baked product looks like the image on the box. More brownie points for Dr Oetker.
When unpackaging there are noticeable herbs on the frozen pizza, which is a nice touch. It is the thinnest of all the pizzas tested, but they are up front that it is a thin and crispy base. Due to the thickness of the base, it does go crisp (almost biscuit like) when cooking.
The sauce tastes good with a little sweet spice and is generous. The sauce and cheese are the positives of this pizza.
The pepperoni is thickly cut but has no taste, it just has no taste at all. Only made from 20% Australian ingredients. Dr Oetker you just lost those previous brownie points. Shame on you guys, you can do far better than 20%!!
Would we buy it again? If I had to buy frozen pizza, and it was a choice between this one and the previous three, then yes, I would buy it again.
No.3 Coles Pepperoni Pizza
Made in Australia from at least 90% Australian Ingredients
500g – 26cm
Cook at 210 Deg C 12-13 minutes
4 servings @1430Kj/serve (approx 310g/serve) or 1140Kj/100g
What the box says: “Stone baked base” “Try it, Love it, Or your money back”
Servings: The largest pizza tested and four servings could be achieved if accompanied with a nice green salad.
Does it look like the picture on the box when cooked? Yes and No. The pepperoni is spot on with size and quantity. The cheese isn't as generous and flowing as the image on the box.
Completely surprised by the Coles pizza. Price wise it's good value at $3.00. Made in Australia from at least 90% Aussie ingredients and it the largest pizza road tested. Well done Coles on those points. It looks good in its frozen state with large slices of pepperoni that resembles salami. It also has a smattering of herbs.
The pizza base rose a little on cooking, which none of the pizzas above did. The pepperoni had a good taste to it.
The pizza was a little on the oily side due to the pepperoni, but you can’t have it all I suppose. There are only five large slices of pepperoni on the pizza and could have done with an extra slice. The edges of the base did crack slightly on cooking.
Would we buy it again? This pizza exceeded our expectations for a cheap home brand pizza with taste, size, the proportion of Aussie ingredients and value for money. Yes, we would buy it again if watching the budget.
No.2 McCain Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza
Made in Australia from at least 78% Australian Ingredients
310g – 23cm
Cook at 200 Deg C 11-12 minutes
4 servings @937Kj/serve (approx 310g/serve) or 1210Kj/100g
What the box says: “Globally inspired” “Bit hitting flavours of New York”
Servings: One of the smaller pizzas tested with the largest Kjs/100g. Would serve one person with a large appetite or two with a huge large leafy garden salad.
Does it look like the picture on the box when cooked? The base looks the same. Pepperoni looks similar but the cheese coverage isn't as good and there aren't any herbs as pictured on the box.
I thought the Coles pizza would have trumped this one, but when adding up the scores from everyone McCain slid into second place by two points. The dough had a little sweetness to it, which I feel, added a positive to the taste.
The cheese didn’t spread over the pizza when cooking. They do say it is a thin crust pizza, but wow, this is super thin, like flatbread. It doesn't have a crispy base, quite limp. The highest Kjs/100g of all the pizzas tested.
Would we buy it again? Personally, I think the Coles pizza is better value for money. Between you and I, after this road test, I’m not going to be buying frozen pizza for a long long long time. If push came to shove, it doesn't suck as a frozen pepperoni pizza, yes would buy again.
No.1 Dr Oetker Papa Giuseppi’s Pizza, Rising Stuffed Crust, Pepperoni
Made in Australia from at least 90% Australian Ingredients
470g – 23cm
Cook at 180 C Deg 16-21 minutes
2 servings @2610Kj/serve (approx 310g/serve) or 1068Kj/100g
What the box says: “Rises up to beat hunger” “Papa Giuseppi’s rising crust is made with our unique dough that’s not pre-cooked to give you freshly baked pizza at home”
Servings: They say it serves two and it would happily serve two or three with a salad on the side. As with all the pizzas tested one person with a large appetite could polish it off solo.
Does it look like the picture on the box when cooked? Pretty much spot on with look. The sauce stuffed into the crust isn't as generous as the image on the box.
This pizza deserves to be number one from what was road tested. The base is a winner for a frozen pizza. It isn’t pre-cooked and rises in the oven on baking. The base is the best tasted, with a soft fluffy texture. The sprinkle of cheese around the edges of the sauce stuffed crust adds a nice crunch. It is the sauce, cheese and stuffed crust that make this pizza.
The pepperoni! OMG Dr Oetker, up your pepperoni game, please! The pepperoni on this pizza is very thinly sliced but also has no taste like their Ristorante pizza.
Would we buy it again?
That is an affirmative. We all liked it and would be a good one to keep on hand in the freezer.
Best Frozen Pepperoni Pizza Summary
It was an interesting experiment that left us all feeling quite ill afterwards. I don’t want to eat pepperoni pizza for a long time.
None of the pizzas came anywhere close to a delicious freshly baked pizza from a pizzeria. Not that I expected any of them would. It was interesting to see that price had nothing to do with size, quality and edibility.
Community Co’s pizza sits safely in 7th place as our least favourite. There were quite a few points distancing it from Woolworth's pizza in 6th place.
There was only one point difference between Woolworths and Picasso Kitchen in 5th place.
And one point also separated Dr Oetaker Ristorante in 4th and Coles in 3rd place.
Dr Oetker Papa Guiseppi’s Pizza made it to the number one position by a landslide.
If I do find another brand not tried we will add it to the best frozen pepperoni pizza list. If you know of a frozen pepperoni pizza (available in Australia) not listed above, please let us know!
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