Friday, December 11, 2009

Frozen Pizza Chronicles - Red Baron Fire Baked Crust

I've been eating frozen pizzas my entire lifetime. My favorite all-time is the Dish deep dish pepperoni, but I enjoy a simple $1.50 Totino's pepperoni quite regularly. I've tried just about every kind out there. As you can imagine, some are inedible (Jack's and Jeno's come to mind), some are kinda enjoyable (California Pizza Kitchen, DiGiornio) but not quite worth the price.

Typically a frozen pizza should be sized so I can eat it alone in one sitting. It just doesn't seem right to share a frozen pizza, though the Dish is a notable exception. As I was perusing Facebook the other night one of my friends, The Hoosier, was touting the new Red Baron Fire Baked Crust pepperoni pizza as the best frozen pizza he's ever had. I wrote to him that can't possibly be true because The Dish makes the best frozen pizza. The Hoosier agreed that The Dish is mighty fine, but takes forever to cook and costs quite a bit ($6-$8). Based on his measurements of relatively cheap with short cooking time, I can picture the pizza being better.I haven't had a Red Baron pizza since college where I ate quite a few. I probably haven't had a Red Baron pizza sober since I was in Jr. High and I didn't enjoy them then. I only ate them in college because I was hungry at 2 AM and QT sold Red Baron pizzas. Granted this is a post about frozen pizza but I've never been drunk enough or hungry enough (had I smoked the weed in college I think I might have gotten stoned enough) to eat the QT sandwiches of that era. I never enjoyed a single Red Baron pizza and that was the reason I didn't immediately buy the Fire Baked Crust when I saw it at the store last week.

For a pizza The Hoosier was touting as cheap, $4.49 seemed kinda steep to me, but it was a nice size, right on the border of what I can eat in one sitting. It also took a really long time to cook for a pizza The Hoosier was touting as much quicker than The Dish. I cooked mine right at 20 minutes, but it took a good 10 minutes to get the heat up to 450. A Totino's pizza takes about 1/3rd of the time of the Red Baron, but is also kinda awful so you take the good with the bad.

I used The Hoosier tip of letting it sit for six minutes before cutting it up. Unfortunately for me I was also making lunch for the kids (angel hair pasta with a lemon basil Parmesan vinaigrette, a Vard house favorite), so the 6 minutes turned into at least 10. But once I did cut it and eat it, I was pleasantly surprised, very pleasantly. I could definitely get behind the sentiment of best frozen pizza ever. Unlike most frozen pizzas, it had a good amount of sauce, so it wasn't dry like most frozen pizzas. The crust had a good crisp and thickness to it. You could definitely taste it was a frozen crust, but it's a very good to great frozen crust. The cheese and pepperoni were plentiful and tasty.

As a whole, the pizza is excellent and I'd rather have a Red Baron Fire Baked Crust pizza than any offering from Pizza Hut, Papa John's or the like. When you see them on sale at the grocery pick a couple up and keep them in the freezer for the lazy Sunday lunch or Manic Monday dinner. If you feel strongly about a frozen pizza that I haven't covered in this post, let me know in comments, I'll give it a try.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Totino's Sausage is heavenly goodness sent by the gods.
Fold that sucker in half and you got yourself a frigg'n trailerpark taco! BAM!

Jared said...

glad you liked it... you didn't really cook it at 450 did you?

JJSKCK said...

I used to eat frozen pizza all the time as a kid, usually crapass Totino's. There was a brief period between the time when Trans Fat was added to food labels and the time when everyone started removing Trans Fat from products. I looked at a Totino's pizza, and it had 7 grams of Trans Fat. In HALF a pizza. I'll admit I still like the cube-shaped little pepperoni nuggets.

My issue now is that a frozen pizza often sounds good when I see them in a grocery store, but I always feel like ass after eating one.

(Dish is an exception to this, and I agree that it's the best frozen pizza I've had.)

Nice to see that the Red Baron box is sharing bin space with your Isolation Ale and 2ยบ Below six packs.

Bull E. Vard said...

Jared, I cooked it at whatever temperature the box said, I don't remember what that temp was but I preheat the oven to a temperature higher than prescribed so it is the right temp when I place the pizza in.

JJS, I have the trash can of a winner.

Anonymous said...

I really like Palermo's, especially their thin crusts.

Anonymous said...

You are a true American hero, or maybe a martyr-to-be, having sacrificed your arteries for the benefit us, the unwashed public.

I've never had a frozen pizza I liked (and I had a bunch of them during my kids' pizza years). But then, I'm a bit of a wuss, as evidenced by my preference for Papa Murphy's Veggie Delight which ain't even frozen...but just divine.

I think I'll give this one a try.

Thanks,

Bob

JH said...

Once, quite a long time ago, I tried a Home Run Inn frozen pizza. Home Run Inn is a small chain in Chicago that also sells a line of frozen pizzas. Their pizzas are of the thin crust variety. As I recall, that was the best frozen pizza I'd ever had. Unfortunately, these are hard to find. I don't even recall where I bought mine, but according to their website, at this time, the only place to get one of their frozen pizzas in the KC area is Costco. If you have a membership, or know someone who does, you may want to try one of those.

Bull E. Vard said...

Anonymous, At best Palermo's was very forgettable, at worst, it wasn't good at all. In any case, I've had it, barely remember it and have never bought one again. Stella seems to recall it not being good.

JH, interesting about the Home Run Inn. I've seen it all over the place, I think Whole Foods carries them and I think that Price Chopper has them. I'll give it a try.

JH said...

I thought I got it at Price Chopper but wasn't sure. As I said, it was quite some time ago when I tried one of their pizzas, but it obviously made an impression. I might have to pick one up myself to see if they are still as awesome as I recall. I know my usual Price Chopper doesn't sell them, but that Price Chopper sucks.

Chimpotle said...

Like JJS, I like the idea of frozen pizza way more than I like myself after eating them. We generally just stick with a brand until it actually has me on the verge of throwing up. Working on Palermo's right now. The thin crust is solid with the exception that you have to watch it so it doesn't burn.

Wendy said...

After reading this post I picked up a couple Red Baron Fire Crust...I have high hopes that it'll be delish. Then I'll have to ignore feelings of self loathing after eating it.

JH said...

Just an update. I sought out a Home Run Inn pizza finding it at HyVee on 87th. I got a sausage and pepperoni and it is definitely not the greatness I recalled. Either I was wrong the first time or they changed something. It could also have to do with more limited choices back at the time I ate it. No matter the reason, it is not worth what I paid. It is ok, but not great, especially for the $$$

viagra online said...

I've never had a frozen pizza I liked (and I had a bunch of them during my kids' pizza years). But then, I'm a bit of a wuss, as evidenced by my preference for Papa Murphy's Veggie Delight which ain't even frozen...but just divine.

Cialis said...

This pizza is delicious!