Cooking Frozen Pizza - Any Tips for Best Results?

Because of very average experiences in the past I haven't tried supermarket frozen pizzas for years but somebody urged me to try the Dr Oetker "Ristorante" range so I bought a couple to try tonight.

Question to anybody familiar with this range … any tips for a better result or just cook it as per instructions on the back?

I have a standard electric fan forced oven.

TIA

Comments

  • +10 votes

    Don’t let it defrost prior to putting in the oven.

    •  

      Interesting thanks.

      • +1 vote

        you shouldn't eat it frozen though

    •  

      how come?

      • +6 votes

        It’s usually for bacteria, but the other reason is it keeps cooking times consistent. If it says oven for 12 minutes, they mean 12 minutes from frozen. If you thaw it cooking times becomes a bit Mabo.

        •  

          mabo..?

        • +4 votes

          Plus I'm guessing the ice turns to water and makes the base more doughy

        • +2 votes

          If you going to cook it over 70C then bacteria will die so it shouldn't matter

          •  

            @vinni9284: Bacteria dies but that doesnt remove any of the toxins it produces that gets you sick
            the thing that everyone forgets

            • +1 vote

              @SpendLess: If you look at every single factor then don't eat :P
              I'm sure that all the take-away places are extremely hygienic and follow HACCP practices 24/7. Esp the small businesses.
              Not sure about you but I buy take-away regularly (esp during covid lockdowns) and haven't rushed to the loo thus far after consumption.

              •  

                @vinni9284: its not about looking at every single factor
                its comments like "all good heat will kill all the bacteria so it shouldnt matter". Of course it does. Go leave out a piece of chicken out for a few days and cook it for over 70c to kill all the bacteria and let me know how you feel after eating it

  • +3 votes

    Follow the instructions give you the best result as it is being tested

  • +16 votes

    Are you sure your expectations of frozen pizza aren’t just too high?

    What exactly has been your problem in the past?

    Does your oven cook at the stated temp?

    • -14 votes

      Not at all. My experience with them just never compares to our local family pizza place so I just stopped buying them.

      No problem, just not as tasty as above pizzas. Maybe I've been spoilt by years of Topolino's (Fitzroy St, St Kilda) in my youth :-)

      Yes have tested oven and temps check out.

      • +134 votes

        You just described expectations that are too high.

        •  

          oof.. that pizza's charcoaled now

      • +52 votes

        My experience with them just never compares to our local family pizza place

        Unless your local pizza place is incredibly bad, I don't see how you're expecting a frozen pizza to ever come close to the same quality or taste as a freshly made pizza out of an actual pizza oven.

        From a topolinos menu a 12 inch pizza is about $26.
        Your frozen pizza is like $5.

        • +2 votes

          Does this really require explanation? Let alone its own post?

        • +16 votes

          Maybe he gets his pizza from pizza by Alfredo and not Alfredo's pizza cafe

        •  

          Then man up And grate some truffle on top.

      • +21 votes

        A Topolono’s pizza will cost you $23

        This prob cost you $5

        Settle down Gordon Ramsay

      • +14 votes

        Here's what I do to make it taste better:

        1: Add lot more Mozzarella on top of it.
        2: Add sliced Onions/Salami/Chillies/Pepperoni or any other ingredients you like (If adding raw meats like chicken, make sure they are cooked prior to before adding on the pizza. The standard 14-15 mins in the oven for Pizza time will not be enough to cook chicken). I personally like Jalapenos (from jar) and they go quite well with it.
        3: Add one small layer of Mozzarella on it again, so ingredients are covered in melted cheese after cooking the pizza, not just sitting on top.
        4: Increase the oven time by few minutes to accommodate the extra ingredients. If it says 14-15 mins on the instructions, I usually do 19-20. Keep an eye on the base to make sure it's not burnt.
        5: Enjoy

        It still won't be as good as restaurant/local take away pizza, but it will be better than what the franchises have to offer you.

        • +30 votes

          While you're at it you might as well make your own pizza lol

          • +6 votes

            @knk: LOL.. I have actually done that from almost scratch, but the Base + Pizza Sauce cost just as much as the frozen pizza.. and you have few days to use the sauce after opening it.. unless you are planning to eat pizza few days in a row, it's more cost effective to buy frozen pizza and add your ingredients to make it much better than Franchise pizza, but still keeping the cost fairly low.

            Edit: I always buy Frozen Pizza on half price.

            • +2 votes

              @anonymous01: Yeah it can really blow out.

              I usually make it from scratch when I'm feeling like I can be bothered.

              Base costs nothing almost just flour yeast salt water and some minimal oil

              I usually do a non-red base with just herbs olive oil, some onion / garlic salt etc. Alternatively can of tomatoes and some tomato paste isn't expensive. I think you can get red pizza sauces in little tins from coles quite cheap aswell though.

              It's not hard to do and tastes a lot better. Much messier and wayyyy more effort though.

              • +2 votes

                @knk: Haha yeah I agree.. if you make your own dough, flour + yeast is relatively cheap, and can last a long time in pantry, and can be used for many other dishes other than just Pizza, but like you said, lot more effort on kneading the dough etc. Rather than spending 30 minutes on preparing it, I think it's justified paying extra $2 or so to get a ready made one.

                As for Pizza Sauce (or sometimes I substitute it with Marinara), it has a slightly different taste to just Tomato Paste. Tomato Paste is just bland tomatoes, where as the sauce has other herbs and garlic included in it.

                I haven't tried the non-red based sauce yet.. but sounds interesting. Might give that a go next time without including tomato paste.

                • +1 vote

                  @anonymous01: wouldn't marinara not be thick enough? Might be a good lazy option.

                  •  

                    @knk: Yes it is a lazy option. I only do it if I cooked Pasta a night or 2 before, and have few days left to use the opened sauce. Definitely not as good as Pizza Sauce… but most people can barely tell the difference.

                • +2 votes

                  @anonymous01: The Sunbeam Mixmaster Combo comes with dough hooks and does all the kneading so making dough is a doddle.

                  •  

                    @trongy: Thanks! I haven't used one of them, but might look into it.

                    •  

                      @anonymous01: i have a similar one, way better results and way easier.

                      You'd think it'd be a bitch to clean but it kinda wipes the bowl clean as it finishes mixing.

            •  

              @anonymous01: for a cheap easy base that can come out quite nicely, I've used tortillas and made the whole pizza inside a cast iron pan.
              then after cooking in the oven, move it onto the stove to cook the base and get it crispy

            •  

              @anonymous01: Used lebanese bread for the base & tomato paste ( coz tomato sauce will make the lebanese bread soggy).
              And make sure the oven is hot before you put your delicious home made pizza in otherwise the base will be soggy.
              You will never desire to bother with frozen pizza after such deliciousness

          •  

            @knk: milady has been making lots of dough - and last pizza was perfection - big bubbles, dry base, heaven

            I've eaten too many good Italian pizzas in Lygon St and Calabria to imagine they can be approximated by a frozen one from a supermarket

            I dunno - but my guess would be to preheat your oven for 15 minutes to max temp, then chuck it in - ideally with little or no cold base (Coles was selling pizza trays with holes in them) and try your luck - then take it out just before it starts to burn

            then modify to your taste in future attempts

            one piece of advice from my youthful hang Pizza Napoli in the Valley, Brisbane was - don't make the mistake of putting too much topping - the ideal pizza has little and sparce topping so it cooks quickly - 90 seconds at 500C or somesuch - if you end up with a soggy mess it's too much

            but then again I don't like NYC thin crust pizza - I like something with a bit of bready thickness - not quite Chicago deep dish - but like a fresh bread with a bit of crust

      •  

        If you do have access to a Costco, or in the future you do, I recommend you try their fresh Pizza's.
        They are freshly made, extremely popular and seem good value for what they are.
        You bake them home and can feed a "family".

      •  

        Well if you could get them to be as good as your favourite restaurant then the restaurant would probably close down.

        Same reason cafe coffee exists. No matter how much money you spend on home kit, it is never as good as a good cafe coffee.

      •  

        If you don't like frozen pizza and don't want to spend $25 at your local for something quality - just make your own for crying out loud. Making pizza is not molecular gastronomy.

  • +21 votes

    Add some extra ingredients… they make a nice base but are a bit sparse on top…

    • +9 votes

      Aha, now you're talking. Might run down to the local IGA and grab some hot salami, capsicum, anchovies etc.

      • +20 votes

        Save your time and chuck it in the bin .

      •  

        make sure and cook any added ingredients 1st because these ristorante pizzas have a very thin base and will cook very quickly and also burn very easily so keep checking it in the oven every few minutes

    • +5 votes

      I find they have the right amount of cheese on them already, but could use with more meats. Adding extra cheese makes them too top heavy.

      •  

        Adding extra cheese makes them too top heavy.

        I must have eaten too much cheese…

    • +4 votes

      Yup, that is what we do.

      We use the Mozzarella ones as the base.

      We blanche some chopped broccolini, and asparagus, in boiling water for 6 minutes, then drain.

      We top the pizza with chopped mushrooms, roasted capsicums from a jar, the blanched veggies and chopped frozen ham. Then cook, as per normal, in the oven.

      It tastes great and gives a nice veggie kick.

      • +3 votes

        Sounds good. We've found it's just as easy to use Lebanese bread or pita and make it from scratch. Best to avoid anything which renders water or juice, so the bread doesn't get soggy.

        Preheating the tray helps, too.

      • +3 votes

        Asparagus and broccolini will never appear on a pizza in this house!

        My latest goto is a caramelised onion and cranberry sauce topped with roast chicken and spinach leaves.

  • +9 votes

    You can get pizza stones for ovens for a crisper base. The frozen pizzas always disappoint imo as base is always soggy, or crisp base and burnt toppings.

    Failing that putting it straight on the rack is supposed to help too.

    • +8 votes

      If you find the base is to soggy.
      Get out the fry pan afterwards.
      No need for oil. Just enough to crisp the base.
      You can do this for left over pizza too.

    •  

      This is why I use foil, the heat gets to the base easier and evaporates the moisture from the frozen base making it crisp on the outside and soft on the inside

      •  

        Foil under the base or over top of the pizza?

        • +1 vote

          Under the base, the hot air cooks the whole pizza without over-cooking/burning the base

          • +2 votes

            @JTTheMan: Foil will make it soggy. You need to just place the frozen pizza on an oven rack (not tray) to allow the bottom to be cooked nicely.

            Anything with a mesh bottom will do, like an airfryer.

            • +2 votes

              @mrvaluepack: We have a pizza tray which is perforated. Works well.

            •  

              @mrvaluepack: Rack with foil to keep the rack clean though, it will only get soggy if you use the tray

  •  

    has reviews at woolworths, mostly 5 star, people share their experiences

  • +1 vote

    I think supermarket pizzas need some experimentation. I used to just use fan force setting on the pizza and follow the instructions, the pizza always comes out burnt on the edges. Now I get better results by preheating the oven using the fan forced setting, then change it to bottom grill only once the pizza is in the oven, then a few minutes before you want to take the pizza out, I change the oven setting to top grill and bottom grill only.

    •  

      Yeah it does change based on the setting you use. We have a gaggenau oven and use the pizza stone and pizza mode. It has a different heating element you insert when you want to cook pizza.

      works well

  • +52 votes

    I have the same problem trying to get my canned spaghetti to be the same as the local Italian restaurant.

    • +12 votes

      I bet you forgot to add parmesan cheese. 500g will do.

      • +1 vote

        You mean Kraft right? Quality spew in a container

        • +1 vote

          The craft spray cheese, yes.

          • +1 vote

            @Haulien: Spray cheese? Likes Blues Brothers "cheese wiz"?

            • +2 votes

              @casho: @QuickdraW This has t be the funniest comment I've read in a while hahaha

  • +5 votes

    The Dr. Oetker frozen pizzas I think they are called ristorante, are hands down the best frozen pizzas. Always come out super crispy and yummy.

    •  

      Is it good for frozen pizza, or pizza in general?

      • +3 votes

        I mean good for frozen pizza. They are so thin they are almost a snack, but very handy to keep in the freezer if you're looking for a quick dinner or lunch etc.

        • +2 votes

          I think they're pretty good even compared to Pizza you can get from say Dominos.

        • +1 vote

          The spinach ones are the best. Add some Chilli flakes just after removing from the over for a nice combination of flavour

    •  

      They're alright but McCain Rustica is superior.

      •  

        Ive just tried the Rustica 4 cheese and salami one and I’ve got to say I’m not impressed. Too much dough and oily. Also a weird smoke taste like they were trying to replicate wood fired.

  • +12 votes

    Those of you still harping on about expectations and unfair comparisons to restaurants just don't get it.

    To those people I say re-read my original repost … I never said or implied I expected frozen pizza should be as good as restaurants .

    Only stated I didn't normally buy them until a friend suggested I try this particular brand so I thought to give it it's best chance to impress the family I thought I'd ask for any tips.

    To those of you who have replied in the intended spirit of my post I thank you all :-)

    TB

    •  

      Get the Dr Oetker Papa Giuseppi's range if you're in Woolies. I prefer the deep crust over the thin Ristorante range.

  • +4 votes

    They're all crap and not worth it. If you're in Victoria just buy the pizza in a bag from Tremilla - https://www.tremila.com.au/collections/frontpage?page=1

    My quick and easy pizza is Turkish Bakeries stone baked pizza bases, bag of shredded pizza cheese/mozzarella, tomato paste and throw some herbs on, then toppings of choice (or if I'm feeling fancy, jar of pesto and goats cheese). Pre-cut ham, salami, olives, pepperoni, the most work I ever do is slice a tomato.

    The difference is spending 5 minutes preparing vs 20 seconds and it makes all the difference.

    Costco and Aldi bases are good cheaper alternatives. Less convenient are Letizza, Salt Meats Cheese and I think 400 Gradi do some.

    • +1 vote

      my local shop does $13 large pizza. same owner since they were $6.90. not sure why you'd bother with pizza in a bag.

      • +1 vote

        If I was you I wouldn't ever buy any kind of frozen/prepacked pizza then. If OP is looking for frozen, I'm betting they don't have a good local pizza place that's cheap.

        Personally, my local is $20 for a large pizza and it's pretty crap. The good pizza place takes over an hour to get pizza from on a Friday night. I always make my own but pizza in a bag beats frozen in the zero wait options.

  • +1 vote

    throw it in the bin and get a take away delivery pizza.

  •  

    Don't defrost. Preheat oven (I go 20c hotter as I have a slow oven). Put it on the rack in the middle so it gets heat all around. Turn 180 degrees after 10 mins. Cook an extra 5 mins unless it looks like its burning

  • +2 votes

    Don't defrost
    Add extra cheese on top
    Use a pizza tray (holes on the bottom) so the bottom crisps up too

  •  

    Agree with the above on NOT defrosting, unless the instructions specifically ask for it.

    I cook mine on a pizza tray which help crisps it up. I would also move it up to the top shelf (highest temp) for the last couple of minutes so the cheese browns a bit.

    I can see you're simply asking for tips to cook them better and this has nothing to do with your expectations on frozen pizzas… Hope this helps!

  •  
  • +3 votes

    The cheese and sauce is so bad on frozen pizza.
    Even the more “premium” fresh refrigerated ones.
    Even a $5 domino’s pepperoni is dramatically better, and it is not good pizza.

  •  

    cool them on stove in cast iron

  • +1 vote

    Try the aldi meatlovers pizza (or maybe called called bbq chicken and bacon?). The one they have in the cold food section, not the freezer. Nice. Pity they don't do more varieties on offer.

  • +2 votes

    Preheat the oven tray - like put it in when you turn the oven on/when it's heating up. I feel it cooks pizza more evenly.
    Might just be me being weird but I always do this

  • +1 vote

    Use a pizza stone or pizza tray with holes like this one https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/807310 to get a nice crispy base. Make sure your oven is properly reheated.

  • +2 votes

    This is only slightly harder than frozen pizza, but the taste is better than most take away pizza joints. Give it a go and you'll thank yourself for the rest of your life.

    https://www.recipetineats.com/pizza-dough-recipe/

    Tip: let the dough rise in fridge for 48 to 72 hours

    Extra tip: get an old $20 Panasonic breadmaker from gumtree/marketplace. It will do all the kneading for you.

    •  

      Looks GOOD!

  • +3 votes

    I tend to stay away from frozen supermarket pizza. Better to get say Domino pizzas and jazz them up if you feel the need for it. Since the offers are usually for 3 pizzas I always end up putting dominos in the freezer.

    BEST WAY to quickly and efficiently reheat (domino) frozen pizza is to microwave till hot and then FRY the pizza in a little hot oil in a fry pan to make the bottom crispy. This tastes almost better than the original pizza.

    • +1 vote

      Don't freeze Dominos pizzas .Microwave left overs breakfast , lunch and dinner the next day for best freshness :)

      • -5 votes

        Who reheats delivery pizza? the best way to eat it is cold.

      • +1 vote

        left overs

        left over pizza? what is this you speak of?

    •  

      @Waltervp - Stop giving away Domino's IP; that's exactly how they make them…

  •  

    Masterfoods Pizza Topper is the quickest way to make those $3 Coles pizzas acceptable.

  • +2 votes

    Pineapple

  • +1 vote

    Break it up. Chuck it in the air fryer. You're welcome.

  •  

    Dr Oetker one are good for a frozen pizza. but everything is relative, they don't compare favourably to a fresh quality one. I usually add some toppings when I resort to a frozen pizza to make them less terrible.

  • +1 vote

    I personally love the pizza spinaci by Dr Oetker. The others not so much