Sunday, May 16, 2010

California Pizza Kitchen Frozen Pizza

I mentioned a while back that their flatbread melts were pretty good, so I decided to try one of their pizzas.  After carefully considering my choices, I made my decision and ended up with a "limited edition" Cheeseburger pizza.  Basically it has little balls of seasoned ground beef, diced tomatoes, onions, and cheddar cheese on it.

The box says "Crispy Thin Crust" and oh man, they're not kidding.  The crust is extremely thin and crisps up nicely in the oven.  Most likely due to the lack of substantiality in the crust, it also sports a rather quick cooking time: 11 to 13 minutes at 425°F.

Size-wise, it clocks in at 10 inches.  Not large by any standard, but it might realistically feed a couple people if they aren't completely hungry.  The listed serving size is a third of the pizza, which means you'd have to cut it into six slices.

It tasted pretty good.  I may have to get another if they have one that isn't an ultra-thin crust, just so I can actually taste their crusts.  If their crusts are made from the same bread recipe as the bread for their flatbread melts, it should be perfectly fine.  There just wasn't enough crust for me to really get an idea of its taste.

They have several different varieties, of course.  My next decision will still be somewhat difficult.  It would be really nice if they had one without the onions.  The onions on the Cheeseburger variety were caramelized, and actually tasted kind of sweet, which didn't sit right with the rest of the pizza.

This pizza was one of those with directions telling you to place the pizza directly on the rack.  I've made my opinion about that clear before, but that opinion was based on the hypothesis that if placed directly on the rack, oil would drop down onto the heating element of the oven, potentially starting a fire.  So with this pizza I decided to test that out and see how it went.  I put in the flat pan with aluminum foil on it like I usually do, but I put it on the lower oven rack, below the pizza.  I figured this way I could see what, if anything, it dropped.

When the pizza was done (as per the directions, the cheese was melted and the crust was golden brown), I inspected the pan to find it completely clean.  I'm now shifting my hypothesis to what I hope is a reasonably educated guess that the oil amount will differ depending on the brand and variety of the pizza.  This is one of those win-win experiments.  If I prove myself right, I'll be happy that I was right.  If I prove myself wrong, I get to have a bunch of pizza in the process.

The only real problem that I encountered is that the 10 inch size of the pizza resulted in it needing fairly exact placement on the oven rack, or one side would hang slightly below the rack.  I had to move it while it was cooking and add extra time to compensate for having opened the oven.  This was basically an oversight on my part when putting it in the oven, but if it was even just a quarter inch wider the issue would have been nonexistent.

Overall, it was pretty good.  As I previously mentioned, I'm going to have to try out some of their other varieties to get the whole picture.

1 comment:

  1. Their pizzas are really good, especially the couple of different varieties featuring chicken. Definitely cook pizzas directly on the rack -- even if the directions tell you otherwise -- the exception being if the pizza comes with some kind of crisping tray, like what you'd get takeout from Papa Murphy's. They just come out so much better that way, unless you're a fan of soggy crust. :p

    By the way, I'm the EDuke32 guy. I happened to find your blog when I was Googling for forum posts, commentary et cetera related to the project.


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