Review: New Hand-Tossed Pizza from Pizza Hut

Can anything please us?  In the quick-serve industry, menus are kept somewhat fresh by limited time offerings made available throughout the year.  Some places can’t seem to focus on their tried and true menus anymore with the onslaught of new products being dished out.  So the tired public response is usually a cry for these companies to get back to their roots.  McDonald’s Mighty Wings seemed a bit forced to me and McDonald’s in 2013 was a good example of a company probably doing a little too much with new menu items.  With every new item McDonald’s released in 2013 you could probably create a brand new full restaurant menu.  When it comes to some menu items, a version 2.0 and beyond is sometimes a business strategy to bring in the haters and attempt to say, “hey, you hated this before, but we’ve improved!”.  Enter the new Hand-Tossed Pizza from Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut BoxI for one was a Pizza Hut hater for years.  Besides being a fan of the original P’Zone, there wasn’t much appeal to Pizza Hut for me.  In my close-minded perception of Pizza Hut, I associated my hatred with something that I was once indifferent to, but then developed an aversion for… the Pan Pizza.  The Pan Pizza is Pizza Hut’s bread and butter and there came a time many years ago where I grew sick of it and its overly heavy, salty, greasy, buttery style.  To this day I can barely stomach a single slice of it (I tried recently). Getting out of my tiny box and opening myself to other Pizza Hut options, I’ve come to familiarize myself with their LTO’s in recent years and that opened myself up to the possibility of some silver lining.  With those preconceived notions of the Pizza Hut brand put aside, I started to get reacquainted with Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed style about a year ago and came to like it enough that it became my favorite of the Big 3 pizza brands.  Sure enough, the hand-tossed style which I was now fond of was prepping for a makeover in 2014.

New Hand-Tossed Pizza HutWith the new Hand-Tossed Pizza we’re being treated to “A lighter, airier crust with a delicious buttery garlic flavor.”  One-third of the pizza box is plastered with “DRUM ROLL PLEASE” as if to say this is a really big deal.  Obviously Pizza Hut is just trying to sell us on what a major event in pizza this is, but to me it really wasn’t so major, and for that I am thankful.  When I find something I like, I don’t want it changed too much.  I felt when Domino’s went through their pizza makeover, I found myself disliking it more and more with every purchase.  The Domino’s change ended up being too different for me and suffered because the toppings remained identical.  Domino’s new recipe pizza became a mix of new and old and didn’t blend as well as I’d like.  With Pizza Hut, the change is subtle, yet effective.  The lighter, airier crust was noticeable to me, but not “DRUM ROLL PLEASE” worthy.  It’s a more delicate chew when you get to the end of the pizza and the scaled back density made for a softer crust.  Looks-wise, besides the slight appearance of garlic butter seasoning, the new Hand-Tossed Pizza looked exactly the same upon opening the box.  This is supposedly going to vary from pizza maker to pizza maker since Pizza Hut is encouraging more freedom when stretching the new hand-tossed style.  They want a more “handcrafted” pie and employees are no longer using a roller on the dough, which is supposed to help preserve air bubbles in the baked crust.  My pizza looked as cookie-cutter as they come, but maybe my expectations got in the way since I figured the pizza was actually going to look different based on what Pizza Hut was hinting at.

New Hand-Tossed Pizza Hut PizzaThe pizza box also mentions “Cheese and toppings right to the edge” and maybe I’m really not understanding what they mean by that, but if you look at the pictures, it looks like any other traditional pizza with a pizza crust clearly visible so what do they mean by right to the edge?  About that pizza crust, the garlic butter seasoning was great.  It’s not an oily brushed on butter like Domino’s so you’re not getting a grease-soaked pizza box.  The garlic butter seasoning had a perfect application that boosted the crust flavor enough that you’ll think twice about not eating the crust (if you’re one of those people).  Think of the crust like lightly seasoned garlic bread sticks.  The seasoning adhered to the crust well and it wasn’t overused with my pizza so it didn’t end up all over my fingers.

New Pizza Hut Pizza CrustYou can see the tiny air bubbles on close inspection of the crust, but I never really gave a really close inspection of the previous hand-tossed style.  The crust does feel softer and lighter, but not so much to make the pizza feel completely limp.  I did find the structure to be not as stiff as the previous crust. For toppings I went with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, and onions.  The cheese, sauce, and toppings will be familiar so the only changes are the slight alterations to the crust.  This is definitely not worthy of Pizza Hut exclaiming, “PIZZA WILL NEVER BE THE SAME”.  That said, I really liked this pizza.

New Pizza HutIn conclusion I don’t think the new Hand-Tossed Pizza is enough of a change to have a ton of people changing their opinion on Pizza Hut pizza.  If you liked hand-tossed before, I’m sure you’ll still like this.  It’s not a lateral move and it’s not a drastic makeover so I think Pizza Hut treaded carefully here.  I like the change because it’s improved, but familiar. The biggest issue is probably Pizza Hut advertising the change in a way that might convince the public that it’s a lot more different than it is.  Less is more with the new Hand-Tossed Pizza from Pizza Hut and it’s just enough of an improvement to be a worthy buy.

Pros: Garlic butter seasoning on the crust tastes great. Less chew to the crust.

Cons: The change is really subtle so temper your expectations if you had any. Pizza Hut's approach to promoting this upgraded pizza style was way too hyped.

Taste: 8.25/10
Value: 7.75/10
Price: $10 any size, any toppings deal

Overall GrubGrade: 8.00/10

More Info: http://www.pizzahut.com
Nutrition Facts:
Roughly 330 calories per large slice for my specific pizza

13 comments on “Review: New Hand-Tossed Pizza from Pizza Hut

  1. Shane Hoffman says:

    I gave this pizza my own review and thought it was just okay but really a ripoff of what Dominos came out with a few years ago. It’s not a game changer by any means in the pizza industry but it’s definitely an upgrade from their former hand-tossed pizza.

  2. SmoledMan says:

    My experience with Pizza Hut is a nasty, greasy, foul-tasting pizza to be avoided. Maybe this is the beginning of a comeback.

  3. rob says:

    It looks very good, will probably get my next pizza from them.

  4. Ed H says:

    At least they are trying, but it will take a lot more to pull me away from the Mom and Pop pizza places that I now frequent. They would have to literally give my family a few free pizzas for dinner for me to try them, as nothing I have seen from them can compare to what I get elsewhere.

  5. Tucker m says:

    Me and my family just ordered this new pizza, I usually love the thinner harder crust pizza’s I call them more ‘pub style’ pizzas. So I tried this. I usually like Pizza hut as far as cheap fast food pizza goes but this new pizza was just really horrible, so much so that we all found ourselves questioning why we didn’t just get a Little Ceasers $5 pizza, a pizza that is basically 50% less in cost and 200% better in flavor compared to this one. The new crust is almost exactly what you would expect of a frozen pizza from the freezer section in the grocery store. It wasn’t rubbery per-say but it was very much cardboard like, almost as if it were a Domonos pizza. The store I bought mine from I guess decided to forgo the ‘Garlic butter’ all together because it was not present on my pizza. The toppings and cheese were all cold, which is forgivable seeing as though it was delivered in the rain. Though my grip is less to do with the coldness or flavor as with the actual consistency of the crust, like chewing the box it came in, I’m honestly surprised they let this hit the stores, was there any beta testers?

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    • Willy says:

      Pizza Hut has been using frozen dough for over 10 years now, my friend was a manager. (They used to make it in the store) They take the frozen dough from the freezer and toss on frozen ingredients … how good can this ever taste people!

      The new Pizza Hut hand tossed “is” fresh dough, not made on site, but shipped in daily. This is the same thing that Dominos did a couple years back and I was impressed with the results. They are now making a pan pizza with fresh dough that is also quite good. Of coarse like any franchise the end result is a direct reflection of the manager (or punk) on duty.

      My local Dominos quality yo-yo’d last year and is presently back to inedible.
      Hence my exploratory back to Pizza Hut, well timed, their hand tossed compares favorably to a well made Domino’s pie.

      Its my new delivery “go to” … for now!

  8. MariusJtR says:

    Just want to note that Pizza Hut has not used a roller to stretch their crust in years. Don’t be brainwashed by their advertising. They switched to frozen crusts two or three years ago to have a more uniform recipe nationwide and to cut down on prep time. After thawing they just stretch it by hand to the edges of the pizza pans. I’m about to try the new recipe crust but like other commenters said, I think they are just trying to rip off Dominoes new style, which I find pretty fresh and tasty… Unfortunately Dominoes doesn’t deliver to my house. -.- anyway, thought I’d add the info though for any who don’t know they are eating prefrozen dough discs and not fresh

  9. sandra says:

    what kind of rotten filler do they have in that dough it is horrible I use to taste so good subway went to that yoga mat filler same stuff they use making yoga mats is in your breads I heard it on Channel 19 News what does Pizza Hut have in their dough???

  10. Kalemia Lee says:

    Many restaurants have down graded their ingredients for much cheaper ones pizza hut a prime example i ordered a meat lovers pizza i was surprised when she said a large specialty pizza was ten dollars thats when you know the value of the ingredients are down graded the sausage was horrible i still have that horrible smell in my nose i’ve had better sausage at my school cafeteriaa and the crust has some type of meds in it

    • Kalemia Lee says:

      Your so right that dough is disgusting
      but i think we as the people and the consumers need to call for action meaning we need to know whats in these ingredients and not be lied to

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