Review: Smokehouse Pizza from Little Caesars
I love BBQ-based pizzas. If I find a really good one, I’m very likely to become a repeat buyer. My favorite can be found in my hometown, but on a national level, I’m always curious to see how well a chain pizza place can pull it off. In 2014 I tried one from Pizza Hut and one from Papa John’s. This time around, Little Caesars is the one grabbing my attention with their new Smokehouse Pizza.Here’s how Little Caesars describes the new Smokehouse Pizza:
The Smokehouse pizza has three types of meats. The brisket starts with Midwest beef, which is brined with a proprietary blend of spices, then pit smoked with Hickory wood for 8-10 hours. The pulled pork is made in rotisserie style pit smokers for 10-12 hours. The Smokehouse pizza is also topped with crispy, savory, crumbles of Applewood smoked bacon. It’s up to you to decide which is the star of the show.
The description of the Smokehouse Pizza reads almost like an ad for Arby’s doesn’t it? Little Caesars went out of their way to let us know that they’re pretty serious about their barbecue and that’s impressive coming from a pizza place.The Smokehouse Pizza is a large round pizza topped with mozzarella and Muenster cheeses, beef brisket, pulled pork, Applewood-smoked bacon and BBQ sauce, plus a smokehouse-seasoned crust. There’s no question this pizza screams barbecue and the smoky, pork aroma that filled my car had me hoping it wouldn’t fade too quickly. Visually, this pizza was amazing. I opened the pizza box and was greeted by this dark cherry colored, glistening glow of smoked meats and BBQ sauce that had me thinking how tough it must be to be vegetarian. How could anyone resist something this pretty? Yeah this pizza was pretty.Focusing on the trio of meats, the Smokehouse Pizza is the opposite of skimpy. This pizza was so loaded with meats that paying just $9 felt like stealing. This is a large pizza with three meat toppings so it’s definitely a steal coming in at under ten bucks. Identifying between the brisket and the pulled pork was easy by just looking at it and there’s a slightly different application and chew between the two. The salty crumbles of Applewood smoked bacon add more of an obvious salty kick and harder chew to really help balance the meat textures.From a taste perspective, it all kind of mashes together with each bite and the BBQ sauce wins the flavor battle over the seasoning and spices of the meats. The meaty flavors mix well, but the sauce is pretty dominant with a mix of sweet, tangy, and surprisingly spicy. I was surprised at how spicy this pizza turned out to be. At first I thought it was tame and balanced, but after my third piece I found myself focusing a lot on cooling down my mouth. Everyone’s threshold for spicy food is different and I’d give this pizza a 5, maybe 6 out of 10 on the spicy scale. The others eating with me gave it a 9 out of 10. Since there wasn’t a clear indication that this pizza was as spicy as it turned out to be, I’ve got to deduct some points. There isn’t much to complain about with the Smokehouse Pizza, but the heat will make it a deal breaker for some. Naming it the Spicy Smokehouse Pizza would’ve been fair since I’d have a better idea what to expect. I love when a BBQ sauce can mix the sweet/tangy/smoky/spicy all together, it’s just that if the spice was turned down a notch, it would definitely be a better balanced flavor. The flavor doesn’t end when you get to the pizza crust because of the smokehouse-seasoned crust. Prepare to have your fingers coated with dusty seasoning. The flavor of the crust seasoning is different than the rest of the pizza as it supplies more of a earthy smoke taste that is a bit one-dimensional, but not too bad. I don’t think I would have minded much if the pizza crust was left unseasoned to give me a flavor break.Once again, it’s hard to argue with a flavor-packed large pizza with three meat toppings for $9. The Smokehouse Pizza is a great value and should please those looking to satisfy their pizza craving and their barbecue craving. It’s not for everyone since it was a unexpectedly spicy, but it’s hard to deny Little Caesars did so much right with their Smokehouse Pizza.
Pros: Awesome value. Loaded with meats and packed with BBQ flavors.
Cons: Might come off a bit spicy for some. I forgot there was cheese involved. Available Hot 'n Ready after 4pm and I had to wait a little over five minutes for mine.
Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10
More Info: littlecaesars.com