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.Little Caesars Smokehouse PizzaHere’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.Smokehouse Pizza Little CaesarsThe 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.Little Caesars SmokehouseFocusing 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.Little Caesars SmokehouseFrom 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.Little Caesars SmokehouseOnce 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.

Taste: 8.25/10
Value: 9.50/10
Price: $9

Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10

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31 comments on “Review: Smokehouse Pizza from Little Caesars

  1. Glen says:

    Stopped to try a smokehouse pizza about 430pm. Not available did not have ingredients to make one. Will not waste my time to stop again.

    • Barnaby says:

      If it’s make-or-break for you that they have the ingredients available to make this, why wouldn’t you just call first, considering that takes all of 30 seconds (approx the same amount of time you wasted posting your whinge)?

  2. Jonathan Wayne says:

    I had it the other day and it was pretty damn great, one of the best pizzas I have ever had. This is a long way from the $5 dead cheese pizzas they used to make. The amount of meat was very generous and pretty good quality. You are right it did feel almost like stealing. I guess they are entering a new era now the old man is dead.

    • Barnaby says:

      It’s tasty enough, but a Little Caesars crust and cheese slathered with cheap artificially-flavored BBQ sauce and overcooked meats is one of the best pizzas you ever had? That makes me feel a little sad for you.

      • Rod Roddy says:

        You shouldn’t feel sorry for anyone since you’re making a living arguing with strangers about Little F’n Caesars Pizza on some obscure forum. The hell is wrong with you?

  3. Firstname Lastname says:

    Is there BBQ sauce underneath the cheese? Or just that drizzle on top with the cheese directly on the crust?

  4. Stevo says:

    I’ll have to try it again. There was no heat whatsoever, and too much BBQ sauce. The main topping was pork; any other toppings were scant and barely noticeable.

  5. holly says:

    really hoping they keep this one around. bbq pizzas are the best and i’ve been going through withdrawals and waiting for another great one to come around ever since Donato’s discontinued theirs.

  6. Bob Robinson says:

    I had one of these yesterday. I’m really surprised about the spicy comment. I didn’t notice any heat at all. It’s pretty good overall, but less sauce would let the meats stand out better.

  7. Richard Ginn says:

    HMMM you were at a 5 or 6 out of 10 on spicy scale and for me it was at most a 2.

    Did my store miss something in the creation of it??

  8. SHANKTANK says:


  9. Frank says:

    I disagree on the crust spice, I thought it added a yummy extra to the whole thing, but other than that I agree wholeheartedly with every other point in this review.

  10. John W. says:

    I tried this pizza over the weekend and was quite happy with it. Perhaps mine wasn’t made the same as yours, Ryan, because the “spicy-ness” factor on mine was barely noticeable. I am not much different from Dubba in my ability to tolerate spicy foods, so I’m glad my pizza turned out the way it did. I’ll try another one, at a different Little Caesar’s location, to see if I notice a difference.

  11. Thom says:

    I’m surprised there are so many positive comments here, that pizza looks and sounds disgusting! Folks on reddit seem to matter about that. I have a sneaking suspicion many of the posts here are shills. Why is everyone so defensive about the spicyness LOL.

    • Sascha says:

      What looks, or sounds, disgusting about it? It is loaded with three delicious meats, and the Muenster/mozzarella combo is solid. I hope Ryan tries it again to see if he still tastes the spice because I’m with the rest, there wasn’t any. It is a great pizza, possibly the best that one of the 5 national chains has produced this millennium.

    • Stevo says:

      What looks or sounds disgusting about it? It looks and sounds delicious! I guess you don’t care for BBQ, and that’s okay, but too bad.

  12. Big Mike says:

    I bought my first one the other night and everbody Loved it thay I ordered 2 more that night.
    Love the combination of meats the crust is very flavorful. Will be buying 4 Friday night for the poker game at my house.

  13. JTH says:

    Yeah, maybe you got a bad batch Ryan. I had the pizza a few nights ago and the spicy didn’t stick out in my mind at all and I’m pretty bad with spicy food. It was pretty tasty btw.

  14. Eric says:

    I feel like most of these comments are just making fun of your spice tolerance, Ryan 😛 Looks good though and the review on The Impulsive Buy was just as promising, so I’ll need to try this while it’s still around.

  15. I ordered one last night, and finishing the last piece now. I love it. Not something I’d want all the time, but when I’m craving something BBQ or smokey I would get it again. The most taste I get is the BBQ more then anything on the pizza and it’s a good tasting BBQ for sure. Mine does have a “kick” in the mouth, but usually only noticeable until you eat about 2 and then it comes kicking, but it’s not bad, just the right amount of kick. I’d give it 7 out of 10. Only thing I’d change is, I wish it had a thicker but softer crust.

  16. rodney says:

    We’ve had them a few times now, and it is very good, hard to believe it’s from Little Caesar’s. I haven’t noticed even any mild spiciness, in fact, I add cayenne pepper to it to achieve a little bit of a kick to it. Really good, they have it hot and ready, but it’s better if you have it ready made and ask them to make it well done.

  17. chris a says:

    Spicy? Yall got little girl mouths.

  18. JoAnn LeBlanc McIntire says:

    No more expensive BBQ plates for this family!
    Little Ceasar’s Smokehouse Pizza is delicious!

  19. Richie says:

    cool smokehouse pizza is good

  20. Ricky Lloyd says:

    I had it a few days ago and enjoyed it. There wasn’t any spice to it whatsoever, however.

  21. Roger says:

    Had this today and it’s a good pizza and generous. The ‘spice’ was just the usual flavor of BBQ sauce. I think the BBQ powder is the first layer on the whole thing, not just the exposed crust. Usually just have the $5 pepperoni but this was really good. A break from getting the great fish specials! So many choices.

  22. Terry Mills says:

    I had one on Thursday, and it was quite good. Do I like it more than regular pizza? No. But something I would get a couple times per year if it becomes a regular menu item. The reason I love pizza so much is because of the tomato sauce, so it’s tough to replace it and still have a great product.

  23. Thistle says:

    Odd. I’m a serious wuss when it comes to spice. Even Taco Bell mild is too much for me. This pizza wasn’t spicy at all to me. Like a 1 on 1-10 scale. Maybe I got a good (or bad, depending) pie?

  24. jeffrey j fisher says:

    Great pizza I taste all the flavors hope they continue

  25. Kurt Wetzel says:

    I tried this Little Caesars Smokehouse Pizza and its good. All the meats used were of good quality but nothing spectacular. The BBQ sauce used was good but a little too much sauce was put on it. The crust was done just right. It was everything I expected from a Smokehouse Pizza with 3 smoked meats. Not the best pizza I had but not a bad pizza considering it came from Little Caesars and a great deal at $9 a large which is the only size you can order.
    A tip to anyone ordering pizza at either Little Caesars or Georgio’s. Those fresh made pizzas for $5-6 that are always ready being pepperoni or cheese are not good. They have a cardboard taste or not much taste at all. They vary in taste depending on who makes them. There is a reason they are cheap. Instead pay a little more and order a pizza there. For some reason that pizza tastes much better.

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