Review: Twisted Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut

A creation that brings pizza and breadsticks together eh?  Isn’t that already sort of built in to most hand-tossed pizzas?  Of course some pizza end-crust is better than others, but for the most part, that end crust has seen a lot of updates in recent pizza innovation.  The latest from Pizza Hut is the new Twisted Crust Pizza and it’s an idea that facilitates those looking for some extra pizza parts to dip into even more sauces.

IMG_4881The new Twisted Crust Pizza features a ring of dippable twisted breadstick crust within the already perfectly dippable end crust.  A large 1-topping Twisted Crust Pizza is promo priced at $11.99 and comes with one Marinara dipping sauce plus your choice of the new Cheddar Cheese sauce, new Buffalo Ranch or an additional Marinara dipping sauce. I decided to pay an extra $1.00 to add an additional dipping sauce in order to sample both new dipping sauces.  

IMG_4886I was never one of those kids that didn’t eat the crust off my pizza.  Growing up I can recall I was maturing faster than the other boys in only one way: pizza.  I ate my pizza crust and I advanced way beyond plain cheese pizza before I entered elementary school.  When I look at a pizza innovations aimed at improving the part of the pizza most likely to be left uneaten, I tend to have a harder time buying in to the stuff that goes overboard with it (besides the strong novelty factor).  Twisted Crust Pizza doesn’t have a lot of wow-factor, but it caters to enjoying pizza and dippable breadsticks together and not as just an add-on side item to a standard pizza.  The problem with Twisted Crust Pizza is that it made for some good breadsticks while at the same time negatively impacting the actual pizza.

IMG_4887By having these twisted breadsticks loosely stuck onto the ends before the pizza’s end-crust, it’s kind of like saying the pizza really ends with this twisted breadstick.  Make your way through the pizza like normal and you’ll have two dippable pieces of bread at the end.  The twisted crust piece is the softer, more delectable piece and the end piece is a little crustier and uneven.  If you pull apart the twisted breadstick before you eat the pizza, the pizza loses most of its structure.  Removing the twisted breadstick and then handling the pizza slice is like holding a balloon on a string and then someone cutting the string.  The pizza just flops over and limps out and becomes just a shell of its once proud self.  I’ll point out that the pizza sauce, cheese and ample amount of pepperoni topping was just right… it’s just that there’s nothing new or different going on besides the breadstick piece and dipping sauces.  There’s something that Pizza Hut did late last year that I think works against them in the promotion of new pizzas.  They introduced The Flavor of Now menu overhaul which added so many ways to customize your pizza beyond toppings that it’s like all their cards are showing.  With the Twisted Crust Pizza, the newness doesn’t come from any flavor area for the twisted breadstick or end-crust because The Flavor of Now already took care of that with a whopping ten crust flavor choices already.  If you want to flavor up the ends of your Twisted Crust Pizza you’ve got an exhausting list to choose from: Ranch, Smokehouse BBQ, Toasted Parmesan, Salted Pretzel, Honey Sriracha, Toasted Asiago, Fiery Red Pepper, Toasted Cheddar, Garlic Buttery Blend, and Hut Favorite.  The Hut Favorite is the default flavor on the Twisted Crust Pizza and I found an equal amount of the garlic butter blend and parmesan/Italian herbs seasoning on the pizza crust and the inner twisted breadstick.

IMG_4891The standard dipping sauces that aren’t new to the menu are priced at $0.50 each, while the two new choices are $1.00 each.  The Cheddar Cheese sauce is made with 100% natural aged medium cheddar cheese and the Buffalo Ranch is a combination made with Frank’s RedHot Sauce with the addition of Ranch.  I found the Cheddar Cheese sauce to be a little boring and it cools down so fast and becomes too thick for simple dipping, so a microwave came in handy.  The Buffalo Ranch had a consistency that was a bit on the watery side as far as dipping sauces go.  I found the flavor to be heavier on the Frank’s RedHot Sauce than Ranch sauce which made for a very peppery dipper.  With a little experimentation by adding small amounts of the Buffalo Ranch into the Cheddar Cheese, I created an amazing Buffalo Ranch Cheddar sauce so give that a shot and let me know what you think.  The new sauces on their own didn’t win me over, but mixing the two was one of my better ideas.FullSizeRender (4)From the perspective of giving the Twisted Crust Pizza an overall grade, the taste and value will make it seem like a more impressive product than my final impression.  My final impression takes into consideration factors that just don’t have standard measurable scores on GrubGrade.  I see Pizza Hut trending towards a lot more novelty pizza offerings in the near future because they’ve made it so much harder on themselves with all these options put in the hands of the customer.   This might be looked at as a good thing in a lot of ways and we should thank Pizza Hut’s R&D department for providing us with so much control.  On the other side of the picture, it’s just going to be harder and harder to top themselves with standout LTO’s. Beyond the structure and crust components, you’re not getting a lot of “new” with Twisted Crust Pizza other than just a semi-interesting new pizza eating experience that is a lot more concerned with breadsticks and dipping sauce than actual pizza.

Pros: For those who like to dip. Mixing in a little Buffalo Ranch to the Cheddar Cheese sauce. Good sized dipping sauce containers.

Cons: Removing the twisted breadstick before handling the pizza slice will take the life out of the pizza. New dipping sauces cost more than the sauces already available.

Taste: 7.25/10
Value: 6.75/10
Price: $11.99 for a large with one topping plus Marinara dipping sauce and either Buffalo Ranch or Cheddar Cheese sauce

Overall GrubGrade: 5.75/10

More Info: pizzahut.com

12 comments on “Review: Twisted Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    If the breadstick crust tastes anything like their normal breadsticks, it might be worth it.

  2. BoJangles says:

    I’d like to point out – that is some major pepperoni and cheese coverage. Normally I get a sprinkling of pepperoni and even less cheese coverage. I’d probably rather get a side of sticks with a pizza. Now, unless they figure out how to put their cheese sticks on a pizza? Then we’ll become friends again, Pizza Hut.

  3. Colin says:

    Either they screwed up your pizza or they screwed up mine….mine looked nothing like that but it was good….I got one Friday night and when I took off the breadstick part there was no crust left on the pizza, just flat dough that the breadstick sat on…yours looks like a breadstick with a normal crust…weird…it’s like you got double crust and hardly no pizza….and mine wasn’t like a limp balloon like you describe…hmmm.

    • Bubbsy says:

      I thought we got twisted breadsticks as the crust (which seemed like a nice way to enhance & improve the crust)… But instead they are just giving more crust in addition to the regular crust?

      We don’t want more crust, we just wanted a way to make the crust more appealing… pizza is a treat, half of every piece shouldn’t just be buttered flavorless dough we’re guilted into not throwing away.

  4. MP says:

    Exactly what I don’t want in a pizza: more bread. The cheese is the most important ingredient & should be abundant. Pizza Hut just figured out a way to give you less pizza.

  5. TheKing says:

    How does a Taste grade of 7.25 and a value grade of 6.75 equal a total grade of 5.75????? Is my math off?

    • Ryan says:

      Overall GrubGrade is not an average of the other scores.

      From the perspective of giving the Twisted Crust Pizza an overall grade, the taste and value will make it seem like a more impressive product than my final impression. My final impression takes into consideration factors that just don’t have standard measurable scores on GrubGrade.

  6. Jonathan Wayne says:

    This looks pretty decent, I would try it, preferably at a lower price when they do one of their promo deals though.

  7. ahecht says:

    Yeah, I think they messed up on your pizza. The promo pic at http://www.grubgrade.com/2015/09/21/pizza-hut-introduces-new-twisted-crust-pizza/ doesn’t show the regular crust outside the breadsticks either.

  8. Icedus says:

    Can I be real with you? I finally got around to ordering one of these. All this breadstick talk had me going in imagining a fusion of the standard crust and their wonderful, wonderful breadsticks. The twisted dealies were a lot chewier and less flavorful than I’d imagined, but I thought the bit of the crust left behind by ripping those off was refreshingly soft and tasty! I’m not the type to not eat crusts (because that’s just weird), but if I were sharing one of these with someone who didn’t care for the more doughy foundation of the crust, I’d trade them those bits for my unwanted breadstick parts in a heartbeat.

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