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

25 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.

    http://youtu.be/qqEuROX4eLc

  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?

  6. […] Grub Grade’s Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Pizza review […]

  7. […] Grub Grade’s Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Pizza review […]

    • 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

  11. […] May 12th are three new BBQ Pizzas. The BBQ Pizzas are topped with Honey BBQ sauce and feature Hand-Tossed crust with a toasted cheddar edge.  Pizza Hut has partnered with country artist Blake Shelton to promote […]

  12. Adam says:

    I give Pizza Hut a 0.5 out of ten. 3 reasons, not to go back. I called once and went in to get my pizza. They said the call center in Denver (1,000 miles away) randomly answers calls for them. So, my pizza was ordered under my area code and made in Texas?…
    The offer $10 ANY pizza IS NOT ANY PIZZA?!
    Today was my last attempt to order their pizza. I pull up in the drivethough, the employees kept looking at me. I waited 12min in the drivethough, 10min after my pizza was supposed to be made. I would like to add I was the only car in the drivethough! The employee inside had 1 customer and staired at me until I finally got service. I mean open the window say it will be a minute. Don’t be rude to the customer, something Pizza Hut will never learn.
    One last major thing. My pizza I waited too long for in the drivethough, had HALF OF THE CHEESE, SAUCE, AND TOPPINGS, NOT EVEN ON THE PIZZA! I mean Pizza Hut would do better off adding a used condom to the pizza.

  13. Victoria Rodgers says:

    Victoria R.06/16/2014Edit
    My order was 1 1/2 hours late. To make it worse it was COMPLETLY wrong! By the time the pizza got there, they were almost closed. When my bf called in he was told to call and talk to the General Manager. I called in the next day, and he was not there. I called in the day after that and finally spoke with the general manager. He refused to listen to the recording that proved the order was taken wrong. He refused to refund the money. He said, “you can’t call in two, three, days later and get your money back”. This place has NO customer service skills and the General Manager can barely speak English. This is not how a good business works.

  14. Mikayla Stomberg says:

    I am 8 1/2 months pregnant and was dying for a stuffed crust pizza. I ordered one yesterday, and on the way home I noticed an awful odor coming from the pizza which I assumed was just the cardboard from the box. I got home, and there was no sauce on my pizza, just cheese. Also, the awful smell was not coming from the box, but the actual pizza itself. I couldn’t even eat the pizza without holding my nose. There was about a pound of seasoning on top of my cheese which made the pizza impossible to eat. I ate just the crust of 2 pieces, and threw the entire leftover pizza away. Such an awful experience and I will definitely never be going back to Pizza Hut!

  15. Joe says:

    I ordered 3 stuffed crust pies from them last night. A few minutes after placing my order, I received a call from my local store saying that they were out of what I ordered. They offered to take $5 off my order for the inconvenience. I ordered 3 large cheese pizza’s which were the pan kind. They were SO awful, my kids an I each made it through two slices before we wanted to throw up. The worst tasting pizza we’ve ever had. Will never go back there again! I don’t care if they bring someone from NY to hand make them.

  16. terri says:

    Most horrible crust ever tasted who wants to taste only. Garlic not pizza divorce much better even Dominic has better crust

  17. Last night I attended a training session sponsored by my employer that focused on marketing. We had just finished a module on the customer-centric company and learned topics like long-term customer value, exceptional customer service, effective handling of customer complaints, and the use and benefits of social media in reaching customers. We also learned that our company must be very cognizant of our brand’s reputation and that customers can create either good buzz or bad buzz, depending on the “customer experience”. We broke for dinner and our trainer ordered pizza for us.

    THAT customer service experience gave us one of the greatest lessons and applications of what any business SHOULD NOT DO to their customers. Mistakes are inevitable and human error is forgivable. However, when an error is compounded by employee arrogance, indifference, and disrespect, it should not be tolerated but should be shared as a cautionary tale.

    Our story goes like this. Our trainer placed an online, carry-out order for a large pizza, mozzarella sticks, and a big chocolate chip cookie, from a large national pizza chain.
    He sent one of our team members to pick up the order. When that team member returned, one of the items was missing. We jokingly accused him of eating them, but he never received them. We checked the receipt and were charged for them, so our trainer called the restaurant. An employee answered and immediately placed him on hold (it was about 8:30pm). The trainer waited about 5 minutes, hung-up and called back. The same employee again answered and our trainer explained the blunder, the employee found the missing mozzarella sticks, and our trainer asked that they just deliver the item. We were about 2 miles away. The employee said, “Can’t do it” and “I’ll just credit you on your next visit”. Never did he say any of the things we learned such as, “What can I do to make this right for you, sir?” Our trainer explained that we really just wanted the item, did not want a credit but the food, and that he felt it was the store’s error to own up to and to make right by delivering. The employee literally yelled, “You should have looked at the food before you left the restaurant and I am not going to deliver it”. Our trainer by this point was livid, and said, “listen smart-*%$, it was your mistake, make it right”. He then asked for the manager and was informed that he was speaking to the manager all the time.

    We did not get the purchased food or any satisfaction. Our take-away from this bad experience was that this is no way to run a pizza restaurant and no way to treat customers. We were all tasked with writing up the scenario and asked what we could learn from the experience. Perhaps you have had other applicable lessons of Customer Disservice and Customer Devaluation at this PIZZA HUT, STORE # 004734, LOCATED AT 1103 SW OLDHAM PARKWAY, LEE’S SUMMIT, MO 64063.

    PS: Here is, in part, Pizza Hut’s commitment to customer service from their website:

    And every step of the way, we’ve remained committed to making the best food and providing the highest level of service. Our goal is, Great taste, easy ordering options and super service. Pizza Hut.

  18. ann duda says:

    ordered a large thin crust 3 topping pizza.We will never return to pizza hut in stevens point wi again. we would have been better off buying a store bought frozen pizza would have had more toppings better crust and all together better taste.

  19. Jason Smith says:

    I ordered a hand-tossed pizza two nights ago and the outside of the crust was so saturated with butter-garlic spread that we couldn’t even eat the pizza. I won’t be going to a Pizza Hut to eat again. A total waste of a good pizza.

  20. sandy baughman says:

    my dough was flat also it didnt help that they left it sitting on shelf 15 or more min the waitress had to tell us oh i think thats your pizza its been sitting there all this time

  21. doctorx0079 says:

    Pizza Hut’s new ad says that their dough is fresh and implies that it’s not from a frozen puck any more. Can anyone here confirm or deny this???

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