News from our labs: Best way to cook frozen pizza

News from our labs: Best way to cook frozen pizza

While choosing a frozen pizza from among the myriad pies in the freezer section of your local supermarket isn’t exactly a big deal, it can be confusing. But once you get home and are ready to nosh, a more important decision awaits: to nuke or not to nuke?

In preparation for our test of individual frozen pizzas for an upcoming report, we compared microwave and conventional-oven cooking methods. Some manufacturers list both preparation methods on packaging and leave the option to you. Others recommend one or the other.

DiGiorno, for example, lists the microwave as the “recommended cooking method” on its Traditional Crust cheese and pepperoni pizzas, and that’s definitely the best way to go. The pizzas cooked in the conventional oven were drier on the edges and a bit doughy inside. (To be sure you cook the pizza for the right amount of time, check the package’s recommended wattage against that for your microwave; you’ll find it in the owner’s manual or possibly on the microwave itself.)

Six brands we bought list both oven and microwave directions without specifying one over the other. We baked one pie from each brand in the conventional oven and another in the microwave according to the maker’s instructions. The conventional oven cooked the pies evenly and outperformed the microwave. One pizza was better in the microwave, but the the cheese did not melt evenly on the rest, even using a microwavable tray,and some turned out a bit doughy,

Bottom line? If the manufacturer lists one set of directions as “recommended” or “for best results,” use that method. Otherwise, go with a conventional oven.

Check our Food & Drink page for more food reviews.

–Amy Keating

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