At long last, the frozen pizza power rankings we were meant to nitpick

frozen pizza on an assembly line
Photo: picture alliance / Contributor (Getty Images)

As someone whose job it is to write rankings and lists now and then, I am telling you, it’s kind of a thankless task. I could write any iteration of any list of any product, and about 74% of commenters reading the list would say, “You missed my own personal favorite spot that only I know about,” or, “Your choice is trash, my choice is best” (by the way, you’re always wrong). Man, do people get stirred up. If your career leads you into ranking things on the internet, please make sure you have a therapist handy.

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Lucas Kwan Peterson at the L.A. Times, whose work we’ve praised before, has just released a frozen pizza power ranking, having tried and ranked 27 (!!!) frozen pizzas. That sounds like a terrible task, and I say this as someone who loves frozen pizza. Conducting a taste test of different varieties of something you love will destroy your relationship with it. I see you, Lucas. Thank you for your service. But...

Hnnnnggghhhh, oh no. The transformation is happening. I’m becoming...one of those guys. Shit!

“Lucas, you forgot my favorite one! Where’s the goddamn Home Run Inn pizza?!” Home Run Inn is indeed my favorite frozen pizza brand, hands down—many others agree—but it wasn’t on this list. Maybe they don’t have it in Los Angeles. I don’t know. But as a fellow food writer, I’ll give the Times the benefit of the doubt. Screamin’ Sicilian’s Holy Pepperoni made it to the top of the list (hard pass for Dennis; every Screamin’ Sicilian pizza I’ve ever had wasn’t great), followed by Newman’s Own, and something called Ionian Awakening by American Flatbread, which probably should have just won entirely based off the name. Take a bite of the Ionian Awakening and suddenly an “Eat, Pray, Love” tattoo has shown up across your back.

And of course, people (me) love racing to the bottom to see which brands took a fat dump. The Worst in Show ribbons go to Tony’s, Celeste, and something called The Alpha Pizza (which sounds like it belongs to a fraternity). So, my friends, I’d like you to comb over the list yourselves and duke out your favorite brands in the comments while I go pop this Home Run Inn frozen pizza in the oven for lunch.

DISCUSSION

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burner'down

Irony alert: even frat-house types probably wouldn’t eat The Alpha Pizza, as it uses plant-based meat substitute and dairy-free “cheese”. I have no idea why this is presented on a regular wheat-based crust — go for gluten-free and hit the trifecta.

I feel like this entire list is an exercise in comparing apples to prime rib, honestly. Were any of these pizzas the “baseline” cheese-only offering from the brand (or failing that, margherita or other lowest-common-denominator style)? We’ve got pepperoni, roasted garlic white, buffalo chicken, arugula — because a frozen version of a delicate green that is only otherwise served fresh on pizza is always going to be a great option — Hawaiian style, and somehow a greek-style concoction with feta and olives scored highly. And price wasn’t a factor at all, despite price being a major factor in how people shop for pizza.