On May 31, 1958, Dan and Frank Carney opened up their first Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas. Six months later, the brothers enjoyed enough success to open up a second location. Since then, Pizza Hut has grown into a restaurant chain that stretches across more than one nation. The franchising of Pizza Hut began in 1959 and now has over eighteen thousand locations worldwide. Over time, it has brought forth several recipe ideas and crust types. Some met with much success while others didn’t quite fare so well.
Speaking on a personal note, when Pizza Hut began to make its mark in Western Canada, this was a place my father took me to often as we both enjoyed the pizzas a great deal. From 2003 until 2006, I worked at a central call center for Pizza Hut where I received orders from customers all over Canada. From 2008 until 2010, I worked at one of the Pizza Hut locations in Saskatchewan. Although no longer there, it’s still one of my top choices when it comes to enjoying a nice pizza pie.
Here are the top ten Pizza Hut crust types that seem to be a huge hit among pizza fans:
#10 – Deep Dish
At first glance, Pizza Hut’s Deep Dish crust may look just like its infamous original Pizza Pan crust. However, this one is thicker and denser and is able to hold more toppings than the original recipe. This is so it can hold more toppings. Speaking as a former cook of Pizza Hut, anything beyond eight toppings on a normal pizza crust was frowned upon. We knew it compromised the quality of the pizza overall. Quite frankly, it doesn’t cook properly as the dough is unable to handle it. This includes the original Pizza Pan dough by Pizza Hut. However, the Deep Dish crust is able to pull it off. The concept behind deep dish pizzas began in Chicago, which is what started the craze of this particular crust as “Chicago Deep Crust.” It demonstrated it could hold the toppings better than traditional pan pizzas, including the ones coming from Pizza Hut. In response, Pizza Hut came up with its own deep dish version and it’s a formula that’s worked well for them.
#9 – P’Zone
The P’Zone is Pizza Hut’s answer to the infamous calzone. This is simply pizza dough folded in half that has the toppings stuffed inside of it. I remember making these fairly often when I used to work as a cook for Pizza Hut until 2010. Shortly after I left, the P’Zones were discontinued. This didn’t sit well with the fans of this particular product. Thankfully, Pizza Hut put this item back on the menu as it responded to the flurry of requests for its return. Aside from the original P’Zone crust, there have since been variants such as one that features a crunchy Parmesan twist to this foodie favorite.
#8 – Neapolitan Pizza Crust
The Neapolitan Pizza Crust has been a style that dates back to the eighteenth century. This is the global favorite that originally got its start in Naples, Italy. In 1993, Pizza Hut added this crust to its menu as a thin crust that offers a thin crispy, and crunchy texture. This was the aristocrat of pizzas that won over a fierce fan following. Unfortunately, the crust itself was discontinued as Pizza Hut made way for other recipes. Many fans still keep hoping perhaps one day the restaurant chain will bring it back, perhaps as limited-time specials. With the New Yorker returning in 2023, maybe the Neapolitan will make a comeback somewhere down the road, preferably sooner than later.
#7 – The Edge
Once upon a time, Pizza Hut had a pizza crust known as The Edge. This thin-crust pizza was first introduced in 1997 with an ad campaign that showed the toppings go all the way to the edge of each savory pie that was made by the franchise. It was the company’s attempt to encourage pizza fans to eat the whole pizza instead of leaving the crust behind. This was also regarded as tavern-style pizza that had more going for it than a simple crust. There was a mix of herbs and garlic that topped each time The Edge was ordered. It would later become discontinued while Pizza Hut brought in different crust varieties. However, it did make a limited-time comeback in 2021. Many Pizza Hut fans are currently petitioning for The Edge to be put back on the restaurant chain’s daily menu.
#6 – Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
Speaking as someone who is a cook by trade, working with gluten-free products has definitely gone a long way. While some pizza restaurants have yet to deliver a really good Gluten-Free Pizza Crust, Pizza Hut has managed to bring forth a crust that’s too good to resist. Even among foodies who aren’t on a restricted diet, they’ve ordered this particular product from time to time. Usually, in January, this particular crust is sold the most often. We clued in it was part of a New Year’s resolution ritual as people began their own weight loss programs. Unlike most bread-related gluten-free products, the one from Pizza Hut doesn’t taste like chalk. It actually has a nice, savory flavor that keeps the customers coming back for more. It is a healthier alternative to most of Pizza Hut’s crusts, which seems to be appreciated by a growing number of fans who’ve begun to favor this crust more frequently.
#6 – Thin & Crispy Crust
Among fans who love their pizza, they don’t always love a thick crust. For them, the thinner the better. However, they don’t want it so thin that it’s too flimsy to hold the toppings. Pizza Hut rose to the occasion to meet this demand with its Thin & Crispy crust recipe. This was among the original pizza crust recipes Dan and Frank Carvey had in mind when they first opened up shop in Kansas. This, as well as the thicker pizza pan crust, became part of Pizza Hut’s signature lineup.
#5 – Stuffed Crust
When Pizza Hut first introduced its Stuffed Crust in 1995, this was a seasonal product. However, its popularity of it eventually turned it into a regular part of its daily menu. How many of you remember the ads that showed people eating this product backward? Instead of starting at the tip of the pizza, the actors bit into the crust first. Upon that bite, one could see the cheese that hid inside oozing out. Speaking as someone who used to make the dough when I worked at Pizza Hut, what we did was place strings of cheese at the very edge of the pizza dough and roll it forward. The crust itself is identical to the infamous hand-tossed traditional. What prompted Pizza Hut to stuff the crusts of their pizzas was the realization too many customers left the plain crusts behind after visiting the restaurant. The Stuffed Crust was introduced with the hope to encourage customers to change this particular eating habit. Since 1995, the original Stuffed Crust recipe has since offered variants to the product. One such variant features the combination of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni lined up and rolled to form a tasty ring around the entire circumference of the pizza.
#4 – Cheesy Bites Crust
One of the most common issues among pizza fans is the lack of interest to eat the part of the crust that wasn’t topped with our favorite ingredients. One idea Pizza Hut came up with was stuffing the outer crust of each pizza pie with cheese. The Cheesy Bites crust is a step up from the infamous Stuffed Crust recipe. What makes this type of crust so special is the outer rim is cut up into thirty-two pieces and twisted about so each piece can hold the cheese inside. For kids of all ages, this makes the pizza more entertaining to eat. Usually, this crust isn’t always available as it’s been designated as a seasonal product. However, as soon as the ads come out, the fans waste no time ordering this particular crust. If you’re wondering why some restaurants always seem to sell out before the end of the day, that’s because a set amount of pizza dough is made early in the morning. How much is made depends on the projected sales targets set by management. We had to be careful not to make too much and have this type of pizza dough sit around beyond a twenty-four-hour period. This was necessary in order to ensure an optimal quality level of this specially prepared pizza dough.
#3 – Big New Yorker
For starters, authentic New York pizzas made quite an impression as a thin work of doughy art that kept things simple with a spread of tasty tomato-based sauce and mozzarella cheese. Pizza Hut’s version of this has its infamous red sauce kicked up a few notches as a spicier number. Among pizza fans, adding some pepperoni to this crust offers a bit more kick to something so thoroughly enjoyed. It first appeared on a Pizza Hut menu in 1999 before it was discontinued. Fans of this particular pizza and its crust were devastated at the time when this happened. Its 2023 comeback was highly anticipated, along with the hope that Pizza Hut’s limited-time offer is altered so this favorite pizza crust stays on the menu permanently.
#2 – Hand-Tossed Traditional Crust
When I worked at Pizza Hut long ago, I learned to work with the restaurant chain’s infamous thin and crispy crust. Nothing truly beats it as this was part of the successful formula that allowed Dan and Frank Carney to turn their humble little pizzeria into a franchising giant. That, plus the classic red sauce, is what has this particular pizza crust stand out as the all-time fan favorite. The trick Pizza Hut uses is after the hand-tossed original crust is ready to be panned, it’s topped with shredded mozzarella cheese before the classic red sauce is generously spread on top.
#1 – Pizza Pan Crust
When Dan and Frank Carney opened up their first Pizza Hut, it was the original Pizza Pan Crust that started it all. It was the only crust of its kind at the time, which was formed after deep-frying the dough in a shallow pan. On a technical note, this was the first time a pizza crust was designed as a deep dish product. It was fried instead of baked or grilled. The golden edges of the pizza crust are full of flavor and it had some crunch to it. Interestingly enough, this really wasn’t the route the Carneys intended to stick with as they wanted to bring forth a thinner crust. However, the popularity of the pizza pan crust was too great, and remains on top as Pizza Hut’s best-selling crust.
Speaking as someone who used to work at one of Pizza Hut Canada’s call centers, it was the original Pizza Pan crust that was ordered the most often. Out of every ten calls I received at the time, nine of them wanted the golden favorite. Speaking as a former cook, this was the pizza crust we made far more often than the others. While some are likely to disagree this is Pizza Hut’s best crust, the sales figures speak louder than the criticism. It usually outsells the other crusts and it is this particular crust that turned a humble little pizza restaurant from Kansas into the global conglomerate it is now.
Top 10 Pizza Hut Crust Types article published on BigCityReview.com© 2023
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