It’s 2:45 a.m., you want pizza – fresh, delicious pizza. You could spend the next two hours carefully kneading your own dough, waiting for it to rise, stretching and rolling it out across a flat, floured surface, inevitably ripping the stupid dough and then kind of awkwardly sticking it back together and then trying to make this weird kind of “dough band aid” with a separate piece of dough and realize‘this isn’t working!’
Hey, why not just head over to the 24 hour grocery store and grab one of the fine frozen pizzas they sell there? In as little as 18 minutes, you could be eating a relatively fine pizza, fresh from your very own oven! Happy days have returned. Oh, and another option? Plan ahead and stock your freezer with one (or two… or all) of these fine brands of pizza.
Tombstone rounds out the list. We kind of had to put them on here because they are right up therewith Digiorno in terms of market saturation and brand-recognition (you know, the whole “What do you want on your Tombstone” ads). Now, these aren’t the best pizzas available in the freezer aisle, but the fact they almost certainly will be available is a plus – you would be hard pressed to find a grocery store without one or two varieties of Tombstone pizzas waiting just for you. Or for me, if I get there first.
Number 4 is a dark horse entry, and we hope you’ll keep an open mind! It is the Safeway Brand off-label oven bake pizza. Safeway is the parent company of grocery stores, many of which share that name, some go by the name Vons, etc. That part doesn’t matter – what matters is that for around 3 or 4 bucks, you can get an oven bake pizza that is pretty damn good, and tend to be even a bit larger than a lot of these other fellas (we’re looking at you, CPK!). Shorter on varieties than the competition, the size and price of these pies earn them a spot nonetheless. If you don’t live near a Safeway (or subsidiary) store, then please accept my apologies.
Digiorno holds the middle ground. They’re the heavy hitters in this segment of the food market: they’re the ones with the almost eponymous name—you hear “Digiorno” and you think DIY oven bake pizza. So kudos to them for their market positioning, and a tip of the cap for the fact that most of their pizzas are actually pretty good. The “rising crust” they talk about so often doesn’t actually rise quite as much as we’d expect, but Digiorno has all sorts of different pies, from a range of toppings to a variety of crusts, so you will have a range of options if these are your guys (or pies) of choice.
CPK makes some fine pizzas you can make at home! Look for their iconic, retina-searing bright yellow packaging and know that you are just minutes from a pizza just like you can get at an actual California Pizza Kitchen restaurant! Except, not exactly. The CPK line of oven bake pizzas offer you a diversity many other companies don’t (think BBQ chicken), but their actual pies tend to be a bit smaller than others, so they miss out on top honors.
1 Red Baron
Red Baron is our top choice for oven baked pizzas! Why these guys decided to name their line of bake at home pizzas for infamous WWI Fokker tri-plane ace Manfred Von Richthofen, we have no idea. It makes very little sense. Now, name your line of pizzas for an Italian chef? That would have made sense. But that didn’t happen. All is forgiven, though, when one of these fine pies comes out of the oven. Their simple, honest pies are their best, like pepperoni and sausage or just plain ‘ole cheese. Some of the veggie toppings don’t seem to hold up as well during the whole frozen-for-weeks-then-baked process, but now that you are armed with that information, you shall triumph over yourhunger.
The one point we didn’t spend much time hammering on here is price. Ounce for ounce, oven bake pizzas are a way better deal than any pie you are going to order or get at a restaurant, so if you find a brand you like, you stand to save a lot of money while you feast! Assuming you normally spend a lot of money on pizza, that is.