What I found at … is a series that tests and vets intriguing store-bought foodie finds.
What: Outsiders Pizza Company Detroit-style three-cheese pizza
Where: Frozen foods aisle at Foodland and Target stores
Cost: $13.99 (on ad for $9.69)
Q: Can this frozen pizza turn out better than delivery pizza?
If you're the type that goes straight for the corner piece of lasagna, Detroit-style pizza is your type of pizza. Heartier and rough around edges in a good way, Detroit pizza is characterized by its rectagular or square shape and buttery, caramelized cheese crust. Being from the Motor City, it's believed the father of Detroit pizza Gus Guerra re-purposed the once common industrial steel pans used for parts for baking the pizzas.
As the pizza bakes, toppings on the edge caramelize into the crust, forming a crispy layer of melted cheese you wish all pizzas had. I first discovered it in a hipstery corner of Austin, Texas at a food trailer called Via 313. Specializing in Detroit-style pies, they have consistently won awards and national recognition since 2012. It's what I crave when I think about eating my way through Austin.
I am that corner-piece type of eater. So when I saw Outsiders Pizza Company's Detroit-style pizza on sale in my neighborhood Foodland freezer section, I had to give it a go. I went for the three-cheese so I could customize it at home with my own toppings. Other varieties in the freezer included one with Genoa salame and brick cheese and another with barbecue pulled pork and bacon. Foodland also carries Outsiders' Milwaukee-style pizza, which can be considered the complete opposite of Detroit-style: round with a thin, cracker-like crust.
I added some pepperoni I had on hand. Since the pizzas come in a baking tray, all you have to do is pop it into a pre-heated oven for 24 minutes and let it do its thing. Directions say to avoid letting the pizza thaw and to bake it until its internal temperature is at least 165º Farenheit.
Out of the oven, the resulting pizza is stunning with ombre brown edges and a plush center dotted with pepperoni that have crisped ever so slightly. For something that came from the freezer aisle, I'm impressed with how well Outsiders Pizza has nailed the crust — it's buttery with distinct edges of nutty, caramelized Wisconsin brick, white cheddar and fontina cheeses. The texture is pillowy on top with a defined bite on the bottom and the sauce has a pleasing spice. It far exceeds what I expected from a frozen pizza: I didn't need to adjust seasoning or add anything other than pepperoni.
Having grown up eating both DiGiorno frozen pizzas and delivery pizza, I can confidently say Outsiders Detroit-style pizza is far better than either. Biting into the first corner slice reminded me why I love Detroit-style pizza in the first place.
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