Critical analysis of the crusts, sauces, flavors, finishers, etc.
The pan crust: The most popular pizza PH serves. If you want a pan pizza, there’s really only one place to go, anywhere else that serves the pan style pizza sucks at it (assuming you don’t live in a major city with 1,000 independent places). On the plus side, there’s really no other kind of pizza that provides you with a thick, soft slice even in the center of the pizza. The cons- the crust is saturated with that buttery flavor which is great when the pizza is fresh, but in my opinion, just tastes like grease when the pizza is cold. You may like it and you may not, but it’s really better when it’s made fresh. This pizza has been around for a long while, and the crust is what people tend to think of when they think of pizza hut. Many people won’t want to mess with something that already works.
With the new menu: Here’s the thing, the crust is already saturated with oil, that gives it its distinct flavor. One of the new kinds of crust finishers is the garlic butter flavor, and the hut favorite, which is that same flavor, plus Parmesan and parsley. Those are great finishers, but remember: That’s more butter oil, garlic, and salty cheese. On top of more oil that already comes on the crust. What you’re going to get is creeping deeply into the unhealthy range, and it’s going to be too oily and salty for most people. I dunno, if you like it, go for it, but it’s not the best use of that flavor.
What works best with the pan crust, in my opinion, is if you like to get cheddar, Parmesan, or asiago cheese flavor on your pizza. It gives the crust a different flavor without it adding significantly more oil to the crust, and because it’s toasted on to the crust, it will still be a familiar consistency and texture, what you’re adding is a flavor kick to it. And if you like really, really spicy flavors, the fiery red pepper finisher or honey sriracha flavors also go well. Keep in mind the honey sriracha is extremely spicy, comparable to the burning hot sauce or fiery red pepper, in other words, if you’re not sure you’ll enjoy very spicy food, it *will *be too hot for you.
The ginger boom flavor and the curry flavor are powdered spices which will absolutely add flavor to the crust, and sits well with the oil that is already on the crust, without adding more. But, you have to like ginger, garlic, black pepper, and paprika as a flavor combination, or curry, which isn’t for everyone. That being said, those flavors will probably appeal a lot to folks who avoid the meats, and like to dress up their pizza with other kinds of flavor sources.
The hand tossed crust: They redid the recipe for this kind of dough many months back, so it is an improvement over the old style. The dough tends to form into the correct shape most people associate with a hand tossed pizza, and the outside fluffs up a bit when it’s made properly. If you’re looking for a style of pizza to try out new crust flavors, THIS is the correct first choice.
With the new menu: Because the crust is not already saturated with oil, your garlic butter flavor, or the hut favorite garlic butter / parm flavor go well with this crust. In particular, the garlic butter flavor is a significant improvement over the original hand tossed which had an okay crust, but no memorable flavor to it.
If you actually want to try the soft pretzel idea, this crust is the one you want to try it on. The salt and different style of butter will complement this crust in ways it just doesn’t on the pan style. This style of crust is also exceptional for the spicy flavors, in particular the fiery red pepper and the honey sriracha on the outside, because the crust provides the proper medium to carry those new flavors. Again, fair warning, those are very hot flavors, too hot for people who don’t otherwise eat a lot of hot flavors.
The toasted cheeses also work well on this crust, because there’s room for it. But, the crust is missing something in my opinion when it’s just hand tossed and cheese, it might be just a touch too dry for some. Would really work well with dipping sauces, for those who like to dip the crust.
The stuffed crust: Okay, this is a long time favorite for many many people, and the new butter I think is an improvement over the old butter, because it actually melts on the pizza, the old kind was just a spray-on flavor.
That being said, on a stuffed crust pizza, the crust is half of the whole point of the pizza, so if you know you like a certain flavor, there is plenty of space to try them out on this pizza.
With the new menu: other than the usual warnings about salt, for the salted pretzel and Parm flavors, you really could go nuts with the crust finishers here. The big fluffy cheese filled edge is the perfect medium to add a flavor to it, there’s plenty of space and the cheese-filled crust is meant to be devoured anyway.
I would really just recommend going with the flavor you like, the toasted cheeses, or the new garlic butter, would be excellent. But I think this would also be a great crust for the powder flavors like the ginger boom or the curry flavor, if that’s your thing, because there’s room for the powder to be spread out on. If you’re going to do it, make sure you get the **usual butter **on the outside as well as those powder flavors, otherwise it will be noticeably drier. Then the butter serves as a good medium for the powder to sit on. Dipping sauces are a great add on.
The thin crust: I’m a weirdo, and I know that this, my personal favorite, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Why I like it is because it contains almost none of the oils that the other pizzas have, and I do not like a greasy pizza. The cheese and the pepperoni that I usually get provide enough oils to make the pizza have flavor, and the sauce gives it the flavor and moisture you need to call it a pizza, in my view. I always, always get this crust with extra sauce, because it is a radically different experience than if you get it dry. If you like a crunchy, drier pizza, and can’t stand too much sauce, this pizza is fine for you normally. But if you’re like me, and only want the crust to be a little crispy, and the rest of the pizza to just be thin and saucy, then get extra sauce. There’s a real significant difference in the flavor and texture and consistency of the pizza when you double up the sauce. This dough and the pan dough are the best pizzas for people who love extra pizza sauce, in my view.
With the new menu: There’s not a significant amount of “crust” to really flavor up. In particular, the baked on cheeses will likely be sitting inside the crust lip, on the pizza itself rather than on the edge where it’s supposed to be, because there’s no room. You’re still getting the flavor but it’s not on the very edge of the crust. Same with the powders, there’s no place to put it but inside the crust lip.
If you want to flavor up this crust, I’d really recommend either the garlic butter, or the hut favorite, or the fiery red pepper, or the honey sriracha, because all of those are applied to the crust with a brush, which allows flavor to actually stick to the little bit of space there is to put flavor there. Thing is, you’re going to want to order this one from a less-busy store, because this is a delicate procedure that will probably be done incorrectly at a high-volume store. Middle of dinner rush at a busy store, putting any kind of crust finishers on a thin crust will probably be done wrong, because there’s just not enough time to do it right. Middle of the afternoon is your best bet.
But crush finishers aren’t all that is new. There’s also 4 flavors you can add as a “drizzle” on top of the pizza.
Honey barbecue is the most popular and probably the best complement to a wide variety of flavors, in particular, if you like a meat lover’s pizza, or get things like ham, pork, beef, or meatballs on your pizza. It just goes well.
But, if you like buffalo chicken pizza, or just enjoy buffalo sauce, consider adding buffalo sauce to any pizza that includes chicken as a topping. The buffalo sauce is **not **the mild variety, so there is a very noticeable and strong flavor to it, and it’s spicy.
Honey Sriracha is even hotter than the buffalo sauce, and it has a different kind of flavor to it. If you’re not sure you’ll like it, try getting a carry out pizza and asking at the counter for them to put sriracha on one slice, lightly, after your pizza is already made, and see if you want the flavor on the whole pizza. You gotta buy the whole pizza, but at least if you don’t like it you’re only wasting a slice. And if you do like it, you can ask them to put it on the whole pizza.
They can’t do stuff on one slice in other circumstances, there’s not enough space to put those kind of instructions on a ticket especially if there are other customizations involved like light sauce, well done, etc. Just speak to a manager about wanting to try a little bit of a flavor on one slice, in person, for the best results. It’s not something they’ll “officially” do, but that kind of a request is far easier to carry out than most others. It really is the best way to try a new flavor you’re not sure you want to spend a whole $13 bucks on for a whole pizza, just to toss it away if you hate it.
There’s also the balsamic vinegar, which I would recommend for those vegetarian pizza lover types, in particular, the new baby spinach and the balsamic vinegar. Because the spinach is not cooked spinach, it is fresh spinach, and balsamic vinegar may go well with uncooked spinach for the folks who already like the fresh spinach. Speaking of which, you can’t get the spinach cooked, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you could.
They’re running deals where you can get two medium pizzas for a discounted price in my area, so that’s a great way to try the new crust finishers and drizzles without spending bank.
Get two medium hand-tossed pizzas and add any flavor you’re curious about. It’s also a good way to try the new toppings.
The new toppings:
You got salami. When cooked on a pizza it’s comparable to a large-scale pepperoni, with of course it’s own flavor. If you like salami on its own, try a salami pizza, but it’s also good with other kinds of meats, like your usual meat lover combinations, but if you like pepperoni and you also like salami, the two can complement each other well, because they’re about the same thickness, in much the same way the pepperoni and ham complement one another. Ham and salami could be interesting.
You also got meatballs, which are slightly bigger and more like traditional meatballs than the beef or pork sausage they already served. You’re going to notice these on your pizza, so I’d recommend designing a pizza around the meatballs, rather than tossing on the meatballs as an afterthought. What meats would go with it, what veggies, what flavors on top, etc.
Your aforementioned uncooked baby spinach, which is also a unique flavor that you’ll notice on the pizza, it’s going to affect the texture quite a bit, because you just can’t help but notice fresh uncooked spinach leaves on top of the rest of your pizza. As with the meatballs, I recommend building your pizza around the idea of spinach being there, like with the balsamic vinegar finisher, rather than considering it just another topping. But there’s seriously nothing else like it on the menu, and it’s real, very fresh spinach leaves.
Cherry peppers, I have not tried them yet despite being a fan of peppers in general, so I can’t review them, or even tell you about their flavor, but I can say they are a kind of chili pepper. It could be a great addition to an already fairly varied veggie menu. If you’re getting a pizza with a ton of different veggies, especially, consider the cherry pepper for something new.
Some pizza huts had banana peppers already, but now they all should. It’s already a fairly popular veg, so this one should be familiar.
You can make your pizza with parmesan alfredo sauce, recommended combinations would be the ones that include chicken, or for people who like a white sauce cheese lover’s pizza and then want to add other toppings on that. Works really well on the hand tossed- on the pan pizza, it tends to dip toward the center of the pizza, leaving less of it toward the edge. Works great on a thin crust for those who want to try a thin crust alfredo sauce chicken pizza, or cheese lover’s.
You can make it with the regular pizza sauce, and they will unless otherwise specified. I always recommend extra pizza sauce on the thin crust.
You can make it with the new premium crushed tomato sauce, for variety. It’s supposed to be sweeter. I’d recommend doing it on crusts other than the thin crust, you will probably not taste the difference on the thin crust unless you get extra sauce.
You can base the pizza on top of honey barbecue sauce for the first time, which goes especially well with meat pizzas, bacon, ham, and so forth. Hey, this sauce is fantastic when you put it on a hand tossed pizza or a pan pizza.
You can base the pizza on top of buffalo sauce, which works well with chicken pizzas in particular, and especially well on the hand tossed crust. It’s a bit too fluid-y to work well with the pan pizza in terms of staying in one spot or keeping your toppings from sliding all around, but if you don’t mind a messy pizza, go for it.
I wouldn’t recommend mixing a whole lot of unknown flavors together at once even if you otherwise enjoy them- you might like parm cheese, you might love baby spinach, you might love buffalo sauce, but combining all three might taste really odd.
Best way is to take something you already like and add one new flavor, and see if it works. Order your regular pizza order, and jazz it up with the new garlic butter and see how that tastes. It’s garlic-y but mild enough where if you at least don’t HATE garlic you’ll still have a satisfying meal.
Oh, and you can get your breadsticks toasted the same way as the crust.
The cheddar, asiago, parm cheese, or you can put honey sriracha or fiery red pepper on them. That’s an excellent way to see if you want that flavor on the crust of your pizza without ruining the pizza if you hate it.
Get dipping sauces. The sticks come with marinara but go nuts, try bleu cheese, ranch, garlic butter, or order one of the wing sauces.
You know you can order cups of any of the wing sauce flavors, right? You can dip your toasted cheddar cheese sticks into honey barbecue sauce if you wanted.
Ordinarily I am *blasé *about breadsticks at pizza hut, I think that Dominos, believe it or not, has the better **bread **options… in particular, their cinnamon sticks are much better than Pizza Hut’s. However, there’s nothing wrong with the basic breadstick at pizza hut, and the new flavor options offer something Dominos just doesn’t touch.
If you mix up the dipping sauces or add flavor finishers other than the usual breadstick seasoning, they are suddenly something to get excited about.
Honey Sriracha is way, way more spicy than sweet! Not for the timid. **Fiery red pepper **is actually *really *good if you like the heat and already put red pepper packets on your pizza. But it’s very hot. The buffalo they use for the sauce and drizzles is medium, not mild! Works best with chicken. **Parmesan cheese **finisher adds a lot of salt! Parm cheese is among the saltiest kinds of cheese. **Pretzel pizza works best on hand tossed with butter! You might not want to get an already salty kind of pizza loaded with salted meats or tons of cheese and then also get pretzel salt… try it on a less salty pizza, perhaps a veggie-based pizza or at least mixed veg and meats, like a supreme. Then the salt is actually a distinct and different flavor, and you can actually savor it rather than be overwhelmed by it! Curry and ginger flavors are powdered, work best on a crust that already has butter. Banana peppers for everyone. Works best with other veggies, but can stand on its own or with meats. Barbecue sauce, Barbecue sauce everywhere. Put it as a drizzle on most kinds of pizzas, seriously, you almost can’t go wrong with a touch of barbecue. Do this before trying a barbecue base-sauce pizza, though, see if you like that first. The new garlic butter and the new hand tossed is a flavor combination you’re going to appreciate if you haven’t tried Pizza hut in a while. Toasted cheeses on the crust, toasted cheeses on your breadsticks. Then, **dipping sauces. **Try those combinations in particular. Marinara sauce is great, but bread goes with other kinds of dips too. Garlic butter, ranch, buffalo, barbecue. Give them a try.