Reality Check: Red Baron By the Slice Frozen Pizza
The folks from Red Baron parachuted in late last week with an assortment of new products that should be appearing in your local freezer section soon. Perhaps the one that interested me the most was their By the Slice microwaveable pizza. I mean, look at the box. It says "By the SLICE" on it, with the emphasis on SLICE, as if they were trying to get my attention.
Billed as "the first microwaveable slice of pizza that provides unbelievable pizza taste from the microwave."
"Unbelievable," huh? That sounds like fightin' words, so I figured I'd put the stuff through its paces in a Slice Reality Check.
Suggested retail price is $3.49, which gets you two slices to a package. We were provided a "Meat Trio" package. Honestly, I would have rather tried the 4-Cheese or the Supreme. I don't really trust frozen pizza meat toppings, and if I actually do hazard them, I'd rather have some veggies for contrast rather than meat, meat, meat. But whatever. You play the hand you're dealt, right?
The slices are individually wrapped, each in a microwave crisping tray.
Instructions are very specific and much more involved than any microwave pizza you've ever zapped.
- First remove the plastic wrap, duh
- Then put the thing on your microwave turntable but at the edge
- Microwave on high for 60 seconds
- Then move it into the center of the turntable and nuke for 70 to 85 seconds more
- Then remove from microwave and let it cool for a minute
Yeah, if you don't heed anything else, make sure you let this stuff rest. It gets wicked hot.
Remove the pizza from the tray, you see there's some sort of Tron-like zappity thing going on. I assume that's there to try to give you the crispness you expect from real oven-baked pizza. Does it work? Sort of. I wouldn't say my slice was exactly crisp, but it was not soggy, which is what you typically get from a microwaved slice.
For those of you interested in the hole structure of this pizza, here you go.
And there's the upskirt. Note that there is actually some charring. This is "Fire Baked," pizza after all.
The meat trio tasted a bit off. I found it had a strange aftertaste that was not so agreeable. As I said, I would have liked to have tried a 4-Cheese.
The big question, though, is why you would go for pizza by the slice in frozen, microwaveable form. I guess this might be geared toward office workers. Or toward lonely bachelors who are afraid to bake up a whole frozen pizza for fear they either won't finish it all in one sitting—or are afraid they actually might do just that.
Or maybe it's for folks looking for portion control—even though it's not specifically positioned as such in its box taglines. At 380 calories a slice for the Meat Trio slice, it's filling but hardly diet-killing. Based on a 2,000-calorie daily intake, it's only 19 percent of your total.