Our panel's collective palate declared Pizza Hut the winner in every category. Falling toward the bottom of the price pack, Pizza Hut is easily worth every penny.
By an overwhelming majority, Pizza Hut swept every category in a blind tasting that also involved Domino's Pizza, Papa John's, and Little Caesars. The largest pizza chain in the U.S. claimed a solid seven out of 11 votes for best pie in all three categories: basic cheese, pepperoni, and onion and green pepper. Not only were the Pizza Hut reviews positive, the chain's $10.99 price for a large cheese pizza was second lowest (after Little Caesars). Toppings were on the high side, though, at $1.59 each.
The judges' reasoning for naming Pizza Hut the crowd favorite was elementary: The fundamentals were consistent and all accounted for. "It has a nice sauce balance and buttery crust," in the words of one reviewer. Another simply said, "I love the crust," while a third noted that "it has a great buttery flavor that complements the nice and fluffy crust." Over and over, the tasters described the sauce as "sweet," a sensation that apparently hit the spot. Some of these traits didn't go over so well with editors at Epicurious in a similar taste test. They preferred Domino's, one of the more expensive options, but gave Pizza Hut second place for abundant cheese and toppings. Our panel praised the balance between toppings and cheese.
In terms of nutrition, health-conscious diners should note that a slice from a large cheese pie contains 290 calories and 11 grams of fat. According to information on Pizza Hut’s website, the veggie toppings we chose would contribute no additional calories to a pizza’s overall total. The calories contained in a slice topped with pepperoni will vary. Add pepperoni to a cheese pizza and the counts increase to 320 calories and 14 grams of fat, but if pepperoni is included as an ingredient on a 1-2 topping “create your own” pizza, which will include reduced amounts of cheese, counts will drop to 300 calories and 13 grams of fat.
We called on Pizza Hut's delivery service the night we sampled pies. The nearest location in Columbus, Ohio, estimated a 35-minute window and the pizzas arrived piping hot within 25 minutes. Pizza Hut offers dine-in and carryout service as well as delivery. The menu also includes pasta, breadsticks, and cheese sticks, as well as WingStreet wings in places where this corporate sibling is co-located.
Pizza Hut is the largest chain purveyor of inexpensive pizza by far. With more than 16,000 locations worldwide, Pizza Hut's reliable ubiquity makes it the go-to option for numerous fans of this American staple. They’ve recently launched a Hut Rewards program that allows customers to earn points towards free pizzas.