Frozen pizza is popular, but not with everyone. Some people claim frozen pizza tastes like cardboard, wood, or even rocks. Is there anything to these claims?
An unfavorable taste in frozen pizza could be caused by exposure to air, the water content of fresh vegetables, fluctuating temperatures, freezer burn, and bacterial or mold spoilage due to improper handling.
Read on to learn how to keep your frozen pizzas tasting great!
Why Do Frozen Pizzas Taste Bad?
One reason people give for disliking frozen pizza is that they prefer fresh food items over frozen, processed foods.
Frozen foods are safe because the low temperatures prevent spoilage microbes from growing. But, unfortunately, the pizza’s flavor and quality won’t improve during freezing (source: UT Extension Institute of Agriculture).
According to the University of Minnesota, freezing food can cause changes in its quality, especially when it comes to fresh foods (source: University of Minnesota Extension).
The first reason this happens is air. When frozen foods are exposed to air, this can cause a rancid taste. This can happen in frozen pizzas if the pizza box is not totally sealed.
Whenever the freezer door is opened, whether at home or in grocery stores, the pizza could get exposed to air. This can also happen when you drive home from the store or leave the pizza outside the freezer.
Frozen pizza that is made with fresh vegetables is more susceptible to changes. Vegetables are composed of more than 90% water. When frozen, the water cells within the plant cells get frozen. Water expands when it freezes, and the ice crystals prompt the cell walls to break.
This is why if a frozen pizza contains fresh tomatoes or other vegetables and is thawed, it can become mushy and watery.
Another factor would be changing temperatures. Be sure to set your freezer to a consistent freezing temperature.
Water vapor can accumulate on the surface of the frozen pizza, which could cause changes to the quality and flavor. Freezer burn can also cause a distasteful flavor in foods (source: University of Minnesota Extension).
To prevent freezer burn, you can put the frozen pizza into another airtight container. For best results, consume your frozen pizza within a few weeks after purchase.
Last but not least, frozen pizza might taste off because it has gone bad or was already spoiled when you purchased it.
Improper handling of frozen foods allows spoilage organisms to survive and grow. This can lead to the frozen pizza tasting bad, even after baking.
Why Do All Frozen Pizzas Taste the Same or Similar?
Frozen pizza recipes are almost always kept secret by their manufacturers, so you would think they would taste different from each other. So why do frozen pizzas tend to have a similar flavor, regardless of the brand?
Frozen pizzas contain additives and preservatives to make them last longer. These ingredients help the pizzas maintain their quality in the freezer, and also give them that distinctive frozen pizza flavor (source: Foods Guy).
In summary, here are some ways to make the most out of your frozen pizza:
- If you don’t plan to cook your frozen pizza just yet, make sure your freezer is at the correct temperature.
- Keep the frozen pizza at the back of the freezer to prevent air exposure.
- Don’t overload the freezer. This can lead to a slow and long freezing time, which can then result in inferior quality.
- Consume frozen pizza within a few weeks of purchase to prevent changes in texture and taste.
If you find frozen pizza to be tasteless and bland, give these tips a try to improve the flavor!