While pizza may have originated in Italy, it has become a most beloved American institution, with 100 acres-worth of pies consumed each day in the US! Costco brings pizza to its hungry customers at its famous food court.
But, if you’ve never had it before, you might be intimidated, or worse, skeptical. You should try the pie next time you’re at Costco, and to give you a little nudge, I’ve got 15 things to know before buying Costco pizza!
15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Pizza In 2023
1. Costco Pizza Has Enough Slices To Feed The Entire Family
Should you opt for an entire pizza from Costco’s food court, it’s best to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Introduced in 1989, the pizzas feature a typical 12-slice cut, but they’re also a whopping 18 inches in diameter.
Also, the topping-happy combo version can weigh as much as four-and-a-half pounds! As you can see, Costco doesn’t skimp on anything in terms of quality or quantity.
2. You Don’t Have To Buy An Entire Pizza
If you only want one slice, Costco isn’t going to make you take home an entire pizza.
With that, you absolutely can purchase individual slices of pizza, though the entire thing is a better value, and you won’t be able to make any crazy customizations.
3. Costco Pizza Is Easy On Your Wallet
An entire Costco food court pizza is only $10 (or $9.95) and has been for ages.
Further, Costco is known and lauded for price freezes on many of its most popular items (the hot dog deal, the rotisserie chickens), and the pizza is no different.
Also, you can buy pizza by the slice at $2 each if you’re looking for a snack rather than a feast.
4. Order Pizza At The Food Court
As I’ve mentioned, Costco’s popular pizza is available at the food court, not among the aisles, in the bakery, or elsewhere.
However, Costco does sell different pizzas in other areas of the store (I’ll get into that further down), but its fresh, hot pizzas come from the food court counter.
5. Costco Pizza Is Customizable (To A Point)
When you sidle up to the counter to order, you have three pizza options: cheese, pepperoni, and combo.
Obviously, the cheese option is self-explanatory and unbelievably generous. In contrast, the pepperoni includes no less than 60 slices of salty meat.
Finally, the combo option comes with Italian sausage, pepperoni, sliced bell pepper, red onion, mushrooms, and black olives.
Additionally, if you’ve got picky eaters, no problem! Costco can actually divide the pizzas by type.
So, if your partner won’t eat meat, they get one-half cheese, and if you like all the toppings, you can do the other half as a combo.
Also, it seems you can ask the food court associates to mix the ingredients up a bit, too.
For example, since Costco offers green peppers, onions, and pepperoni, it stands to reason the staff could put those three on a pie.
Still, some enterprising Costco customers have asked for other non-pizza toppings like sauerkraut, chicken slices, maybe even BBQ brisket.
However, it’s important to note that whether Costco employees are willing to make these adjustments is entirely up to them and the store policy.
Finally, if they’re available, these off-menu customizations are only for entire pizzas. Put another way; you can’t get special toppings on just one slice.
6. You Won’t Be Waiting Too Long For Your Pizza
If you call a pizza joint on a Friday night, you know you’re in for an hour-long wait.
At Costco, though, the food court pizza is assembled via a well-oiled process, and as such, the kitchen can churn them out quickly.
With the fast process in place, it keeps the line moving no matter how busy the food court gets at Costco.
7. There’s A Costco Pizza Robot
To the delight of many, part of the Costco food court pizza process involves a pizza robot.
But, it’s actually for applying just the right amount of sauce, and the machine, which looks like a record player, quickly spins the crust while the arm dispenses in rings.
Overall, the whole thing takes about 30 seconds.
8. Costco Pizza Has Been Called “Addicting”
Is Costco pizza good? You have to wonder because it’s so cheap.
How can something that size, made at that speed, actually be any good?
Well, Southern Living and Reader’s Digest called it “delicious,” and Parade magazine (from your Sunday newspaper) calls it “addicting.”
Moreover, other words to describe Costco pizza are “satisfying,” “flawless,” and “drool-worthy.”
So, if you haven’t made up your mind yet to give it a shot, this seems to be the sign you should!
9. Prepare Yourself For A Cheesy Experience
Speaking of ingredients, Costco’s food court does not skimp on the cheese in terms of quality or quantity.
The cheese-only pizzas, for example, receive 24 ounces (a pound and a half) of cheese.
Moreover, Costco uses a blend of 80% skim milk mozzarella with an aged Parmesan.
10. Costco Pizza Dough Is For Real
The cheese isn’t the only thing that’s real with Costco’s pizza, so is the dough!
With that, the dough comes from a Brooklyn-based distributor (hence the NY-style, foldable-slice pies), and they bring new batches to stores every single day.
Once it has arrived at its destination Costco, it gets the royal treatment, a full 24 hours (at least) of rising and proofing.
After that, it’s punched down into the perfect circle by a machine and fitted into a “dough docker” that creates indents into the circular crust.
Also, this keeps the dough from randomly bubbling during baking.
11. Pizzas Come To You Fresh
You can always count on a fresh slice from Costco because the pizzas are only kept for an hour before a fresh one replaces it, hot out of the oven.
After the hour is up, a new pizza takes its place.
12. Costco Pizza Is A Calorie Splurge
Costco pizza is easy on the wallet, but unfortunately, not on the waistline. A single piece, and bear in mind, they’re large pieces, can contain as many as 700 calories.
So, treat it as a splurge, much like shopping at Costco in general for many people.
13. Costco Pizza Is Not As Unhealthy As It Seems
I know I just said that the pizza at Costco is pretty high in calories, but as far as processed foods go, this item could be worse.
For example, Costco pizza contains zero lard, trans fats, or hydrogenated oils, a feat you usually can’t duplicate unless you’re making pizza at home from scratch.
14. Costco Pizza Is One Of America’s Favorite Pies
When I say people love Costco pizza, I’ve got numbers to back up that claim!
Specifically, Costco’s food court was technically the 14th-largest pizza chain in the country in 2015.
Now, that might not sound so impressive but bear in mind that Costco stores aren’t open super late, nor is pizza even close to being its top-ticket item or the focus of the business.
15. There Are Take-And-Bake Pizza Options
Although the focus has been on the food court pizzas at Costco, there are non-frozen take-n-bake options in the store’s deli area, as well.
With that, Bacino’s says that Costco sells a five-cheese pizza and a pepperoni version that you can bake up in your home oven.
Moreover, another benefit to this option is that you can buy any extra ingredients you fancy and bake them on.
Costco pizza from its food court is a tremendous deal, with a whole pie selling for only $10 and individual slices for $2.
Ask nicely, and you can even customize your 18-inch pizza, though the cheese, pepperoni, and combo classics are all more than worthy on their own.