Pizza Hut Hand Tossed vs Original Pan

Pizza lovers are often torn between choosing Pizza Hut hand tossed or original pan pizzas. Both options offer unique textures and flavors but determining which style is the best can be quite a difficult decision. 

This topic aims to provide a comparison between Pizza Hut hand tossed vs original pan pizza varieties. Some key differences will be examined such as the dough, taste, toppings, etc of each, and of course, a discussion about which one is healthier.  

What Is Original Pan Pizza?

The Original Pan Pizza, a classic staple of many pizzerias, traces its roots back to the 1940s in the United States.

The primary difference distinguishing Pan Pizza from its counterparts is its thick, buttery, and crispy crust, prepared in a deep-dish or cast-iron pan. This style of pizza was popularized in the Windy City, leading to its alternate name – the Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

This pizza type, known for its high edges and ample space for chunky tomato sauce, cheese, and various toppings, quickly gained popularity and is beloved by pizza enthusiasts around the world.

The Recipe For Original Pan Pizza

The recipe for an Original Pan Pizza starts with the dough, which is enriched with olive oil for a golden, crispy base. The thick dough is then hand-pressed into a deep-dish pan, allowing it to rise and create its trademark high edges.

Next comes the robust and flavorful tomato sauce, prepared from sun-ripened tomatoes and seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices. This sauce is liberally spread across the dough, right up to the edges, ensuring that each bite is loaded with tangy goodness.

The pizza is then generously topped with mozzarella cheese, known for its perfect melt and stretchability, creating a gooey, cheesy layer that complements the crust and sauce.

The final touch is adding toppings, which can range from traditional choices like pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and olives, to more unique offerings such as pineapple, jalapeno peppers, or even barbecued chicken.

Once assembled, the pizza is baked at a high temperature in the oven. The high sides of the pan protect the pizza, allowing the crust to become crispy and golden, while the inside remains soft and chewy.

The result is a deeply satisfying pizza with a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from other styles.

What Is Hand Tossed Pizza?

Hand-tossed pizza, another well-known variant in the pizza family, holds its origins in the pizzerias of Naples, Italy.

This style of pizza is renowned for its thin, light, and slightly crispy crust, a result of the hand-stretching process executed by skilled pizza chefs, known as “pizzaiolos”.

The tossing technique, an art in itself, aids in the even distribution of heat when the pizza is cooking, thus ensuring a perfect bake. This traditional method of pizza making, while labor-intensive, is appreciated by pizza connoisseurs for the distinctive texture and authenticity it brings to the table.

The Recipe For Hand Tossed Pizza

The recipe for Hand Tossed Pizza starts with a lean dough that consists of only flour, water, salt, and yeast. The dough is kneaded until smooth and then allowed to proof, or rise, which develops flavor and leads to a light, airy crust.

Once the dough has doubled in size, it’s hand-stretched and tossed to form a thin base with a slightly thicker edge. The sauce for Hand-tossed is typically made from ripe tomatoes and a simple seasoning of salt and olive oil, preserving the fresh tomato flavors.

This sauce is spread thinly over the dough, ensuring that the crust remains light and crispy after baking. The pizza is then topped with a moderate amount of mozzarella cheese and any desired toppings.

Unlike Pan Pizza, the toppings for Hand-tossed are often kept simple, to allow the thin, delicate crust to shine through. The pizza is then baked in a very hot oven, resulting in a pizza that is crispy on the bottom and soft on the inside.

Pizza Hut Hand Tossed vs Original Pan – Key Distinctions

Through understanding the origins and recipes of these two types of pizza, have you realized any differences between them?

To not miss anything, please continue reading the following section. It’s brief but helpful for you in choosing the right pizza.

CriteriaPizza Hut Hand Tossed Pizza Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza 
DoughLean and lightSmooth and elastic
TasteLight and freshDeeper and more hearty
CrustThin, light, and slightly crispy (more traditional crust)Thick, golden, crispy crust (fluffy on the inside)
ToppingsSimpler and more traditionalWide range of toppings
ShapeThin, round, and flat shapeBased on the size and shape of the pan

1. Dough

The dough used in Hand-tossed pizza is lean and light, resulting in a thin, airy crust. It’s hand-stretched and tossed by pizzaiolos for an even bake.

In contrast, Original Pan pizza dough is enriched with olive oil and pressed into a deep-dish pan. This creates a thick, crispy base with high edges, a hallmark of this style. The dough’s distinct preparations lend each pizza type its unique texture and flavor profile.

2. Taste

The taste profiles of Pizza Hut hand tossed vs original pan pizzas are distinctively different due to their unique preparation methods. 

Hand-tossed pizza, with its lean dough and simple tomato sauce, offers a light, fresh taste which allows the flavor of the toppings and the slightly charred crust to take center stage.

On the other hand, the Original Pan pizza, with its rich olive oil-enriched dough and robust sauce, delivers a deeper, more hearty taste. The generous layer of mozzarella cheese and choice of diverse toppings further enhance the flavor, making each bite a delightful experience.

3. Crust

Hand-tossed pizza boasts a thin, light, and slightly crispy crust, achieved by hand-stretching and tossing the lean dough. A bite of this pizza reveals a delicate balance between the airy crust, simple sauce, and toppings.

Conversely, the Original Pan pizza sports a thick, golden, crispy crust, thanks to the oil-enriched dough pressed into a deep dish. The crust’s high edges accommodate a generous layer of sauce, cheese, and toppings, offering a hearty flavor in every bite.

These crust characteristics shape the unique taste and texture of each pizza type.

4. Toppings

The toppings for the Hand-Tossed and Original Pan pizzas at Pizza Hut vary greatly. Hand-tossed pizzas usually feature simpler, more traditional toppings, allowing the thin, light crust to be the star.

In contrast, the Original Pan pizza, with its thicker, crispy crust, can accommodate a wide range of toppings. From traditional options to unique offerings, these toppings add depth to the hearty flavor profile of the pan pizza.

Thus, your choice between the two might boil down to whether you prefer a simpler, more traditional pizza experience or a richer, more topping-heavy delight.

5. Shape

The Hand-Tossed pizza is characterized by its thin, round, and flat shape, resulting from the skillful tossing by pizzaiolos. This shape allows for an even distribution of toppings and a uniform bake.

In contrast, the shape of the Original Pan is based on the size and shape of the pan. This often results in a square or rectangle, providing a distinct appearance that differentiates it from its hand-tossed counterpart. The deep edges formed by the pan also contribute to its unique structure, offering more space for a rich layering of sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Hand-Tossed and Original Pan Pizza – The Same Cooking Temperature

Besides the mentioned differences between them, we found out that the cooking temperatures of these two pizzas are quite the same. 

Both are cooked at temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) for approximately 15 minutes. This high heat is essential to achieve the perfect combination of crispy crust and melty toppings. 

In such a short time, the intense temperature works its magic, transforming the dough and toppings into a delicious, golden pizza that’s ready to enjoy. This common cooking method ensures that, regardless of your pizza preference, you’re guaranteed a hot, scrumptious meal every time.

Which Pizza Is Healthier?

Are you wondering which type of pizza is healthier? The Hand Tossed crust from Pizza Hut is generally healthier than the Original Pan crust. Specifically:

– The calories per slice are lower for the Hand Tossed crust, at 120 calories for a medium slice versus 160 calories for a medium Original Pan slice.

– The large Hand Tossed slice has 160 calories compared to 225 calories for a large Original Pan slice.

Therefore, we can easily see that the Pizza Hut Hand Tossed crust can be considered the healthier choice due to its lower calorie count per slice. The thinner Hand-tossed crust contains fewer calories than the thicker, chewier Original Pan crust.

Types Of Pizza Hut PizzaServing SizeCalories
Medium Original PanLarge Original PanSmall Hand TossedMedium Hand TossedLarge Hand Tossed
Backyard BBQ Chicken Pizza1/8 of pizza260370140230300
Buffalo Chicken Pizza1/8 of pizza220320110190260
Cheese Pizza1/8 of pizza240350130210280
Cheesesteak Pizza1/8 of pizza260380220310
Hawaiian Chicken Pizza1/8 of pizza240340130200280
Meat Lover’s® Pizza1/8 of pizza310450170280390
Pepperoni Pizza1/8 of pizza250360130220300
Pepperoni Lover’s® Pizza1/8 of pizza290430150260370
Supreme Pizza1/8 of pizza260380140230320
Veggie Lover’s® Pizza1/8 of pizza230330120190260


Which Type Of Pizza Is Better: Pizza Hut Hand-Tossed Or Original Pan?

The answer to this question largely depends on personal preference. If you favor a lighter, more traditional pizza, the Hand-Tossed pizza may be your go-to. Its thin crust allows the flavors of the toppings to shine through.

However, if you enjoy a heartier, richer pizza with a crispy, thick crust and a deeper flavor profile, the Original Pan pizza may be a better fit. The generous layer of cheese and toppings on the pan pizza make for a fulfilling meal.


In conclusion, the choice between Pizza Hut hand-tossed vs original pan is a personal one, shaped by individual preferences for crust type, toppings, and overall pizza experience. 

If you prioritize a light, traditional pizza with a thin, crispy crust, then the Hand-tossed option might be your best bet. On the other hand, if a hearty, flavorful pizza with a thick, golden crust appeals to you more, then you might find the Original Pan pizza to your liking. 

Regardless of your choice, both pizzas promise a delightful culinary experience, leaving you satisfied.

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