There room plenty the very good reasons to go to Costco — too many to list, together a matter of fact. You know that as soon as a store offers literal buckets of mac and cheese it"s a place you should definitely be shopping. However there"s additionally the food court to consider, which should be at the really top of your list of factors to constant the warehouse store. 


While most every little thing the Costco food court sell is utterly delicious, and though they"re maybe most famed for your $1.50 warm dog and soda combo, it"s your pizza that"s tops. Somehow, someway, a store recognized for bargain-priced bulk toilet document and $5 rotisserie chickens has managed to make pizza that"s tastier than actual pizzerias. 

How carry out they perform it? turns out, as well as copious quantity of cheese and also toppings, the Costco food court employs not only humans, however robots, too, come crank out their oh-so-tasty pies. Beginning from one unassuming ball of dough, and also ending v that ginormous perfect product, here"s exactly how Costco pizza is made.

You are watching: Costco food court pepperoni pizza ingredients


*
Shutterstock
All pizza needs to start with good dough, right? But many of us can think earlier to a visit come the so-called ideal pizzeria in the neighborhood, just to be disappointed by the crust. Occasionally it"s too thick, occasionally it"s as well thin, occasionally it"s too doughy, periodically it"s too crispy. Basically, if you"re Goldilocks, the Costco food court is the place for you since their crust is just right.


According to Thrillist, Costco purchases your dough from a new York distributor — Brooklyn-based come be specific — that delivers the dough daily. So not only do you understand it"s at sight fresh, you likewise know it"s legit (if you"re a pan of brand-new York-style pizza, anyway — fans of deep food Chicago-style, perhaps keep moving). As soon as the warehouse stores get the dough, it"s rested and also proofed, and Kaiwen Zhao, a supervisor at Costco, explained in a Quora thread the taking the moment with those procedures is a large part that the pizza"s overall success. "We invest a the majority of time top top dough management, it normally takes 24–27 hrs for a dough come be prepared to press," the said.


*
YouTube
After the dough is lovingly tended to because that a day, it"s time to head come what we prefer to speak to the dough squisher (which is surely its technical name). This contraption bring away a round of already-made dough, and also in secs transforms it into a perfect pizza crust. 


What"s the large deal? Well, because that starters, it takes the potential chance to mishandle the dough the end of the equation, which nearly guarantees a better, tastier late — once a device is law the work for you, there are no variables. However this squishing device doesn"t simply flatten the pizza dough through sheer force, that actually supplies some warmth to gain the task done. Follow to Thrillist, the bowl flatten the dough for seven seconds under 130 degrees of heat. This minimal yet effective temperature assures the dough is squished into submission, and means it will be the just-right thickness every time. 


*
YouTube
Once the pizza dough is put onto the pan, it"s minimally handled yet still requirements to be extended to fit. Therefore far, this is pretty conventional in the pizza-making biz, right? But at this point, a Costco food court employee will take one more very essential step (with the help of a specialty tool) to ensure the perfect product is nice and also flat, and also not full of giant air bubbles the disrupt the an important sauce come cheese to crust ratio.


The device is referred to as a dough docker, and it"s an important to do the Costco pizza we all know and also love. It"s a medieval-looking spiked roller, and the contraption it s okay rolled across and around the pizza dough, leave indentations all over it touches, and more importantly, popping any air bubbles the linger. Once those offensive bubbles space eliminated, the late is totally free to bake more evenly. Skip this step and also your Costco slice might have one large empty air bag in the middle, which, needless come say, is not optimal.


*
YouTube
Okay, let"s recap: So much we know that the dough itself, the dough squisher, and the dough docker are all of utmost prestige in the Costco pizza-making process. However there"s one much more dough-centric item of the puzzle that provides the warehouse store"s pies what lock are, and that"s the pizza pan itself. You can love and also massage pizza dough every you want, yet the sort of pan you cook that pie in matters.


Costco uses pizza pans with holes, otherwise known as perforated pans, and these holes allow the tardy to roasted up crispier many thanks to two things: 1. Rather than solid metal grabbing all the heat, the feet ensure the it transfers directly to the crust. 2. The holes enable moisture come escape the end the bottom, fairly than sog increase the crust, and lets the entire thing chef evenly. And, together an added bonus, pizzas small on perforated pans chef faster. 

As a contrast, hard pans would develop a pizza v a chewier crust 보다 those small on perforated pans, and also they could even stop the toppings from food preparation properly many thanks to uneven heat distribution.


*
YouTube
It"s tough to discover much wrong in Costco"s centralized pizza-making process, however if we"re to think everything we read on the internet, the food court"s treatment of those pizza pans can give girlfriend a little pause. 


According to one Redditor who was inquiry if they would still eat in ~ the food court given all their inside expertise of any questionable practices, there was one thing that involved mind. "Some civilization have hangups around the reality that we don"t wash our pizza discs every time we use them," they spilled.

Is this really a huge deal, though? If you"re a carnivore, there"s clear no issue of pistol meat juices adulterating your cheese pie, however vegetarians more than likely won"t love the idea. The apparent concern is if you have actually an allergy to one of the toppings that even a map amount the could set off. If you"re not a vegetarian and also you don"t have actually allergies however are in the "it"s simply gross no to to wash pans" camp, think of it like a baking sheet — once you"re making cookies, friend don"t to wash the trays in between, do you? 


Did you think us were kidding once we said Costco employs robots in their pizza-making process? us weren"t. And also this automated saucing machine just so happens to be the coolest action in the totality process. 


How"s it work? Once the pizza dough is squished and docked, the ready pan gets placed onto the sauce robot by a human food court employee (see, we"re tho needed). At the press of a button, the contraption spins the pan around and also spits out sauce in a very an accurate stream together its arm moves in the direction of the facility of the pie. The an outcome is a sort of spin art result on the dough, and while it"s mesmerizing come watch, the truth is that the robot not just ensures that just the ideal amount of sauce is on each and every pizza, it also ensures the the ideal amount the sauce is same distributed. This way that you"re never going come bite right into a slice and get a huge mouthful that sauce, nor will you acquire a dried bite. Win, win.


We may not have actually Costco"s official confirmation of what"s in their sauce, but we can assume the a product marketed by Costco and called "Costco Pizza Sauce Concentrate" have to probably offer us a pretty great idea as to its ingredients, right?


According come one shopper who posted to PizzaMaking.com"s forum, at once Costco"s pizza sauce was offered in its company Centers. These ginormous boxes of concentrate had six 108-ounce packets that sauce, i m sorry were each to be combined with 82 ounces that water for a full of 1,140 ounces of the glorious sauce for simply $19.99. But we don"t yes, really care around how much it would cost to make it at home, right? us care about what"s in the sauce the tops our favorite pizza. 

It"s nice basic: tomato puree (tomato paste and also water), sugar, citric acid, spices, dehydrated garlic, salt, and spice extractive. The distinctive flavor the Costco"s pizza sauce plainly comes from some unlisted spices and also extractives, however we"re not mad in ~ them for keeping it a an enig — in ~ $1.99 per slice and also $9.95 per pie, it"s hard to beat Costco"s value, even when you think about the low cost of homemade pizza.


Even if you"ve never had actually the satisfied of enjoy it a part of Costco pizza, which fully dwarfs the paper plate it"s served on in ~ the food court, you can tell with simply one glance the it"s obtained some severe heft come it. And also anyone who"s ever hoisted one up will confirm the what you suspected is true: Those slices do undoubtedly weigh a ton.


There"s the crust and cheese, of course, but the toppings — specifically on the combo selection — room no joke. Follow to the Costco Connection, the combo pizza comes complete with Italian sausage, pepperoni, and a medley that sliced eco-friendly bell peppers, red onions, mushrooms, and black olives. Pretty standard, right? yet here"s where it gets impressive: The finished pizza weighs in in ~ 4.49 pounds.

As because that the pepperoni pizza, each pie it s okay a full of 60 slices, which describes why every single slice is covered edge to edge in the gloriously greasy, perfect spicy meat.


We recognize that all those toppings account for some of the heft that Costco"s pizzas, however if friend think the by bespeak a plain ol" cheese you"ll it is in short-changed in the toppings department, friend couldn"t be more wrong — Costco isn"t around to leave its cheese-lovers in the dust.


First, let"s talk about the type of cheese that"s topping those pies. The Costco Connection describes them as "aged and buttery cheeses (an 80 percent-20 percent blend of low-fat, part-skim-milk mozzarella, and also provolone), and 10-month-aged shredded Parmesan." perhaps that doesn"t sound for this reason remarkable, yet considering other pizza chains choose Pizza Hut and Papa John"s use just mozzarella, that combination in and also of chin should collection Costco apart.

But it"s the amount of those cheeses that Costco uses on the cheese pie that will blow her mind: One pizza contains a lining 24 ounces of the mozzarella-provolone blend. That"s right — one-and-a-half pounds of cheese alone. 

And because Costco is committed to keeping their low, short priced food court items, Thrillist reports that they lock those cheese price in years in advance, allowing them to prevent price hikes fees to industry fluctuations. Smart.


If you"ve ever before ordered a entirety Costco pie, you"ve probably noticed something around the bottom the the box as soon as you"ve finished your last slice: it"s a bit oily. Some grease is to be expected with pizza, though, in between all the oily cheese and also greasy pepperoni. However one in-the-know Redditor expressed concern over just how much oil the Costco food court employees room told to usage in the make of the pie. 


"The only thing that pertains to me is how much oil gets offered in the process of making a pizza skin (the extended out and sauced pizza dough). Also much," lock explained. "And once you don"t use the corporate requested amount because you think it"s as well much and corporate notices? girlfriend use more oil to protect against being in trouble. Some supervisors over compensate and use a quarter cup the oil+ as soon as making them."

A 1/4 cup of oil (or more) every crust would definitely explain the bottom-of-the-box phenomenon. 


When you have things favor automatic dough squishers and also sauce robots combined with food court employees who mean company in the cheese and topping department, you have the right to guess the Costco"s pizza-making process, from begin to finish, is nice darn fast. And also it"s not just the making of the pizza that"s fast, it"s the baking, too. 


Thanks come curious Costco shoppers feather in top top the food court goings-on, we know that every it bring away is a little an ext than 30 secs for a round of dough to it is in turned into a sauced pie, ready to it is in topped. The toppings section of the process is also mind-boggling fast, and even a combo, which has the many ingredients, is all set for the ovens in around 45 seconds thanks to the masterful hand of a longtime food court employee. Finally, it"s right into the oven they go. Each sort of pizza has its own conveyor oven collection for specifically the right time for the specific pie, and Costco supervisor Kaiwen Zhao states that wake up in under six minutes. 

What we"re saying here is that Costco is cranking the end these pizzas in fine under eight minutes. That"s impressive. 


One point you never need to worry around when you grab a part from the Costco food court is that you"re walk to it is in cheated on the portion, and also that"s due to the fact that the food court employees usage a comfortable dandy cutting guide that guarantee every slice is precisely the very same size. Considering every pie is absolutely massive, you understand that after the cutting is done, you"re likewise going come be gaining a huge slice — one sixth of an 18-inch pizza, to it is in exact. 


Now, if friend order a entirety pizza the workers will reduced through the guides once, then rotate it to reduced those slices in half again, and also in this case, each slice may not be fairly so even. However hey, you"ve acquired a totality pie to job-related with.

Just an ext proof that Costco has actually every element of the pizza-making procedure down come a science — also something as an easy as how best to reduced it.


You didn"t think Costco would spend all this time and also energy perfecting each step of their pizza procedure only to let the all loss apart by serving less-than-fresh pies, go you? No way.

When a curious Redditor asked the masses if Costco reheats the previous day"s leftover pizza because that the earliest client to eat (because who doesn"t want pizza because that breakfast?), an additional in-the-know Redditor answered, "Nope, everything left end is tossed after we roll the door at night, and made new in the morning." What"s more, Costco at sight Kaiwen Zhao defined in a Quora thread that the pizza isn"t even a few hours old. "Any pizza slice that doesn"t sell within the hour it s okay thrown out and replaced to preserve freshness," that said.


Really, if we"re being honest, we think this one-hour rule was probably simply put in ar so employees would gain to use that amazing sauce robot an ext often.


Now that we recognize the ins and also outs the Costco"s wondrous pizza-making process, there still one concern that requirements answering: If the slices are just the same as the totality pies, why carry out they taste so lot better? 


Obviously the size renders some difference — a part is around twice as huge as a slice from the totality pizza, but that doesn"t actually make the taste better, we just like the idea of having actually more. For this reason what gives?

As constantly in cases like these, us turned come Reddit, and also the answer is really rather simple: The moisture that gets preserved inside the box of the totality pizza often tends to soggy increase the totality situation. Additionally, Redditors surmised the the slices advantage from sit under the warmth lamps that the food court window, getting a small crispier 보다 their boxed counterparts.

See more: In A New Podcast, Anita Hill And Christine Blasey Ford Where Is She Now

Knowing Costco, it most likely won"t be long until they patent some remarkable moisture-evaporating pizza box to include to their currently amazing pizza operation.