Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way

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tfrielin
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2007/10/18 11:29:42 (permalink)

Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way

I have to admit that pizza mixes in a box have been a staple of my diet since the mid-'60s. And, amazingly enough, the three major brands from more than forty years ago are still on the market--albeit harder to find these days. They are, in order of quality, Kraft Pizza Mixes, Chef Boyardee Pizza Mixes, and, definitely in last place, Appian Way Pizza Mixes.

The best: Kraft Pizza mixes.

They used to have both sausage and cheese varieties back in the day, but now only the cheese version is sold. I did like the sausage variety at first, but later gravitated to the cheese version as it more readily lent itself to customization. The sausage version was ok--it was sort of like a meat sauce a la a meat spaghetti sauce. But the cheese version became my favorite as I customized it with pepperoni, fresh whole milk mozarella cheese and maybe some mushrooms. What made the Kraft mix the best was that packet of herbs that no one else had--that little touch really made the difference.

Kraft mixes disappeared from the store shelves in the mid-'80s and I sorely missed them until, thanks to the arrival of the Internet, I discovered that Kraft still marketed them in Canada and better still, there was an Internet business that would deliver them to us unfortunates south of the Frozen North. I have been ordering and enjoying them on a regular basis ever since. They taste the same as they did in 1965!

You can still get Chef Boyardee Mixes in my local groceries, but they are not nearly as good as Kraft's. I believe they too only market the cheese variety, but in the old days had a sausage mix, and for a while in the '90s, had a pepperoni version. I haven't seen that variety lately and assume it's gone.


At the bottom of the pile was/is Appian Way Pizza. It was clearly a low quality job with pretty bad and poor tasting ingredients --everything from the crust to the sauce just screamed low budget, low quality. I believe it was a Hormel product, but could be remembering that incorrectly. I tried one several years ago, just to see if I was remembering them correctly and my negative impression of them was confirmed. Just a bad pizza mix. I haven't seen them on grocery store shelves in many, many years, but they are still out there, available on the Internet.

Anyway, for those of you boxed pizza mix gourmets out there who want to re-discover or try for the first time the superior Kraft Pizza Mix experience, you can order them on the web here:

http://www.canadianfavourites.com/

And it you must, you can get Appian Way Pizzas here if you'd like to compare:

http://www.hometownfavorites.com/

(I see you can still get the Chef Boyardee pepperoni mix here too)

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

#1

25 Replies Related Threads

    porkbeaks
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 11:35:51 (permalink)
    "..boxed pizza mix gourmets .."???

    Talk about your oxymorons. pb
    #2
    Shara
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 11:38:32 (permalink)
    I get pizza dough at the grocery store, use my own sauce and fresh toppings. It only takes me around 15 minutes to produce a pie that comes close to real pizzaria pizza. To me, that's so much better than the boxed or frozen stuff.

    I just wish I could figure out how to use my pizza peeler and stone. I've oiled the stone and dusted it with cornmeal, but I can't get it from the peeler to the hot stone without totally mangling it. What's the trick? Is it all in the wrist or something? I have given up on that method and work the dough into a pan and just forgo the stone. What am I doing wrong?
    #3
    tfrielin
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 11:42:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by porkbeaks

    "..boxed pizza mix gourmets .."???

    Talk about your oxymorons. pb


    Au contraire, mon frere. Have you tried a Kraft Pizza Mix?? They are actually very good, especially when customized with fresh mozzarella and pepperoni.
    #4
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 11:54:16 (permalink)
    my aunt used to make a really yummy Appian Way pizza with mushrooms, olives, and bacon. Boxed pizza mixes were all we had back in the day.
    #5
    Greymo
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 12:28:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Shara

    I get pizza dough at the grocery store, use my own sauce and fresh toppings. It only takes me around 15 minutes to produce a pie that comes close to real pizzaria pizza. To me, that's so much better than the boxed or frozen stuff.

    I just wish I could figure out how to use my pizza peeler and stone. I've oiled the stone and dusted it with cornmeal, but I can't get it from the peeler to the hot stone without totally mangling it. What's the trick? Is it all in the wrist or something? I have given up on that method and work the dough into a pan and just forgo the stone. What am I doing wrong?



    The foolproof way to use your peel is to cut a piece of parchment paper the size of the stone. Put your pizza dough on the parchment and prepare pizza as desired. Then slide your peel under the parchment paper and it will transfer very easily to the stone. The paper will not burn and you will have a very nice nicely baked crust.
    #6
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 12:43:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Shara

    I get pizza dough at the grocery store, use my own sauce and fresh toppings. It only takes me around 15 minutes to produce a pie that comes close to real pizzaria pizza. To me, that's so much better than the boxed or frozen stuff.

    I just wish I could figure out how to use my pizza peeler and stone. I've oiled the stone and dusted it with cornmeal, but I can't get it from the peeler to the hot stone without totally mangling it. What's the trick? Is it all in the wrist or something? I have given up on that method and work the dough into a pan and just forgo the stone. What am I doing wrong?


    If all else fails, get a SuperPeel.
    http://www.superpeel.com/

    btw - don't oil your stone.
    #7
    Davydd
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 12:46:24 (permalink)
    I make my own dough from scratch. There is no shortcut to good pizza dough.
    #8
    AndreaB
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 12:47:42 (permalink)
    EYUK re the mixes! Get a Reggio's frozen cheese pizza and drizzle it with olive oil and add your favorite toppings and spices and put it right on the oven rack at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes and there you have a decent pizza. I hate the crusts in those mixes and the sauces are always too sweet.

    Andrea
    #9
    Theedge
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 13:16:34 (permalink)
    Shara, I put corn meal on the pizza peel, and it slides off easy into the oven. I just give it a quick little tug and everything comes out just fine.
    #10
    hatteras04
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 13:30:37 (permalink)
    I have on occassion bought the chef boyardee box just for the crust and not used the sauce as it is too thin and sweet for my taste and then added my own toppings. I was in a a store once that did not have that brand so I went for the Jiffy pizza crust mix instead. The dough turned out so sticky that I couldn't even get it rolled out. Terrible.
    #11
    stricken_detective
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/18 14:38:05 (permalink)
    Chef Boyardee pizza crust mix. THROW AWAY the sauce that comes with it & buy a can of Pastorelli pizza sauce

    Add your own herbs/spices. Dust the bottoms of your pans with cornmeal.

    Add whatever toppings you want.

    ^^very fun for a pizza party where everyone makes their own.
    #12
    David_NYC
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 04:25:25 (permalink)
    I respectfully submit that the three brands of pizza mixes listed should only continue to be purchased by those persons who grew up with them, and for whom it brings back fond memories.

    I recently saw my local Stop & Shop clearing out the Chef Boyardee Pepperoni pizza mixes for half price. Now, Stop & Shop is high, mostly to pay off Royal Ahold's debt. Even at half price, it was not cheap. It was terrible, but it was not a fair test. There was no expiration date on the box. However, from examining the date codes on the various components, I surmise the package was over three years old. There is some meat product mixed in with the pizza sauce that is the pepperoni component.

    Here are the ingredients I use to make a style of pizza I call "shelf stable" pizza, (New York pizzeria pizza, west coast cracker crust pizza, and frozen pizza are three other styles I eat.) For crust, I use one of the Martha White pizza crust mixes in a pouch:
    http://www.marthawhite.com/products/category7.aspx
    While outside of the traditional distribution area of this (now) JM Smucker brand, WalMart Supercenters around here carry them. So does the Marc's/Xpect discount chain. The mixes go for 50 to 90 cents a package, depending if they are on deal or not. General Mills also makes a pouch pizza crust mix. I note that some folks here have been buying the kits just for the crust. Buying just these pouches will save you $$$$$. For sauce, I use one from local Italian sauce companies, similar to the Pastorelli sauce that stricken_detective uses. I mostly buy Casa Visco (Schenectady, NY) or Palmieri (New Haven, CT), but sometimes find other brands that look promising. None have the "gunk" you find in the national brands. For the grated parmesan, I use whatever I have on hand, such as Kraft. But I always make these pizzas with supermarket shredded mozzarella as well.

    The beauty of this approach is that you can customize cheeses and sauce to your own preference. It also works out cheaper, as I freeze the unused sauce for the next time.
    #13
    RibRater
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 06:43:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by porkbeaks


    If all else fails, get a SuperPeel.
    http://www.superpeel.com/

    btw - don't oil your stone.



    pb, do you use the superpeel? I'm making a few purchases to better my pizza making and that looks like a pretty nice item.
    #14
    tfrielin
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 08:12:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    I respectfully submit that the three brands of pizza mixes listed should only continue to be purchased by those persons who grew up with them, and for whom it brings back fond memories.



    Maybe so. A Kraft Pizza mix pizza is, with the possible exception of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, the ultimate comfort food for me.

    But your summary dismissal(above) is undermined by your detailed instructions on how you re-create the same food, no?
    #15
    tfrielin
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 08:17:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    There was no expiration date on the box. However, from examining the date codes on the various components, I surmise the package was over three years old. There is some meat product mixed in with the pizza sauce that is the pepperoni component.



    And in defense of Kraft Pizza mixes--their boxes are clearly date-stamped, so you have a clear understanding of their expiration dates. They all appear to have an intended shelf life of about ten months so far as I can tell from the ones I get.

    In short, a quality product.
    #16
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 08:45:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tfrielin

    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    There was no expiration date on the box. However, from examining the date codes on the various components, I surmise the package was over three years old. There is some meat product mixed in with the pizza sauce that is the pepperoni component.



    And in defense of Kraft Pizza mixes--their boxes are clearly date-stamped, so you have a clear understanding of their expiration dates. They all appear to have an intended shelf life of about ten months so far as I can tell from the ones I get.

    In short, a quality product.


    Yeah, we're all familiar with Kraft quality products. Their mac & cheese, "American" cheese slices, and (last but not least).....




    #17
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 09:01:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Larry - RibRater - Jay

    quote:
    Originally posted by porkbeaks


    If all else fails, get a SuperPeel.
    http://www.superpeel.com/

    btw - don't oil your stone.



    pb, do you use the superpeel? I'm making a few purchases to better my pizza making and that looks like a pretty nice item.


    It is a nice item and it works as well as the video on their site shows. I bought one for the granddaughter when she was having problems getting her pizzas to slide on her small round stone. It worked so well, I got one for myself. I still use my old peel for removing the pizza from the oven, but you can't beat the SuperPeel for putting it exactly where you want it.

    I also bought a rectangular Fibrament stone which is probably my best "upgrade". I use it for breads too so it gets a lot of use. The purchase of a MyWeigh digital scale has improved the consistency of my pizza since all of my recipes are given in weights.

    Other items, a spoodle (combo spoon/ladle), stacking dough pans, and a large Silpat mat have made things easier, but aren't really "can't-do-without". pb
    #18
    tfrielin
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 09:15:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by porkbeaks

    quote:
    Originally posted by tfrielin

    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    There was no expiration date on the box. However, from examining the date codes on the various components, I surmise the package was over three years old. There is some meat product mixed in with the pizza sauce that is the pepperoni component.



    And in defense of Kraft Pizza mixes--their boxes are clearly date-stamped, so you have a clear understanding of their expiration dates. They all appear to have an intended shelf life of about ten months so far as I can tell from the ones I get.

    In short, a quality product.


    Yeah, we're all familiar with Kraft quality products. Their mac & cheese, "American" cheese slices, and (last but not least).....








    Which is why I customize--fresh whole milk mozzarella makes all the difference. Don't use the skim milk mozzarella as it tends to melt into a plastic-like film. Whole milk melts very nicely on the pizza.

    #19
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 09:33:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tfrielin
    Which is why I customize--fresh whole milk mozzarella makes all the difference. Don't use the skim milk mozzarella as it tends to melt into a plastic-like film. Whole milk melts very nicely on the pizza.


    I use whole milk mozz also; usually Polly-O. Some folks use a blend of whole milk and part skim because it comes out less oily. Personally. I think oily is good. Check the info here:
    http://www.pmq.com/cheesy.php
    #20
    Davydd
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 10:22:50 (permalink)
    Would anyone care to explain how instant pizza mix in a box or package can compare to a well prepared pizza dough made from scratch using a good high-protein bread flour and yeast? The only credit I can give it is convenience but there are numerous ways to prepare dough for different kinds of pizzas and one size does not fit all. As for the peel, a well prepared dough should slide off a peel with semolina flour or corn meal.

    I too started out using pizza mix in a box in the 60s but now that I feel I have developed my skills enough making pizza dough there is no way I will pay the extra money for a packaged product.
    #21
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 10:43:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Davydd

    ......As for the peel, a well prepared dough should slide off a peel with semolina flour or corn meal.......


    I agree but, with the SuperPeel, you don't need any semolina flour or corn meal which I find creates a mess in the oven and on the stone and, as far as cornmeal is concerned, I hate the gritty effect it gives to the bottom of the crust since some of it will always stick to the bottom. pb
    #22
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 10:56:30 (permalink)
    Davydd ===Would anyone care to explain how instant pizza mix in a box or package can compare to a well prepared pizza dough made from scratch using a good high-protein bread flour and yeast? ===

    I am taking it for granted that this thread is based on the idea of comfort food and plain ol' simplicity. No need to wait for the dough to rise with the packaged stuff.
    I suspect that Boboli also appeals to some as a way for a quick fiz. This thread is no different from 'Best Frozen Pizzas', as doctoring them up is a requirement.
    I keep flour tortillas and the necessary ingredients to make a quick snack pizza.

    It's become too easy to make a quick pie with little effort. Most every store has fresh dough in the refrigerated section. It's right next to the grated and shredded cheese.

    In closing I think that boxed pizzas are created for the same people who buy the 'Soft taco kits' from El Paso foods.


    mark
    #23
    Theedge
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 11:46:52 (permalink)
    All right, all right. Although Theedge makes his from scratch, I will investigate this Kraft deal and get back to everyone with my report. Normally I find that convenience foods aren’t any more convenient then from scratch. We shall put it to the test!
    #24
    David_NYC
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 13:44:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tfrielin

    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    I respectfully submit that the three brands of pizza mixes listed should only continue to be purchased by those persons who grew up with them, and for whom it brings back fond memories.



    Maybe so. A Kraft Pizza mix pizza is, with the possible exception of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, the ultimate comfort food for me.

    But your summary dismissal(above) is undermined by your detailed instructions on how you re-create the same food, no?

    tfrielin,

    I was not trying to knock you. I am not knocking shelf-stable pizza. My reservation with the Kraft Canada mixes for Americans is with cost. The merchant you cited probably is selling the 850 and not the 450 gram size Kraft Cheese Pizza Pie Mix. The merchant has a USD $30 minimum order requirement. So, to try one slice I would have to buy 5 packages for USD $33.95, and a shipping charge to NY of $25.50, for a total of USD $59.45. That is an awful lot of money to bet on a product that people on a Canadian message board called "trash food". This product is one of Kraft Canada's "Convenient Meals" line of products, which includes Macaroni and Cheese. The other telling thing about these products is that they are fading from US retail groceries.

    I am really interested in knowing where most of the sales in Canada are coming from. Is it just the very rural areas, or are sales nationwide including heavily populated areas such as Montreal and Toronto?
    #25
    tfrielin
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    RE: Kraft Pizza Mixes vs. Chef Boyardee vs. Appian Way 2007/10/19 14:09:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    quote:
    Originally posted by tfrielin

    quote:
    Originally posted by David_NYC

    I respectfully submit that the three brands of pizza mixes listed should only continue to be purchased by those persons who grew up with them, and for whom it brings back fond memories.



    Maybe so. A Kraft Pizza mix pizza is, with the possible exception of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, the ultimate comfort food for me.

    But your summary dismissal(above) is undermined by your detailed instructions on how you re-create the same food, no?

    tfrielin,

    I am really interested in knowing where most of the sales in Canada are coming from. Is it just the very rural areas, or are sales nationwide including heavily populated areas such as Montreal and Toronto?



    Florida. Snowbirds.
    #26
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