Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan Pizza

A Comparative Review of Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan Pizza

As a pizza lover, you know the struggle of deciding between a crispy, thin crust or a thick, soft one. Meanwhile, when ordering from Pizza Hut, two of the most common options are the Hand Tossed and the Pan pizzas. Although both are good, they differ slightly regarding texture and flavor. While the crusts differ, you can still top both with your favorite sauces and ingredients. Therefore, what’s the difference between Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan Pizzas?

Primary Difference

The primary difference comes down to the crust. Generally, Pan Pizza has a thick, buttery crust with a crisp exterior and a soft interior, whereas Hand Tossed features a thinner, crispier crust.

Let’s compare the preparation, texture, taste, and other notable differences between Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan Pizza. After deep research and putting our experience together in this post, you’ll know what crust complements your favorite toppings.

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The Battle of the Crusts: Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan

There are two camps of pizza lovers – those who prefer the thin, crispy crust of hand-tossed pizza and those who crave pan pizza’s thick, chewy texture. However, Pizza Hut, the largest pizza chain, offers hand-tossed and pan pizzas for all tastes. Here are a few key differences between these two pizza styles.

Dough Preparation – Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan

As the crust is the foundation of any pizza, let’s first look at how hand-tossed and pan-pizza dough differ.

Hand Tossed Dough

  • Thinner, softer, and more elastic dough
  • Flexible, soft texture allows stretching and tossing
  • The basic ingredients are flour, yeast, oil, salt, and water.
  • A slight rise and spread occurs during baking

Pan Pizza Dough

  • Utilizes a thicker, denser dough
  • Not tossed, but pressed into the pan
  • Contains milk, sugar, and butter to enhance flavor
  • The baking pan confines the dough upward rather than outward

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Note: The main difference is how the dough is handled – hand tossing makes a thin, airy crust, whereas pressing it into a pan creates a thick, breadlike crust.

Cooking Process – Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan

A comparison of preparation methods will help you understand how the two types of pizza differ. Knowing this, Pan pizza will take a little longer to cook, but you’ll get a golden brown crust.

Hand Tossed Baking

  • Cooks at around 500°F
  • Typically bakes for 10-15 minutes
  • It doesn’t need high heat since the thin crust cooks quickly

Pan Pizza Baking

  • Requires a higher oven temp, around 550°F
  • It takes 15-20 minutes to bake fully
  • It needs more heat to cook the thick crust

Crust – Hand Tossed vs Pan

The hand-tossed pizza boasts a thin and crispy crust with a drier and more blistered texture, lacking the insulation of a pan. Consequently, it bakes up flat and cracks slightly along the edges. However, it still retains some airiness and chewiness. 

Meanwhile, the Pan Pizza has a thick, fluffy crust that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Basically, the Pan crust holds up better to sauces, cheeses, and toppings because of its tall walls.

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Topping Showdown – Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan

You can pile a lot of toppings on a pan pizza, while hand-tossed pizzas need restraint to remain crisp.

Hand Tossed Toppings

  • Usually, veggies and lean meat as toppings
  • Thin crust can’t hold much weight
  • Olive oil and spices instead of sauce
  • Includes pepperoni, mushrooms, and Italian sausage

Pan Pizza Toppings

  • Heavy ingredients like meat, cheese, and sauce
  • Suitable for heavier weights and volumes
  • Higher sauce-to-crust ratio 
  • Vegetarian or meaty combinations such as chicken Alfredo

The Taste – Hand Tossed vs Pan

You’ll find that the Hand-tossed crust has a lighter, crisper texture and a light, bready flavor. Moreover, it is a healthier option since it doesn’t have the extra oils from the pan.

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However, the Pan Pizza delivers a deeper baked flavor with its crispy fried edge and soft interior crumb. Also, a little butter from the pan gives it a creamy profile, making it a tasty treat.

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Shape Shifters – Round vs Square Pizza

A hand-tossed pizza has a classic round shape, while a pan pizza is shaped differently, with straight edges. Your favorite pizza style will depend on how you prepare it.

Hand Tossed Shape

  • Round, thin profile
  • Tossing dough yields even circles
  • The diameter shrinks slightly during baking
  • The edge tends to be thin and bumpy

Pan Pizza Shape

  • Square or rectangular
  • Matches the shape of the pan
  • Wider, thicker center
  • Evenly risen edges

How to Eat – Pan Vs Hand Tossed

You can opt for a classic hand-tossed pizza or a mouthwatering pan pizza; using the right equipment will enhance every bite.

  • It’s easy to pick up a slice of hand-tossed pizza with its thin, dry crust.
  • Pan pizza should be eaten with forks and knives due to the high sides and toppings.

The Origins – Hand Tossed vs Pan

Despite their popularity in pizza chains nowadays, they have different origins.

  • Hand-tossed pizza: The thin, simple crust reflects Neapolitan-style pizza, and the pizza’s roots are in Italy.
  • Pan Pizza: Invented in Chicago in 1943, the deep-dish pan inspired Italian Easter bread pans.

Price – Pan vs Hand Tossed

The great thing about Pizza Hut is that you can order both Hand Tossed and Pan Pizzas for the same price. Unlike other pizza chains that may charge extra for the time-consuming process of hand tossing, Pizza Hut allows you to choose purely based on your taste preferences.

Calorie Comparison – Hand Tossed Vs Pan

Hand Tossed pizza is the better choice if you are watching your calorie intake:

  • An average slice of hand-tossed pizza from Pizza Hut has around 300 calories.
  • The thicker Pan Pizza packs about 350 calories per slice.
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Pizza Hut Hand Tossed Vs Pan – Which Pizza Hut Crust is Better?

Finally, the epic Pizza Hut Hand-Tossed vs Pan debate comes down to personal choice. 

In simple terms, if you prefer a super thin and crispy crust that can be easily eaten by hand, Hand Tossed is for you. Similarly, for those who enjoy a thick, soft, and fluffy crust piled high with cheeses and toppings, the Pan Pizza option will satisfy your cravings.

The fact is, depending on what you choose, Pizza Hut’s crusts are second to none. However, understanding the key differences can help you choose the best pizza option for your tastes.


What is the most caloric crust at Pizza Hut, hand-tossed or pan-fried?

Pan pizza has more calories – about 350 per slice versus 300 for hand-tossed because a thicker crust adds more dough and oils.

Is hand-tossed or pan-pizza easier to eat without utensils?

With its thin crust, hand-tossed pizza is easier to eat by hand than pan pizza, which is messier due to its thick crust and liberal toppings.

How do hand-tossed pizza and pan pizza differ in taste?

Since pan pizza is cooked in oil, it has a richer and more fried taste, whereas hand-tossed pizza has a lighter and more delicate flavor.

What kind of oil does Pizza Hut use for the pans?

Pizza Hut uses soybean oil to grease pans before baking pan pizzas.

How is hand-tossed pizza made?

Hand tossing refers to stretching the dough by tossing it in the air to create the signature round shape.

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