Blake Shelton. A name that only vaguely registered in my mind before this review. Some sort of pop country superstar? I was out of my wheelhouse.
Until I saw this.
Now I know exactly who Blake Shelton is. Blake Shelton is an insane person.
You see, Blake Shelton has apparently inspired or contributed to or somehow been involved in the line of Pizza Hut’s new BBQ pizzas, most specifically Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ.
Thank god for Pizza Hut that he’s not actually part of their marketing process, or else this rather pedestrian moniker (and the other two, Honey BBQ Chicken and Hawaiian BBQ) could have gone rather differently. Here are some of Blake’s suggestions:
Chicky Chicky Boom Boom
The Oklahoma Stuffer
Super Pork Fucker 3000
Grab a Fork! It’s Time for Pork!
Only one of the above is fake. Can you guess which one? I’d be hard pressed to.
Pizza Hut describes Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ as “A toasted Cheddar crust topped with sweet Honey BBQ sauce, hardwood smoked bacon, smoked ham flavored with a hint of sugar, and juicy pork.”
In case you’re keeping track, that’s three porks. I’m perfectly okay with this amount of pork. Ignore the quiet screams emanating from my heart at the amount of sodium this potentially presents.
I think the most important player here is the Honey BBQ sauce, and who am I to bury the lead, so let’s start with that.
I have to say that I was quite impressed with this sauce. I was expecting a sweet mess; there was a fair amount of it on each slice, but it added subtle BBQ undertones that didn’t overwhelm the other toppings but instead added a nice smoky flavor. The sauce was also thick, so it stuck to the pizza without creating stickyhands.
As you can see, Pizza Hut wasn’t skimpy with the toppings. Beyond the Honey BBQ sauce, the flavor profile went in this order: sausage, then ham, and then…well, it seemed like they just nodded at the bacon from across the room. I mean, I could see bits of “hardwood smoked” bacon, but they added none of the crunch or smoky flavor I want out of bacon on my pizza.
Oh, did I say “sausage” earlier? What I meant to say was “juicy pork”. Which is, apparently, Pizza Hut code for crumbled sausage pizza topping. There was a lot of it, and it was, indeed, juicy and flavorful, but it wasn’t exactly anything new or special.
The same seemed to go for the smoked ham that Pizza Hut claims to have a hint of sugar. Maybe it was the bit of sugar in the Honey BBQ sauce that masked it, but again, it just seemed like good ol’ ham pizza topping. Again, nothing wrong with that, but nothing special, either.
I was surprised at what a difference the toasted cheddar on the crust made. I haven’t had Pizza Hut in ages, but apparently they changed their hand-tossed formula earlier this year and I have to say, it was much better than I remember. I’ve found in the past that baked-in cheese crusts lack flavor, but the cheddar was really noticeable here.
While I cannot legally stab Blake Shelton, I’m glad I took a stab at Pizza Hut’s Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ Pizza, even if it came with mixed results. That was a forced joke and I’m sorry. While the juicy pork (sausage bits) and ham seemed to be regular pizza toppings, they certainly were plentiful; however, I had to wonder where the bacon went and lamented its absence.
On the plus side, the Honey BBQ sauce wasn’t nearly as cloyingly sweet as I thought it was going to be, and it added a little smokiness that complimented the pork toppings. The toasted cheddar crust was surprisingly flavorful, which beats a regular crust any day. When you add it all up, Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ won’t blow your mind, but it’s a decent pork pizza with a bbq twist. Dorky Porky.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 slice – 370 calories, 150 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 790 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.)
Item: Pizza Hut Blake’s Smokehouse BBQ Pizza
Purchased Price: $11.00
Size: Large pizza
Purchased at: Pizza Hut
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Honey BBQ sauce wasn’t too sweet and adds some smoky flavor. I didn’t have to drink a gallon of water because of excess salt like I thought I would. Lots of sausage and ham toppings. No stickyhands. Cheddar crust was surprisingly flavorful. Fine, I kind of like “Dorky Porky”.
Cons: Bacon crunch and smokiness were conspicuously absent. Blake Shelton’s pizza names. “Juicy pork” and ham tasted like regular pizza toppings. It’s illegal to stab pop country singers (or anyone else, I guess).