We Tasted All Five Of Domino’s Pizza Crusts — Here Is The One To Order

We’ve all been there: you’ve got the digital coupon ready, you know what topping combinations will make the best pie, you know how many pizzas are fit for the party, and then you’re hit with the crust option question: hand-tossed, pan-style, thin, cheesy crust… What to do? Should you get one of each?

What’s the best option? What’ll please the most people? What will make you happy?

Pizza is a canvas. It’s bread, sauce, cheese, and whatever the hell else you want it to be. Various topping options already give you enough freedom to be creative so I’m not sure why every big fast food pizza brand decided we need wide-ranging crust choices as an additional variable, but they have. Yay, a whole new layer of options to select!

While we’re not convinced crust permutability is something anyone really wants in the first place, admittedly, it is what sets big national pizza chains apart from your local pizzeria (that plus cheap delivery). Your local spot probably has better ingredient sourcing than the big chains but you probably only have two crust options at best. So which crusts are actually worth your time and money?

We’re going to find out. Starting with Domino’s!

The Crusts:

Domino’s has five different crust options, and none of those options are filled with cheese, meaning there must be some substantial difference between the five crusts to justify their existence right? Let’s hope so, because we purchased all five in one sitting in search of the very best. Our roster of crusts includes:

  • Hand-tossed
  • Crunchy Thin
  • Gluten-Free
  • Handmade Pan
  • Brooklyn Style

I ordered each of the five pizzas topped with Pepperoni for the most consistent experience. You could argue that maybe I should’ve gone with cheese to minimize distraction, but come on, I’m about to have a week’s worth of leftover pizza — let me live, dammit!

Here is our ranking of Domino’s crusts from worst to best.

The Ranking:

5. Gluten Free Crust

Dominos Crust
Dane Rivera

It feels mean to rank Domino’s Gluten Free Crust dead last because I’m not under some sort of dietary restriction that requires that I don’t eat gluten, so this pizza is explicitly not for me. But also, f*ck that — this pizza kinda fails at being for people who have a sensitivity to gluten too.

Domino’s warns that its Gluten Free Crust is made in the same kitchen as the rest of their pizzas, which means there is some risk of gluten exposure in this crust, meaning it’s not recommended for customers with celiac disease. In short, it exists so that Dominos can say it exists.

The National Library of Medicine warns that a gluten-free diet is not really an appropriate choice for those without a medical diagnosis, and there are detrimental effects of going gluten-free including “loss of dietary fiber, deficiencies in dietary minerals and vitamins, and potential heavy metal exposure.” I mean by all means, if you for some reason don’t want to eat gluten but don’t really have a medical reason for doing so, do you, but I think it’s safe to assume if you’re avoiding gluten for non-medical dietary reasons, you’re probably not eating pizza either.

So again… who is this for?

We’re not sure, and although we’ve gone on a mini rant my final conclusion on this gluten-free crust is… it’s really not that bad. If I didn’t know it was gluten-free pizza, I’m not sure that I’d be able to identify it as being gluten-free. It’s a bit dense, and a bit laborious to chew, but it tastes like pizza crust without any noticeable compromise.

It’s only in a side-by-side comparison with the other crusts that it became obvious that this crust was lacking something.

The Bottom Line:

Domino’s gluten-free crust is not safe for those with celiac disease, so if that’s you, you can’t really order this with confidence that it’ll be right for you. Having said that, it still tastes a million times better than a cauliflower crust, so that’s something!

4. Handmade Pan

Dominos Crust
Dane Rivera

Domino’s Handmade Pan is the chain’s answer to Pizza Hut’s OG pan-style crust. It’s thick, incredibly fluffy, and chewy, and has sauce and cheese spread from end to end, leaving no room for any plain crust. The way the toppings are distributed is this pizza’s best feature.

Unfortunately, it is a bit lacking. The bottom of the pizza doesn’t have that same crispy almost fried crust that is characteristic of good pan pizza — this one is a bit too soft. The chewy exterior is enjoyable from a textural standpoint, but Domino’s sauce doesn’t really permeate through the surface level, leaving all the flavor of each slice on the top layer.

Dominos Crust
Dane Rivera

That means after the initial burst of sweet sauce and salty cheese you’re left with the taste of moist flour. It almost tastes raw. This might be remedied by a few more seconds in the oven, but as it comes it’s just a bit too undercooked to be enjoyable.

The Bottom Line:

A bit too soft and chewy for its own good. Domino’s handmade pan pizza comes across as just a bit undercooked. The thickness of the crust messes with the toppings-to-bread ratio in a way that makes the pizza come across as a bit bland.

3. Crunchy Thin

Dominos Crust
Dane Rivera

This was the most difficult crust option to place on this list. On one hand, I like the flavors this form factor presents, on the other… I’m not sure I love the crust. Let me explain — Domino’s Crunchy Thin crust is so thin that the entire focus of this pizza is on the sauce and cheese.

Domino’s sauce is pretty good for a national pizza chain, it’s not too sweet like Pizza Hut, offering a blend of Italian herbs and rich, stewed-tomato flavors. The cheese is also good — part-skim mozzarella that presents as equal parts creamy and salty. This is also the only crust that is served with a heavy sprinkling of earthy, fragrant oregano, which really helps complement the sauce and elevate the cheese and pepperoni.

Sounds great right? But the crust itself… is flavorless.

It’s all texture, it has a nice snap and it’s cut in rectangles probably because the weight of the ingredients would cause it to crack if it were cut like a traditional slice, but it just doesn’t have any flavor itself. That’s not a problem because we’re not just eating the crust, but it does making it hard to place it in a ranking of crusts considering it barely registers as a flavor.

The Bottom Line:

It’s a great showcase for the sauce, cheese, and whatever blend of toppings you add with a nice oregano finish. But if you like the bread component of pizza as much as the stuff that’s on top of it, this doesn’t deliver much.

2. Hand-Tossed

Dominos Crust
Dane Rivera

Hand-Tossed is Domino’s default crust option so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this one has ranked this high. Of all the big national pizza chains, Domino’s has some of the best crust in the game.

It’s slapped and hand-stretched in-house to order, and that makes the texture pretty incredible for a national chain. It’s chewy in the best way and has the right amount of air in it to land in that perfect toppings-to-bread ratio. Before each pie is hand-stretched Domino’s dusts the crust with cornmeal, which gives each slice a texture and sweet and earthy flavor that the competition just can’t match.

This pizza tastes unique and has a distinguishable character that says “Dominos,” which most of the other chains just don’t have. That in and of itself, makes this a great crust option.

Domino’s could’ve stopped there, but they didn’t, they’ve also buttered the crust and sprinkled a mix of garlic salt and herbs on the crust. This might split people, you could argue you don’t need all that flavor on the crust, a pizza crust serves as a sort of palate cleanser, but are you going to fault Domino’s for offering more flavor? We’re not.

This crust is pretty near perfect considering the parameters (it’s a budget national chain, fam), and the only reason it’s not number one is that Domino’s delivers a bit more quality with its final crust option.

The Bottom Line:

Not only one of Domino’s best crust options but easily one of the best pizza crusts among all of the big national pizza chains. Domino’s crust has character and a whole lot of flavor.

1. Brooklyn Style

Dominos Crust
Dane Rivera

Brooklyn Style is Domino’s attempt to capture the magic of a big slice of New York Pizza. It doesn’t quite get there, part of what makes a great New York by-the-slice pizza joint so special is that each slice is cut from an 18-inch pie, making it perfectly foldable and satisfying enough that one slice is enough.

Domino’s Brooklyn Style might not be that big, this pizza is only 14 inches (the same as a large regular hand-tossed, though there is also a 16-inch option), but because Domino’s cuts this pizza into six big slices rather than eight, you get the illusion that this is a big NY-style slice. It’s not, though we appreciate the effort.

To make a pizza “Brooklyn” style, Domino’s stretches a medium pizza dough ball into a large pie, giving you the same flavor and texture as its stock hand-tossed pizza with a thinner slice. If that sounds like you’re getting less bread, it’s because you are, but the overall result is a better slice that still has all of the great features of the hand-tossed (a chewy bite, the corn meal, and the garlic salt dusting) but has an even better topping-to-crust ratio.

That puts special emphasis on the cheese and sauce the same way the Thin and Crispy crust does but with some actual crust flavor in there. It’s the best of both worlds!

Years ago Domino’s put even more effort into the Brooklyn style. The OG recipe finished the pie with Provolone cheese and used those large pepperoni slices that crisp up nicely in an oven. I wish they’d bring that version of the pizza back, but even without those extra features, this is far and above the best crust option you can order.

The Bottom Line:

No, it won’t get you the same quality slice as something that is actually from Brooklyn, but the Brooklyn Style crust takes everything that’s great about Domino’s Hand-tossed and Crunchy Thin crusts and combines them into one almost perfect slice of delivery. If you’re going to order the Brooklyn-style, we suggest you spring for the XL version which will get you just a bit closer to the true NY slice experience.