Domino’s Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed Crust Pizza – Which One Is Best For You?

For better or worse, just about everyone has tried Domino’s pizza at least once since their founding in Michigan in 1960. And while they’re known for having a wide variety of crust styles and toppings, their Hand Tossed and Pan Pizzas are probably the most popular. Considering these differences between Domino’s pizza crust types, which one should you choose?

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In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Domino’s Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed styles of pizza and crust, so you can make the best decision the next time you order. I’ll cover the characteristics of each style, especially the crust. I’ll also make some recommendations to help you choose.

Nothing beats homemade pizza, but sometimes, delivery is in order. So let’s get right into the differences between these two major styles and figure out which one is best for you.

Domino's Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed
Photo: Domino’s offers a wide variety of crust and topping styles.

Domino’s Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed

When ordering a pizza from Domino’s, you have two primary crust options (among others): Handmade Pan and Hand Tossed. While both styles have their own strengths, there are some significant differences between the two.

If you’re looking for a classic pizza with a softer crust and a balanced topping distribution, the Hand Tossed crust is your best option. However, if you’re in the mood for a crispy, thick crust that can handle a lot of toppings, the Pan Pizza crust is the way to go.

domino's hand tossed pizza
Photo: Domino’s Hand Tossed pizza with glazed crust.

Let’s start with the Hand Tossed crust. This is a standard American-style pizza crust. The dough is hand-stretched and then cooked until the underside is darkened.  The result is a medium thickness base and a slightly puffy outer crust. This crust is also very soft and spongy, thanks to the dough conditioners they add to the recipe. 

Sometimes, you might end up with a hand-tossed Domino’s pizza that is on the saggy and unbalanced side, usually because of too many toppings . That said, the toppings are meant to be centered on this style of pizza. In other words, assuming your pizza maker isn’t too careless, this really shouldn’t be a big issue. 

Pro-tip: In my experience, the Hand-Tossed Domino’s pizza works best with a more limited number of toppings. Too many toppings will overwhelm the thinner crust in terms of texture and flavor.

domino's handmade pan pizza
Photo: Domino’s Handmade Pan pizza slice.

On the other hand, the Pan Pizza is your go-to if you want to load up on toppings, or if you simply prefer a thicker pizza. This style pizza is cooked in an oiled pan, which results in a crispy crust that is thicker and airier than the Hand Tossed crust

Ultimately, with a thicker base and crust, topping on pan pizzas can be spread from edge to edge. The crust has a golden brown appearance, and the edges of the crust are often charred where the dough meets the pan.

All that said, when choosing between pizza styles, it all comes down to what you’re going for. 

The Hand Tossed crust is best for those looking for a straightforward, classic pizza, with a balance of sauce, cheese, and (usually) light toppings. It also pairs nicely with dipping sauce. 

Meanwhile, the Pan Pizza crust is a little more adaptable, as it can handle a wide variety of toppings and sauces without getting soggy. And the crust’s thickness makes it an excellent option for those who love deep-dish pizzas or pizzas with a lot of toppings.

Note that the Hand Tossed crust is thicker than the Crunchy Thin and Brooklyn Style crusts but thinner than the Handmade Pan crust.

What Is Domino’s Hand Tossed Pizza?

For those who grew up with Domino’s pizza in the 1980s and 1990s, the Hand Tossed crust will be a familiar sight. It’s the closest thing to the original Domino’s style, in terms of both texture and shape. It’s also the default crust used when you don’t specify a crust type–at some locations at least.

dominos handmade pan pizza Domino’s Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed Crust Pizza - Which One Is Best For You?
Photo: A Hand Tossed crust pizza from Domino’s.

The name “Hand Tossed” comes from the fact that the dough is stretched by hand, rather than being pressed into a pan or rolled flat by a machine. This means that each pizza can be slightly different in shape and thickness, depending on who is making it.

And like we’ve covered, the Hand Tossed crust has a medium-thick base and a slightly puffy outer edge. In other words, it’s a typical version of an American-style pizza crust.

With this style, the crust is cooked until it’s a golden brown color, and the addition of cornmeal adds some texture to the underside of the crust. The dough is made with conditioners that make it very soft and spongy, resulting in a texture that’s both chewy and slightly fluffy.

Compared to other crusts offered by Domino’s, the Hand Tossed crust falls somewhere in the middle in terms of thickness. It’s thicker than the Crunchy Thin and Brooklyn Style crusts, but thinner than the Handmade Pan crust. 

Additionally, the fact that each pizza can be slightly different due to the hand-stretching process may be a positive or negative aspect depending on personal preferences. You won’t have any control over who’s making your pizza, and that means the quality of what you order may be more inconsistent than you’d typically expect from a chain restaurant. It’s not always easy to make hand tossed pizza, even in a kitchen as methodic as Domino’s. 

But overall, the Hand Tossed crust is a good option for those who prefer a classic, no-frills pizza crust. It’s not overly thin or thick, and the texture is pleasantly chewy. 

That said, if you want a really crunchy or crispy crust, you might want to opt for the Crunchy Thin or Brooklyn Style crusts, respectively. 

In summary, the Hand Tossed crust at Domino’s is the best option for those who want a medium-thick crust with a classic pizza flavor. 

What is Domino’s Handmade Pan Pizza?

The Handmade Pan Pizza crust is the thickest and heaviest of all the Domino’s crust options, and it’s often preferred by those who like a spongy crust with crispy edges.

Like we’ve covered, this style has a thicker base and outer crust, with the toppings spread edge to edge. To achieve this texture, the dough for the Handmade Pan Pizza crust is pressed into the pan and then allowed to rise (or proof) for a certain amount of time before baking. This gives the crust its uniform thickness and puffy texture.

pizza hut pan pizza Domino’s Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed Crust Pizza - Which One Is Best For You?
Photo: Domino’s Handmade Pan is similar to this Pizza Hut pan pizza.

Cooking pizza in a pan (especially an oiled one) results in a crispier crust than one cooked out in the open. The crust has charred edges where the dough touches the pan, and there’s even some slight caramelization of the cheese and toppings, similar to a Detroit-style pizza.

If you like the Handmade Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut, then this is probably the Domino’s pizza for you. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that the Handmade Pan crust is Domino’s response to Pizza Hut’s famously pan-cooked crust. 

Domino’s Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed – Which Do Most People Prefer?

So how does your Domino’s pizza choice stack up with everyone else’s? Or what should you order if you’re trying to please a crowd? Thankfully, we have a few public surveys to draw from for answers.

According to recent data from YouGov Omnibus, regular crust (33%) and thin crust (29%) are the most popular types of pizza crust in the U.S.. Hand-tossed Domino’s pizza would best fit into one of these slots. 

Deep-dish, also known as “Chicago-style” pizza, is the preferred crust for only one in ten people. This would be the most similar to Domino’s pan pizza. 

So if you’re ordering for a group of people, Hand Tossed might be the safer option. 

When it comes to Domino’s specifically, I remember seeing an informal social media survey they conducted. It found that 60% of people prefer their Hand Tossed crust, while 40% prefer Pan Pizza. This makes sense; Hand Tossed is their default crust, so it’s probably their most popular.  

All that said, obviously, choose what you like best. Even if you’re going to be sharing your pizza, no one’s ever been mad at free pizza, even if the crust isn’t 100% their personal first choice. 

Domino’s Hand Tossed vs Pan Crust Pizza – Which Do I Prefer?

My favorite fast food pizza is actually the individual sized pizzas from Pizza Hut, which means between Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan at Domino’s, I’d probably pick the Handmade Pan. I like it because of the fluffy crust and crispy edges.

That said, my favorite pizza style at Domino’s is the Brooklyn style crust with Brooklyn style pepperoni. It’s not too different from the Hand Tossed, but it’s a bit thinner with a chewier texture. In my opinion, it’s the best crust style Domino’s offers.

dominos brooklyn slice side Domino’s Handmade Pan vs Hand Tossed Crust Pizza - Which One Is Best For You?
Photo: The Brooklyn style crust is my personal favorite at Domino’s.

Final Thoughts

Whether you prefer Domino’s Pan Pizza or Hand Tossed crust ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both styles offer unique advantages and disadvantages, so just choose whichever one strikes your fancy in the moment. And keep in mind that each style may differ slightly depending on the specific toppings and cooking methods used by the individual store.

Based on my comparison of the two styles, I recommend trying both and deciding for yourself which one you prefer. Or if you’re ordering for a group, it may be worth getting a mix of both styles to accommodate everyone’s tastes. 

Pay attention to regular deals at Domino’s, too (they’ve always got some on). There may be times when a really great coupon can make the decision for you. 

Sources: Domino’s Pizza

Related Questions:

Is Handmade Pan better than Hand Tossed?

Which Domino’s crust type is best largely depends on what kind of pizza you like best. If you’re a fan of standard American style pizza crust with a thin base and puffy crust, you’ll enjoy the Hand Tossed. If you like a thicker crust with crispy edges, similar to Detroit style or Pizza Hut, you’ll probably prefer the Handmade Pan crust.

Which crust from Domino’s is best?

All of the crusts at Domino’s have their own strength’s and weaknesses, but personally I like the Brooklyn style best. The Brooklyn style crust has a relatively thin base with a chewy crust. Of course, it’s nothing like real New York style pizza, but for Domino’s it’s not bad.

What is different about Domino’s Handmade Pan pizza?

Unlike most crust styles of Domino’s, which are stretched by hand, the Handmade pan style crust is pressed into a pan and then allowed to rise for several hours. This gives the Handmade Pan crust its characteristically puffy texture and crispy exterior.

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