Best Pizza Size

What is the best pizza size? This problem has troubled all pizza enthusiasts for a while, and mathematicians (who are, after all, people who like pizza as well) have taken matters into their own hands and reached a conclusion.

Picture of a pizza with tomatoes and peppers

After much geometrical analysis and calculations, the mathematicians have come to the conclusion that the bigger the pizza, the better. Simply put, ordering an extra-large pizza is much more cost-effective than ordering two medium-sized or four small-sized pizzas.

Extra-Large and Large Sizes Are Best Sizes if You Are Looking For Cost-Effectiveness

Of course, we are talking here about restaurant chains like Little Caesar’s, Domino’s or Papa John’s, and other famous delivery pizzas. Traditional pizza restaurants, homemade, and frozen dough pizzas can be quite different when it comes to size and shape.

Mathematicians have come to this conclusion using the fundamental equation used to calculate the area of a circle – PI R squared (π r²), since pizza is a circle. Dividing the price with the area will give you the exact price of each square inch of any round pizza. After comparing all usual sizes, the conclusion is that larger pizzas have more value.

Before We Get Technical, Let Us First See What the Usual Sizes and Servings Are

No matter what fast-food pizza parlor you choose, these will be the sizes available:

Small6-10 inches
Medium10-14 inches
Large14-16 inches
Extra-large16-18 inches

This depends on the restaurant, but small pizzas are usually cut in six slices, medium in eight slices, large in ten slices, and extra-large in twelve slices. When it comes to the recommended number of people for serving, these are the usual standards:

  • Small items are served for one person, but sometimes it can be for two as well.
  • Medium ones are served for three or four people.
  • Large portions are usually served for three to five people.
  • Extra-large pizzas are served for five to seven people.

And this is where the issue arises. For example, an extra large Domino’s Brooklyn pizza will cost fifteen dollars, and two medium-sized Brooklyn pizzas will cost eight dollars (5.99 and 7.99 Domino’s deals are famous, but other fast-food chains have similar offers as well). Naturally, a person will think – “Well, it is better to order four medium-sized pizzas than two large ones as it is much less expensive”? However, price is not the most important factor, and ordering a greater number of smaller-sized pizzas is never worth it (the equation will show why).

Larger-Sized Pizzas Always Have More Value Than Smaller Ones

For all people who are suspicious of these findings, you can easily perform the experiment by yourself. But, we will demonstrate this through a simple example.

For the purpose of this experiment, we have taken three different pizzas:

  • A five-dollar six-inch pizza (small),
  • A ten-dollar twelve-inch pizza (medium),
  • A twelve-dollar fourteen-inch pizza (large).

After calculating the area of the small and dividing the price by this number, we have come to the result that each square inch of this pizza is worth seventeen cents. After using the same method for the medium, the result was a surprising nine cents per square inch. And finally, eight cents was the value of a square inch for the largest pizza. The numbers don’t lie. If you want the most cost-effective option, always go for the larger sizes.

Crust Density Can Also Contribute a Lot to the Overall Value

Naturally, extra-large items will have the most crust. However, density doesn’t necessarily have to be greater. Let us compare some Domino’s and Papa John’s items in order to get a clearer idea of this issue:

  • According to the official nutritional charts, Domino’s weight of small crust is 294g, while extra-large is 728g. However, the density of both pizzas is 0.13.
  • On the other hand, Papa John’s small crust is 150g with a density of 0.07, while the extra-large crust weighs 1.330 with a density of 0.23.

As you can see, Papa John’s extra-large pizza is truly huge, and dough density contributes a lot to this. Add cost-effectiveness to the mix, and you will have trouble finding a better extra-large deal.

Extra-Large Pizzas Also Have a Significantly Greater Amount of Toppings

First, let us take the sauce into consideration. For example, we will take a regular Domino’s pizza. The smallest one has 14g of sauce, the medium 15g, the large 21g, and the extra-large 28g. As you can see, the difference is huge. Medium and small are literally the same, and the extra-large is definitely worth more than the large. Also, if you ask for extra sauce (or any other topping), the biggest amount will be added to extra-large items.

Let us do the same for cheese. Papa John’s small-sized pizza has 187g, medium 308g, large 379g, and extra-large has 506g. As you can see, there are two significant differences between small and medium and large and extra-large. Nonetheless, the bigger difference is between large and extra-large, which just confirms our point. The same can be said about all other ingredients like pepperonis, chicken, and others. Extra-large pizzas simply bring the most when compared to the price.

 Picture of a pepperoni pizza

Hopefully, We Have Dispelled Your Doubts About What Is the Best Size for Pizza

If you are looking to throw a party, it is much better to order three extra-large items than six smaller ones (even though the price seems better for the latter). Extra-large portions have more of everything. Of course, we are not suggesting that you should start ordering extra-large items only from now on. But for certain occasions, it is good to know such random facts.