Why you should almost always order one large pizza instead of two mediums

Ugh. Pineapple.


I’m ordering a pizza, right now.


Someone asked for the math…

OK, Papa John’s Pizza - the math would work much the same for most national chains.

Their sizes are 10 inches (small), 12 inches (Medium), 14 inches (Large), 16 inches (XL). Let’s say the crust is a consistent 1" on all pizzas.

But remember - the formula for area of a circle is Area = pi * (Radius^2). The above sizes are diameters, not radius. The formulas I used is: Total Area: Pi*((D/2)^2), topped Area: Pi*(((D/2)-1)^2), Crust Area: Total Area - Topped Area.

So a 10" small pizza has an area of 78.54 inches, a topped area of 50.27 inches, and a crust of 28.27 inches.
A 12" medium Pizza has an area of 113.10 inches, a topped area of 78.54 inches, and a crust of 34.56 inches.
A 14" Large Pizza has an area of 153.94 inches, a topped area of 113.10 inches, and a crust of 40.84 inches.
A 16" XL Pizza has an area of 201.06 inches, a topped area of 153.94 inches, and a crust of 47.12 inches.

That means that a large pizza has a topped area 1.44x larger than a medium, and an XL is 1.96x larger.

In my market, Papa John’s has a consistent special of (for 5-toppings pies), $10 for a medium, $12 for a large, and $15 for an XL. If the pizza prices were consistent (based on cost per square inch of topped medium pizza times the topped area of each size pizza), the Large would cost $14.40, and the XL would cost $19.60.

In practice, sometimes the lowest cost per square inch isn’t the end-all be-all. If you only need a medium pizza’s worth of pizza and don’t care to store left overs, save the money. If you need a variety of toppings without cross-contamination, buy the mediums. The price difference is enough to be aware of but not enough to really override practical concerns. A Large pizza costs 83% as much as a medium; an XL is only 76% as much as a Medium (based on topped square inches).


I typically order from Domino’s and their large is 14", they do offer a deal for a large but only for pick up. Meanwhile I can get 2 mediums, 2 toppings for 7 bucks each and delivered.

However I have been watching my eating so I haven’t ordered pizza for most of this year and I think that’s a better alternative

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As a rule, if you’ve an oven, make your own. Cookies sheet works, if you don’t want to buy a pie plate or pizza stone. Easy to do, can source the ingredients better, and make it any size and shape you like.


It’s the calculator on your phone. :wink:


There’s a few alternatives to this. Making ones own dough is typically a hurdle most people don’t want to cross, but one can buy pre-made dough or the pre-baked pizza crusts. My parents typically prefer to get the crusts and my mom makes the sauce herself, the results don’t rival pizzerias but it’s still pretty great


The problem isn’t the pizza, which can be pretty balanced, it’s the portion size. One large slice is really about as much as one typical adult should eat in one sitting, and I find myself pushing to 2-3 slices way too easily.


one part flour, smallish handful of salt, smallish handful of yeast. Optional garlic powder. Mix. Three eights part water. Knead. (Or use one half part water, and just mix, let it sit four hours to over night. Then plop it on a pan, and use. Stickier, not quite as good, but still pizza).
Wait, between an hour if in a hurry, or do an hour so, punch it down, and then let it rise another hour or so. Or leave it in the fridge over night, and let it sit out for an hour the next day.

Put stuff you want to eat on it.

Make oven hot. Put oven in pizza. Watch it until you get better and can time it. Take out when done.

Pizza is hard to break.


You get more slices with two mediums than one large. For me, that feeling of satisfaction is tied to exactly three slices of pizza. Does not seem to matter what amount of pizza I actually ingest, just the number of slices.



As interesting as this is, this is the one occurence where i can gloat…

My local pizza delivery resteraunt is located 5 minutes walk away from my front door.
Pizza restuaruants give significant discounts for collection orders…

Not only do i get my pizzas far quicker and cheaper than delivery, i actually need to wait several minutes before collecting or i’ll get there too early…


Assume a Spherical pizza in a vacuum?


LOL these are wise words!

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Other relevant quote I read somewhere:

“Every pizza is a personal pizza if you just believe in yourself”.


Last time I got a pizza the pizza guy asked if I wanted it cut in six slices or eight. “Six.” I replied, “i don’t think I can eat eight.”


Calzone’s Constant?


Novel topping.


I do not think of eating pizza this far in advance.


Put pizza in oven.
Thanks Tamsin!

(Also, dollop of olive oil is ok, some say after it’s risen the second time. Some people add a bit of sugar to the dough.)