Selling Frozen Par Baked Chicago Style Pizzas

I am interested in selling frozen par baked Chicago style pizzas at my local farmers market this summer. Basically like my own version of Lou’s To Go (Lou Malnati’s Frozen Par Baked Pizza’s you can get at their carry out locations). The problem with this idea is I have know idea how to do it. How long to par bake the pizzas, how to properly freeze them, etc. I can make a great Chicago style pizza but I want to expand my idea into this area.

If anyone has any experience in this area or knows a direction that they can point me in that would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your help.


First off, begin with getting an understanding of all applicable state and local regulations, including qany possible licensing that might be required to do what you are proposing. Then you will need to work out the correct baking time and reheating time (165F) minimun for your pizzas. Make sure they are properly packaged and labeled (see first items above), and you should be good to go. As for freezing the pizzas, the only reasonable way that you will probably have available to you will be what is called slow or static freezing. Literally translated, frozen in a chest freezer, reach in freezer, or walk in freezer. You will then need to market your pizzas in a frozen condition. There are provisions for “cottage industry” businesses in the regulatory laws which will exempt you from a lot of the required labeling of frozen products, like you see on products sold at the supermarket. The provision, I believe used to be $50,000.00 in total conbined sales (if you have a restaurant, those sales are included in the $50,000.00 limit), you will need to know what the current provision for a cottage business is. The main thing is to be well informed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Mr. Lehmann,

Thanks so much for your reply. I am currently in the process of working with my local farmers market on all the applicable state and local regulations, including qany possible licensing that might be required. So, in the mean time, I was trying to figure out the rest of the process. Like how long to par bake the pizzas like Lou Malnati’s does, if a chest freezer would work fine, and packaging; where to get those disposable pans to bake them in with the lid like Lou Malnati’s uses. I am guessing you would make them right in the disposable pan and par bake them in that pan then take them out, cover them and freeze them in the chest, sell them frozen with reheating instructions, etc. I am not looking to make 100 pizzas a week and sell them at the market. I plan on starting out small and just seeing how it goes. I think it has a chance to do well. If you have the ability to answer any of my above questions or point me in the right direction that would be much appreciated. Thanks again for your reply!


What you will probably need to do is to par-bake the pizzas in a conventional, dark colored, deep dish pan, then remove the pizza from the pan for cooling. I would place the partially cooled pizza onto an appropriately sized ovenable pan, like those from M-Press Packaging <>. Then overwrap (Pizza Wrap and Capper, Shield Manufacturing Corp., Oklahoma City, OK Tel: 405-677-6222), label and freeze. Since all ovens and pizzas are different, you will need to work out the correct baking time for your specific pizzas, ditto for the freezing time.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

My 2¢…having used a pizza capper in the past, I moved on to a l-bar type sealer…it’s is a PITA to use the perf sheets for the capper and you’ll get a better long term seal with the other (ESP. 4 freezing)…you’ll need to shrink it, but it’s nearly as fast and the film will be less costly too…it will also look even more professional…you just need to order food grade film and a shrink gun…no tunnel needed…

From my experiences with purchasing Lou Malnati’s par baked frozen to go pizzas they come in a foil pan that is black on the outside which acts like a conventional dark colored deep dish pizza pan as Mr. Lehmann suggested. Does anyone know where these types of “black bottomed” foil pans can be purchased? I would like to experiment with them. Again, thanks all for your advice.


The supplier of the black bottom foil pans is Ekco Aluminum but Alcoa may also have them. Chech with a local BAKERY SUPPLY HOUSE as these are a common bakery item. Not much support to them either though.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

If the time comes where you need a proper ingredent list or nutritional information on your package shoot me a pm I have done it in the past and can offer some guidance

Thank you so much for the replies! I will get busy looking into this further with your help.

Thanks again!


Hi BDoggPizza

All I can add is check your insurance and be covered for a product that you will not have control of during its final baking cycle.

George Mills