NEWS – What was thought to be a straightforward announcement of the revival of a Pizza Hut dish turned into a world-record-breaking stunt!
Earlier in January 2023, Pizza Hut announced that it was going to revive the Big New Yorker Pizza. But this massive pie is minuscule compared to the 13,990-square-foot pizza from the same pizza company.
It All Started With A Pizza Party Failure
The idea started when Eric "Airrack" Decker reminisced about a time when he was still 8 years old. At that time, he threw a pizza party for his birthday. Unfortunately, not a single guest came.
Years later, Airrack said in one of his streams that he would throw a pizza party if he was able to reach 10 million subscribers on his YouTube account before the end of 2022. The campaign was successful, and the collaboration with Pizza Hut to make the world's largest pizza went to fruition.
Just How Big Is A Big Pizza?
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The plan was to beat the old world record of 13,580 square feet of pizza made in Rome, Italy back on December 2012. The YouTube celebrity and Pizza Hut collaborated to make the giant dish in the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Here, the massive pie is going to cover a 13,990-square-foot surface area, beating Rome's record.
Upon completion, the colossal pizza had about 68,000 slices. To make that amount of pizza slices, the recipe called for: 13,000 pounds of dough, 8,800 pounds of cheese, 4,900 pounds of marinara sauce, and 630,000 pepperoni slices.
Since the pizza covers a large surface area, conventional cooking methods aren't applicable. Instead, other means were necessary. The cooking crew used a zip line to scatter ingredients and six pairs of hands to deliver 1/20th of the dough from one location to another.
Airrack, his crew, and the Pizza Hut staff only had 48 hours from the start of construction to finish this massive version of the restaurant's Big New Yorker Pizza. This limitation exists because the food won't be fit for consumption if it remains exposed longer than that period.
It was a tough battle as night falls on the first day of making the dish with only about 16% of the pie completed. Some of the crew members started having doubts at this time, saying that they were not going to make it in time.
To cook the pizza, Airrack had put together ten ovens and mounted wheels on them. He even nicknamed his creation the "Pizza Zamboni."
At the 12-hour mark from the start of the timer, Airrack reports that they're still 6 hours behind schedule. At this time, the dish is still about 24% complete.
After resting for a few hours, Airrack and his crew awoke to the project barely making any progress. Putting on his thinking cap, the YouTuber uses a fire hose to spray pizza sauce on the dough. As for the other ingredients, Airrack used either a zip line or a catapult to throw them on top of the pie.
Although quite fast, Airrack's methods were ineffective. So he contacted his fans that made large pizza-making utensils to bring their tools to the LA convention center.
Gather 'Round The Good Stuff
With the help of Airrack's fans and their enormous tools, the project went back on track. As it's nearing its completion, the YouTuber invited many of his followers to enter the convention center for a slice of a regular-sized Pizza Hut's Big New Yorker Pizza.
People had to wait for days before they can enter the establishment as one TikTok user by the name of @vicinthegame said in one of his videos:
@vicinthegame Day 22 Of Waiting In Line For Worlds Largest Pizza 🍕 #airrack #worldslargest #pizza ♬ My Superhero Movie - Jacob Jeffries
However, Airrack's true purpose for building the world's largest pizza is nothing but pure gratitude.
"What I wanted to say, and I'm gonna be real with you guys for a second, was that getting to share this experience with all of you was incredibly moving," Airrack said on stage. "Seeing all of you, here, with me, eating pizza, made all of the sadness that 8-year-old Eric felt that day just completely disappear."
But as Airrack and his team were having fun on stage, it became apparent to them that the pizza is still about 80% done. Also, a Guinness adjudicator was on her way to the site for the judging. So the crew went back to the convention center's main arena to help the Pizza Hut staff finish the pie.
With only a few moments to spare, the team finished making the world's largest pizza. But the adjudicator still has the final say on the matter, which she happily announced to the team of their success.
Makin' It Great
Airrack, his team, and Pizza Hut's crew still had work to do after receiving the congratulatory plaque from Guinness. Now, everyone had to work together to pack sections of the world's largest pizza into boxes.
The boxes will then go to different charitable institutions and food banks across Los Angeles. Airrack didn't disclose which charitable organization will receive the boxes or the amount each facility will receive.
Those who missed the event can still purchase Pizza Hut's Big New Yorker Pizza in select branches across the US. The price for the pie starts at $13.99, and it's an extra large pizza with double the amount of pepperoni as compared to the restaurant's standard pepperoni pizza.
The Big New Yorker Pizza is a limited-time offering and is only available in certain Pizza Hut locations. Interested customers can contact Pizza Hut at (800) 948-8488 to ask for the nearest site to purchase this pizza. Some traveling might be to purchase this limited offering.
Previous Pizza Record-holder 'Ottavia'
Back on December 13, 2012, Italians Matteo Giannote, Andrea Mannocchi, Dovilio Nardi, and Matteo Nardi made a pizza that enveloped 13,580.28 square feet of land. The people who worked on the dish named it "Ottavia," which is Roman for the "eighth son."
According to the report from Guinness World Records, the pie was a homage to Octavian Augustus, the first Roman emperor. Ottavia is also 100% gluten-free, unlike the pizza Airrack and Pizza Hut made.
Pizza Hut's Collaborations
Pizza Hut is no stranger to collaborating with different talents and organizations throughout the years. For instance, Pizza Hut China collaborated with Chinese videogame company Hoyoverse to promote the hit game Genshin Impact back in August 2022.
Pizza Hut also worked together with other fast food entities, namely KFC and Taco Bell. This collaboration had the goal to enhance operations for the three restaurants and to serve customers better than before.
America's Favorite Pie
Pizza is a staple food in the US. Statistics show that over 200 million Americans eat frozen pizza frequently. The US pizza industry is also a $45 billion sector that continuously grows each year.
If you are a fan of New York-style pizza pies and want to blend with the locals, check out this article: "NYC Summer Bucket List [ 11 Things To Do To Feel Like A Real New Yorker]."