We sat down and dug in. The first thing we tried was the wings. We ordered four of the garlic Parmesan and four of the classic buffalo, and, surprisingly, we both liked the garlic Parmesan wings the best. They were super crispy and salty and were bursting with flavor. Although—fair warning—if you don’t have a high tolerance for salt, these probably aren’t the wings for you. With the Turbo grinder, you can choose either chicken or steak, and we opted for the steak. It also was topped with cheesy garlic Alfredo sauce, shredded mozzarella, bacon, mushrooms and Turbo sauce. The first thing I noticed was the bread. It was unlike any other I’ve had. It was kind of sweet and a little bit doughy. I found out afterward the dough is made by a doughnut shop in Springfield, Illinois: Mel-O-Cream donuts. It was a surprising but fun twist on a hoagie bun.
One bite into the pizza, and I was hooked. To be totally candid, I was skeptical about the pizza to begin with. I’m somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to tomato pie, and when I found out Turbo Fire Pizza made its personal pizzas on naan, I wasn’t sure what to think. But this was one of those cases where I was happy to be wrong. Even though the pizza is only cooked for 60 seconds, the crust turned out super crispy. The cheesy garlic Alfredo sauce was delicious and worked well with the other toppings. We finished every last bite and still made it back to the office before our next meeting.
Turbo Fire by the Numbers
100 pizza crusts tried by the Turbo Fire Pizza owners before the perfect crust was found
9 flavors of wing sauce available
2 inches high record height of how tall a customer stacked their pizza with toppings
1,000-degree oven cooks the pizza
60 seconds for the pizza to bake
402,653,184 total pizza combinations that exist assuming each customer only chooses one cheese and one sauce
Q&A with owner Wray Collins
417 Magazine: How did the idea for Turbo Fire Pizza come about?
Wray Collins: The Collins family has been in the restaurant business for 30 years with Subway, with Papa Murphy’s, with Sonic. Nowadays we really just do Subways. There’s really not much more growth with Subway anymore, so we decided we wanted to go out and look for other options, new concepts that are kind of sweeping the nation, and what we’ve kind of figured out is pizza is very popular.
417: How did you find the perfect pizza crust?
W.C.: We went out and taste tested so many kinds of crusts and so many different products for over six months. We finally found the perfect one just when we thought we were giving up. We flew all the way out to Iowa, and we found our personal-sized Indian naan bread that we use for our personal-sized pizza.
417: What makes your turbo-oven special?
W.C.: The ovens that we use are Turbo Chef ovens. However, we have installed a pizza stone in them, and this pizza stone is always sitting at 520 degrees Fahrenheit. On top of that, whenever we go to cook the pizzas, it’s a convection oven and has a fan in there and it goes to 1,000 degrees instantly. It’s blowing 1000 degrees on these pizzas on top and you got your pizza stone in the bottom that is getting your crust nice and crispy for you.
417: What’s a standout dish you have at Turbo Fire Pizza that most other pizza places don’t offer?
W.C.: Our pork wings are very popular. They are kind of like the top of a pork rib or pork shank. We like to joke with our customers, “Have you ever heard of the expression, ‘When pigs fly?’”