The 5 Best Ways to Reheat Leftover Pizza
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Here are five tips and tricks for reheating day-old pizza without getting that dreaded stale, soggy crust
There is a very specific methodology to reheating the perfect pizza.
It’s the day after you had a pizza/Netflix binge fest with a few friends. Sure, you could eat cold pizza. After all, it’s the safe way to go, and there’s nothing quite like a few chilled slices for breakfast.But what if you want to recreate the freshness of last night’s pizza without running into the common roadblocks most reheated pies face — like a soggy crust, overly chewy texture, and cheese that just won’t melt? You’ll have to try harder than simply sticking your slice in the microwave and hoping for the best.
The 5 Best Ways to Reheat Leftover Pizza (Slideshow)
With the help of two ‘za experts, Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours and Adam Kuban, former pizza blogger and owner of pop-up bar pizzeria, Margot’s Pizza, we’ve compiled the five best ways to reheat pizza, ranked in ascending order of effectiveness, meaning how closely they mimic that “straight out of the oven” taste and texture.
You might find that with our methods, pizza tastes even better the second time around. After all, the tomato sauce base has had more time to marinate in the back of your fridge.
Before you get started, remember that storage is important. Don’t just stick the pizza box in the fridge: wrap each slice in paper towels and plastic wrap to preserve flavor and freshness.
5 Best Ways to Reheat Leftover Pizza
Pizza is perhaps the most beloved comfort food in America. It’s cheesy, flavorful, and you can personalize your toppings to exactly what you’re craving! A survey conducted by The Harris Poll found that given the choice between different types of food, most respondents would choose to eat only pizza for the rest of their lives. Further, 61% of millennials said they would give up social media for a year in exchange for free pizza!
Happy taste buds aside, there’s another major reason why pizza is so great — the leftovers! Sometimes, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we end up with more pizza than we can eat. The good news is that pizza is just as delicious the next day! If you’ve been wondering how to make the most of your leftovers, look no further! Keep scrolling for our 5 favorite ways to enjoy pizza leftovers.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO EAT LEFTOVER PIZZA?
If you’re anything like us, you want to enjoy your pizza as soon as possible. The microwave is by far the easiest and fastest way to reheat your pizza. The problem with this method? The microwave can lead to soggy crust, gummy cheese, and uneven heating. If you still can’t wait to enjoy your pizza, we recommend adding a glass about halfway full of water to the microwave (make sure it’s microwave safe!). Cook for 45 seconds to one minute and you’ll be left with a fluffy crust that tastes just as good as the night before. It’s that easy!
This method takes a little more patience than the microwave, but it is so worth the extra few minutes! We love the oven method because it transforms your cold pizza slice into the same fluffy, cheesy delicacy it was the day before. The steps are simple! First, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Next, line a baking tray with tin foil and place your pizza slices on the tray. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes, checking occasionally, and you’re ready to eat!
3. FRYING PAN
This tip comes straight from George Hoover, owner of Cottage Inn Pizza in East Lansing. If you enjoy crispy crust, listen up! George recommends putting your slice face-down in a skillet on medium-low heat. Wait for the cheese to melt, then flip to heat up the crust. You’ll know your slice is ready when the cheese has melted and the crust is nice and crispy. Simple and delicious!
4. WAFFLE IRON
We know this sounds crazy, but hear us out. First We Feast suggests using a waffle iron to create a “crispy, gooey, cheese-stuffed snack” that will bring your leftover pizza to the next level. Simply fold each slice in half so the toppings are on the inside. Then, place your folded slice in the waffle maker and let it cook for 5 minutes. You’ll be left with a pocket of waffle-shaped pizza goodness that may be even better the second time around!
5. EAT IT COLD!
Did you know that 23% of people prefer leftover pizza cold? There’s nothing wrong with eating a slice straight from the refrigerator! It’s great as a snack, an easy lunch, or even for breakfast (Believe it or not, 65% of Americans believe that pizza is an acceptable breakfast food!). If you aren’t up to reheating your pizza, don’t hesitate to enjoy it cold!
OUT OF LEFTOVERS?
Cottage Inn Pizza is always here for your pizza cravings. We have more than 30 different toppings to choose from so you can create the pizza of your dreams! Click to find a Cottage Inn Pizza near you.
Method #1: Reheat your pizza in the oven
If you’ve ever reheated pizza in the oven and opened the door only to find a say, dry slice, you may be weary of trying this method again. But here’s how to make sure you get it right:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375ºF
Letting the oven fully heat up before you attempt to reheat your pizza will make sure it doesn’t get rubbery. The idea is to get your oven and your pan piping hot before the pizza ever comes into the picture.
Step 2: line a baking sheet with foil
This will make sure the melting cheese doesn’t stick and cause you a mess, then pop your sheet into the warming oven.
Step 3: bake your pizza
Use an oven mitt to carefully remove the hot baking sheet. Place your pizza slice(s) on the pan, and return sheet to oven. Cook pizza for about 10 minutes. The end results will be crispy and gooey exactly in exactly the right places, and all-over delicious.
HEY, PIZZA LOVERS: What You Need To Know Before Your Next, Delicious Slice
First of all, if you don’t answer to the call ‘hey,pizza lovers,’ I have a hard time processing our relationship. But I digress.
A new study is out that determines whether blotting a piece of pizza with a napkin to absorb the grease really amounts to anything. It does, much more than you probably imagine. My enthusiasm about this story is in part because I’ve been on an all-fresh/raw juice diet all day and this is suddenly the only thing I can think about. But let’s get to the meat of the story. Ah…. pepperoni… Okay, I’m focused again… here goes:
A website called Labdoor (which I now will be reading regularly) brilliantly decided to see if it made any difference, and put together an infographic with the results. I’m posting PART of it here… but really to be fair, go visit the article in its entirety.
Researchers used slices from a 14-inch Domino’s pepperoni pizza. Before dabbing, the slice was 117 calories. But after dabbing, it was 76.5 – cutting 40 calories and four and a half grams of fat. Pepperoni is a big grease producer, by the way… you’ve seen that swimming pool of grease collect when the edges of the pepperoni curls up – or in cases where the pepperoni stays flat – it just swims across the entire slice. I’m dying for pizza right now.
Americans eat about 23 pounds of pizza every year, amounting to about 87 slices! But if you blot, you’re shaving off enough calories that it’s as if you’re 66 slices per year.
How Long Does a Leftover Pizza Can Last?
Did you know that the pizza can only last for a couple of days after baking? Pizza can last depending on the toppings. If your pizza is topped with meatballs, vegetables, and sausages, it can last up to two days in your fridge, while if its toppings are cheese and pepperoni, it can stay for around up to four days. The good thing is you can learn how to reheat pizza in the oven, microwave, and stovetop to eat the leftover pizza within four days.
In case you are curious if you can still eat the pizza that is left unrefrigerated overnight, unfortunately, no. Eating perishable food left unrefrigerated for more than two hours has a high risk of food-borne illness. During summer, especially at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above, food left out unrefrigerated are more prone to bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella can multiply in number in just 20 minutes.
How to Best Reheat Leftover Pizza
This post originally appeared in the May 4, 2020 edition of The Move, a place for Eater’s editors to reveal their recommendations and pro dining tips — sometimes thoughtful, sometimes weird, but always someone’s go-to move. Subscribe now.
If you’re anything like me, pizza makes up a not-insignificant part of your regular food intake even during normal times. Consider that consumption more or less doubled, now that pizza remains one of the most readily accessible quarantine foods: available from any pizza delivery place, in the frozen food aisle, and even within the confines of your pantry, if you join the hordes of people out there baking focaccia, topping it with mozzarella, and calling it pizza.
No matter how you acquire your pizza these days, chances are you’ll end up with leftovers, a true blessing when it comes to second dinner or midnight snack or, hell, even breakfast. But before you chuck a slice in the microwave — too soggy! — or wait 10 minutes for the oven to preheat — too dry! — let me pose this question: What if there’s a better way to reheat that glorious mass of dough, cheese, and sauce?
The answer, pizza rat, is yes, there is. All you need is a stove burner, a skillet, and a lid.
Let the skillet warm slightly over low heat. Fit as few or as many slices of pizza as you’d like on the pan (but hey, if you’re going to the effort of turning on the stove, might as well make it at least two slices, right?). Dribble a couple drops of water onto the surface of the skillet — they should sizzle — and cover with a lid so that steam will form, helping re-melt the cheese that may have acquired the texture of flexible plastic while refrigerated. Once the cheese has returned to its ideal gooey state after about five to seven minutes, remove the lid and let the bottom of the pizza crisp up a bit. Turn off the heat, remove your two or more slices, and eat with gusto.
This reheating method is by no means a novel “hack” or “pro tip” or whatever other terms you use to describe what we at Eater refer to as The Move™. But, after spending the first 20 years of my life warming leftover pizza the wrong way, I can declare with utmost confidence that this is the way to do it. You get the crunch of the oven-warmed crust and the soft, melted texture of the microwave-heated mozzarella, minus everything that makes those versions extreme parodies of the original slice. The only thing better might just be eating cold pizza straight from the fridge.
P.S. Want to try your hand at making pizza from scratch? Consider this sourdough pizza recipe from a former Roberta’s pizzaiolo.
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Why this method is the best:
- Saves time. This is a fast process!
- It never over cooks or burns like it can in the oven.
- Crispy bottom crust and perfectly melted cheese every single time
- it’s never rubbery like when you use the microwave.
I’m from Bergen County, New Jersey, where we have access to some of the best pizza in the country. We treat our pizza with the respect that it deserves here. so heres what you need to know about the best way to reheat pizza..
How to Reheat Leftover Pizza
Yes, you can reheat leftover pizza in the oven or the toaster oven. But Chef John shows you a better way to bring old, lifeless leftover pizza back to crispy, delicious life! His foolproof stove-top method for reheating leftover pizza results in a perfectly crisp crust on the bottom and tasty melted cheese on top.
Here&aposs the best way to reheat leftover pizza:
1. You&aposll start with a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Keep the skillet dry. No need to add oil the pizza&aposs residual oils will be enough to crisp the crust.
3. To help the pizza toppings reheat as the crust crisps, create a loosely fitting aluminum foil cover for the skillet. Do not tightly seal the skillet with the foil you don&apost want to trap too much steam or your crust won&apost crisp.
4. After about 4 or 5 minutes, your leftover pizza is ready to eat.
This technique also work great to recrisp the crust of delivery pizza that arrives a touch soggy. Try it with leftover quesadillas, too.
VIDEO: Watch Chef John Reheat Pizza in the Skillet
Check out our complete collection of Pizza Recipes, including pepperoni, veggie, chicken, and beef pizzas, plus calzone and breakfast pizza recipes.
The oven is not the only way
For my tavern crust pizzas , I like to preheat the oven to 450 and reheat directly on the steel (or stone) but a baking sheet works too. When the cheese on top starts bubbling (4-5 minutes), take it out. That’s the conventional way.
For the UNCONVENTIONAL way (and my wife gets credit for this), sandwich two pieces crust side-out and waffle iron them to melted, crispy perfection. Honestly, it’s a whole second life for the pizza. Change your life. —John Carruthers, Takeout contributor and certified Pizzadad
This is quite a broad category, so right off the bat, the more tender vegetables like beans, snow peas, asparagus and wilted greens (spinach, Swiss chard, etc.) don’t lend themselves well to reheating after a first cook. If you have leftover corn (if it’s on the cob, cut off the kernels), peas or any sort of legume (chickpeas, beans, lentils), you can give them new life with a quick fry in a large pan with some broth and spices. Root vegetables like butternut squash, yams, potatoes and beets benefit well from a quick re-roast in the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F, lay them out on a baking sheet and let them roast for 12 to 15 minutes. Once removed from the oven, dress them lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.