The Best Ways To Reheat Leftover Pizza

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The major benefit of ordering pizza is that you’re taking care of dinner AND the next day’s breakfast (and lunch, if you can stretch it). Pizza is one of those magical products that can taste better on the second day – provided you know exactly what you're trying to achieve. Here’s how to get the best results when reheating pizza.

There’s a fine balance you have to find when reheating pizza – you want something that’s not going to require a lot of physical output but you also want to make sure it doesn’t taste like you’ve just reheated a warm, soggy pepperoni tyre. Rubbery pizza slices be damned! You should note that the reheating methods below are generally for a slice or two, rather than an entire pizza. If you’re reheating an entire pizza, you’re going to want to use the oven to get an even, consistent warmth.

The Microwave

The microwave is the Usain Bolt of reheating pizza. It’ll do it in the shortest amount of time but the results aren’t always what you hoped for. Okay, maybe it’s more like the Justin Gatlin of reheating pizza. Without the doping. Okay, let's just forget the running analogy, okay?

There is a way to improve reheated pizza in the microwave and that’s by making it a Frankenstein’s Monster of crockery and cups. We’ve detailed the process before but for better results, try this refined method: pour water into a ceramic mug until it’s about two-thirds full and then chuck the pizza on a plate on top of the mug. I’d also suggest chucking some paper towel on the plate first, which gives your reheated slice a slightly crispier base.

The Stove Top

There are a few variations on this theme but almost all suggest cooking the pizza in a pan on low to medium heat. The suggestion for timing is anywhere between two and six minutes but this will depend on the thickness of the base. Once the base is at the level of crisp that you desire, turn the heat down to low and place two drops of water into the pan away from the pizza. Cover the pan (if it doesn’t have a lid just use alfoil) and leave for one minute.

The end result is a crispy base that retains a good amount of moisture in its crust. I’m a big fan of this method but it can take a little longer with thicker slices. If time is an issue, you might be best still going with the microwave. (See above.)

The Oven

The oven is the most versatile heating option, you can really control the temperature you’re looking for and get a nice, balanced heat across the entire pizza slice. There are several suggested methods and one that I’ve found that works is leaving it on the oven rack and blasting it at 200 degrees for three minutes. This has ended in failure a couple of times, but for home-made pizza, it seems to work perfectly for a single slice.

Other methods suggest going with 180 degrees for five minutes, but then you’re running into overtime: waiting five minutes for a reheated pizza starts pushing out that stopwatch a little too far. Another method is to add aluminium foil to a baking tray and pre-heat it to 240 degrees before adding the pizza. Then it’s recommended you wait 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling over, and remove for eating.

10 minutes? Please. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

You Don’t

Of course, you could just not reheat the pizza at all. You can have cold pizza the next day because cold pizza is king and queen of the leftovers. Way back in 2000, Scottish chemistry lecturer Dr Maureen Cooper explained why cold, leftover pizza tastes so good. If you don’t heat the pizza the next day, it prevents water from seeping through to the base and making it soggy. Perhaps the best way to reheat pizza is not to reheat it at all!

Leave On A Sunny Windowsill On A Hot Day

I don’t recommend this and, as it’s entirely contingent on the weather, it’s rather hard to get right. This is also a good way to attract pests such as flies and various rodents which will be drawn to the scent of decaying food. Also, this leaves the pizza prone to contamination by bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Shigella which cause nasty illnesses such as gastroenteritis.

Do you have any tips or tricks to perfectly reheat pizza? Leave them in the comments below!

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Comments

    Sandwich press, adjust it so the top doesn't come all the way down and touch it. 5mins later you have delicious reheated pizza.

    Dude, how could you leave out the sandwich press? It crisps the base and heats the topping!

    Bear with me here; I fold alfoil around pizza slice so it's covered on top and bottom by the foil, then put it on the topmost tray in the over with the grill on high... Few minutes there, then unfold the top layer of foil to melt up the cheese better. Just gotta be careful, cause it's an easy way to overburn the pizza crust etc! But it seems to make is most fresh-from-the-shop-alike for me.

    The *best* option is a sandwich press. Quick, hot and crispy without drying out.

    Ideally you need a flat one, but the type that squashes into triangles works okay too, but you obviously get lines on your pizza. Still tasty though.

    30 - 60 sec in the microwave to heat it, then a couple of minutes in the sandwich press to crisp it up a bit.

    The best way is in a sandwich press - get two slices and make a pizza toasted sandwich!

    the best way bar-none is with a flat sandwich maker that can be held open in a "melt" setting so it doesn't contact the toppings.

    It re-crisps the base and heats the toppings without too much drying out and does it in just a few minutes.

    My system:
    Put 3 slices on a large plate in the microwave for 90 to 120 seconds.
    While this is going on, turn on the sandwich press.
    When the pizza is hot, move the slices from the microwave onto the now hot sandwich press, you want to lock the top plate so that it hovers above the pizza not squishing the toppings.

    30 seconds to a minute later you have nice hot pizza with a delicious crispy base.

      I actually tried this just now with my sandwich press and I am pretty happy with it. Don't much like the idea that I have to get my sandwich press out BUT it did a good job.

    If youve got a sandwich press you can microwave for a minute then put on the sandwich press for a couple minutes to crisp the base. Works great in the workplace. Alternatively make a pizza sandwich with two slices and put that in the sandwich press, can get messy.

    I have not tried the sandwich press method but the other day I tried the stove top method.

    Put a few slices in a big pan when it is still cold. Leave one half of the pan empty. Put on medium and leave to heat up with the lid on. When the pizza is hot put a good splash of water on the side with no pizza so it doesn't run into the slices and put the lid back on, then turn the heat off and leave until all the steam is gone.

    The cold pan heating up will warm the pizza and gently crisp the base without burning and the steam will melt the cheese and plump up the dough.

    This even worked to re-hydrate a couple of slices I had heated up in the oven a bit too long that were quite nasty and crispy.

    I had no idea so many people preferred reheated leftover pizza. I've always just eaten it cold, straight out of the box, and so does everyone I know. This has been an eye-opener. I suppose I now know how best to reheat it if I ever get the urge to try.

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