Maybe you’re the type who loves their day-old pizza straight from the fridge: cold, chewy, deliciously congealed. Yeah, who wouldn’t love that?
But for those who insist (rightfully) on reheating leftover pizza, the whole endeavor is designed to avoid those factors. And it’s harder than you think. A microwave will get your slice good and hot, but it turns your crust into rubber. An open skillet will help that crust crisp back up, but alas, the toppings will remain lukewarm at best.
To really enjoy your reheated pizza, you have to wait at least as long as you did for it to be delivered. Sorry, but it’s true. However, the rewards are well worth the patience. You get to savor your tasty slice just like you did when it came of the box—possibly even more so, since the flavors have had all that additional time to marinate.
Now that the weather is getting a little colder and the days are getting a little shorter, nailing the right way to reheat your pizza is only becoming more important. So get educated with our short, simple guide to reheating your pizza.
We at The Manual recognize that disparaging these alternate methods for reheating pizza may generate controversy and even trigger distress within our audience. For that reason, we offer these indisputable explanations for our stance on this controversial topic:
The small size and lack of ventilation in a microwave mean concentrated high heat on your pizza, without the necessary air circulation to evaporate the moisture being released. Instead, that moisture turns everything soggy and soupy. That’s why you can’t pick up a slice of microwaved pizza to eat it—the crust sags like a flag on a windless day. You need hot, dry air surrounding the slice to get it hot while still maintaining its structural integrity.
Having your heat source underneath the slice means uneven cooking. All that heat is dissipating as it rises, meaning that your crust will be charred before your cheese reaches its melting point. (This is especially true for deep dish or Detroit-style pizza.) You could put a lid over the pan to trap the heat, but then you’re dealing with a similar situation to a microwave, soaking your pizza with moisture released by the heat.
Granted, there are numerous articles and forum threads on the internet that offer step-by-step instructions for “hacking” these pizza reheating methods in order to achieve satisfactory results. If you like babysitting your pizza and fiddling with extra steps every few minutes, have at it. Call us lazy, but we’re much more of the set-it-and-forget-it mindset. (Hey, it gives us more time to write entertaining and informative articles!)
If you, like us, prefer to putz around with other things during the 10-20 minutes it takes to achieve perfectly reheated pizza, go with the oven method. Knowing how little work you need to put in will make every savory mouthful that much better.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place pizza slices right-side up on the pan. When oven is hot, insert pan and close the door completely, making sure oven door is fully sealed. Leave for 7-8 minutes. (If you’re heating just a slice or two, it should be done at 7 minutes. If you’ve got several slices in there or you’re dealing with a deep-dish variety, leave for the full 8 minutes. For very thin crust pizza, check for doneness at 6 minutes.)
And that’s it. No wrapping foil over the top, no transfers from stovetop to pan or vice versa, no ramekins of water heating alongside the pizza or other such shenanigans. Just simple, straightforward, second-day goodness.
So simple and straightforward, it might generate some controversy. We get it — you’ve read a million other articles telling you this process of reheating pizza is supposed to be complicated. Rather than argue the point, we invite you to try it for yourself — the proof of the reheated pizza is in the eating, after all. Try our ultra-simple pizza reheating recipe, and we’re sure you’ll love the results.
Store your pizza properly
Your finished recipe is only as good as your ingredients. Sure, in this case the ingredients are already assembled, but it still matters how fresh they are when you embark on the reheating process. As tempting as it can be to toss a half-emptied pizza box into your fridge (especially if it’s late and you’re halfway through your second six-pack), do the responsible thing and wrap that pizza up in an air-sealed bag or a glass storage container, ideally with a layer of parchment paper or paper towel in between slices to prevent them from sticking together.
Preheat the pan
There’s no objective downside to putting your slice on a cold pan and popping it in the hot oven. Toppings will be piping hot, cheese will be gooey, and your crust will maintain its integrity. But if you’re craving a perfectly crisp crust, stick the pan into the oven while it’s warming, then pull it out, place your cold slice on it, and wait for the magic to happen.
Add a layer of parchment paper
Is there anything worse than opening the oven to find half of your extra cheese topping stuck to the pan? Avoid the cardinal sin of food waste by putting a sheet of parchment paper between your slice and the pan. (Don’t fall for the aluminum foil substitute, since cheese can stick to the foil just as easily as to a metal pan.)
Place the pan on the lowest oven rack
With the pan as low as possible in the oven, your slice will reheat from the bottom up, ensuring that your toppings don’t shrivel before your crust gets crisp.
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