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 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 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.
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, as it’s entirely contingent on the weather, and 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!