You have eaten nothing but pizza for 5 straight days. There is a lot more pizza left in the refrigerator, pizza that you have been eating cold. It occurs to you that it is possible to heat it up.
You don’t want to use the conventional oven because it is a beast that you haven’t mastered. All the dials and settings and complicated gizmos. For a beginner, it is best to use the toaster oven. You know how to make toast in it. Surely you can figure out how to reheat pizza.
There are two kinds of toasters you can reheat your pizza in. In a toaster oven, put the pizza on the toaster tray and set the selector to bake. Reheat the pizza at 420 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes. You can reheat your pizza in a traditional two slot toaster, but it is not recommended because you can start a major house fire.
The Toaster Oven
Perhaps you have never used the toaster oven before. Your mom never taught you how. When Amazon Prime delivered the toaster, you were so excited that you accidentally threw away the instructions. Don’t panic, you can learn to use your toaster oven, and probably reheat your cold pizza on the first try without causing a disaster.
The shape of the toaster oven should be roughly like a rectangular box. On the right-hand side, you will see three dials. One dial controls which setting you want to reheat your pizza. The dial should have a setting called “bake.” Put the dial so that it points to bake.
Next, you need to set the temperature. The best temperature to reheat your pizza is 420 degrees. Set the dial to 420 degrees on the toaster.
The third dial controls the time that the pizza will cook. The time that you reheat your pizza really depends on the thickness. Thin crust pizza will reheat in only 3 minutes. A medium thick piece of pizza such as a hand tossed pizza will reheat in 4 minutes. A thick crust or stuffed crust pizza will reheat in 5 minutes.
Cleaning the Toaster Oven
Maybe this is the first time you have used the toaster oven, and it is as clean as new. Here, you don’t have to worry about cleanliness until after you reheat your pizza. However, you should still run the toaster oven at 420 degrees for 5 minutes to clear out the industrial chemicals that remain in the toaster after the manufacturing process.
If your toaster is like mine, it is covered in a layer of grease and the bottom of the toaster will have burnt crumbs of bread. There might be a pepperoni or a piece of sausage on the bottom that looks black and crusty. These are fire hazards that you should remove before using the toaster oven.
The bottom of the toaster oven should have a knob that opens the toaster. Open the bottom door and shake the toaster over the sink. Use a knife or spatula to scrape the black gunk off the bottom tray. Your toaster will not look as good as new, but at least it won’t burn down your apartment.
If you forget to do this step, you could easily start a fire in your toaster oven when reheating your pizza. Always be sure that a fire extinguisher is on hand. Using the fire extinguisher is beyond this article. Check the fire extinguisher instructions to make sure you know how to use it. If you don’t feel confident, take the fire extinguisher outside and do a test spray on your neighbor’s rose bushes.
Preparing the Pizza for the Toaster Oven
Now is the time to inspect your pizza and determine if any other toppings are necessary. The pizza should be flat with no holes. Toppings should be layered evenly. The cheese should form a solid layer on the top.
If toppings are missing, or the cheese layer is not solid, look in the bottom of the pizza box for stray pieces of topping and cheese. Put these toppings on the pizza. This will make the difference between an average piece of pizza reheated in the toaster oven versus a delicious piece of pizza that tastes almost as good as fresh.
Put the pizza on a piece of aluminum foil. One trick I learned in Sicily is to brush a fine layer of olive oil on the pizza. The oil will protect the top from losing too much moisture while being reheated. If you brush the pizza with olive oil, you will not need to cover the top with foil, but if you don’t, then put a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pizza to keep moisture.
Do You Need to Preheat Your Toaster Oven?
A purist like myself would argue that the best way to reheat your pizza in the toaster oven requires that the oven be preheated. What does “preheat” mean? Preheating means turning on the oven for a couple of minutes to heat the interior before putting the food in to reheat.
It is unnecessary, however, to preheat a toaster oven. The space inside is small and the heating elements are powerful enough to heat the toaster up in just about a minute.
It is Time to Put Your Pizza in the Toaster Oven
Cross your fingers. Hold your breath if you have to, but not too long because you will pass out. It is time to reheat your leftover pizza.
- Turn the selector knob on the toaster oven to bake.
- Set the temperature to 420 degrees.
- Put the pizza in aluminum foil.
- Put the aluminum foil on the toaster oven baking tray.
- Set the timer for 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the pizza.
- Press start.
- Look through the glass door of the toaster oven periodically to make sure you have not started a fire.
- When the toaster oven makes a “ding” sound, the pizza is ready.
- Take the pizza out of the toaster oven.
- Be sure not to burn yourself or you will have to call your mom.
- Enjoy your hot pizza!
Check the bottom of the toaster to see if any cheese or toppings fell off the pizza. If they did, then open up the bottom of the toaster to shake it out over the sink. You can try to stab a big topping like a piece of sausage with a knife to remove it, but make sure you unplug the toaster oven before doing so. It is not worth getting electrocuted to remove a stray piece of sausage from the toaster oven.
There is nothing better than eating hot pizza after you have been eating cold pizza straight out of the box. Congratulate yourself for learning something new. Enjoy a delicious beverage like a Coca Cola or better yet, a beer.
Reheating your cold pizza in a toaster oven involves making sure the oven is clean, preparing the pizza for reheating, and reheating it in the toaster for 4-6 minutes, depending on its thickness. The traditional heat setting for reheating cold pizza is 420 degrees.