Pizza is a crucial part of the American diet. Whether it’s a fourteen-foot-long slice of New York style pizza or a gluten free health food pizza, there is a pizza out there for everyone. Easily the best part about pizza is that you never have to order the right amount, nor do you have to eat it all at once. You can always reheat it.
The best way to reheat leftover pizza is on the stovetop. Microwaves are good if you have them, but they can leave your pizza with boiling hot edges and a still-cold center. Your oven can also work, but it operates at a higher minimum temperature than the stove top, and therefore is harder to use with nuance.
How To Reheat Pizza Without Drying It Out
Among these three methods of reheating pizza—stovetop, microwave, and oven—the biggest thing you have to watch out for is drying your pizza out. If you do, what you’ll have on your hands is something stiff and inedible that can barely be considered food.
This is part of the reason why the stovetop is the best way to reheat leftover pizza: It is the easiest to keep pizza from drying out this way.
To do this, first set a pan on one of your burners at the lowest heat it can do. If it is a gas stove, give it a very small flame. Even if the flame isn’t touching the pan, convection will cause the heat from that flame to always travel upwards, even if you can’t see the heat.
Then, place your pizza slice or slices (do no more than two at once) on the pan and cover it with a plate. If you are worried about a porcelain plate breaking or a plastic plate melting from the heat, then remember that this is the reason you set the heat to be so low.
The advantage of this method above the others is that now you can lift up the plate and give your pizza a poke check whenever you want. This lets you keep track of its temperature, as well as how dry it is. The low heat means that the bottom won’t burn without you noticing the smell as well.
Generally, your pizza will be warm enough to eat once the grease starts to bubble out of its cheese. Pizza gets dried out when you let it cook for too much longer, as the grease of cheese is essentially where the flavor of pizza is contained. It is not always healthy, but it is always delicious.
How To Reheat Pizza In The Oven
Using an oven comes with some drawbacks and some advantages. The drawbacks are that ovens are much hotter than a stovetop, meaning that everything that happens in them happens fast. Sometimes, things happen too fast for you to do anything about it if they go wrong.
You also can’t easily see or poke-check your pizza, at least not comfortably.
However, the heat is as much an advantage as it is a disadvantage. High heat is good for cooking refrigerated things (like leftover pizza) fast. It surrounds your pizza completely, so you don’t need to worry about being partially cooked either.
Perhaps the greatest advantage is that while it is easier to do so, it is not necessary to use a pan when reheating pizza in the oven. Many oven racks are perfect for making pizza in.
To reheat pizza in the oven, first set your oven to as low as it can go. You can wait until it is preheated, but this isn’t a requirement when reheating pizza. Using a pan is an option, just be sure not to use a plate.
Set a timer for one minute, two if you did not wait for the oven to preheat. Again, the sizzling of cheese will be your signal that the pizza has been reheated successfully. Luckily, reheating pizza in the oven will not cause it to burn as much as if you leave it there too long compared to doing the same thing on the stovetop.
When pizza burns on a stovetop, it does so in one, flat burn that makes a whole section of your pizza slice inedible. In an oven, the pizza will either be on a pan that does not conduct as much heat, or on the oven rack itself, which both conducts less heat and contacts your pizza with less surface area.
Once your pizza is sizzling, it’s done. It’s that easy!
What Temperature Should Reheated Pizza Be?
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends leftovers be reheated to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit before they can be considered safe to eat. Luckily, most ovens start at 250 degrees at the lowest, and most stovetops have no trouble getting a pan to that temperature.
It’s easier to burn a pizza while reheating than to fail to reheat it properly. But in a way, a pizza being a little burned is fine. At least it means it won’t get you sick.
Why Does Reheated Pizza Taste Better?
If your question is, “Why does reheated pizza taste better than other reheated foods?” then the answer is that every component of pizza is meant to be refrigerated by itself. Bread, tomato sauce, cheese, even pepperonis can be stored in the refrigerator without losing anything. Some of them have to be stored that way.
So, when a pizza is put into the fridge, that’s a rather natural place for it to be all things considered.
If your question is, “Why does reheated pizza taste better than normal pizza?” well, that’s a bit more subjective. Some people even prefer pizza that is not reheated at all!
What Kind of Pizza is Best to Reheat?
Generally, thinner crust pizzas are better to reheat since they are easier to cook all the way through.
Chicago-style deep dish reheats surprisingly well, however, due to being so thick with sauce rather than bread.
Whatever your pizza tastes, have a good time reheating them, and stay safe while you do it.