Whether it’s been a crazy day at the office or you’re just putting off grocery shopping, pizzerias provide a wonderful way to get dinner delivered straight to your door. The best part? There’s almost always leftovers!
But, how should we reheat that leftover pizza?
Leftover pizza never tastes quite the same, which makes reheating it such a bummer. However, I searched the internet and turned my kitchen into a test site to bring you some of the best way to reheat pizza. For each method, I used leftover slices of Papa John’s cheese pizza from the night before. After extensive research, trial, and taste tests, my family decided that these three methods each hold their own.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
When To Use
Crispy & hot!
Microwave (with some special steps)
Hot, but soft.
When time is precious.
However, as I discovered, each method has some specific steps you won't want to skip. So, without further ado, let’s at how to reheat pizza to each of these 3 methods!
Best For: Even Heating; Multiple Slices
Total Time Required: 10-15 Minutes
Overall Rating: A-
Although some may argue that reheating your pizza in the oven sounds almost as time consuming as ordering a new pizza, I disagree. Not to mention, I hate throwing away food, and pizza delivery is expensive! Since you must preheat the oven, this method does require some prep time. While my oven preheated though, I simply unloaded my dishwasher. Once the oven beeped, I slid my slices in and waited with wild anticipation!
How To Reheat Pizza In The Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with the baking sheet in the oven.
- Using an oven mitt, remove your baking sheet from the oven when it reaches 450 F, and place slice(s) of pizza onto the sheet.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven. Bake pizza for approximately 7-8 minutes.
- Remove your pizza from the oven, let rest for 2 minutes, then enjoy!
What Not To Do:
- Do not cook for anything over 10 minutes! Some sites suggested 10-12 minutes, and the crust turned out too crunchy to even bite into.
- Do not put the pizza on a cool baking sheet! I found that the preheated baking sheet provided better cooking conditions for the bottom of the pizza while not overcooking the top crust.
- Do not use broil mode! This burns the cheese... yuck!
This pizza was by far the crispiest! Unfortunately, the crust was a bit too crispy for me, so I recommend checking the pizza a couple times during the baking process. The cheese was hot, bubbly, and delicious. The sauce was also the hottest after this reheating method.
Part of Pizza
Overall, I recommend this method for the even heating. Also, this is by far the best way to reheat pizza if you need multiple slices. However, I would only bake for 6-8 minutes, especially if you don’t like overly crispy crust.
Other Variations of Oven Heating I Did Not Try:
Instead of placing the pizza on a baking sheet, one website suggested simply placing the pizza directly on the rack. They suggested baking at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. I do not feel that time would be long enough, but if you’d like to add more variation in your pizza reheating game, by all means, test it out and let us know how it goes in the comments!
Another site suggested wrapping each slice in foil and baking at an extremely low 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. I personally felt that time investment was too much, but if your stomach can wait for satisfaction, give it a go!
Best For: Heating Pizza Fast!
Total Time Required: 1-2 Minutes
Overall Rating: B+
I’ll be honest, I always thought eating cold pizza tasted better than eating pizza reheated in the microwave. I learned through this experience that I was simply heating it all wrong! I often forget that you can change the power on microwaves, and reheating pizza is the perfect time to utilize that function. With a quick little hack and a few extra presses of the button, this pizza turned out much better than expected in just one minute. You can’t beat the time!
How To Reheat Pizza In The Microwave:
- Place a single slice of pizza on a sheet of paper towel or parchment and put it all on a plate.
- Fill a ceramic mug about two-thirds full of water.
- Place the mug in the microwave, then carefully position the plate of pizza on top of the mug.
- Microwave at 50% power for one minute (add more time if the temperature doesn’t meet your satisfaction).
- Remove your steaming piece of pizza from the microwave and chow down!
What Not To Do:
- Do not heat on full power! This creates a soggy pizza with hot spots!
- Do not place on a plate without the paper towel! I found that the paper towel really helped create a better pizza overall.
- Do not skip the mug! The mug magically helped absorb some of the heat and also worked magic on the bottom of the pizza. I tried both with and without the mug, and the mug was definitely worth the extra 10 seconds.
This pizza turned out the softest. The mug helped heat the pizza evenly and kept the crust from becoming soggy, but nothing about microwaving pizza creates crispy crust. Thankfully, the cheese and sauce both warmed nicely. This piece of pizza definitely still tasted like pizza, but it was not the most satisfying of the reheating methods.
Part of Pizza
Overall, this was the quickest reheat method. Although you sacrifice some flavor, sometimes you just need your pizza warmed and ready. Also, this method requires the least amount of kitchen equipment, making it great for reheating at work!
Best For: Heating Single Slices
Total Time Required: 5-7 Minutes
Overall Rating: A
I never thought to reheat pizza in my skillet before writing this article. Turns out, reheating your pizza in a skillet is actually the best way to reheat pizza for single slices. Like the microwave method, this one requires virtually zero prep time. Although it does require a few minutes of waiting by the stove top, the result is well worth the wait!
How To Reheat Pizza In A Skillet:
- Warm your pizza in a skillet or pan on medium-low heat.
- Cook for approximately two minutes, or until the bottom appears crunchy.
- Turn down the heat to low, add two drops of water into the pan (away from the pizza).
- Cover the skillet and continue cooking for one minute.
- Remove pizza from skillet and savor the crispy flavor!
What Not To Do:
- Do not preheat the skillet for long before putting the slice of pizza in. I tried preheating the skillet the first time, and the bottom of the pizza burned!
- Do not heat the pizza face down! I read this suggestion, tried it, and overcooked the cheese. If you don't want a mess, don't try this method.
This pizza maintained a great ratio of crispiness and softness! The cheese heated well, but I felt like the sauce wasn’t quite as warm as the rest of the pizza. I loved that the end result was very similar to the oven method, but without the lengthy wait time. This would be a great method for someone at home on a Saturday night!
Part of Pizza
Overall, this method proved the best for reheating single slices. As I heated additional slices, the skillet almost overheated, resulting in variations in the bottom of the pizza. This method also required virtually zero cleanup, which is great for those who hate doing the dishes!
Other Methods I Did Not Try
Grilling: Several sources recommended grilling your pizza. However, once you factor in waiting for your grill to heat up and the fact that you must stand outside while you reheat this pizza, I didn’t feel like this method was worth it. End results appeared similar to pizza baked in the oven, so I just recommend that.
Frech Toast Style Pizza: I also found a YouTube video that suggested dipping your leftover pizza in eggs and warming it up on a griddle. While he claims that the pizza tastes delicious, I couldn’t bring myself to add eggs to my pizza.
Pizza Waffle: According to Cosmopolitan Magazine, some people turn their leftover pizza into waffles? This method requires heating a waffle iron, adding extra toppings, folding the pizza, then waiting 5-7 minutes. I just don’t see the point in putting that much effort into leftover pizza… do you?For more creative ways to use your leftover pizza, check out what Giordano’s (Chicago’s best pizza place) suggests doing with those slices.
So, what's the final verdict?
Unfortunately, nothing tastes exactly like that original slice straight from the delivery guy, but each of these methods came fairly close! And they're all a big upgrade over just sticking pizza in the microwave. I will definitely be using the skillet and oven methods time and time again, as they delivered great pizza in just a short amount of time. Hopefully these pizza hacks provided you with some new knowledge so those leftover slices taste a little better next time.