The Best Way To Reheat Pizza For A Tasty And Crispy Slice Every Time

Pizza is a classic and a favorite dish loved by millions of people around the world.

You can choose from a variety of flavors, such as pepperoni, cheese, and supreme, as well as your favorite crust style and toppings.

It can be enjoyed at any time of the day and on any occasion, whether you are looking for an afternoon snack, a quick and easy dinner, or food to share at a weekend party.

In these situations, you can expect some pizza leftovers you can still enjoy the next day.

No one likes cold and unappetizing leftover pizza, so reheating it is the best way to appreciate it.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve the same quality and freshness with reheated pizza leftovers.

There’s nothing quite like having a fresh bite of delicious pizza straight from the oven.

But the question is – what is the best way to reheat pizza to make it as good as freshly baked pizzas?

You may have heard about reheating pizzas in an oven, a microwave, or even an air fryer.

However, not all methods deliver the same results.

It can turn out dry, soggy, or just too crispy and hard.

In this article, you will discover the different ways to reheat a pizza using an oven, microwave, grill, air fryer, and skillet.

The article compares each method’s steps, results, and pros and cons.

Let’s find out which reheating method has better results, so you can enjoy pizza again as much as you did the first time around – crispy, melty, and moist.

In summary, here’s what the article covers:

  • What Can Affect The Quality Of Reheated Pizza?
  • 5 Ways To Reheat Cold Pizza
  • Which Reheating Method Is Better?
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Affect The Quality Of Reheated Pizza?

Reheating pizza has been a typical approach to getting fast and warm pizza.

However, you do not always get the same quality as newly bought pizzas.

Several factors can affect the quality of pizzas when reheating.

It can be the method itself, the toppings included, the type of crust, and how you stored the pizza before reheating.

By taking these into consideration, you can figure out a technique on how to reheat pizza while maintaining the best taste and texture possible.

Here are some factors that affect the quality of reheated pizzas:

  • Cheese and Toppings: The moisture of toppings such as the sauce and vegetables can sip into the crust and make it soggy. Moreover, the oil from cheese adds moisture to the crust when heated. If you can remove some toppings before heating, it will help lessen the soggy texture.
  • Pizza Storage: Storing leftover pizza in an airtight container helps preserve its freshness. If you leave it in an open container, its original box, or a plate without cover, the crust and toppings harden and dry out. Returning to its moist and soft texture may be difficult even after reheating. Moreover, the longer you store it in the refrigerator, the more it becomes dry. Thus, it is best to eat leftover pizza the next day or within the day for better quality.
  • Crust Type: Different crust types may have different results when heated. For instance, a thin and crispy crust may become dry and tough to eat, whereas thick and fluffy crusts may become soft and chewy but tend to be soggy.
  • Reheating Technique: Whether using an oven, a microwave, or a skillet, it will have varying results on the pizza’s texture. For instance, an oven can make your pizza crispy, whereas a microwave will only make it soggy. Moreover, the temperature you use can affect the overall quality, from melty to burnt cheese and toppings to unevenly heated portions.

5 Ways To Reheat Cold Pizza

Reheating food can be done not just in a microwave but for other kitchen heating appliances as well, including an oven, oven toaster, grill, air fryer, and skillet on the stove.

Each method has different steps, temperatures, and heating times to try to get the original quality of your pizza.

However, you can expect different outcomes for each.

So, let’s find out which method has better results and is more convenient for reheating pizza.

1. Oven or Oven Toaster

ues oven to reheat cold pizza

Ovens or oven toasters guarantee a crispy crust with heated toppings.

However, it can be labor-intensive since you need to prepare a couple of things to achieve a crispy crust.

You need a baking tray and aluminum foil to cover it.

Heating time may vary depending on the pizza, so you have to check it occasionally.

For instance, thinner crusts tend to cook faster, while thicker crusts may take longer.

Follow these steps to achieve the best results.

  1. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 375°F. If you want to heat it quickly, some also recommend preheating it at 450°F.
  2. Then, put the leftover pizza on the baking sheet, with the baking sheet placed on the lowest rack of the oven. The placement at the lowest rack allows the pizza to be cooked from the bottom first. In this way, the crust becomes crispy without overcooking or burning the toppings.
  3. Slightly cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil. The aluminum foil keeps the pizza from drying out and adds moisture.
  4. Now that’s all set, bake in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. If it is set at 450°F, it usually takes about 5 minutes.
  5. However, the minutes may depend on your kitchen appliance. So the best way to know if the pizza is ready is by checking it from time to time. Check if the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy.
  6. When the pizza is ready, use an oven mitt to hold the baking tray and allow it to cool on the side for a few minutes.
  7. Lastly, serve and enjoy the hot and crispy leftover pizza.

2. Microwave

ues Microwave to To Reheat Cold Pizza

Reheating food in the microwave is one of the most common ways most people use since it is fast and easy.

Just place your food on a plate and reheat it for a minute or two.

While this may be a fast option, it is not the most optimal way to reheat pizza as it usually ends up being soggy.

However, a few tricks can lessen the moisture from being absorbed by the crust.

Follow these steps to lessen its soggy and mushy texture.

  1. Place your leftover pizza on a plate. If you are heating two or more slices, make sure to spread them out to ensure it heats evenly.
  2. Then, get a microwave-safe mug and fill it with water halfway. The cup of water helps prevent the crust from going too soggy while allowing the cheese to melt. Instead of the pizza absorbing the microwaves emitted, the cup of water will. However, this does not guarantee a crispy crust but rather a lesser floppy and soggy crust.
  3. Ensure that the pizza and mug are securely placed on the microwave glass plate to make sure the water does not spill on the pizza.
  4. Heat the pizza for about 30 to 40 seconds at a high temperature. The time and temperature setting may vary depending on the microwave type and the number of pizza slices.
  5. Alternatively, you can check if the pizza is ready by checking if the pizza is hot and the cheese is melted after 30 seconds. If not, place it back in and heat it for an additional 10 seconds or more.
  6. Once the pizza is ready, remove it from the microwave and allow it to cool for a minute.
  7. Serve and enjoy while it is hot.

3. Grill

Reheat Pizza on the Grill

If you have a grill at home, use it to reheat leftover pizza to get a smoky flavor and crispy crust.

You can use an electric, gas, or charcoal grill.

A charcoal grill is better for that smoky flavor than a gas grill.

However, the most convenient is the electric grill since you can easily adjust the temperature.

But if you need more heat, gas or charcoal grills generate more heat than an electric grill.

You need to be careful not to overcook or burn your pizza at extremely high temperatures since gas and charcoal grills produce flare-ups.

So if you want an easy grill set up for just a slice of leftover pizza, opt for the electric grill instead.

An electric grill is convenient since you can also use it inside your home.

Follow these steps to reheat leftover pizza on a grill.

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Once heated, place the pizza on the grill.
  3. Grill for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the type of grill. You can also close the grill lid to cook the top.
  4. Check the pizza’s crust to see if it is crunchy and has fine grill marks.
  5. Check that the toppings are crisp and the cheese is gooey.
  6. Once the pizza is ready, remove it using a spatula and place it on a plate.
  7. Serve while hot and crispy.

4. Air Fryer

How to Reheat Pizza in an Air Fryer

Air fryers have been known to make crispy food without needing oil and pan frying.

It provides the most consistent heating throughout with only minimal effort required.

Plus, the excess oils and moisture trickle down to the bottom of the basket just below the strainer, so the crust does not completely absorb it.

You get a better crust texture with an air fryer than with a microwave.

Here’s how to use an air fryer to reheat pizza.

  1. Preheat the air fryer from about 320°F to 350°F. Preheating allows the pizza to be heated fast in even portions.
  2. To make it easier to clean, line the basket with parchment paper.
  3. Place the pizza slice in the air fryer basket. If reheating more than one slice, place it on a single layer and do not stack them up. You may need to do two or more batches if you need to reheat three or more slices.
  4. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your air fryer’s settings. To be sure, check the pizza after 3 minutes to see if it is heated through and the cheese is melted.
  5. If not, cook for another minute and check again.
  6. If it is cooking too fast, you may need to lower the temperature slightly to avoid burning it.
  7. Once the pizza is done, carefully remove it from the basket and serve while hot.

5. Skillet

ues Skillet to Reheat Cold Pizza

Reheating pizza on a skillet does a fantastic job of reviving its crispy crust and gooey cheese.

It is recommended to use a cast iron skillet rather than a non-stick pan since it is ideal for holding high heat to produce an evenly reheated pizza.

However, a non-stick pan should do the job of reheating pizza but will not produce the same results as cast iron.

You do not need oil, but you do need to add a few drops of water to the skillet.

This is by far the best way to reheat pizza without causing it to go soggy.

However, it is the most tedious method since more steps are involved to achieve the best results.

Here’s how to reheat pizza using a stove and skillet.

  1. Preheat the cast iron skillet for a couple of minutes on medium heat.
  2. Once fully heated, place the pizza slice and a few drops of water on the side of the skillet. Make sure the water does not touch the pizza. A few drops of water are needed to create steam to melt the cheese.
  3. Cover the skillet with a lid. You can use aluminum foil as a cover if you do not have a lid. Covering the skillet is important to trap the heat and cook the toppings and cheese. Moreover, it also helps trap the smoke from the skillet to add a touch of smoky flavor. However, it is not the same as a grill or wood-fired oven.
  4. Heat the pizza for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy.
  5. Try poking the pizza to see if it is hot enough.
  6. When removing the lid to check, be careful with the trapped moisture as it may drip onto the pizza upon lifting the cover.
  7. Once the pizza is ready, turn off the heat and remove the pizza.
  8. Place it on a plate and let the pizza cool for a minute before eating.

Which Reheating Method Is Better?

There are several considerations that make one better than the other.

First of all, it depends on the type of appliance and its model and specifications.

Moreover, it boils down to what you prefer.

Do you prefer the most convenient? The fastest? The one with the least cleanup? Or the crispier results?

The best method ultimately varies on these considerations.

Let’s compare each with the table of comparison below.

The table summarizes and compares each method according to cooking time, results, and pros and cons.

Table of Comparison of Pizza Reheating Methods

Method Temperature and Time Results Pros Cons
  • 375°F for 10 to 15 minutes
  • 450°F for 5 minutes
Crispy crust and melted cheese as long as it is covered in aluminum foil and placed on the lower rack.
  • Guarantees quality reheated pizza.
  • It is easy to check the status through the oven door’s glass.
  • You need to make sure you have aluminum foil in your kitchen supplies.
  • Takes longer to cook.
Microwave  30 to 40 seconds at a high temperature
  • Melted cheese but soggy and mushy crust.
  • It can be less soggy with a cup of water while heating to absorb microwaves.
  • The most common kitchen appliance to have in a home.
  • Fastest cooking time and easy preparation.
  • Crust is still considered soggy even with a cup of water.
  • The heated portions may be uneven.
Grill   Medium-high heat for 2 to 5 minutes
  • Smoky flavor using a charcoal or gas grill.
  • Crispy crust with fine grill marks.
  • Toppings are crisp and the cheese is gooey.
  • Results are better with its crisp toppings and crust.
  • Charcoal and gas grills give a smoky flavor.
  • For an electric grill, it is more convenient to use even when inside your home and can adjust the temperature easily.
  • Not all households have a grill.
  • Charcoal and gas grills can burn the pizza with flare-ups or direct fire.
  • Outdoor grills need to be done outside the home, which can be a disadvantage when rainy. Moreover, it is not the most convenient option since you have to take out the grill just to reheat a slice of pizza.
Air Fryer 320°F to 350°F for 3 to 5 minutes Crispy crust and melted cheese while the excess oil is drained in the basket.
  • Better results than a microwave.
  • Faster than an oven.
  • Provides the most consistent heating.
  • No need for oil.
  • Fast and easy to use with very little cleanup to do.
  • You need to frequently open it to check the inside.
  • Difficult to clean if you do not have parchment paper.
Skillet Medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Crispy crust and evenly heated pizza.
  • Most people found that using a skillet gives better results for a crispy crust.
  • It is more convenient to use than the grill.
  • Using a cast iron skillet holds the heat better.
  • Can trap smoke in a covered skillet but does not give off the same smoky flavors as a charcoal grill.
  • This method requires frequent checks (poking) to make sure each part is heated.
  • Requires the most work to obtain quality reheated pizza.
  • You need to make sure you have a lid or aluminum foil to cover the skillet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I properly wrap leftover pizza if I don’t have plans to reheat it yet?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), leftovers should be wrapped in airtight packaging or kept in a sealed container. In this way, it helps prevent bacteria from contaminating the food and absorbing odors from other food in the fridge. Moreover, it also retains moisture and prevents it from drying out. Follow the USDA’s guideline for better quality when reheating your pizza.

How many times can I reheat leftover pizza?

The number of times are not mentioned by the USDA but reheated leftovers are safe for another three to four days in the refrigerator. It is recommended that you only heat the amount you intend to consume since the quality decreases over time after each reheating.

Can I freeze leftover pizzas before reheating?

Yes, you can. Although takeout pizzas can be stored in the freezer for one to two months, it will lose moisture and flavor. So if you plan to thaw and reheat it, the quality has already decreased over time.

Final Thoughts

The verdict?

Obviously, using a microwave is not the best way to reheat pizza since it tends to become soggy and unevenly heated.

The better alternative to microwaves are ovens, grills, air fryers, and skillets.

These kitchen appliances give you a crispy underside, cooked toppings, and melted cheese.

If you do not mind waiting long, use an oven while making sure you cover the pizza with aluminum foil.

With an air fryer, you can cook pizza faster than in an oven in just 3 to 5 minutes.

Great weather for an outdoor grill? Then go for a charcoal or gas grill for that smoky flavor.

Alternatively, using basic kitchen equipment such as a stove and skillet should do the job of getting crispy crust and hot toppings.

But if you are in a hurry, a microwave should do the trick in getting hot pizza but minus the crunch.

Nevertheless, the results may still vary on the type of crust, toppings, how the pizza was stored, and the amount of time it was in the fridge before reheating.

Whether you have leftover pizza from Domino’s, Papa John’s, or Jet’s Pizza, do not let it go to waste and reheat it using the methods above.

Chow down on crispy reheated pizza at any time of the day.

Which method do you think is best to reheat pizza?

Share your thoughts and recommendations below!

Leave a Comment