The Best Way to Reheat Pizza

Have a box of cold pizza in your fridge from last night, but hate cold pizza? What to do? Sure, the easiest thing would be to throw it in the microwave and chow down, but aren’t you interested in making that pie as delicious as when it was freshly delivered? From utilizing skillets to wielding waffle-irons, it might even be possible to make it — dare I say — more delicious! Gasp!

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Storing Your Precious Pizza

photo credit: Huffington Post

Before we get to the reheating part, it’s important to know how to store your pizza in such a way that it doesn’t get soggy in the refrigerator. Here’s the important part: don’t put your uneaten pizza back into the delivery box. I repeat, do not put the pizza back into the box! The moisture from the sauce, meat, and veggies will soak through the crust, and when you reheat it, you don’t even stand a chance.

Instead, do the following:

  1. Place paper towels in an airtight tupperware container.
  2. Place pizza in container.
  3. Cover pizza with another paper towel.
  4. Close container and place in fridge.
  5. Dream about when you get to eat your pizza.

By the way, if you don’t have a container, paper towels on a plate covered with plastic wrap will do just fine.

How to Reheat Pizza By the Slice

Toaster Oven

photo credit: amazon.com

photo credit: amazon.com

If you’ve got one, a toaster oven is an awesome way to get that bubbly cheese and perfect crisp without much work or cleanup.

Toast on medium-high, preferably twice through, to get that subtly delicious crunch.

Skillet

photo credit: Huffington Post

photo credit: Huffington Post

Many argue that a skillet is the best way to reheat pizza. It makes the slice crispier without becoming cardboard-like, and the cheese melts perfectly right before your eyes. Yes, there’s a tiny bit more cleanup than with a toaster oven or microwave, but it’s minimal, we promise. You might as well just try it, right?

Here’s how to pan-fry that sucker:

  1. Place skillet or non-stick pan on burner.
  2. Turn burner to medium-high heat.
  3. Place pizza in skillet.
  4. Wait until cheese starts to melt (usually 4-5 minutes).
  5. Remove pizza and wait for it to cool.
  6. Devour.

Some say to cover the pizza with a lid or aluminum foil, but you don’t have to. If you want to go this route and you don’t have a domed lid, simply make one out of aluminum foil but, of course, that’s up to you. I mean, how much effort do you really want to exert for your leftover pizza is the question, but maybe that’s just me.

Want to get crazy with the pizza? Start with your pizza face-down first in a preheated skillet on medium-high heat (a non-stick pan or a cast-iron skillet with a little oil both work). After about five minutes, or when the cheese has melted, flip the slice and cook for a few more minutes. The whole thing will be crispy! Mind. Blown.

Waffle Iron

photo credit: mashable.com

photo credit: mashable.com

This is no joke. It’s time to experiment and enjoy pizza on a whole new level by using your waffle iron to reheat that leftover slice of pie. Not only do you get to add your own fun ingredients, like extra cheese, veggies, sauces, etc., but you also get to use your waffle iron on something other than waffles. Don’t believe me? Check out this super informative BuzzFeed article with mouth-watering GIFs that’ll make you order a pizza pie in 23 seconds. (And then run out and get a waffle maker in 36 seconds.)

Plus, you can use those newly-made pizza holes for other fun secrets, like Sriracha. Or spicy ranch. Or pesto. I’m sure you can see the delicious possibilites.

Here’s how to waffle that pizza slice:

  1. Grease and preheat waffle iron.
  2. Add extra ingredients to one corner of your slice of pizza.
  3. Fold pizza up towards the ingredient-corner so it creates a kind of calzone-pocket.
  4. Cut off crust.
  5. Place folded pizza in waffle iron.
  6. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until crust is crispy.
  7. Remove pizza and wait for it to cool.
  8. And, as always –devour.

Waffle irons. They’re not just for waffles anymore.

Microwave

photo credit: cosmopolitan.com

photo credit: cosmopolitan.com

If the above options are just a little bit too much work for you and you absolutely MUST nuke your pie, simply put a mug of water in the microwave next to your pizza. The water evaporates, which prevents the pizza from becoming dry, brittle, and “microwave-y”.

It’s definitely not the best way to do it, but if all else fails – or laziness overcomes – it will suffice. After all, pizza is perfection, so chances are it will still be delectable.

How to Reheat the Whole Pizza

Oven

photo credit: boredandstarving.com

photo credit: boredandstarving.com

Your oven is the closest thing to replicating an actual stone pizza oven, so if you want your pizza to be the way it was meant to be, then this is the choice for you. An oven takes more time and effort, but is oh-so-worth it, because it slowly heats the pizza from every direction, fully warming it on each side. 

Also, it’s the the only thing big enough to thoroughly reheat an entire pie (don’t try and squeeze the pie into a waffle iron, please). You can always just reheat a slices this way too, of course, if you’re willing to put in the extra work.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Place baking sheet in oven (the pizza releases its own oils, so there’s no need to add your own unless you want the pizza to slide more easily off the sheet).
  2. Turn oven on as high as it will go (450 degrees is great).
  3. When baking sheet is hot, place pizza on baking sheet.
  4. Wait until cheese starts to melt (usually about 10 minutes).
  5. Remove pizza and wait for it to cool.
  6. Nosh.

Yes, you have to wait for the oven to preheat, but why not use that time to set the table, open a bottle of wine, and drink a glass (or two)? Trust me. You’ll be happy you waited.

Now go forth and reheat, pizza-lovers. With this array of concoctions, you totally have an excuse to eat leftover pizza every night. And, of course, it’s pizza, so you know you won’t be disappointed regardless.

Have other genius ways of eating leftover pizza? Let us know below.

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Laura is an actor/writer/teacher/hiker/camper who grew up in colorful Colorado drinking chai and yodeling from mountaintops. She traded in the Rocky Mountains for the skyscrapers of NYC, where she now lives with her four-legged mutt. She holds a master's in Acting from the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.