Pizza has become such a common food that pizza leftovers are now a core ingredient in many favorite make-do snack recipes. People even have it remade and garnished as a complete dish for their main meals of the day.
In this article, we’ll show you how to reheat pizza in the oven, and we’ll address the strengths and weaknesses of each method. Understanding that not everyone has an oven, we’ll also show you how to use a skillet to dry fry and steam the pizza at the same time. Though it’s not as fast as using a microwave oven, the crust is often crispier, and the topping is softer and rejuvenated.
How to Preheat Pizza in the Oven: The Top 3 Ways
One of the easiest ways to prepare pizza leftovers is by simply reheating it. But how do you do it?
Microwave is one way. It’s super quick and easy. Another is to use a toaster oven. All methods yield about the same results. But the best way, according to many pizza lovers, is to warm it in the convection oven. The heat is better contained in the insulated oven, and the temperatures are comparatively higher.
1. Reheat Pizza in a Microwave
- Quick and easy
- Limited capacity
- Texture problems
Using a microwave to heat your old pizza slices is the most effective way there is. It only takes a few minutes, and the taste is usually acceptable. Its texture, however, is dry, chewy, and when it’s cold, brittle.
The science behind it is pretty straightforward. The crust contains flour, and the flour contains sugar. When sugar reaches a certain temperature, it melts. When you take the pizza out, and it cools down in a few seconds, the sugar recrystallizes, and the surface hardens.
To avoid this, you can try adding moisture to the pizza. A very common trick is to place half a glass of water in the oven and heat them both at once. The steam will dampen the crust and the toppings, moderate the temperature, and the texture will improve considerably.
If you’re afraid of over-moisturizing, try putting a sheet of paper towel underneath the pizza. It helps soak up excess moisture in the crust and maintains the crispness of the slices.
Here’s how you can best heat your pizza using a microwave, step by step:
- Put the pizza on a plate with a paper towel under the pizza.
- Half fill a glass with water, and put it in the oven.
- Heat at 50-percent power in 45-second intervals.
- Repeat the process until it is done to your liking.
Tip: Slow down when you see the cheese starting to melt.
2. Reheat Pizza in a Conventional Oven
- High heat
- Browns without drying out
- Warms up the kitchen
If you’re trying to heat a whole pizza or two, using a conventional oven is the better option. Conventional ovens yield high temperatures and balanced pressure, which means the air is evenly heated. The crust will brown but won’t dry out as much as it does in a microwave oven.
That said, these ovens are sometimes too much work and too slow for the simple task of heating. The process takes longer and uses more energy, and the whole kitchen heats up as well. If you only have a few slices left, it’s not really worth the effort.
If you can afford a convention feature, that’ll help improve the situation. It speeds up the process and uses energy more efficiently by improving heat distribution.
Here’s one way to reheat your pizza in a standard or convection oven:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with a baking pan or a foil sheet inside (this helps with the crispness).
- Put the pizza on the hot pan and bake up to 10 minutes or until it is done to your liking. Convection is a few minutes faster.
3. Reheat Pizza in a Toaster Oven
- Browns crust
When it comes to heating old food, standard toaster ovens are not the best choice, and they lose to microwaves hands down. But if this is your last resort, toaster ovens can manage. And to be fair, they do brown better than microwaves.
With a convection toaster oven, however, you can warm up a few good slices of pizza just as fast and as thoroughly as a microwave. Some people even prefer them to microwaves, despite the fact that they use a bit more energy.
Here’s how we normally use a toaster oven to reheat leftover pizzas:
- Preheat the oven to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit, with a sheet pan or a sheet of foil.
- Bake the pizzas for 7-10 minutes or until it is done to perfection.
How to Reheat Pizza in A Skillet
Reheating pizza in a skillet is arguably the best method. Many professional chefs and experienced cooks recommend skillets over microwaves. Although the crust is cooked beautifully here, many agree that the glass-of-water trick helps the cheese to melt better in a microwave. And considering the clean up after the fact, skillets might not be that much better.
Here’s how to reheat pizza in a skillet, chef-style:
- Put the pizza in a non-stick skillet.
- Cook for about 2 minutes on medium-low heat or until the crust is crisp.
- Add 2-3 drops of water to the skillet and cover it with a lid.
- Steam the pizza for 1 minute on low heat.
So how do you reheat pizza in an oven? You watch the temperature, and you watch the pizza. Warming food up is very simple— just make sure you don’t burn it. The trick is that you need to build up experience by following the instructions the first few times. Once you’re used to the entire process, you can decide what’s best.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.