It is no secret that pizza is a much-loved food item, so finding ways to reheat a pizza like fresh is a very valuable skill, no matter where or who you are. For decades (if not centuries) it is an essential staple in the American diet. That said, unless you are buying pizza by the slice, you are likely to have some leftovers.
Instead of leaving them to stale in the fridge, these can be handy morsels to make for a quick lunch or lazy supper- provided we reheat them correctly. We want a crispy crust (not burnt) with melted cheese (not crispy or chewy).
The goal is to make our reheated pizza just like when we ordered the pizza in the first place. In this article, we detail the tips and tricks you need to make your day-old pizza as good as new so that you can get the most out of your leftovers.
Different Reheating Methods
Using a microwave to reheat this popular snack is a tricky solution with many pitfalls along the way. That said, it is also the fastest way to get our pizza back to its formerly heated glory. Unfortunately, there is a risk of both over and underheating the item.
If we overcook it, then the crust dries out and the texture changes entirely. When we underheat the pizza, either the cheese will remain hard or the sauce will be cold- and both are not what we are after.
The perfect amount of time depends both on the pizza, and on the microwave you use. Older microwaves heat things up quickly but not evenly. Newer microwaves provide an evener cooking experience, though usually, they require more time.
A good solution is to heat a small semi-slice of the pizza in your unit. Get an idea of how long it takes to properly heat it. If overcooking is the issue, consider placing a small glass of water in with the food.
Microwaves heat by resonating at the frequency of water. This means that the water inside your food vibrates faster when exposed to this radiation. This causes heating. Water included with the pizza prevents drying. Try this method to avoid underheating (cold sauce) and prevent damage resulting from overheating the pizza.
The risk of this method is burning the pizza. While it is great for cooking the item in the first place, when we reheat in the oven, there is a chance of drying the crust. Add a small amount of water in a metal or ceramic container into the oven. This adds ambient hydration via humidity.
Reheat the pizza at high heat, ensuring that you preheat the oven prior to inserting the foodstuffs. If possible, avoid placing the pizza on a metal pan. Instead, seek out stone or ceramic. It will make the cooking experience more beneficial.
Once the crust reheats properly (crispy without being dry), switch to the broiler. Using the top element to provide heat will melt the cheese until it bubbles. Supervise the food during the entire process for best results.
This is an uncommon method of reheating pizza; though, with a skilled hand, it can work very effectively. Start by preheating the pan to medium-high heat. Use Teflon, if possible, to prevent cast iron from rubbing onto the bottom of the pizza- it will alter the taste. Put a small amount of cooking oil on the pan and spread it around.
Next, place the piece of pizza onto the pan. It is better to cover the pizza, such that the cheese melts at the same time as the crust heats up. Once a minute or so passes, squirt a few drops of water under the lid. This process is basting and will speed along the cheese melting process.
From start to finish, this method should take less than five minutes. Remove the lid, once the cheese melts, take the item off the pan. Leave it to cool for around thirty seconds before you dive in.
If you have a fireplace our outdoor flame option, this is a great method. Seal the pizza in a small roasting pan and place it atop the fire for a few moments. Alternately, if you have a cooking stone, you can use this as well. It all depends on your fireside setup.
This is a very fast way to reheat pizza, so keep a close watch on the results as they progress. Check on the pizza after a minute and a half. If it is not yet finished, leave it for another minute. You will know it is perfect when the cheese bubbles.
Consider it Cold
Many cultures eat cold pizza as a regular food product (especially as a breakfast option). It is a camping classic and frequently found food in dormitories. Cold pizza has a unique texture and taste; almost making it an entirely different food than its warm counterparts. Take a quick bite when you take it out of the fridge. If it’s to your taste, consider this as a food item. Otherwise, use one of the helpful tricks listed above to bring it back to its former, heated glory.
Food Safety Precautions
Whenever we reheat food, it is important that we take proper precautions against issues like food poisoning. The longer we leave the pizza in the fridge, the more risk of contamination. Pathogens are everywhere, from bacteria to fungi to viruses. They live in the air that surrounds our food and are always vying for a home on our leftovers.
Now, food is generally safe for three days in the fridge (assuming it is properly sealed). The best practice is to tightly wrap the pizza (individually if possible). Once you have reheated food, it is dangerous to reheat it again. Exercise caution and label all of your food (include the date therewith). If the pizza either looks or smells wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry and throw it away. Prevent this pitfall by sealing food properly right away.
A Final Word
Pizza is delicious food and a popular favorite. It is one of the few meals that, in one piece, encompasses every food group. Carbohydrates have their place in the crust. Fats are in the cheese. Vegetables are frequent toppings (as well as a tomato in the sauce). Whatever your dietary needs or restrictions, there is a pizza for you. Now that we know the best ways to reheat a pizza to have it taste as good as new, we can get the most out of this savory pie.