Pizza

The Best Way to Reheat Pizza at Home

April  5, 2016

Reheating pizza is an important skill, especially since we're talking Italy all week long! So we're re-running this post. Thank us later.

So you've managed—by some divine grace—not to finish your entire pizza. That alone is accomplishment enough, and you should be proud of your noble restraint. You know what they say: Good things come to those that wait. See, there have been studies that prove it. The good thing coming to you? The ultimate leftover pizza lunch.

Pizza

What has not been studied enough, however, is the best way to reheat these glorious leftovers. The microwave, technical marvel that it is, will render your slice a soggy mess, with a crust that's way too hot and mushy. (Really, if you're going to burn your mouth on anything, it should be the cheese.) The oven, while it restores that crispness that made you fall in love at first bite, will also dry out your cheese and toppings. No amount of crunchy base is going to make up for that failure.

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We polled several experts, and the recommendation was near-unanimous: Use a skillet.

Pizza

Anthony Falco, Roberta's head pizza maestro, recommends putting your slice in a non-stick skillet on medium-low for a couple minutes. Once the bottom is crisp, add a couple drops of water to the pan, turn the heat to low, and cover with a lid. In about a minute, you'll have fluffy crust and melted cheese. He even shared a super-helpful illustration that he drew himself—a true Renaissance man! 

Pizza Reheat

Our assistant kitchen manager Derek Laughren prefers to use a cast-iron skillet (as opposed to non-stick) to reheat his pizza. We tested this with a slice of Roberta's Motorino's Margherita (pictured here) and it was a melty cheese success. He then finishes it off in the oven, just for a minute—not long enough to let it dry out

Mark Bello, the founder and head pizza instructor at Pizza a Casa Pizza School, likes to tamp down a piece of foil over the pizza, to create a "moisture-crispness canopy." The bonus with this technique? Lifting up the foil for the big reveal gives off a blast of delicious warm pizza smell.

Reheating Pizza

Our resident pizza expert, Ryan Hamiton, goes rogue: He reheats his pizza in the toaster oven. Here's how he does it: "I pop two slices in at 350° F for maybe 5 minutes, and then I usually eat a third cold slice while I wait on its friends." 

After all, leftovers are all about easy eating. Now, they're also about perfect pizza—no preheat necessary. 

How do you reheat your pizza? Or do you just eat your leftovers cold? Tell us in the comments!

Photos by James Ransom. Illustration by Anthony Falco.

This post was originally published in September 2014, but we liked it—and reheated pizza—so much, we had to share it again.

37 Comments

Ron S. March 23, 2018
A frozen slice in a screaming hot oven for 5 mins or so. Perfect !!
 
Carole L. March 23, 2018
First - any left over pizza should be stored in Ziplock ON THE COUNTER! Never in the fridge. This tip was given to me by the owner of our favorite Pizza place. A Quick toaster oven toasting (on the tray) to bubble up the <br />cheese and crisp the bottom and it will taste even better than the night <br />before!
 
Joe H. October 4, 2017
i put me pizza in ten foil and put the oven on 275 and let it preheat then i put the pizza in the oven and let it stay in there for about 5 minutes then take it out and look at it and see if it needs to go back in the oven for a couple of minutes
 
Ebra February 20, 2017
Mostly I eat it cold. Skillet method is second choice.
 
Lon V. July 9, 2016
Would be useful if you said whether to put the pizza on the skillet cold, or to pre-heat it first.<br />
 
Nina D. April 10, 2016
I've always done this way cuz it would be faster than the oven and I come across with this post can't believe it hahahahahaha
 
FoodFanaticToo April 6, 2016
Always in a skillet on the stovetop. I have never added water, though, and will definitely test it out! Thanks for the ideas.
 
Kat April 5, 2016
In the grill! Or broiler I guess :) bottom side up first, then after its hot flip to get the cheese mealty and hot again too
 
DragonFly April 5, 2016
I use a cast skillet in the oven at 350, the pizza comes out crispy and yummy!
 
Jacque J. April 5, 2016
Perfect way for my family - place slices in toaster oven on rack and heat on dark toast setting. The slices come out bubbly on top and the crust is perfectly crisp.
 
Smaug April 5, 2016
Seven minutes on a perforated pan starting in a cold oven. I've never had any problem with toppings drying out. I am not myself Italian, and I do not like soft pizza crust.
 
Susan L. October 26, 2014
First I heat up some olive oil in any old pan, drop in the cold pizza and wait for the magic to begin. No water necessary, drop a cover on it for a smidge. Decadent!
 
David October 16, 2014
Use Philips air fryer for 3-5 mins, heats and restores the Pizza like it was just baked
 
Christine H. October 3, 2014
2 slices, face to face, squished in a waffle iron until hot...DONE! BEST! BOOM! Thank me later
 
walkie74 October 1, 2014
Broiled pizza slice in the toaster oven for five minutes at about 300 or so. Crispy, melty and hot. I've never had a dried out piece of pizza that way--somebody must be doing something wrong.
 
Ordinary B. September 30, 2014
Put room temp pizza on a cookie sheet. Put it in a Preheated 350 oven for exactly six minutes.
 
Ander G. September 29, 2014
I microwave the slice for 20-30 seconds, so that they get warm and the cheese a little soft. Then I put it in a preheated cast iron skillet to finish it off for 2-4 minutes. DELICIOUS!
 
Des September 28, 2014
Eat it cold. It's great. Pizza is not a pie. If you live too far away to bring home hot pizza then you could probably must make it quicker yourself (Lynda) :)
 
Freddurf September 28, 2014
So much easier and faster than heatng up the oven!
 
Lori September 28, 2014
A friend taught me this method which results in a delicious "different sort of pizza":<br />Set a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add a slice or two of pizza TOPPING-SIDE-DOWN. Cook, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is browned. Flip and cook crust-side-down for another 4-5 minutes to crisp and heat it. Yum!
 
Lynda September 28, 2014
My husband & I always get a large pie half cooked. We live to far away to bring home a hot pie. I slice it in half and we finish <br />cooking it at 375 on a hot cookie sheet. Yummy hot slices. Oh, we freeze the other half for when we get hungry.
 
karmaya September 28, 2014
safer to use cast iron pan - heating non stick pans without covering entire bottom of pan with food can result in toxic fumes. been using dry cast iron pan for years - terrific way to crisp a soggy slice of pizza, for reheating pizza, samosa, enchillada, etc etc.
 
DragonFly September 28, 2014
We warm out leftover pizza on a cast-iron skillet at 350, makes for a nice crispy crust.<br />(that is when there is leftover pizza, usually we finish it off!)
 
Raystil September 28, 2014
The best part about having pizza for dinner, is having it for breakfast.
 
Patrick R. September 25, 2014
I just spritz it with a bit of H20 on a n oven hot pizza stone & wait for the smell. ;)
 
Mike O. September 25, 2014
I preheat a cookie sheet in a 375° to 400° oven, then add a slice for 4 min. But some great alternatives here I'll surely give a try.
 
Jeremy D. September 24, 2014
I'm pretty simple but find this effective. Turn the oven on to 400 and put the pizza in immediately. Leave it until just about the time it warms to 400 degrees (usually under 5 minutes) and you're good to go!
 
Horto September 24, 2014
dont let the children see you doing this,<br />burning down the house!
 
Adam September 24, 2014
I use the broiler. Put pizza on a cookie sheet, cheese side down, and heat under broiler until nice and hot (if th crust gets some brown spots even better). The, flip over and heat under broiler until cheese starts to bubble. DO NOT walk away during this process. Sometimes pizza reheated this way is better than when it was fresh - depending on the pizzeria.
 
Tim September 24, 2014
And what if you don't like a crisp crust? You can't fold a crisp crust.
 
alison B. September 24, 2014
Anything from Roberta's is gospel. I have been an avid pizza eater and foodie for years and I am always in search of the best pie. Last January I was able to visit Roberta's while in NY and it blew almost every pizza I have ever had out of the water. The only place that holds a candle to Roberta's is a close second called Mozza in the Hollywood, CA area. If you have the chance to visit either of these fine establishments you will not be disappointed.
 
dandelioneyes September 24, 2014
I learned in college that the BEST, very best way, is a George Foreman grill. I imagine a panini press would work too. In the absence of either of these, I always go the skillet route, but I start it cheese-side-down because (a) any grease is left to crisp up the bottom and (b) crispy fried cheese is wonderful. If you ordered cheap delivery, the fried leftovers will be a vast improvement, guaranteed.
 
Rémy R. September 24, 2014
I learned this trick from Serious Eats and it totally changed my life.
 
Susan W. September 24, 2014
I think I learned the skillet method from ATK or Cook's Illustrated years ago. I use my cast iron skillet, but minus the water. Heat on medium high, in goes the pizza and covered. It takes just 3 minutes and the pizza comes out like we used a pizza oven.
 
Daniela R. September 24, 2014
Uhmm, I don't know about this... the best way to reheat cold pizza is stabbing the slice a fork and scorching it over a stove burner :D
 
Horto September 24, 2014
i just throw it on the burner!
 
Daniela R. September 24, 2014
Hahahaha, but, you'll miss the stabbing!