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.
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.
Shop the Story
We polled several experts, and the recommendation was near-unanimous: Use a skillet.
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!
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
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.
I'm a former Food52 Julia Child Food Writing Fellow now studying law so I can make food fairer, more delicious, and more sustainable for everyone. I was born and raised in Montreal (mostly on poutine and matzoh ball soup), but in my heart I am an Italian grandma—I live on pizza and make a mean eggplant parmesan.