The second best part of ordering pizza — after the hot, gooey, bubbling cheese — is without a doubt the leftovers. And while some people truly love a cold slice (we don't judge), there's a best way to recreate that fresh-from-the-oven taste at home. We tapped Susan Westmoreland, Culinary Director at the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen for the official how-to on reheating last night's leftovers.
What's the best way to reheat pizza?
If you're just doing a couple of pieces, I’m a big fan of the skillet. Heat a regular skillet over high heat for a couple of minutes until it's really hot. (Don't use a nonstick pan, as the higher temps can damage the coating.) Add the pizza, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook 2 or 3 minutes. You can also use a toaster oven on medium — two cycles, if the pizza is straight from the fridge.
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For larger amounts, heat a foil-lined cookie sheet (my favorite is Nordic Ware's aluminum half sheets) in a 450°F oven until hot, which will help make the crust crispy again. Arrange slices on the sheet and bake 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. And forget about the microwave — it makes the crust chewy and tough.
Can you reheat pizza in the box?
No, you don’t want to impart any cardboard flavor and the heat may release chemicals. Plus, it can be a fire hazard!
How do you reheat pizza without drying it out?
That dry pizza with congealed cheese will come back to life. If you have a mister bottle, spritz the top of the pizza lightly. Yes, the crust too, especially if you’re doing the oven method. It will actually help re-crisp it!
How do I reheat pizza to make it taste better?
You can recreate your pizza if you want. A little more sauce (or some thinly sliced tomato), some fresh cheese, or a sautéed veggie will add moisture and new life to a dried-out pie. Need some more topping ideas? Check out these pie suggestions from the Test Kitchen:
How long does leftover pizza last?
It depends on the toppings. Meatball, sausage, and veggie-laden options can last up to two days in the fridge while cheese and pepperoni can stay around for up to four.
Can you eat pizza left out overnight?
Nope, unless you want to risk food-borne illness.The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service advises tossing perishable food left unrefrigerated for more two hours. In temperatures above 40°F, bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella can double in number in as little as 20 minutes!