We’ve all been there: You heat up last night’s pizza from your favorite pizza place, only to wind up with globby, congealed cheese on a pasty, gummy crust that is so disgusting that you can’t stomach a third slice. If, like most of us, you just can’t keep yourself from eating those leftover slices, there are ways to avoid this morning-after tragedy. Yes, you too can rescue your day-old pizza and enjoy a crispy and warm bundle of cheesy goodness.
Second-day pizza is almost always a letdown. The cheese turns gross, the crust turns soggy, and even the sauce seems off somehow. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Try some of these methods below and you can have reheated pizza that is as good or even beter as it was when it was fresh.
Reheat Pizza in Oven
If you want the very best reheated pizza then you’re going to want to use your oven. This method takes a while, but it is well worth it to get results you can’t get from most other methods. There are two methods that people have good luck with.
Method 1: Fast & Crispy
The method creates a crispy crust and takes less time than the second method, depending on the time it takes for your oven to preheat.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is preheating, place a pizza pan or baking tray in the oven.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the pan and place the pizza slices on it, making sure to leave some space between slices.
- Return the pan to the oven. Depending on your oven, pan, how well-done you like your pizza, and the type of pizza you are reheating, the cooking cast-iron varies. It could take anywhere from 8-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven when at the desired doneness and enjoy.
The longer you cook it, the crispier the crust will get. If your crust is getting too crispy before your toppings are done, try lowering the temperature or starting with a cold pan instead. Try covering the pan with aluminum foil before placing it in the oven If the pizza comes out too dry.
Method 2: Slow & Softer
This method leaves you with a softer crust. It will return your crust to the proper texture and firmness. You’ll still get a nice crisp, but it won’t be as crunchy as the above method.
- Arrange your leftover pizza slices on a pizza pan or baking tray, leaving some space between each slice.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- Place the pan into a cold oven and set the temperature to 275 degrees.
- Cook 25-35 minutes, depending on desired doneness, oven, pan, and type of pizza.
- Remove the pan from the oven when the pizza reaches your desired doneness level.
If the pizza isn’t crispy enough for you, add a few minutes to the time to reach a more desirable level.
A toaster oven is a good option if you only have a slice or two left, and it should work as well as the regular oven. Toaster ovens often preheat quicker. Just follow the same steps as the traditional oven.
Reheat Pizza in Cast Iron Pan Or Skillet
Reheating in a cast iron pan or skillet can be much faster than using the oven, and it provides results that are nearly as good. You’ll end up with a nice crisp on the crust and cheese that returns to its gooey goodness. The downside to this method is you have to cook a single slice at a time.
- Preheat a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Make sure the skillet is large enough to hold the slice and still be able to cover it with the lid.
- Add a slice to the hot pan and allow it to cook for about two minutes. If you want a crispier crust you can extend this time, or lower it to one minute for a softer crust.
- Sprinkle a few drops of water into the pan. Make sure to drip the water to the side, not on the pizza.
- Place the lid on the pan immediately after adding the water, then let the pizza cook an additional 2-5 minutes, depending on the doneness level you desire.
Reheat Pizza on the Grill
While a lot of people wouldn’t think of this one, using a grill is a decent way to reheat your pizza. It doesn’t work as well as the skillet or oven, but it does good. A plus side is you can add a smokey flavor to your pizza by using a charcoal grill.
- Turn your gas grill on medium and let it warm up or start your charcoal grill and let it burn off the charcoal until it gets to the proper temperature.
- Place your slice of pizza directly on the grate.
- Move the pizza around to a different spot on the grill every minute or so to get more even reheating.
- Remove from the grill when it has reached the desired level of doneness. This should range anywhere from 3-10 minutes, depending on the grill and on how well-done you like it.
Grills tend to heat the pizza unevenly, but you can limit that somewhat by moving it around a few times. You can also use a skillet on your grill, which would be the same steps as the skillet method above.
Reheat Pizza in an Air Fryer
An air fryer can be a good option if you want to heat up a single slice. While it is very quick, this method produces unreliable results. Sometimes it seems to turn out great, sometimes less great. Still, if you’re short on time, this is much better than reheating with a microwave.
- Put a slice of pizza into the air fryer.
- Set the heat to 400 degrees.
- Remove the pizza when it is done enough for your tastes. This is typically about 4-10 minutes, depending on your air fryer, type of pizza, and how you like your pizza.
This method can result in burnt crust or toppings pretty easily, so keep a close eye on things. It may take a few tries to find the correct cook time. Once you do, you could get some decent pizza in a quick time.
Reheating Pizza in the Microwave
This is the quickest and worst method to reheat your pizza. While it is very fast, the results usually end up rubbery. We’ve all had soggy slices from the microwave. It’s not spectacular, but it’s still pizza. If you’ve only got a minute to cook, this is your best bet.
- Place a slice of leftover pizza on a microwave safe plate or on a napkin and place into the microwave.
- Add a microwave safe cup of water next to the pizza. This hack is optional, but some people report better results if they do this.
- Cook for anywhere from 45 seconds to a minute and thirty seconds, depending on your microwave, type of pizza, and whether you added the water.
That’s it, you’ve now got a limp piece of pizza. Still cheese, dough, and sauce, so it’s good. But it could be so much better if you try one of the options above.
Reheating Specialty & Delivery Pizzas
Deep Dish Pizza
If you have a super thick, yummy deep dish pizza you may want to modify the heating methods above a little bit. The best way to do this is to follow the same steps as above, but cook on a lower heat and extend the time a bit. For best results, avoid the microwave completely with your deep dish.
If reheating in the oven (which is best with deep dish pizza), use method 2 from above and spritz just a little water on top before cooking.
Do not reheat your deep dish pizza in the box, no matter what the instructions say. You’re just going to burn the box.
Thin Crust Pizza
Most of the methods above should work out great for thin crust pizza. The only modification you may want to make for very thin crusts is to cook on the shorter end of the cook range. That’s especially true for the air fryer method, since it can go from done to burnt really quickly.
The best way to heat up Dominos pizza is much like the second oven method above.
- Arrange slice(s) on a baking tray or pizza pan.
- Place another sheet of aluminum foil over top of the pan.
- Put the pan in a cold oven and set the temperature to 275 degrees.
- Cook for about 25 minutes.
Pizza Hut pizza is best fresh, but if you need to reheat it then this is the best way:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the slices on a pizza pan or baking tray, leaving some room between them.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes.
For a crispier crust, leave in the oven longer. If you don’t want your crust to turn out crispy, try turning the oven down to 275 and extend the cook time.
For Little Caesars pizza you will get the best reheating results this way:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a baking tray or pizza pan inside the oven while preheating.
- Arrange the leftover slices on the hot pan, then place in the oven.
- Cook for about 8-12 minutes.
Best Way To Store Leftover Pizza
There are always occasions when you order a pizza and just can’t finish it. You need to store that extra slice or two the proper way if you’re going to have a chance for good results when you reheat tomorrow.
Best Way to Store Leftover Pizza
Place a paper towel in an airtight container. Atop that paper towel put a slice of pizza. A second paper towel goes on top of that pizza slice. If you have more pizza, just keep stacking: paper towel, piece of pizza, paper towel, piece of pizza. No matter how many slices you stack in there, make sure you have a paper towel on top and on bottom. Now you can keep this in the fridge for a few days and you’re all good.
2nd Preferred Method to Store Leftover Pizza
This method requires a dinner plate, some plastic wrap, and either wax paper or aluminum foil. Place a piece of pizza on the plate and cover it with a sheet of wax paper or foil. Now just keep stacking, like before: pizza, wax paper, pizza, wax paper. When you’ve got all your pizza on the plate, wrap the entire plate tightly in plastic wrap to keep the air out. You can refrigerate it for about three days, if you think you can hold out that long before giving in to temptation.
Nobody should have to suffer from soggy second-day pizza. You can reheat your pizza and make it taste nearly as good as it was when it was fresh. Just follow a few simple steps and you’re on your way to a second day of cheesy goodness.