You had some of your favorite Pequod’s Pizza, but you weren’t able to finish all of it. Now you’re ready to enjoy your leftover pizza. But can you reheat pizza so that it isn’t a soggy mess? Fortunately, you can. By following these tips, you can reheat your pizza and enjoy those leftovers you’ve been looking forward to having all day.
*Image via Flickr by テッド (Ted)
How to Reheat Pizza in a Skillet
After you’ve enjoyed your Pequod’s delivery or carryout pizza, you can reheat pizza in a pan to have the leftovers. To begin, place your skillet on a burner at medium-high heat. Next, coat the skillet with a light layer of olive oil and allow it to warm up. After the oil is warm, reduce the heat to medium, add your pizza, and place a cover over the skillet.
The cover is a crucial step in this process. First, it makes sure the toppings get warm and the cheese melts. Second, it helps maintain that delicate balance of moisture by preventing too much from escaping. Once you cover the pizza, you can cook it for three to six minutes. Finally, remove your pizza from the skillet and enjoy!
If you have access to a griddle, you can use it to get similar results. Simply start with a cold griddle, put your pizzas slices on top, cover them, and cook them at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
Reheating Pizza in a Toaster Oven
If you’re a college student, you might not have access to a skillet in your dorm room. You might think your only option is to reheat your pizza in the microwave. However, this will leave your pizza crust soggy and unappetizing. Instead, you can consider reheating pizza in a toaster oven. Before microwaves were invented, toaster ovens were used as a fast and economical way to cook and reheat food. Today, you can get an inexpensive toaster oven that takes up about as much space as a small microwave.
If you’re trying to reheat pizza in a toaster oven, set the toaster oven on medium power and place the pizza inside. Heat the pizza for one or two cycles. This should warm it up without causing the crust to become soft or mushy.
How to Heat Pizza in an Oven
While a skillet or toaster oven will work to reheat your pizza, the best technique is to heat pizza in an oven. To reheat your Pequod’s delivery pizza in an oven, preheat it to 275 degrees. This is an essential step because you want to reheat your pizza instead of burning it. While the oven is preheating, take a baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil. Then spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray, so the crust doesn’t stick to it while it’s reheating.
Place your pizza slices on the baking sheet and leave some space between each slice. Next, spray a light mist of water on top of the slices. When you lightly spray your pizza with water, it can expand to soften the crust just enough so that it’s not soggy or tough and chewy. Cover the pizza slices loosely with another piece of aluminum foil. This top layer of aluminum foil can help prevent moisture from escaping and keep the pizza from burning.
Once your oven has preheated, place the baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven and bake the pizza for 20 to 30 minutes. After the 20-minute mark, start checking your pizza every five minutes until it reaches your desired temperature.
Why the Oven Method Works Best
Many people think leftover pizza crust starts to harden because of moisture loss. However, that’s actually not the case. Like other kinds of bread, pizza crust will harden because the starches in it go through a process called retrogradation. During this process, the starch molecules crystallize and absorb moisture. This crystallization makes the pizza crust dry and stiff. You can temporarily reverse retrogradation by reheating the pizza to at least 140 degrees. This is the temperature that causes the starch crystals to break down and release the moisture trapped inside. This moisture then softens the crust.
When you reheat pizza in a pan, you let it warm up gradually, which gives the crust time to release moisture and soften. Sealing the pan helps keep the pizza slices from drying out as they reheat. Additionally, putting the pan on the lowest rack lets the slices heat from the bottom up. This helps the bottom of the crust get crisp without causing the toppings to shrivel.
How to Reheat Frozen Pizza
If you bought some frozen pizza and you’re now ready to reheat it, you can cook it in the oven. To reheat frozen pizza, place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees. If your oven has a convection fan feature, make sure you turn it off.
Remove all the packaging from the pizza. You don’t want to place the cardboard in the oven because it’s a fire hazard, and it may release dangerous chemicals. However, you can save some cardboard and use it to hold the pizza after you’ve cooked it.
After your oven has preheated, place the pizza directly onto the center rack and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
Safely Storing Leftovers
If you want to be able to enjoy your pizza leftovers, you have to refrigerate them properly in the first place. Many people just leave the pizza in its cardboard box and place the entire thing in the refrigerator. However, that’s probably the worst way to store leftover pizza. Instead, take the slices out, stack them on a plate with a paper towel between each slice, and cover the entire stack with plastic wrap before you place it in the refrigerator.
While some people love cold leftover pizza, it’s not for everyone. Now that you know how to heat pizza in the oven, you’ll have no problems enjoying a warm slice of your leftover Pequod’s Pizza the next day.