How To Reheat Pizza

An oven tray with three leftover slices of pizza on top of a wooden table

How To Reheat Pizza

  1. Heat skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. 
  2. Place your cold slice of pizza on the skillet and cook uncovered for 4 minutes.
  3. Add a teaspoon of water to one side of the skillet so it doesn’t soak into the pizza.
  4. Lower heat, cover skillet and cook for another couple of minutes.

A pizza cutter on a wooden table rests beside a full cooked pizza that has olives tomatoes and basil as toppingsDalstrong Orbit Razor Pizza Wheel & Cutter

What’s the best way to reheat a leftover slice of pizza? The answer my college self would have given to that question is, “What do you mean, ‘How do you reheat leftover pizza? Just throw it in the microwave and then eat pizza, duh!’”. Turns out, unless you really enjoy a chewy, soggy crust, the microwave is probably the least desirable of our reheating methods. 

Whether you ordered a pepperoni pizza from Domino's or brought home an arugula, prosciutto and roasted garlic pie from your local foodie haven pizzeria, you still want it to taste (almost) as good the second time around, right? And by taste good, I mean that your oh, so heavenly pizza from last night retains that crispy, but not dry, crust and perfectly melted cheese.

After scouring the internet for every possible way to reheat a pizza and then trying them all, I came to the conclusion that there’s a best method, there are some pretty decent methods that will do in a pinch, and there’s the ‘no other option’ method. Give yourself an excuse to eat pizza every night this week, so you can try them all out yourself! 

Content Gallery:

  1. The Best Way To Reheat A Pizza: Skillet On The Stovetop
  2. Reheating Pizza In The Oven
  3. Reheating Pizza On The Grill
  4. Reheating Pizza In A Waffle Iron
  5. Reheating Pizza In An Air Fryer
  6. Reheating Pizza In The Microwave
  7. Frequently Asked Questions About Reheating Pizza

1. The Best Way To Reheat A Pizza: Skillet On The Stovetop

Deluxe Deep Dish Pizza in a black cast iron skillet on a black background

This method scored highest for me because, not only did it achieve the perfectly crispy crust and evenly melted cheese, but it was also quick and efficient. You can use either an aluminum frying pan, a non stick skillet or a cast iron skillet. All work equally well. Just keep in mind that a cast iron skillet takes a little longer to heat up. If you have a very large skillet, you can probably fit two pieces on at a time. 

It’s extremely important to properly store your fresh pizza the night before: Place your uneaten pizza onto a cutting board and cut into separate slices with your pizza cutter. Make sure the remaining slices are wrapped well in plastic wrap and airtight. Do not wrap it up in tin foil, a paper towel, parchment paper or in the original pizza box, as these will not keep it airtight, and the crust will become dry and hard in the fridge overnight. 

Follow these more detailed steps to reheat a pizza on a skillet:

  1. Place 1 tsp of olive oil in the skillet. (Optional--If your pizza is particularly greasy then skip this step.)
  2. Heat your skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes before placing the cold pizza slice. Remove your pizza from the plastic wrap and place it on one side of the skillet, positioning the skillet so that the pizza is directly over the burner. 
  3. Cook the pizza uncovered on the skillet for 4 minutes as the crust begins to crisp up and the cheese begins to melt.
  4. Add just a teaspoon of water to the other side of the skillet, far enough away so that it doesn’t soak into the crust. 
  5. Lower the heat, cover the skillet and cook for another 2 minutes. The steam from the drops of water will melt the cheese and cook the pizza through evenly

2. Reheating Pizza In The Oven

Pizza reheating in the oven

This method also works really well at crisping up your leftover pizza, but takes a little longer. This is probably the ideal method for heating up a few slices or more at a time though. It seems wasteful to heat up the oven for just one single slice, but if you’re reheating a half or whole pizza, the oven is the most efficient way. And believe it or not, there are even two different methods for reheating in the oven. 

Oven Method 1: Preheating the oven first

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Once it reaches that temperature, place a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven for a few minutes, allowing it to heat up before you place your cold pizza on it. (If using a pizza stone, it takes a little longer to heat up, so leave it in the oven for 8-10 minutes.)
  3. Open the oven, pull out the hot baking tray and place your pizza on it. 
  4. Put back in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes.

Oven Method 2: Cooks Illustrated’s signature pizza reheating method

  1. Place your cheese pizza on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Cover with aluminum foil. (Their recommendation is to “cover tightly”. But I found that if the aluminum foil touches the top of the pizza, the cheese sticks to it and pulls off when you remove the foil. To minimize valuable cheese loss, tuck the foil under the rim of the baking sheet tightly, but allow it to loosely balloon over the pizza in the middle.)
  3. Place the baking sheet on the lowest rack in the cold oven.
  4. Set the oven to 275 degrees and allow the pizza to warm for 25-30 minutes. 

Their claim is that placing the cold pizza in a cold oven and allowing it to gradually heat up gives it time to slowly release moisture and soften before crisping up. And they are correct that this method results in an almost-freshly-baked tasting pizza. If you don’t mind waiting 25-30 minutes on leftover pizza, then this may be the best method. 

3. Reheating Pizza On the Grill

Dalstrong PIzza Pizza Wheel Cutter Slicing Through A Cooked Pizza With Flames In The Background

Dalstrong Orbit Razor Pizza Wheel & Cutter

Using the grill to reheat a pizza is a decent option, and some people swear by it. But I found that the pizza did not heat as evenly. The crust gets super crispy while the cheese may not be completely melted. And leaving it on long enough to completely melt the cheese often results in overly charred crust on the bottom.

One way to keep that from happening would be to place a piece of tin foil under the pizza as it’s grilling, but then you lose the grill marks and the whole appeal of grilling it in the first place, and you might as well use the oven. It’s possible there is room for more experimentation with the grill that achieves better results. To start with though, follow these general instructions:

  1. Set your grill temperature to medium-high heat and give it a few minutes to warm up.
  2. Place your pizza directly on the grate.
  3. Close the lid, heat the pizza for 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Reheating Pizza On A Waffle Iron

A red waffle iron on a wooden floor

Sounds crazy, right? It seems like we are sharing any way to test kitchen appliances. But Lifehacker experiments with waffling anything and everything, and they recommended thinking of it as sort of a panini press for pizza. So it sounded worth a try! Reheating pizza on a waffle iron actually does yield pretty good results and a decently crispy crust, and it’s quick. Make sure you are reheating two pieces at a time though.

The pieces need to have the cheese and ingredients sides facing each other and the bottom of the crusts touching the iron. Otherwise, you’ll have a cheesy mess to clean up. (You can also fold one large piece in half.) This method is not recommended for deep dish pizza, however. 

  1. Preheat your waffle iron for 3 or 4 minutes.
  2. Brush the bottom sides of each piece of pizza with a little olive oil. 
  3. Stick two pieces together--cheesy sides facing in.
  4. Place the pizza sandwich in the waffle iron and press it gently to close.
  5. Cook for approximately 30 seconds. 

5. Reheating Pizza In An Air Fryer

Cheesy Slice Of Pizza Being Lifted From The Table With Bell Peppers And Seafood Toppings

The air fryer is another quick method for reheating pizza, but is really only a step or two up from the microwave in terms of crust crispyness. The key is to not overlap your slices in the air fryer basket.

The air fryer is designed to have air flowing through it rapidly. So if your pieces are layered and touching each other, you risk soft, soggy crust.. If you’re heating two pieces at a time, use a double layer rack. 

  1. Set the air fryer to 320 degrees.
  2. Put 1 tablespoon of water at the bottom of the air fryer basket.
  3. Place the slice in the basket
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of your pizza. 
  5. Check pizza to see that it is cooked through. If not, continue cooking in 30 second intervals until done. 

6. Reheating Pizza In A Microwave

A hand placing a slice of pizza on a white plate inside a white microwave

Last, and also least...the “no-other-option” method. There is just no getting around it; reheating pizza in the microwave is inevitably going to result in soggy, greasy, chewy crust.

It’s edible, and sometimes it’s all you have time for, but if you want to actually enjoy your leftover pizza, one of the other options is recommended. 

  1. Place your pizza on a plate and cover.
  2. Heat for approximately 45 seconds. 
  3. Enjoy?

7. Frequently Asked Questions About Reheating Leftover Pizza

Can You Reheat Pizza In A Toaster?

Yes. You can reheat frozen pizza in the toaster oven. It is efficient if you’re only heating one or two pieces. It’s also quicker than an oven, but because the heating elements are so close to the pan, you risk burning the bottom and the crisp crust by the time the cheese is melted. If you choose the toaster oven, just be sure to watch it closely to make sure it’s not burning. 

Do you reheat a deep dish pizza the same way as a thin crust pizza?

    Yes, you can use most of these same methods when reheating a deep dish slice of pizza, but you may need to adjust and lengthen cooking times, particularly for the air fryer. The only exception is the waffle iron. Deep dish pizza is too thick to reheat in the waffle iron.

    Can you cook a frozen pizza using these methods?

      It is certainly possible to cook frozen pizza using any of these methods, but the cooking times will have to be drastically altered. You do risk charring the bottom of the pizza before it’s cooked all the way through if you use the grill. It is recommended to just stick to the oven and follow instructions on the box when cooking a frozen pizza. 

      Can you cook a homemade fresh pizza using these methods? 

        It is best to cook homemade fresh pizza in the oven on a pizza stone. Because of the raw pizza dough, the other methods will likely result in a gooey mess. Avoid the hassle. 

        Is it safe to eat reheated pizza?

          Yes. As long as the pizza didn’t sit out for too long and you have properly sealed and stored it in the refrigerator overnight, it is certainly safe to reheat and eat. 

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          Written by Meredith Daniel Sims

          Devoted follower of the farm-to-table scene, Meredith is most well-known for her ability to whip up a gourmet meal in the tiniest of spaces, including her camper van.