So you hit the pizza parlor hard last night. You were starving and ordered a little too much pizza. No worries; everybody knows leftover pizza is the best! While there are a large number of people who enjoy cold pizza, and even those who prefer it over hot, maybe you’re not one of them. A few years ago, I got pretty wise on reheating my leftovers. Since then there have been a few blogs with some very inventive, crazy ways to reheat your leftover pizza. While I was intrigued to see people reheating pizza in waffle irons, today I'm going to show you how to reheat pizza, the simplest and most proper way.
Don’t Touch the Microwave
The most popular way (by far) to reheat a pizza is the microwave. According to Seasoned Advice, this is a bad idea because “microwaves specifically heat water molecules in the food. This turns them to steam, and because the air in the microwave is actually cool, the steam then condenses. There is often not proper air circulation to move the steam away from the food.” While it may be faster and more convenient, if you want your leftover pizza to taste like it did on pizza night, the microwave isn’t the way to go. There is one exception to this rule: the microwave can be used to bring pizza up to room temperature in order to speed up reheating with a second device. Nuking a couple slices for 30-45 seconds can save you some time with the method we’re about to explore.
Cast Iron is Your Friend
Okay, I’ll admit this may not be the fastest method around, but it really does produce something just as good as when that slice of pizza first came out of the oven. The big “secret” is using a cast iron pan. As a serious cook, cast iron has to be one of my favorite ways to cook. Why? Because of its outstanding ability to conduct heat. When reheating your pizza (or anything else) on cast iron, don’t rush. Cast iron takes time to get up to temperature, but when it does you can bet it’s going to stay there for quite some time. Once your pan is hot, load up a couple slices; try not to overload the pan (no more than two slices depending on pan size). If you don’t have a cast iron pan, I highly recommend picking one up. Not only is it the perfect vehicle to reheat your leftover pizza, but it also makes a fantastic grilled or oven-baked pizza.
Make sure all parts of the bottom crust come into contact with the pan so the whole slice can get nice and crispy. Let the slices cook for 1-3 minutes until you can pick up a slice and it doesn't sag like pizza from the microwave. Once the bottom of your pizza has regained its crispness, it’s time for the broiler.
Broil the Top
The only thing left to finish off leftover pizza is to heat the toppings. Your crust is crispy, but without a few moments under the broiler the toppings can be lukewarm. Set your broiler to high and position an oven rack 3-4 inches below the flames. Place the cast iron pan loaded with pizza under the broiler, shut the door, turn on the light and keep a watchful eye. Your toppings will be hot in 60 seconds or less.
You've Got That Pizza Stone, So Use it!
Being the pizza aficionado that you are, you already have a pizza stone and it's probably being stored on the bottom rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F, put your leftovers in the center of the pizza stone and let it cook for 6-8 minutes. Leftover pizza that tastes as good as the day it was made – simple, quick, easy!