The Best Way to Reheat Pizza

Never again will you eat a soggy, microwaved piece of leftover pizza.

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Most reheated leftover pizza pales in comparison with a freshly baked pie. The microwave turns it soggy, while throwing it into a hot oven can dry it out. But we discovered a simple reheating method that yields pizza that tastes almost as good as it does on day one.

How to Reheat Pizza in the Oven

Try this method, which guarantees a tender crust with a crispy underside, melty cheese, and moist toppings.

  1. Place slices of cold pizza on a rimmed baking sheet

  2. Cover the sheet tightly with aluminum foil

  3. Place the sheet on the lowest rack of a cold oven

  4. Set the oven temperature to 275 degrees 

  5. Let the pizza warm until bottom is crisp and cheese has melted, 25 to 30 minutes

Why the Oven is Best For Reheating Pizza

Like other breads stored for a day, pizza crust initially hardens not through moisture loss but because its starches undergo a process called retrogradation, whereby the starch molecules crystallize and absorb moisture, making the pizza crust appear stiff and dry. As long as the pizza has been stored well wrapped, however, retrogradation can be temporarily reversed by reheating the pizza to at least 140 degrees—the temperature at which the starch crystals break down and release the trapped moisture, softening the crust. Placing the slices in a cold oven lets them warm up gradually, with ample time to release moisture and soften, while sealing the pan helps keep them from drying out as they reheat. Finally, placing the pan as low as possible in the oven means the slices are heated from the bottom up, so the underside of the crust crisps but the toppings don’t shrivel.

WINNING WARMUP

Place pizza (on a baking sheet wrapped in foil) on the bottom rack of a cold oven. Set temperature to 275 degrees and heat for 25 minutes.

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