Because cold pizza is not what you want, and the oven makes it easy to revive slices.

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's pizza. Granted, there're are myriad preferences when it comes to toppings, but the concept of a freshly baked pie is an undeniable crowd-pleaser. That said, if pizza is part of your regular menu, knowing how to revive the leftovers is essential. No one wants those glorious slices to go to waste, but we also don't love cold straight-from-the-fridge pizza or soggy microwaved pieces. One of the best ways to reheat pizza is in the oven. After all, the pizza was originally baked in the oven, so it only makes sense that you'd want to utilize the same cooking method. The only catch? If you don't know the right technique, using the oven can quickly dry out your slices, resulting in a cracker-like crust and too-hot cheese.

How to Reheat Pizza in the Oven

Whether you're reheating homemade pizza or store-bought slices, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you want your leftover pizza to develop a crispy yet edible crust (and who doesn't?), the key is to heat it on a baking sheet that's already hot. According to Ann Ziata, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, heating pizza directly on a hot surface—such as a preheated baking sheet—will get rid of any excess moisture in the crust. (This extra moisture comes from the toppings, such as the sauce and cheese.) "The crust will become crisp again, mimicking how the pizza is originally cooked: directly on the surface of a very hot pizza oven," explains Ziata.

On that note, heating the baking sheet is one of the most important steps of this method. "Preheat the oven to 375°F, then line a baking sheet with foil [or parchment paper]," says Ziata. The aluminum foil or parchment paper will not only make cleanup easier, but will also protect your baking sheets, she adds. Next, place the sheet in the oven for a few minutes until it's hot, then place your cold pizza on the preheated baking sheet, says Ziata. Cook until the cheese is bubbly, sizzling, and melted. Generally, "this takes five to seven minutes for thin crust pizza and seven to nine minutes for thicker crust and deep dish (skillet) pizza," shares Gregory Lofts, deputy food editor at Martha Stewart Living.

Sausage, Mushroom, and Pickled Pepper Pizza
Credit: Lennart Weibull

The Toaster Oven

If you only need to reheat one or two slices, using the oven can be a waste of both time and energy. In this case, follow the method described above with a toaster oven, which takes much less time to heat up. Just be sure to preheat the toaster oven and (mini) baking sheet as usual and watch the pizza closely. Since the pizza will be closer to the toaster oven's heating elements, it will likely take less time to reheat—about three to four minutes. You can also use your toaster oven's "pizza" setting, if it has one.

Important Takeaways

It's worth noting that you can use the aforementioned tips regardless of your pizza's toppings or source (i.e., homemade, store-bought, or pizzeria), according to Ziata. What's more important is that you consider the thickness of your pizza's crust and adjust the heating time accordingly. Between a preheated baking sheet and trusty timer, you'll be able to make your slice taste just like a freshly-made pizza.


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