The pizza delivery driver approaches the door. You wait, eagerly, for them to ring the doorbell. You hand them the cash. You take the pizza pie. You eat the entire thing. And it’s not because you’re hungry for 8 slices of pizza, it’s because you have to. Pizza is at its best piping hot, and you deserve nothing but the best. We get it. We really, really do.
Even if you’re one of those folks that likes a cold slice, surely you understand the universal controversy we all face — you either eat the whole pizza as soon as it arrives or you surrender and save the rest for subpar leftovers the next day.
Reheated pizza sucks. We said it. And it’s the truth. But reheated pizza doesn’t have to suck. So we decided to test every single way to reheat pizza. Here is every possible solution on how to reheat pizza no matter what appliances you have at home, from microwave to skillet, air fryer to grill. We even give you advice based on our preferences because we’ll literally do anything to prevent the leftover pizza blues.
Join us on our pizza reheating adventure as we find the best hacks for home cooks below.
The Criteria for a Delicious Reheated Slice
Let’s first explore what makes the perfect reheated pizza slice. It’s important to manage expectations, and ours are high. Here is our criteria for the most-delicious, best-tasting reheated pizza slice.
The perfect temperature.
Pizza, at its core, is about temperature. There is no feeling more defeating and deflating than a cold pizza arriving at your door. Pizza restaurants have made pizza warmer bags for a reason and yet, if it takes slightly too long to get from oven to bag to car to your door, it’s a wash. Pizza needs to be hot. Period. The experts say 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Is the optimal pizza temperature, to be exact.
Crunchy but not burned.
A nice crunchy pizza crust is what dreams are made of. We want a pizza slice that has a good char and a nice crust texture with some give, some pull to it, but not like we’re chewing on a shoe. Overcooked pies are a no-go. Reheated pizza must hit the sweet spot of crunchy and crusty, but not burnt.
When reheating pizza, the number one thing that goes wrong is the cheese. There is a very fine line that you must walk between when the mozzarella, romano and parmesan are gooey, melty and soft, and when they become a hardened rock. It’s happened to all of us. We cannot allow that to happen again. No hard cheese here.
Important Note on Pizza Storage
It’s important to note that the perfect leftover slice of reheated pizza starts with optimal storage. Make sure you wrap your pizza with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge as soon as you know you’re not eating it so you can maximize the quality of fresh pizza. Ditto for the freezer if you want to eat it in another few days.
Methods for Reheating Pizza
It’s time to make magic, people. Here are all the ways you can reheat pizza, including the obvious, like heating in the convection oven or the microwave, as well as some surprises, like using the air fryer or putting the pizza on the grill. You can even use these heating methods for homemade pizza, too. Note, timing is for standard pizza slices. Account for less time with thin-crust or more with deep-dish.
Reheating pizza in the oven is the classic go-to move, especially when warming up a few slices at a time. The trick is to get the timing and temperature just right to make the best slice.
Pizza in a skillet may not feel like the obvious choice, but in the right conditions it can be a total pro move. Skillets can get that nice char on the bottom without burning the pizza.
When you’re short on time but the pizza craving is calling, you answer it with a microwave. This method is also great for those of us with minimal cooking skills, experiences and appliances.
The latest and greatest cooking craze, the air fryer, has become a beloved household appliance and with good reason; it can cook anything. This time, it’s time to take that pizza slice for a spin.
Maybe it’s a summer day and you don’t want to get the kitchen, and house, all hot and bothered. Maybe you just want to experiment. Grab your pizza and get ready to experiment with grilling.
Reheating Pizza in the Oven
We love pizza when it comes straight out of the oven, so it makes total sense that we’d try to reheat it in one. We’re going to assume you don’t have a pizza oven at home, because this article is irrelevant to you, so for all our other no-fuss friends, any conventional oven will do. We even have some options to vary temperature, like a low and slow versus a hot and fast method, as well as using a traditional baking sheet versus a baking stone. If all else fails, a toaster oven will do the trick.
Low temperature oven.
Put the pizza on a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Use aluminum foil on the baking sheet if it’s been well-loved to avoid burning or food debris transfer. Otherwise, put the pizza directly on the sheet, pan or baking stone.
Set the oven temperature to 275°F.
Let the pizza cook nice and slow, even during preheating. It should take about 20-25 minutes for the pizza to be hot and bubbly with a soft crust.
Classic pre-heated oven.
Preheat the oven to a medium heat of to 350°F. Make sure that your oven is fully preheated before moving to the next step.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place in the oven once preheated.
Leave the baking sheet in the oven for at least 5 minutes to allow it to warm up. You want to be sure it is steaming hot before you add the pizza on top so you have a good crispy crust.
Once fully heated, remove the baking sheet from your oven with oven mitts (careful! hot!) and add the pizza onto it. Return sheet to the oven.
Heat about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the oven every few minutes to make sure it’s cooking evenly and the cheese is melted.
Extra hot oven.
For this method, you’ll need a red-hot tray. We suggest a pizza stone or baking stone.
Heat to 450°F and place the tray, by itself, on the middle rack of the oven.
Once preheated, use oven mitts to pull out the tray and add pizza onto it. We usually pull out the actual rack the tray is on and then put pizza directly on the baking stone so we don’t burn ourselves.
Let pizza cook for about 4-5 minutes, monitoring it closely since we’re working with a high temp. Once you see melted cheese, you’re golden.
Set the toaster oven to 350°F.
Add the slices of pizza.
Wait for about 4 minutes until pizza is ready.
You can also use the Toast setting instead of traditional oven temperature for an extra crispy, crunchy slice.
Reheating Pizza in a Skillet on the Stovetop
Using a skillet to reheat your pizza is a fun, easy and convenient way to enjoy a slice quickly and with minimal effort. You can use a non-stick skillet or cast-iron skillet here, but note that each method requires a tweak in strategy to make sure you get the cheese nice and gooey.
Set the burner to medium-low.
Place pizza on a non-stick skillet.
Cook for a couple of minutes until the bottom is crispy.
Sprinkle some drops of water on the hot pan, away from the pizza.
Turn the temperature down to low.
Cover the skillet with a lid for one minute to steam the cheese.
Set the burner to medium-low.
Place pizza on a cast-iron skillet.
Cook for about two minutes until the bottom is crispy.
Cover the skillet completely with a piece of aluminum foil to allow it to steam underneath.
Remove foil after 1-2 minutes.
Reheating Pizza in the Microwave
Microwaving pizza may feel like a last resort, but you gotta do what you gotta do. There are a couple different ways to maximize your pizza’s deliciousness, including adding a glass of water while microwaving to create moisture in the “air.”
With a glass of water.
Place a glass of water in the microwave.
Cook for 45 seconds on high power.
Microwave and oven technique.
Microwave pizza for 30 seconds.
Place pizza on a baking sheet or tray, and into a cold oven.
Set the oven to 350 °F.
Take out the pizza when the oven finishes preheating.
Reheating Pizza in the an Air Fryer
We think the air fryer is the greatest thing since sliced bread because you can cook anything in it, it’s quick and there’s virtually no mess. Bonus that it takes up little space in the kitchen and doesn’t raise the temperature in our homes. Here’s how to tackle pizza in an air fryer.
Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
Place a slice in the air fryer basket or tray. If heating more than one slice, make sure there’s space in between.
Heat for about 3 or 4 minutes until the cheese is melted and the slice is hot to the touch.
Reheating Pizza on a Grill
Heating pizza on a grill may feel a little strange, but think about it. Pizzas are cooked at extremely high temperatures, which is something that gas grills are pretty good at. After trying this for ourselves, it may be our new favorite (read: most fun) way to eat day-old pizza.
Set the grill to medium-high heat.
Toss slice directly on the grill.
Cover and cook for about 6 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
What’s the Best Way to Reheat Pizza?
While we love pizza in all the ways, at any temperature, by any method, we’ve got to say that reheating pizza in a skillet is our absolute favorite. Using a skillet lets the crust get nice and crunchy and charred, especially when using a cast-iron pan, and we love how moist and gooey the cheese gets when we cover it with a lid or foil to create a little steam pouch for our slice to get nice and pillowy. As far as other methods go, here’s our ranked order from most favorite to least favorite: skillet, oven, grill, air fryer, microwave.
What Have You Tried?
We’d love to hear from you about your favorite ways to reheat pizza. Tell us what you’ve tried here.