How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven?

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Understand why you shouldn’t reheat pizza in the microwave? How long should you reheat pizza in the oven?

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven?
How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven pin

We all love pizza. It is a staple at my home whenever my friends come over. Often, I have some left after the gathering.

Over the years, I have reheated pizza so many times that I can safely say I know how to do it right. Ordering extra doesn’t hurt if you reheat it the right way (oven) the next day.

In fact, it is possible to make it taste as good as freshly baked pizza. Below I will share my experiences to help you reheat pizza the right way.

How Long To Reheat Pizza in Oven?

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven

Reheating pizza in the oven doesn’t take more than 9 to 10 minutes for a thick crust pizza. The thin crust pizza takes around 5 to 7 minutes to reheat. It is time to understand what changes happen when you store pizza and what is the right way to reheat pizza.

Many people assume that the number of slices affects the time. In my experience, it actually doesn’t take any longer to reheat a whole pizza than a couple of slices, as long as you follow my steps below!

Thick crust pizzaThin crust pizza
9 – 10 mins5 – 7 mins

What happens when pizza is stored?

According to the comparison done by Diet and Fitness Today, the amount of starch in pizza can vary from 16% to 28%. A high amount of starch means that pizza undergoes retrogradation when stored for a longer time. In this process, the starch molecules crystallize by absorbing moisture resulting in dry pizza. Such pizza becomes progressively stiff with time.

How do you reheat pizza in the oven?

With the proper process, you can turn cold pizza into a hot one. I have perfected this procedure after countless such attempts.

How do you reheat pizza in the oven
How do you reheat pizza in the oven

Step 1: Prepare baking tray

Grab a baking tray and cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the oven. I’ve been using Crystalware Aluminum Foil Sheets and it works well enough for me. You can also use parchment paper or baking paper in place of aluminum foil. The job of this layer is to insulate the pizza’s crust from the hot surface of the baking tray.

Step 2: Preheat oven

Start preheating the oven up to 375°F (190°C). Do not skip this step even if you’re short on time.

Step 3: Place the leftover pizza in the oven

Wear an oven mitt and pull out the hot tray from the oven after 3 minutes to place pizza slices on it. Ensure a small gap between the slices on the hot tray and spray a light layer of water mist onto them before putting the tray back in. Never place the pizza directly on the oven rack.

Heat the leftover pizza for 5 to 7 minutes for a thin crust or 9 to 10 minutes for thick crust.

That’s it!

The pizza you will pull out from the oven would neither have soggy slices nor be excessively dry. It would be as close to a freshly baked pizza as reheating is concerned. Just wait for it to cool slightly before relishing it.

Why is the oven the best option for reheating pizza?

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven? 1
Why is the oven the best option for reheating pizza

🍕 Even heating

The oven heats the pizza equally well from all directions. That is why the crystallized moisture turns back into the liquid form almost simultaneously throughout the pizza resulting in the uniform softness. However, when you reheat pizza in the oven, it seldom softens the crust. Consequently, you get melted cheese on top with crispy crust at the bottom while reheating it in the oven.

🍕 Enclosed environment

Due to the enclosed environment, even if some moisture evaporates, it is still trapped inside and can condense back on the pizza once the it cools. Especially, the cheese on top absorbs it, and that layer is re-hydrated. That is why; there is barely any moisture loss from pizza in the oven.

The story with the crust is a bit different though; Most moisture is absorbed by the toppings and not the pizza crust. Thus you get a perfectly crispy crust.

Alternative method: Reheating pizza in a skillet

Even though an oven is the best way to reheat pizza, it is not the only way. If you’re looking for an alternative, I will cover a few below. But whichever way you choose, avoid the microwave if you can!

Method 1 – Reheating pizza in a skillet

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven? 2
Reheating pizza in a skillet

Using the procedure below, heating leftover pizza on a skillet requires 4 to 6 minutes.

❶ Keep the non stick skillet on medium heat.

❷ Coat it with olive oil.

After you place it on the burner, apply a light coat of olive oil to it, either with a spray or a silicon brush.

❸ Add the leftover pizza once the oil is warm.

Once the oil is warm, the temperature is just about right. That is when you add pizza to it and cover it.

It is essential to cover the skillet to trap the moisture and ensure even temperature. Since the heat is trapped inside, the skillet has uniform heating all over because of the cover.

❹ Let it cook for 6 minutes.

You have to cook the pizza for 4 to 6 minutes. The thinner the pizza crust, the lesser time you need to cook it.

Method 2 – Reheating pizza in a toaster oven

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven? 3
Reheating pizza in a toaster oven

The above methods work great if you are in a full-fledged kitchen. What if you are in a dorm?

It is where a toaster oven comes into the picture. However, you should only be reheating a couple of slices with this method due to the available space.

Set the toaster to medium heat

Place the pizza inside.

The indicator in the toaster will light up on reaching the appropriate temperature. In many toaster ovens, this is also indicated by a sound. After that, place the pizza inside. In most cases, if you have the bulk of the pizza remaining, you can only heat a few slices at a time because of the limited space inside the toaster oven.

You shouldn’t try to stuff pizza inside the toaster oven, hoping to reheat it all at once.

Heat it for two cycles

It is good to heat the pizza for at least two cycles.

Even a thick crust pizza will heat up properly after a couple of cycles in the toaster oven. While using the toaster oven, there is no need to use a baking sheet. Direct heating is the best way to eliminate soggy slices using a toaster oven.

Method 3 – Reheating pizza in an air fryer

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven? 4
Reheating pizza in an air fryer

Step 1: Set the temperature to 350°F (180°C).

Step 2: Place the pizza inside the air fryer basket for 3 minutes.

Step 3: Watch out for melting cheese and golden brown crust.

Step 4: Continue reheating for another minute if you don’t spot the above signs

What is the best way to store leftover pizza?

Storing leftover pizza properly will make it easier for you to reheat it. Follow the handful of tips below, and you shouldn’t have a problem with the same.

01. Refrigerate it covered

On the countertop or at room temperature, the life of leftover pizza is barely a few hours. That means it is already spoilt when you think about reheating it. The best way to store it is to refrigerate it.

Additionally, freezing the leftover pizza slices in the freezer section of the refrigerator is not a good idea. You have to place it in the refrigerator section and ensure that it is not removed from the fridge prematurely. According to this comparison by the US government’s Food Safety Program, it is best to store pizza in the fridge at a temperature below 40°F if you want it to last for 3 to 4 days. Only when you need to reheat it, think about pulling it out.

If you still want to freeze it, it is not advisable to do so with paper towels and aluminum foil. The procedure to freeze and defrost frozen pizza is entirely different.

02. Use paper towels to shield the slices

Do not simply put the entire cardboard box with pizza in the refrigerator.

A much better idea is to stack up the slices with paper towels in between. The entire assembly should be put in aluminum foil and then in the refrigerator.

Why is the microwave not suitable for reheating pizza?

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven? 5
Why is the microwave not suitable for reheating pizza

You might have observed that I haven’t mentioned using a microwave for reheating the pizza. That is because it is not suitable.

To understand this, you must understand the working of a microwave. It heats food by emitting microwaves, which vibrate the water particles in food resulting in the generation of heat energy. Due to this vibration and heat energy, moisture evaporation occurs, resulting in an even drier pizza crust. Similar findings have been articulated in this study. If you have tried to microwave pizza previously, you would have got the same outcome.

If you notice carefully, in all the above methods, we have attempted to trap the moisture in the pizza. Since the microwave does the exact opposite, reheating the pizza is not suitable in it.

Is reheated pizza healthier?

How Long Should You Reheat Pizza in the Oven? 6
Is reheated pizza healthier

No, reheated pizza is not necessarily healthy, but how your body responds to reheated pizza reduces your appetite and, therefore, might result in consumption of lower calories which might be healthier for you.

As highlighted above, pizza consists of a significant quantity of starch (polysaccharides). On consumption, the digestive enzymes in the body convert this starch into sugar, increasing your blood glucose levels. Some of this sugar is converted to fat. To combat the rest, body releases insulin to reduce blood sugar levels.

According to this report, such a rise in blood sugar levels makes you feel hungry, resulting in higher consumption of such foodstuffs.

On the flip side, when you refrigerate pizza, the regular starch is converted to resistant starch, which is not easy to break down by the digestive enzymes. Consequently, consumption of such pizza does not lead to the same rise in blood sugar levels because the body cannot convert it to glucose. It means that the hunger caused by a rapid increase in blood sugar levels will no longer happen.

However, there are still chances that your body might absorb the fat in the pizza when you refrigerate and reheat it.

Thus, a reheated piece of pizza is undoubtedly not healthier, but it does not give rise to cravings in the same way.

Does reheating pizza alter its flavor?

If you reheat it correctly, it will not lose its flavor. If it consists of tomato sauce in ample quantity, it might taste even better due to oxidation. On reheating, the cheese also melts, resulting in the classic taste. Thus it is possible to get tasty pizza by reheating it, if you follow the right procedure.

Conclusion

Simply put, reheating pizza in an oven shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. Using my guide above, you know what to do. From my years of experience in reheating pizza, I can safely say that doing so in the oven using the above method is the convenient and safest option. If you do not have access to an oven, check out the alternatives above to understand what is the best way to reheat cold pizza.

If you are looking for a Outdoor Pizza Oven, check our top 10 Best Outdoor Pizza Oven Reviews.

FAQ

How long do you have to reheat pizza in the oven at 350?

At the max, it will take you 10 minutes to reheat pizza at 350°F (180°C). Anything longer than that will burn the pizza or make it excessively dry.

How long do you have to reheat pizza in the oven at 400?

If you’re reheating pizza in the oven at 400°F (200°C), the pizza shouldn’t be in the oven for more than 8 minutes. You should limit the heating time to 5 minutes if the pizza has a thin crust.

How do you keep pizza moist in the oven?

The best way to keep the pizza in the oven moist while reheating is to expose it to water. Lightly spray mist through a spray bottle before placing it on the lowest rack of the oven. Do not mistake placing it in the middle rack, as you might overheat it. Always stick to 350°F (180°C) and not more while reheating it. Limit the time to 10 minutes max, and you won’t have to worry about dry pizza after reheating it.

Can you put a cardboard box in the oven?

No, you cannot put a cardboard box in the oven because it is a fire hazard. However, keep the pizza box handy to serve the pizza after extracting it from the oven.

How long can pizza sit out?

If you indeed want a delicious dinner, better to store the pizza in the fridge. At room temperature, the pizza is good enough for 4 hours. Beyond that, the bacteria growth will spoil it. Also, reheating a cold slice even after two days to make it taste great is possible.

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