Saturday, November 13, 2021

The best way to reheat pizza (and some things you should never do) | E-Neighborhood Advisor


Order pizza, and there’s a good chance it’s gone within hours. Something about that round wheel of dough, melted cheese, warm tomato sauce, and seemingly countless topping possibilities is simply irresistible. If only pizza would stay that way forever.

Still, it’s hard to resist the temptation of a leftover slice as you rummage through the fridge for food the next day. Maybe you like cold pizza—there’s no shame in that—but if you’re looking to reheat pizza in a way that restores some of that fresh-pizza magic, you’ll need to know what you’re doing.

So, Popular Science’s DIY team tracked down the most popular strategies, bought a whole lot of pizza, and put them to the test. They sought the ultimate method—"The Way”.

How they did it
PopSci is based in New York City, so they tested each method with the thin-crust style of pizza the Big Apple is famous for. If you’re reheating Chicago-style deep-dish pizza or another variety, your results may vary.
The slices they used (both plain cheese and adorned with various toppings) spent 12 to 48 hours in the fridge. Reheating frozen pizza is a whole other ballgame, and we can’t speak to that here.

Here are the best of the methods tested

Reddit’s favorite
The official reheating method of the /r/pizza subreddit, this calls for placing your cold pizza on a non-stick pan (you may be tempted to try this with a cast-iron pan, but they found a standard non-stick pan worked best), and cooking it for two minutes over medium-low heat (or until the bottom of the slice is crispy). Then, pour two drops of water (less than a teaspoon) into the pan as far from the pizza as you can get. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to low. Cook it for another minute.

The results

The crust was crispy, the cheese (thanks to the steam from the water circulating under the lid) melted perfectly, and the slice was the perfect temperature to be eaten immediately.

Hot tray in a hot oven
Put a baking tray in your oven and heat it to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t want to clean the tray later, you can line it with foil. Once the oven has reached the proper temperature, use an oven mitt to take the hot tray out and put your slices on it. Place the tray on the middle rack and cook it for five minutes. If your oven runs hot or your ‘za is a little too crisp for your liking, cook it for the same amount of time at 450.

The results

The PopSci team had to let the pizza sit for a minute or two to cool down before they could eat it, but when it passed between their lips, they experienced excellent crispiness, melty cheese, and a slice that was almost as good as new. For what it’s worth, one author considers this the best way to reheat pizza.

Air fryer
If you want to reheat pizza in an air fryer, we’ve got you. Put a slice of pizza into a cold air fryer, turn the heat to 400 degrees and let it cook for five minutes. They put it directly on the air fryer tray, no foil, and it didn’t make too much of a mess. The drip tray caught any excess, too. This combination of heat and time worked best for us, but given the variety of available air fryers, you may find your sweet spot lies somewhere between 360 and 400 degrees, cooked for four to eight minutes.

The results

This is by far the fastest of the top-tier methods. You won’t have to wait for a pan or oven to heat up—just pop it in the air fryer and go. Five minutes later, you’ve got a crisp, bubbly, delicious slice. There are some downsides, though: you can really only heat one slice at a time, and more fragile ingredients (such as vegetables), may begin to burn after five minutes. At eight minutes, even at 360 degrees, the whole crust was burned. So don’t delay getting it out of the fryer and onto your plate.

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P.S. Here's a joke for you!
What does a pizza say when it introduces itself to you?
Slice to meet you!

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