Atsa soggy pizza!
April 6, 2009 11:57 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to reheat a pizza?

My husband made a delicious pizza last night, and we want to eat the leftovers tonight. The crust was homemade (traditional yeast-based crust, which came out just a little tough but not bad), sauce was canned, toppings were mozzarella, feta, sliced tomatoes and mushrooms. It was cooked in a pizza pan -- we don't have a pizza stone.

My normal method of reheating pizza is to wrap it in foil and put it in a 350° oven for about 30 minutes. However, I'm concerned that the sliced tomatoes will make it soggy if I use this method. Would it be all right if I just opened the foil a little to let steam escape? Any other tried-and-true methods I might try?

This question is a bit time-sensitive -- I need an answer within the next 5 hours. Thanks in advance!
posted by happy scrappy to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Cast iron frying pan, 2-3 minutes.
posted by jara1953 at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

I always do it uncovered in a toaster oven, makes it crispy and is quicker than heating up a normal oven. I think you could do it in your normal oven without foil or with the foil open.
posted by rmless at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2009

I regularly bring homemade pizza to work and reheat it in a little toaster oven set to Dark. I just set it directly on the grill rack and it works wonderfully.
posted by odinsdream at 12:01 PM on April 6, 2009

I reheat homemade pizza on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or so. It should be nice and crispy.

And I agree with jara1953 on the cast iron pant. Just cover for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese and then wait for the crust to get crisp.

Mmmm . . . now I want pizza.
posted by annaramma at 12:02 PM on April 6, 2009

pan, cast iron pants would probably chafe.
posted by annaramma at 12:03 PM on April 6, 2009 [6 favorites]

Wrapping it up will steam it, yeah.

I'd put a cookie sheet on the lower rack, and the naked pizza on the rack above - this way, everything gets warmed up, and you run less risk of soggy crust. This is what I do to heat up a slice of pizza, but in the toaster oven rather than the big oven. Seems to work fine.

If you don't want to lay it right on the oven rack, do you have something like a broiler pan? That'd probably work just as well.
posted by rtha at 12:03 PM on April 6, 2009

Seconding annarama, I do exactly the same thing and it crisps the crust up nicely.
posted by TungstenChef at 12:04 PM on April 6, 2009

I usually just put it on top of foil in the oven, no need to cover it.

And obviously this is not an option for you, unless you are in the market for a microwave, but my mom has this fancy new microwave that uses some sort of heat lamps or something in addition to the microwaves (I think it's similar to those crazy machines in Subway that insta-heat their grilled sandwiches), and it can take a refrigerated slice of pizza and turn it into fresh hot crispy pizza in, no joke, 20 seconds.
posted by Grither at 12:06 PM on April 6, 2009

Atop a dab of butter heated to foaming in a cast iron skillet, covered with a pot lid so the cheese melts.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:06 PM on April 6, 2009

A few seconds in a microwave, then a few minutes in an oven or toaster oven.

Never tried the frying pan route, but I'm going to next time.
posted by box at 12:10 PM on April 6, 2009

I think the cast iron skillet sounds like the best idea ... I wonder, though, if the butter would even be necessary? I don't think the pizza would stick to the skillet.
posted by happy scrappy at 12:24 PM on April 6, 2009

In the oven, at 400 degrees directly on the rack.
posted by wierdo at 12:35 PM on April 6, 2009

I usually preheat a cookie sheet at 450, then throw the pizza right on top (no foil). It's always worked well for me.
posted by GamblingBlues at 12:39 PM on April 6, 2009

I preheat a pizza stone to 450 - then put the cold pizza in for 4-5 minutes. It comes out perfect every time.
posted by COD at 12:46 PM on April 6, 2009

Recently, I started re-heating pizza in a covered nonstick pan on top of the stove - read that tip somewhere. It works really well; it makes the crust crispier than in the oven without making it tough, and it works really well with the toppings, too. Results might vary with the type of crust or the source of the pizza - this was Papa Murphy's thin crust pizza.
posted by onemorething at 12:46 PM on April 6, 2009

Fat is not necessary for the cast iron pan route, but a little bit of good olive oil or butter yields an exceptionally tasty crust -- better than without.
posted by Fuzzy Dunlop at 12:47 PM on April 6, 2009

Oven, pre-heat to 350 degrees, straight on top rack, 5-15 minutes depending on whether it's frozen and how thick it is.

I also put foil on the bottom rack to catch any droppings.
posted by valkyryn at 1:01 PM on April 6, 2009

In my experience working in places where you could get pizza by the slice, we'd just toss a slice back into the oven for a couple minutes until the crust got crispy again, which we'd test out by poking the edge with a spatula. The only difference between your oven and a commercial one is that a commercial pizza oven typically has a stone or concrete bottom and generally is turned up to 600 degrees or so (although the actual interior temperature would be quite a bit lower since it's constantly being opened). So, to do it like the pros, get a pizza stone, preheat your oven as high as it'll go, and just toss the leftovers on the stone for a couple minutes, uncovered.

At home, I do a similar thing to what quite a few people are saying here - just put it on a cookie sheet and re-heat it in the oven. Nothing really compares to having a stone, but this has always come close enough for me - certainly better than just microwaving it.
posted by LionIndex at 1:01 PM on April 6, 2009

Oven at 350-ish. Wrap ONLY the crust (not the underneathy part) in foil, tightly, to keep it from drying out. Place on directly on center rack for about 10 minutes. Finish with a few minutes of broiling (optional).
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 1:11 PM on April 6, 2009

Microwave, one or two pieces at a time, on a small plate. 30 seconds, rotate each piece 180, 30 more seconds. (At least that's what works in my microwave, always comes out hot and still chewy.)
posted by jbickers at 1:16 PM on April 6, 2009

You wrapped it in foil that is why it is soggy. Just about all the methods here will work ok, except the microwave, that won't crisp the crust and will likely make it even tougher. Obviously the best is to put a pizza stone in your oven, heat it to 550 for a half an hour or so and then toss the pizza on it. If all you want is a slice though this seems like overkill to me. For that I usually just toss a slice into the toaster over and hit toast. If you are going to heat a whole pie or a lot of slices and you need your main oven why not use that pizza pan you described in the question?
posted by caddis at 1:32 PM on April 6, 2009

I've been reheating in a frying pan for years. I usually cover it up most of the way to keep most of the heat in, but let out moisture. I like the results, its faster than heating up the oven and it doesn't heat the house up as much in the summer.
posted by Good Brain at 1:35 PM on April 6, 2009

Heat a cast iron skillet moderately hot, throw pizza in & put in oven under the broiler. Takes less than five minutes.
posted by torquemaniac at 1:59 PM on April 6, 2009

I've heard cast iron works well, but when I've tried it I've burned pizza. I always just put it on the oven rack, without any pan. It doesn't take anywhere near 30 minutes - I put it in when I'm turning the oven on and by the time it preheats (to 400 or 450) it's ready, six or eight minutes.
posted by raf at 2:05 PM on April 6, 2009

6 minutes at 425, take out and put some fresh cheese on it, and put back in for another 5. I like mine crispy and brown though. It's the fresh extra cheese that does it though; reheating already used cheese is just meh.
posted by jmd82 at 2:11 PM on April 6, 2009

if sufficiently cheesy, then cheese-side down in a medium-hot cast iron pan to release some grease and warm up toppings/cheese ... then flip over to crisp up the crust
posted by beukeboom at 3:02 PM on April 6, 2009

I use to always use the oven or toaster oven, either straight on the rack or on a cookie sheet. But then I tried it in a non-stick skillet (and cast iron sounds even better), as mentioned above, and I'll always do it that way from now on. It stays crispier and fresher tasting to me - not soggy or steamed.
posted by ourroute at 3:22 PM on April 6, 2009

The cast iron skillet worked beautifully. I lightly oiled it with canola oil (higher smoke point than olive oil or butter), heated it to medium high and threw in 2 slices, then covered it partway to let out steam. After a few minutes I uncovered it and put it under the broiler for a few more minutes. It was hot, crispy and delicious! Thank you MeFites!

Cleaning the cheese off of the skillet was a chore, however ... possibly the topic for my next AskMe :)
posted by happy scrappy at 10:10 AM on April 7, 2009

Scouring the cheesy bits with some coarse salt ought to sand them right off of cast iron! I sometimes make a little paste of salt and oil — does the trick beautifully.
posted by adiabat at 5:25 PM on April 7, 2009

If that pan had a proper seasoning it would be an easy clean-up. Luckily, this is an absurdly easy thing to fix.
posted by caddis at 6:56 PM on April 7, 2009

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