The Best {and Worst} Ways to Reheat Pizza

We are packing up and moving to a new house this week. This has been our most interesting move with the Coronavirus going on for lots of reasons, but one of them being food. With most of our food packed away and not easily being able to just pop over to the local grocery store for a little something here and there, we have to be smart about our meals. One solution to this was getting three times our usual amount of pizza when I did a contactless pickup from Dominos the other day to get us through a few days. 

We have a LOT of pizza now but what is the best way to reheat it?  After the same, sub-par results from microwaving a leftover slice that makes the pizza turn out soggy, yet the crust is hard as a rock, I decided it was time to look into and find out the best method to reheat a slice of pizza.

This is when I found one of my favorite kinds of articles from, where they tested out several different ways of reheating pizza and ranked them. They do all the experimental legwork and I get to reap the reward by sticking with the winner--no more soggy, sorry pizza slices for me.

They had a couple cool tips and tricks in the mix too. Without further ado, here are the rankings of worst to best ways to reheat pizza.

3rd Runner Up: Microwave SCORE: 2/10

While reheating a slice of pizza in the microwave doesn’t yield the best final result, you can’t deny that it is the fastest method and is still okay if you don’t want cold pizza. Here is a simple trick to make this method taste the best. The trick is to add a mug of water on your plate with the pizza. The idea from Spoon University is that “because the liquid in the glass will absorb some portion of the energy, it will reduce some of the energy from going into the pizza and keeps the crust from getting chewy and helps the pizza not be so soggy.

2nd Runner Up: Air Fryer SCORE: 4/10

Air Fryers are basically little convection ovens and are known to crisp up foods that are normally deep fried. They can also reheat leftovers, so it seems like a good idea to crisp up a slice of leftover pizza. 

The best suggestion is to heat the air fryer to 320 degrees (dry, no oil),  and heat the pizza for 3-4 minutes. The Kitchn tester gave this method 4 out of 10 stars because while the cheese was perfectly melted, the crust was still as limp as the microwave method.

1st Runner Up: Oven SCORE: 8/10

Probably the best tried and true method is to reheat in the oven. Especially if you are reheating a lot of pieces at a time to feed the whole family.

The best way to do this is a method from Cook’s Illustrated, where they say to “place the cold slices on a rimmed baking sheet, cover the sheet tightly with aluminum foil, and place it on the lowest rack of a cold oven. Then set the oven temperature to 275 degrees and let the pizza warm for 25 to 30 minutes. This approach leaves the interior of the crust soft, the cheese melty, and the toppings and bottom hot and crisp but not dehydrated.”

This is achieved because the gradual heat increase allows the crust “ample time to release moisture [from starch molecules] and soften” while the foil cover prevents it from drying out.

Winner of BEST LEFTOVER SLICE: Skillet SCORE: 9/10

The winner of the challenge was the slice reheated in a cast iron skillet. The crust comes out crispy, while the cheese is perfectly melted. Here is how to achieve the best slice of leftover pizza on a skillet.

Throw a slice of pizza into a cast iron skillet on medium-low, leaving the pan uncovered. Wait until the crust begins to crisp (look for the telltale sign of glistening grease as the cheese just starts to melt). Then you add a few drops of water to the pan, away from the pizza, turn the heat to low, and cover with a lid for one minute, so that the cheese is steam melted.

By using a cast iron, you are ensuring you will get a slice with the perfect level of crispiness because it distributes the heat so evenly when the entire crust makes contact with the pan.

Do you have a specific way you like to reheat your pizza? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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