Ah, leftover pizza. It’s one of life’s truly great simple pleasures, up there with freshly clean sheets, warm cookies right out of the oven, and the exact moment when you discover an old ten-dollar bill crumpled in last year’s winter coat. Your momentary bliss is so utterly profound it almost feels as though you don’t deserve it.
But newsflash: If you’re taking last night’s pie and just hurling it in the microwave and clicking “45 seconds,” you really don’t deserve it. Because there’s a right way to reheat leftover pizza, and then there’s everything else.
If you’re nuking your pizza, you’re not technically reheating the pizza—you’re reheating the water molecules in the pizza. When those particles are heated up, it turns into steam, and your slice is then turned into a sopping, soggy, saucy mess.
That’s why, if you have the time, you should do as your local professional pizzeria guy does: Use your oven.
Set the temperature to 450 ºF. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil to prevent sticking (and to make cleanup a breeze), and arrange your slices so that they’re at least an inch apart, to steer clear of any unwanted melted cheese blending. Eight to ten minutes should do the trick. By using this method, you run no risk of evaporating any water, meaning no steam—and no sogginess.
However, if you’re in a hurry and you have to use your microwave, there’s one easy trick you can do to preserve the integrity of your pizza.
First, fill a microwave-safe ceramic mug about halfway to two-thirds full of water. Then, put a paper plate on top of the mug. (This will, in essence, “absorb” the evaporating water.) Then, put your pizza on top of the plate. Microwave at half power in 30-second intervals until it’s at the temperature of your choosing. When all is said and done, you should have a slice of pizza in roughly the same condition as it was 24 hours prior—soft and doughy, and not the slightest bit rubbery.
Finally, your third option—and your best option, in my opinion—is to simply eat your pizza cold. Now, I know that sounds crazy to many people, but I’m a firm believer that cold pie is the best pie. (In fact, I’ll order a pizza only to put it directly into the fridge for the next day.) Science has my back on this: back in 2000, researchers from Stirling University affirmed that cold pizza is indeed more flavorful than a fresh-out-of-the-box pie, as a night of cold storage allows the grease and inherent flavors to settle in.
Trust me: If there’s one thing I know, dry pizza is way better than soggy pizza. And for more crazy culinary hacks, learn about the mind-blowing secret feature in your Chinese takeout box.
To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!