The love for freshly baked pizza is universal. A perfect pizza is deliciously crunchy at the bottom and creamy at the top with elastic strands of cheese that sprawl out when you break off a slice. That’s a perfectly baked pizza.
And for pizza lovers, being able to revert takeouts and leftovers to their gourmet aesthetic and texture is a crucial “living-alone and don’t know how to cook.” So how do you do it? Is reheating pizza in the oven the better option? Let’s find out.
Why Does Pizza Need to Be Reheated?
Cold pizza is a cheap thrill for college kids and grifters but the truth is nothing with bread or cheese can be enjoyed better cold than warm and toasty. Heat brings out the flavors of the cheese and gives the pie a palatable crust. It also adds more warmth to the spices used for the pizza sauce and toppings.
The overall combination of ingredients used to make the average pizza work best on your tastebuds when served at a warm temperature. A warm pizza is also easier to eat because it wouldn’t droop at the end.
Think about it this way. Why does every pizza place in the world serve it hot and with a crunchy crust? There’s no such thing as a cold pizza shop. Pizza needs to be reheated for one simple reason — baked pies taste significantly better.
Why Does an Oven Work Well on Reheating Pizza?
So what are your options for heating a pizza? In most kitchens, you would commonly find one or more of three devices — microwaves, pans, and ovens. You know that pizzas are best enjoyed when the dough is baked and crunchy and the cheese is creamy or stringy. The question is, which of the 3 provides that result and most efficiently?
Microwaves work by projecting infrared radiation to heat the water molecules in food. They are the most efficient devices for reheating foods.
However, while they’re great for stews, rice, or soups, heating a pizza in a microwave can be disastrous. Especially when you’re reheating leftover pizza from the fridge. Supplying heat throughout the contents of pizza with activated water molecules can make the bread soggy and dehydrate the cheese, making it rubbery.
For reheating pizza, microwaves are out.
Compared to microwaves, heating pizza on a stovetop pan might not be the worst idea. It adds the perfect amount of crunch and heats the pie evenly. The only problem is, you’ll still be left with semi-cooked cheese and toppings because the base absorbs most of the heat in the process. By the time it takes for the cheese to start melting, the bottom would burn.
The magic of ovens is that they will cook everything evenly, to a crisp, and from all angles. Ovens work by blasting hot air at the food via convection currents. They also have settings that allow you to adjust the time and temperature.
All you need to do is get the timing and temperature right. Oven cooking gives the cheese an ideal consistency and bakes the bread to a crisp. Pizzas have been cooked in ovens since day one.
Steps Of Reheating Pizza in The Oven
#1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
#2. Set a sheet of aluminum or tin foil on the rack before placing the pizza on it to promote even heat distribution.
#3. Set the timer for 10 minutes and make sure both the bottom and top heating rods have been activated. Either your oven has a setting for it or does so automatically.
#4. Place the pizza in the oven for 10 minutes or less for a crunchy base with a partially soft middle and gooey stringy cheese. If you want a crispier base or want the cheese to have a black-bitter umami flavor, let it heat for a few more minutes.
#5. The pizza will be hot to the touch, but you should cut it into slices immediately. Doing so helps get the hot air out of the bread so you can start eating sooner without burning your mouth.
4 Popular Types of Ovens
#1. Conventional Ovens
Conventional ovens have an electrical heating element or gas burner and work by radiating heat upwards. This, however, pushes cold air down and can lead to uneven cooking. Conventional ovens are the most common type of ovens and typically come included in a kitchen set or with a stovetop as an inbuilt utility.
#2. Convection Ovens
Convection ovens have to be purchased separately; they’re an independent kitchen utility. They’re the best tools for reheating pizzas because they cook more evenly and efficiently. The heating elements are placed on both the top and bottom, and there’s a fan that helps push heated air around. This design provides faster heating while consuming less power.
#3. Microwave Ovens
Microwave ovens, as mentioned earlier, heat using electromagnetic radiation to charge the water particles in the food. Although they have the shortest cooking time, they can render hard foods with moisture soft because of how they work.
They also evaporate all the water from the cheese, which makes it more rubbery. Some microwaves are microwave-cum-ovens and they can carry out the functions of both devices.
#4. Toaster Ovens
Toaster ovens are another great option for reheating pizzas. They have a heating element at the top and bottom that warms up the air in a closed environment. Toaster ovens aren’t as fast as convection ovens because they don’t operate using convection, so the heat’s mostly dry. This is ideal for foods that require crisping, caramelization, or crust formation.
Advice On Reheating Pizza
Reheating leftovers is not rocket science. All you need to understand is how each heating device works and which one is best at restoring leftovers to their original state in terms of both flavor, texture, and chewiness or crispiness. It’s a basic cooking skill that can allow you to enjoy pizzas and other foods with restaurant-level freshness whenever you want.
How To Reheat Leftover Pizza with A Toaster Oven?
Preheat the toaster oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Add in the slice of pizza or whole pizza if you can fit it in. Wait for about 5-8 minutes, that’s how long it usually takes for the cheese to get warm and the base to get crusty.
How To Reheat Frozen Pizza with A Conventional Oven?
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the baking pan with cooking spray and place the food onto the pan. Place the pan into the oven and let it cook for 10 minutes.
How To Reheat Leftover Pizza with A Convection Oven?
Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pizza on a sheet of aluminum or tin foil and place the sheet into the oven. Set the timer for roughly 10 minutes or more if you want to make the base crispy.