So you’ve managed—by some divine grace—not to finish your entire pizza. That alone is accomplishment enough, and you should be proud of your noble restraint. You know what they say: Good things come to those who wait, and the good thing coming to you is the ultimate leftover pizza lunch.
What has not been studied enough, however, is the best way to reheat these glorious leftovers. The microwave, technical marvel that it is, will render your slice a soggy mess, with a crust that’s way too hot and mushy. (Really, if you’re going to burn your mouth on anything, it should be the cheese.) The oven, while it restores that crispness that made you fall in love at first bite, will also dry out your cheese and toppings. No amount of crunchy base is going to make up for that failure.
So we polled several experts, and the recommendation was almost unanimous: Use a skillet.
Anthony Falco, Roberta’s head pizza maestro, recommends putting your slice in a non-stick skillet on medium-low for a couple of minutes. Once the bottom is crisp, add a couple drops of water to the pan, turn the heat to low, and cover with a lid. In about a minute, you’ll have fluffy crust and melted cheese. He even shared a super-helpful illustration that he drew himself—a true Renaissance man!
One of our editors prefers to use a cast-iron skillet (as opposed to non-stick) to reheat his pizza. We tested this with a slice of Roberta’s Motorino’s Margherita and it was a melty-cheesy success. He then finishes it off in the oven, just for a minute—not long enough to let it dry out.
Mark Bello, the founder and head pizza instructor at Pizza a Casa Pizza School, likes to tamp down a piece of foil over the pizza, to create a “moisture-crispness canopy.” The bonus with this technique? Lifting up the foil for the big reveal gives off a blast of delicious warm pizza smell.
If you’ve been wondering how to reheat pizza in an air fryer, there’s a setting for that. Most air fryers have a “reheat” button that will automatically set your temperature for you—all you need to do is set the time. Our assistant editor Madison Trapkin swears by a 4-minute air fryer reheat for giving her leftover pizza that fresh-from-the-oven texture.
Of course, there’s also the toaster oven method. Pop your slices of ‘za in the toaster oven at 350°F for about five minutes. Feel free to snack on one of the cold slices while you wait because after all, leftovers are all about easy eating.
1. Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Pizza Dough + Margherita Pie
Pulling off a totally homemade pizza—fresh dough and all—doesn’t get much easier than this, thanks to Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough and a few fresh, simple ingredients.
2. Glazed Shallot, Walnut, Sage & Goat Cheese Pizza
If you’re in the mood for something other than tomatoes and mozzarella, give this tangy-herby goat cheese pizza a go.
3. Margherita Naan Pizza
Classic margherita pizza gets a few twists from Nik Sharma—fresh naan (instead of your typical pizza dough), coriander and nigella seeds, and chopped chives—for a slice that’s packed with bold flavors.
4. Broccoli Rabe, Potato & Rosemary Pizza
Broccoli rabe adds a nice bitterness to this no-sauce pizza, which gets its balancing flavors from creamy mozzarella, starchy potatoes, and earthy rosemary.
5. Beer Pizza
If drinking an ice-cold beer with your pizza isn’t quite enough, try making this can’t-have-just-one-slice pizza that calls for beer in the dough.
6. Deep Dish Sausage, Prosciutto & Onion Pizza
Complete with sausage, prosciutto, and red onion, this deep-dish pizza has everything you could possibly want in a meaty, extra-melty slice.
7. White Clam Pizza
Made famous by a Connecticut pizzeria, this white clam pizza is crispy, light enough to have a couple of slices, and has all the just-right clammy flavors.
How do you reheat your pizza? Or do you just eat your leftovers cold? Tell us in the comments!
This post was originally published in September 2014, but we liked it—and reheated pizza—so much, we had to share it again.