I Tried This Viral Reddit Tip for Reheating Pizza and Things Got Ugly

updated Jul 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Naomi Tomky)

Pizza is one of those foods that’s good even when it’s bad, but this weekend I learned the exception to that is when your slice gets soggy. See, Reddit (always a source of intriguing life and food advice) had a post that the best way to reheat pizza is to do it on the stove in a pan and add a little water and cook until completely burned off. “Perfect pizza, like it just came out of the oven,” was the promise.

My Attempt at This Popular Reddit Pizza Tip

I tried to think through the science of this, but decided maybe this was one of those things that didn’t deserve to be overthought. So instead I headed out to dinner at my local pizza shop, which is so good that I always want to order too many pizzas so I can try all the flavors. I came home with a few slices of white pie with mortadella and a few of the Brooklyn, their version of a basic red sauce and cheese.

In the name of science, I even refrigerated my leftover slices (I usually leave them out; yes, I’ll probably die of food-borne illness, but I’ll have eaten better leftover pizza until then). The next day at lunch, I followed the instructions in the original post: “Get a pan hot, add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, add cold pizza, and cover until water is boiled off. Then remove the lid and let crust crisp up.”

Dubiously, I followed the instructions. It took about six minutes for all the water to absorb into the pizza, then I took the lid off. You know what was underneath that? SOGGY PIZZA. All that water absorbed into the bottom, but it also absorbed into the crust section of pizza. I patiently left it a few more minutes, letting the pizza crisp up. And then a few more minutes because the pizza had basically welded itself onto my pretty well-seasoned cast iron pan and I hoped it would detach itself. It didn’t. Cheese was starting to burn to the pan, so I called it good and used a metal spatula and all my might to scrape my slices out of the pan.

(Image credit: Naomi Tomky)

The Results of the Experiment

Yes, the bottom of my pizza was very, very crispy and the top was nicely melty. But the crust edge was soggy. If you don’t eat crust anyway, I thought, maybe this is a good method for you. But then I began to doubt myself: Maybe if I used less water it would stay only on the section of crust underneath?

I was wrong. I sacrificed two more excellent slices of pizza in the name of science. Even with just a smidge of water right under the pizza, the slice basically steamed and my nicely charred crust ended up a soggy mess, and I still had to pry it off the pan.

I ate a slice cold straight from the box. It was better. Then I reheated the final slice in my usual method, resulting in a perfectly crisp-crusted, melty-cheesed slice: Heat the oven to 550°F with a baking stone (or cast iron pan) inside. When it comes to temperature, add the slice and switch to low broil for about four minutes.

It’s your choice, dear reader.

Try our favorite way to reheat pizza: The Best Way to Reheat a Slice of Pizza