The Best Ways to Reheat Leftover Pizza

updated Aug 21, 2022
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(Image credit: Milles Studio/Stocksy)

There are some who claim that there’s nothing more satisfying than looking in the fridge, discovering leftover pizza (of the takeout or homemade variety) and grabbing a cold slice to munch on immediately.

Me? I prefer my pizza hot, crispy, and with cheese melting on top. Firing up the oven takes too long when I want to nosh on leftover pizza, so I’ve learned another (read: much easier and faster) way to reheat a slice.

Use a Skillet on the Stovetop

When you just need to heat up a slice or two of pizza, the trick is to reach for a frying pan or skillet instead of turning on the oven. I came across this tip from a couple of places over the years and have adapted it to work well for me.

Why the stove? A stove heats up quickly but doesn’t heat up your kitchen like an oven does. The key to this method is to make sure the pizza is covered while it heats up — this traps in steam to keep the top of the pizza moist and help re-melt the cheese. And don’t worry, it doesn’t make the pizza soggy! In fact, the crust gets nice and crispy again, sometimes even crispier than it originally was.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

What’s the Best Skillet for Reheating Pizza?

To reheat a slice of pizza on the stove, find a skillet large enough for your slice to sit flat. A cast iron skillet will distribute heat very evenly, but takes longer to heat up, while a nonstick skillet is best for speed and easy cleanup. Covering the pizza is key to success here, so ideally, choose a pan that has a tight-fitting lid.

How to Reheat Pizza on the Stove

Place the pizza slice in the skillet, slap a lid (you can use piece of foil in a pinch) on top, and turn the stove on to medium heat. No need to preheat the pan — just throw it right on the stove! Set a timer for six minutes and walk away.

After six minutes, check on the pizza — the bottom should be crispy and the cheese on top should be melted. If it’s not, just cook it for a few more minutes. My slow electric stove usually needs about eight minutes to heat up a slice of pizza. And that’s it! Enjoy your crispy slice of pizza that tastes just as good as it did the first time around.

Other Good Ways to Reheat Pizza

If the stovetop isn’t your style there are a few other methods for reheating pizza that are also good at bringing it back to life. If you’re curious which method we like the best, click this way!

  1. The Oven – If you’ve got a bit more time or want to heat up more than a slice or two, the oven is your friend. Heat to 350 degrees and lay pizza slices flat on a baking sheet. Bake for anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pizza, until the cheese is melty and the crust has crisped up.
  2. The Air Fryer – This is another good option if you only need to heat up a slice or two. Set the fryer to 350 degrees and line the basket with parchment paper (to catch any melty cheese). You can also poke a few holes in the parchment to allow for maximum air flow to the bottom crust of your slices. Make sure the slices are in an even layer and (ideally) not touching one another in the fryer basket. Air fry for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pizza.
  3. The Grill – If you want a crispy crust and have access to a gas grill, it can be a quick way to return your pizza to fresh-from-the-oven condition. A grill can reach high temperatures quickly and has ample space for multiple slices. Preheat the grill to a medium-high temperature, then place the pizza directly on the grates, cover the grill (this will help melt the cheese) and grill for 4 to 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust has crisped.

How to Reheat Pizza in the Microwave

Sometimes you need pizza immediately, and in that case, nothing is going to get it from fridge to face faster than the microwave. The down side of this method is that a crispy crust is just not in the cards. That said, there are a couple of tricks that can help microwaved pizza be the best it can be.

  1. A Glass of Water – The internet swears by this trick, claiming that placing a glass of water in the microwave with the pizza will prevent it from getting soggy and the crust from becoming rubbery.
  2. A Damp Paper Towel – Covering your pizza with a damp paper towel can help to evenly distribute moisture throughout the slice, heating it more evenly. Bonus — no oil spatters on the inside of the microwave.