Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Today: Talia Ralph -- host of Heritage Radio's weekly Pizza Party -- brings us the best way to heat up leftover pizza. Which is an excellent reason to order that extra pie.
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 that wait. There have been studies that prove it.
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 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.
We polled several experts, and the recommendation was near-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 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 with us that he drew himself -- a true Renaissance man!
Our assistant kitchen manager Derek Laughren prefers to use a cast-iron skillet (as opposed to non-stick) to reheat his pizza. We've tested this with a slice of Roberta's Tasty Flavor pie, and it worked beautifully. (We also tried it on Motorino"s Margherita, pictured here -- another 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.
Our resident pizza expert, Ryan Hamiton, goes rogue: He reheats his pizza in the toaster oven. Here's how he does it: "I pop two slices in at 350° F for maybe 5 minutes, and then I usually eat a third cold slice while I wait on its friends."
After all, leftovers are all about easy eating. Now, they're also about perfect pizza -- no preheat necessary.
How do you reheat your pizza? Or do you just eat your leftovers cold? Tell us in the comments!
Photos by James Ransom. Illustration by Anthony Falco.
This article originally appeared on Food52.com: The Best Way to Reheat Pizza at Home