Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Reheat Soggy Leftover Pizza

I’m not sure when or where I started reheating leftover pizza using this stovetop method, but it’s one of my favorite kitchen shortcuts of all time. By the way, since I don’t remember learning this from anyone, I’ll assume I invented it. 

So, if you’ve been actually been doing this for years, and know many others who do the same, please keep it to yourself, and just let me have my moment.

There are so many advantages to using this method. There’s no insufferable wait for an oven to preheat (10 minutes in real time is 45 minutes in “I have the munchies” time); you don’t waste all that extra energy (you’re welcome, Planet Earth); and most important of all, you get perfectly crisp crust. In fact, you’ll get a crust that’s hotter and crispier than it was when it was first served.

Of course some of you will go to the old toaster oven card, and while that does work just as fast as this method, it does not give you the same quality of crispy crust. Besides, many of us haven’t seen a toaster oven since college [insert hilarious dorm room cooking anecdote here].

Not only do I use this method for reheating day-old pizza, but also for crisping up pizza that was just delivered. Because the pie steams in the box, even the best pizzerias, with the fastest delivery systems, can’t bring you a pizza with the same texture as one fresh out of their ovens. Now, using this method, you can take care of that yourself. Enjoy!

48 comments:

Jimmy said...

omg chef John, I'm always drooling over your great recipes.
You have such a great taste!
Congratulations man :)
btw I was on facebook and I saw that Mozilla Firefox... well it's better if you see what I'm talking about.
https://www.facebook.com/Firefox/posts/10150891990920022

cheers :)

[Myeon] said...

I know you want your moment...but I've been using this method for as long as I can remember, you know why?
Because I don't have an oven.

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Hey Chef! I'm confused... no mention was made of using a microwave to reheat pizza.

In fact, I'd be willing to bet that the microwave was specifically invented to reheat leftover pizza. Just ask the folks at NASA.

In any event it was I who invented the idea of reheating pizza in a skillet.

I ain'ts got a microwave aboard my boat and had no other way of reheating my leftover pizza.

Chef John said...

I assume you are kidding about the microwave, as they are the WORST choice ever. It will not be crispy, and MV's make any bread product tough and chewy. Don't do it!

Monica said...

What delivered pizza. It is so simple to make. in the time it takes to be delivered you can get it fresh from your own oven.

DrEEEe said...

Chef Jean, you were about 2 hours too late. I just reheated some leftover pizza in the microwave for lunch... Then I come to food wishes and realize that I should have consulted you first! :(

Anonymous said...

Chef John, This is your moment in the sun! I have never used the foil cap. Brilliant. Today I am again making your Mushroom Burgers.Microve pizza is a mess in my mind. Thanks for all the months of great guidance. Best wishes, Terra in Colorado (9,700 feet in elevation.)

MissElaineous said...

....trying so hard to just let you have your day as the "inventor" of this technique. I discovered this method as a teen when the power went out and I had to rely on the gas stovetop to reheat some Domino's. Regardless of when I first used this method, I must say, the foil cover blew my previous stovetop reheat technique out of the water!

christopher andrew culley said...

So coming from a graphics person, with food secondary, that gaussian blur is like gouging my eyes out. I really love your blog. Seriously. I make my girlfriend watch your videos with me. Just, the fauxkeh.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that's a fantastic tip! Thank you!

Now if I could just figure out how to cook mushrooms on home-made pizza without them watering down the dang thing!

Anonymous said...

...but I like cold pizza!

Anonymous said...

Could you make tiramisu??

Steve said...

Chef:

Reheat pizza?

Surely you jest. One of the reasons I go out for pizza or make it for myself is for the leftovers the next morning.

Cold pizza for breakfast is food of the gods.

Just sayin'.

Chef John said...

For the record, I LOVE cold pizza and normally eat it like that, BUT in case you do want to reheat, or crisp up a freshly delivered one, this is the trick.

Anonymous said...

ewwe@cold pizza wtf

Anonymous said...

"Let me grab a fork ... huh no ... not to eat it [pizza] with. I am not a communist".

Hahahaha priceless.
I love your blog.

Jay M. said...

Cold breakfast pizza, ftw. Just out of curiosity though, would a blazing hot pizza stone do the trick for a box-steamed delivery pizza? Love me some crispy crust...

Anonymous said...

Geez, just use a toaster oven.

Rita said...

cold pizza and rootbeer for brekkie. YAY! but when i do reheat pizza - i reheat it in the toaster oven.

Anonymous said...

I use this methud an so do my friend.
an a potaote is not a root!

Anonymous said...

Mmm, cold pizza, or as I was told to call it when I was kid, "toast with the works!" My girlfriend, however, is of the reheated pizza mind. She used to use the microwave, which makes me cringe. I use the oven if the need arises. I will DEFINITELY try the stove top next time.

BTW, depending on where you get your pizza, cold pizza can be worse. I have a place near me that makes a special crust that isn't very good cold, but wonderful warmed in the oven! As any pizza aficionado worth their salt knows, it's all about the crust :-)
-Pyrofish

Anonymous said...

To those of you who like cold pizza, my advice is to EAT IT COLD! Obviously this post wasn't meant for you. To those of you who already do this, do your own blog if you want to take credit.
I obviously didn't get enough sleep last night--I'm a tad grouchy.

jackie

PS My husband refuses to do anything but put it in a microwave. Some people are simply sick. But I still love him---go figure!

Healthy and Homemade said...

Haha, I've totally done this before when we didn't have a microwave. I usually use the toaster oven to reheat my hubbies pizza for him. I'll have to go back to this trick! =D

Me.Eat.Food said...

Genius!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG. I just did this, and all I gotta say is, I'm converted. I used to use the toaster oven. I was happy with that, but this. This. This is elevated cuisine. What an excellent trick. Your crust will never be this crispy in the toaster oven, I promise. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi chef john! long time viewer of your shows since... lrn2cook!

just as a general video and photography freak...

I think that when you're doing your videos... you leave the interlacing option in iMovie in the encoding part enable.

videos look great! but it's not really using the 720p your upload and a plus, it would also drop the size of your upload :D

http://vimeo.com/5244568 <-- but they could be as this in clarity... like your earlier 720p videos

Chef John said...

Thanks for the tip, but I just want to be sure, should I have the interlacing button on or off?

Cat Lady said...

For the life of me, I can't find printable recipes for how to heat pizza and amazing mac & cheese! I read the comment suggestions on how to do it, but failed to find printable recipes.

Darek W said...

I didn't know communist's eat pizza with forks. Learn something new everyday.

Along with that, great tip with this video, will try this at my next opportunity.

Darek W said...

I should clarify that my comment was to try and bust Chef John at the pop-culture reference, which I think he's done a better job with in past videos... don't think that came across now that I've read it back.

Bil said...

best comedic line on food wishes ever.

that communist bit was hilar.

also, i'll try the pizza re-heat method too.

now i just have to find a way to plagerize that line and work it into normal conversation.

sweet.

Anonymous said...

It never crossed my mind to reheat pizza this way since I have a microwave with a grill. But I tried the pan method last night and must say that even my "unbelieving" husband was very satisfied with the results. The first piece was a bit charred but reheating the second piece I turned down the heat to medium and it came out perfectly.

Susan Chin said...

Hi Chef,

Maybe you are right that Communist is using fork to eat their pizza...LOL! I'm chinese and I'm using fork to eat my pizza...hahahaa (it's oily to hold the pizza, so that's why i'm using a fork)

Marcus said...

What an awesome tip! The most practical thing I've read on a food blog.

One question: I usually put my leftover pizza in the freezer immediately after finishing a meal. Will the skillet trick work on frozen pizza? Or do I need to leave it out to defrost first?

Thanks!

Chef John said...

No, it needs to be thawed.

LLV said...

What a great idea. I sent this link to a friend of mine who lives and breathes pizza! I must try this myself.

Anonymous said...

Did you make the pizza yourself? I real your pizza thin crust. Do you have a recipe?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Did you make this pizza yourself? I really like your pizza thin crust. Do you have a recipe?

Thanks!

Asia.Samasia said...

I've always used this method and I honestly think that reheated pizza is waaay better than fresh pizza! If I could have my way, I'd let freshly baked pizza cool down and I would then reheat it on a frying pan on low heat, with some oil :)

Lahore said...

Thanks Chef John. As usual, I enjoyed your video. I watch one or two when I have a few spare minutes... sometimes I learn something new, sometimes I don't but I always smile at least once during! To the people with nothing better to do than to criticize , this is a video that shows an alternative method for reheating a few slices of pizza, why all the negativity?? Relax and instead of looking for things and/or people to put down, take a few minute to learn and understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Please.
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Brooke M. said...

I just tried this and after YEARS of mediocre reheating, I am blown away by how well this works!! Thank you, Chef John!! You're aces in my book. :)

Ed Adams said...

OMG! Chef John that was amazing, thank-you for that technique. I live in Italy and brought home pizza last night. This afternoon I tried re-heating it on the stovetop and it was better than fresh out of the brick oven in the restaurant.

cookinmom said...

I have used this method for years and my kids thought I was crazy (husband included). THEN, one day my kid tried a piece of leftover of mine and was converted. Now, I have to wait my turn for the pan. The nerve! Jeeezzz...I should never have let him have my leftover!

cookinmom said...

Forgot to mention...I also with nuke it to get the chill off and then put in the pan, works like a charm!

Tom Holloway said...

My son Ackson took some convincing but now is a believer!

Alca said...

Since I have one, I use a sandwich grill/press because I think it uses less power than the stovetop. It's quicker and gives the same crispy base, but also crispy pepperoni on top :)

Silky Tp said...

Saw this blog about a week ago. Tonight I brought home a nice pizza that was soggy in the middle. I fired up the cast iron pan and in a matter of moments, I had super deluxe crispy crust. Thank you Chef John, thank you, thank you. I don't know why I never thought of it before. All these years...

Did I say thank you?

Gian D said...

My cheese is still not hot. How do you guys make the foil cover? Is it imperative you leave it on the entire time?