Takeout pizza is one of the greatest meals ever, but when it’s been sitting on the counter or the fridge all night it loses some of its appeal. This is why it’s so important to reheat it at the optimal temperature for whatever appliance you have in your kitchen.
In general, the best temperature to reheat pizza is at a medium-high heat or around 300F in a conventional home oven. This will allow the pizza to reheat from the inside out without burning the outside edges. When pizza is reheated at too high a temperature, it will cook the outside too fast while the inside remains cold.
But that’s just for a conventional oven. If you want to reheat your slice in a microwave, toaster oven, air fryer or convection oven, you’re going to need to know the best temperature for each one.
The Best Temperature For Reheating Pizza
When you’re reheating leftover pizza, it’s important to take into consideration the appliance in which you’re reheating it in order to set it to the optimal temperature. Each kind of cooking appliance heats food in a different way so the differences in settings and temperature can be quite dramatic.
For the purposes of this demonstration, I’m going to assume that your pizza is cold and coming directly from the refrigerator.
The home oven is probably the most versatile cooking appliance in the average kitchen, so it works great for reheating pizza as well. But the oven’s versatility, especially in terms of its size, is also its weakness. Home ovens are designed for cooking large, dense meals like a turkey dinner with potatoes. This makes it very inefficient at reheating something small like a slice of pizza.
The best temperature for reheating pizza in a home oven is approximately 300F. This mid-range temperature is hot enough to restore some of the crisp to the crust but low enough to not overcook it while the insides are still warming back up. The last thing we want is a slice of pizza that’s burned on the outside while still cold in the middle.
To reheat pizza in a home oven:
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- Place pizza slice directly on the middle rack, or on a sheet of parchment paper if it’s drippy.
- Cook the pizza slice for 2-3 minutes then check it every minute or so.
- When the bottom of the crust is dry and the cheese is moist and warm, it’s done.
Tip: Make sure to preheat your oven before putting in the slice of pizza. I also recommend using the middle rack for an even cook.
Tip: Wrap the pizza slice in aluminum foil and place it on the bottom rack. This allows the bottom of the crust to crisp while the foil retains moisture to avoid dryness.
Air fryers are very popular these days because of how efficiently they cook small meals. This makes it perfect for reheating a slice of pizza assuming it’s small enough to fit inside the basket. Air fryers get some of the best results when it comes to reheating all sorts of things, especially pizza.
Best Temperature: 375F
To reheat a slice of pizza in an air fryer:
- Place the pizza in the basket cold.
- Set the air fryer to 375F.
- Set the timer to between 5-6 minutes.
- When it’s done your pizza should be crispy on the outside and soft and warm in the middle.
No reheating is necessary when using an air fryer and the pizza can be taken directly from the fridge.
A pizza stone is probably the way to bake a fresh pizza at home, but not the most efficient way to reheat a single slice. Pizza stones work by absorbing heat from the oven and radiating it through the bottom of the pizza crust giving it a nice crispy texture like you might find in a pizzeria.
Related: How To Use A Pizza Stone
Best Temperature: 500F (or max temp)
To reheat pizza on a pizza stone:
- Preheat the stone at your oven’s maximum temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Place the stone on the top rack to allow the cheese to reheat as quickly as the bottom of the crust.
- Place the slice of pizza directly on the stone.
- This will only take 2-3 minutes, so monitor the bottom of the crust carefully to avoid burning.
Leftover pizza has already been cooked once, so a pizza stone isn’t the most ideal way to reheat it. Especially when you consider that pizza stones need to be preheated for up to an hour before use. However, with that being said, it can work perfectly fine if it’s what you want to do.
Tip: It’s probably easier to use something like this perforated pizza pan instead of a stone for reheating purposes. The pan ahs the advantage of not needing to be reheated.
A convection oven is very similar to a conventional oven, except a convection oven is smaller and circulates hot air for even cooking. Because of this circulation and smaller size, it’s actually idea for reheating something like a slice of leftover pizza.
Best Temperature: 450F
To reheat pizza in a convection oven:
- Place the slices on a tray and slide it into the oven cold.
- Set the oven to 450F and let it cook for about 9 minutes.
- Many convection ovens have a pizza reheat setting prebuilt into it, so you can use that as well.
- When the pizza cheese is bubbly and the crust is crispy on the bottom, it’s finished.
A toaster oven is essentially just a small conventional oven. This makes it incredibly versatile but with the added bonus of being small which makes it extra efficient at cooking smaller items like a slice of leftover pizza.
Best Temperature: 350F
To reheat pizza in a toaster oven:
- Preheat the toaster oven to 350F.
- Place the pizza on a tray or a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Cook the pizza for 2-3 minutes, but watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- When the grease on the cheese begins to bubble and the crust is crispy, it’s probably done.
Microwaves are the most different of any of the cooking appliances listed here simply because of the way it cooks. A microwave uses radiation to heat food while most other methods use a heating element to heat the air around food to cook it.
The biggest issue with using a microwave to reheat pizza is sogginess. We’ll address that by placing a cup of water in the microwave along with the pizza. This works by absorbing the extra radiation which prevents the pizza overcooking and becoming soggy.
Related: 1 Minute Mini Microwave Pizza Recipe
Best Temperature: Full Power
To reheat pizza in the microwave:
- Place pizza in the microwave on a plate.
- Place a half-filled cup of water next to it (make sure it’s secure so it doesn’t tip over)
- Microwave the pizza for approximately 30 seconds.
A frying pan is probably one of the easiest ways to reheat a slice of pizza. The pan preheats fast, doesn’t use much energy and gives the bottom a nice and crispy crust just as if it was fresh. It’s sort of like using a pizza stone but without the hassle.
Best Temperature: Medium
To reheat a slice of pizza in a frying pan:
- Preheat the pan on medium heat.
- Spread a very small amount of olive or vegetable oil on the pan. This will prevent sticking and give the crust an extra crispiness.
- When the pan is fully preheated place the slice on it.
- Cover the pan while it cooks to melt the cheese.
- After about 1 minute, check the bottom of the slice to prevent burning.
- If you’re brave, you can flip the pizza over on the pan to crisp the cheese if that’s what you like. The cheese might stick, however.
How Do You Reheat Pizza In The Oven Without Drying It Out?
The problem with reheating something like pizza is that it’s already been cooked. That means all the excess moisture in the ingredients, like the dough, cheese and sauce, has already been evaporated away during the cooking process. So when you reheat it, you can wind up with a dry slice of pizza.
The best to reheat pizza in the oven without drying it out is to trap in whatever moisture is left as much as possible. I like to do this by wrapping the slice in aluminum foil and placing it on the bottom rack of the oven. This allows the pizza to cook from the bottom of the crust up, for crispiness, while the foil retains the moisture in the sauce and cheese.
Best Temperature Wrap Up
|Pizza Stone||500F (or max)||2-3 mins|
|Convection Oven||450F||9 mins|
|Microwave||Full Power||30 seconds|
|Frying Pan||Medium||2 mins|
How Do You Make Leftover Pizza Crispy?
The best way to make leftover pizza crispy is by heating it directly on a very hot surface. This can either be on a baking sheet placed directly on the bottom rack of the oven, or by using a hot frying pan. Alternatively, you can reheat the pizza in the microwave with a half filled glass of water.
Is It OK To Eat Cold Pizza?
It’s perfectly fine to eat pizza cold as long as it hasn’t been sitting at room temperature for more than a few hours. This is especially true if you live in a warm environment which causes food based bacteria to grow more quickly. It’s always safest to store leftover pizza in a refrigerator.
Can You Air Fry Leftover Pizza?
An air fryer is one of the best ways to reheat leftover pizza because of the fast and even way it cooks. To reheat pizza in an air fryer, simply place it in the fryer basket and cook it at 375F for 5-6 minutes.
How To Make Leftover Pizza Better
There are several ways to make leftover pizza better. Try some of these tips and tricks to bring new life to an old leftover slice.
- Drizzle some olive oil on the cheese to add extra flavor and moisture.
- Shred some fresh parmesan cheese on it when it’s hot.
- Add mozzarella cheese before you reheat it for extra cheesiness.
- Dip your slice in hot sauce for some extra heat.
- Sprinkle red pepper flakes on it.
- Dip it in marinara or garlic sauce.