Are you throwing a pizza party? Do you sometimes find yourself eating your pizza a little later than you prepared or ordered it? Some people like their pie cold, but if you enjoy it fresh from the oven—you might wonder how to keep pizza warm.
I fall into the camp of those who love warm pizza. My family and friends (well, most of them) also prefer it warm with stretchy cheese, tempting toppings, and a chewy base.
Whether it’s pizza night with the family or having friends over, I have learned a couple of ways to ensure that pizza stays warm for longer.
So, in this article, I will show you how to keep pizza warm based on what I have learned. Keep reading to find out more!
How To Keep Pizza Warm
Try any of these methods to keep your pizza warm and delicious. Your preferred method will depend on the equipment you have at hand.
1. Microwave Method
Microwaving is a fast and convenient way to warm food. That said, there is a risk of pizza becoming soggy or drying out if you are not careful when using a microwave for the slices.
The other downside is that you can only warm a few slices at a go, which might be impractical if you have a lot of pizza to keep warm. This method is best for warming leftovers or keeping a small-sized pizza warm for a short duration.
To get started, use a sharp knife or pizza slicer to separate the pizza into individual slices. Place a few pieces on a microwave-safe plate, leaving sufficient space between each pie.
Then, take a microwave-safe cup and fill it halfway with water. Place the plate of pizza in the microwave, and next to it, place the cup of water.
The cup of water ensures that the pizza neither dries out nor becomes too soggy to enjoy. In particular, the water will absorb excess radiation inside the microwave to keep the pizza from overcooking and drying. The water will also release steam, helping keep the pizza moist enough but not soggy.
Heat the pizza for one minute and check if the cheese has melted. It should be enough to rewarm the pizza. And if you are warming several slices, microwave for two minutes. But ensure to keep an eye on when heating to avoid overcooking.
2. Direct Oven Method
Using the oven is the best way to keep pizza warm, especially if you have a large pizza or several slices to warm. There are several methods of reheating the pizza using an oven—and we will get into those in a bit. But the first method is placing the pizza directly on the oven rack.
To get started, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature—you’ll warm the pizza evenly without the risk of burning it or drying it out.
Once the oven is warm enough, position the pizza directly on the middle rack. And remove it from the box or baking sheet. The pizza will be less soggy when you finish warming it by placing it on the rack directly.
Lower the oven’s temperature to about 140 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the pizza inside to warm. Lowering the temperatures allows indirect heating and does not bake the pizza.
It is best to consume the oven-warmed pizza within 2 to 3 hours. Beyond this time, the pizza will not be dangerous to consume. But its flavor and quality will deteriorate.
3. Pizza Box And Oven Method
To keep your pizza warm for longer, leave it in the box and reheat it in the oven when ready to serve. But you take extra precautions not to start a fire with the inflammable box.
To keep the pizza in a box warm—First, open the ventilation holes on the box. It helps to release steam as you warm the pizza in the oven so the slices will not become soggy and unpalatable.
Most pizza boxes come with vent holes, but if yours doesn’t have these, use a sharp knife to make a few slits on top of the box.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. I suggest doing this as you wait for your pizza to arrive.
When you’re ready to reheat the pizza, lower the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This safe temperature will keep the pizza warm without overcooking, drying, or causing the cardboard to catch fire.
Then, position the box of pizza in the oven’s middle rack. Ensure that the packaging does not touch the oven’s side panels, as this can quickly start a fire.
Allow the pizza to warm for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese bubble and glisten. After this, turn off the oven and leave the pizza inside to stay warm until you are ready to serve. And for maximum flavor and delicious warmness, feast on the pizza within 1 hour of warming it.
4. Pizza And Oven Stone Method
If you have a pizza stone, it comes in handy when you want a convenient, mess-free way to keep pizza warm. With this method, your pizza will retain the warmth for up to three hours in the oven.
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, place the pizza stone to warm up in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. The non-glazed stone will absorb ambient heat, which will help keep the pizza warm for a few hours. The stone will also absorb the moisture released from heating the pizza, preventing the slices from becoming soggy.
Transfer the pizza onto the stone in the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Tucking the aluminum foil allows steam to escape, keeping the pizza nice and dry.
Lower the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or the lowest setting, and let the pizza warm for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, turn off the oven and leave the pizza inside to stay warm for about 2-3 hours.
5. Keep Leftover Pizza Warm Using A Pan
A quick, fuss-free way to keep pizza warm is to try the skillet or pan method. The oven methods I have shown you above require prior preparation, including preheating and adjusting the temperatures.
If you are short on time and only have a few slices to keep warm, your trusty non-stick pan is an excellent solution.
To get started, preheat a medium-sized non-stick pan on a stovetop. I recommend setting it to moderate heat at first.
Then, place a few pizza slices on the pan, cover the pan, and heat each piece for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, dial down the heat to the lowest setting to allow the pizza base to warm up without burning.
After a few minutes, remove the lid and pour a few drops of water onto the pan, ensuring the water does not touch the toppings. Put the cover back on and continue heating for another three minutes. It will warm the toppings and cheese.
Turn the heat off and serve the slices immediately. But you can also leave them in the pan with the lid on to keep the pizza warm for about 30 minutes. After this, the pizza will begin to lose its warmth. [4 Easy Steps To Reheat Pizza In A Pan]
6. Air Fryer Method
Air fryers mimic the method of a convection oven, so there’s no wonder why it made it on my list. It is easy to use with minimal cleanup—but there is a slight downside. The result of reheating pizza with this tool is that it lacks quality crust. Like a microwave, it gives a soft finish that can be unappetizing if your palate is meticulous.
But if you think an air fryer is a quick solution, here are some tips you can follow. First, preheat it for 5 to 10 minutes. It makes the base hot (~300°F), conducive to attaining a less lumpy crust. Also, don’t spray the basket oil since the friction helps the pizza turn crispy.
And lastly, don’t overcook the pie. I recommend heating it for less than three minutes only.
7. Broilers or Gas Grill Method
I know it’s not practical to reheat a pizza using a grill method. But listen up! This technique offers the highest possible temperature similar to when cooking a fresh pizza. And it seems logical enough to warm it this way if you want to preserve its former quality.
Let’s say you’re throwing a BBQ party, and you happen to have a day-old pizza in the fridge. Take out the pieces and fire up the grill to 500°F. Position the slice directly on the grill grates without stone or parchment paper. Let it cook for six minutes or until the cheese melts under medium-high heat. Once done, serve it immediately while still warm.
Grill is an excellent method to bring back the crunch of the crust. But know that the cheese won’t be as gooey as before. I also recommend using this technique in those styles that have fewer toppings. That way, the base cooks in time with the ingredients above.
8. Insulated Pizza Bag
The best way to keep pizza warm outdoors is with an insulated bag. Whether you’re camping or for a weekend picnic, you can bring your favorite pizza and enjoy it warm.
Insulated pizza bags are made using water and heat-proof material and are insulated to keep food warm. The bags also feature interior grommets that release steam, helping to keep pizza dry but warm.
For the best results, you can use any of the methods I mentioned to heat your pizza. Then, wrap each slice in aluminum foil to retain heat without making the pizza base soggy. Stack up the pieces in your insulated pizza bag and bring them on your outdoor adventure.
- Place a cup of boiling water on a lower shelf underneath the rack holding the pizza in the oven, and leave it there for five minutes. It will help keep the pizza warm and sufficiently moist if you want to leave it in the oven for longer than one hour.
- Ensure food safety at all times. To prevent harmful bacteria, keep food at an ideal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Do not leave pizza out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Add some of your favorite toppings for extra flavor if you are warming leftover pizza.
Enjoying Warm Pizza Just Got Easier
A slice of warm pizza is a seriously underrated pleasure. The good news is that you don’t have to be stuck with cold, floppy pizza. As you can see, there are plenty of easy hacks you can try to keep pizza warm for as long as three hours.
The secret to keeping pizza warm is to balance the source of heat. It should neither be too high nor too low. It will keep those slices adequately dry without hardening them. Try the extra tips recommendation, and you will never have to contend with cold pizza again.
Barbara is an enthusiastic food-exploring person that goes through different culinary experiences. She got inspired by creating a pizza blog post after she tasted one of the best-selling pizzas in Toledo.