Everyone in this world is fond of delicious pizzas. And their mouth-watering smell makes us greedy and curious for more and more. And we order much more pizza than we can eat in one sitting.
There are always leftovers, sometimes one or two slices, and most times, many.
Do You Waste The Leftover Pizza?
If you do, then stop. It’s not worth wasting. For a pizza lover, a single bite is supposed to save.
Sometimes you don’t waste it directly but compromise its quality by storing it improperly.
The Lazy Way To Store Leftover Pizza
We all often follow a lazy way of storing leftover pizza.
For example, when we’re watching a movie, our whole mind is stuck on it, and we don’t attend to anything else. And in all this laziness, we leave the leftover pizza outside at room temperature for the whole night.
Later, we usually throw the whole pizza box in the fridge with the leftover pizza. Sometimes it is tricky to fit the pizza box in the refrigerator. There is always a space problem. Stacking the pizza box on other things will make it stand at an awkward angle.
And if you’re storing your pizza for days, it will destroy the pizza quality despite all the mess.
The pizza slices will turn dry in the cardboard box because of the freely circulating air around it.
Now, this leftover pizza is actually a waste. It develops a lot of bacteria that will affect your health so badly.
Many people have faced severe stomach and food-borne diseases because of their laziness. It can also cause intestinal problems. This pizza is only less than poison.
Lastly, putting the pizza box in the fridge appears impolite and odd.
The Smarter Way To Store Leftover Pizza
Other than the lazy way, here is a clever and organized way to store your pizza. It will save you from diseases. Moreover, it will portray your management skills.
You can save and store your leftover pizza effectively in just five steps. It is not really easy as just putting the whole box in the fridge. But the reward of properly storing is the best quality that you can retain for the desired time.
Earlier, I also used the lazy way to store. But later, I learned this way. It helped me a lot. Now I can enjoy my leftover pizza after months.
So let’s start.
Step 1: Let It Cool
Let your pizza cool down to room temperature. Never store your oven-hot pizza. It will affect the taste as well as hygiene.
For example, if you’re enjoying your pizza while watching a movie, you can put your leftover pizza aside after eating. After watching, you can easily store it.
But make sure that you store it before getting distracted by another activity. Otherwise, you will forget it outside overnight.
Step 2: Pack The Slices
After your pizza is cooled, it’s time to pack the slices. Never throw your pizza in the fridge without sealing it. Here is the core process.
- First of all, take a clean dining plate. Be aware it should be dry. If it is wet, first dry it with a paper towel. Please avoid using cloth towels in the kitchen as they will promote bacteria.
- Place tissue paper on it. Or you can also use a paper towel.
- Set the slices on it. Don’t stack over and over. Put them side by side and one by one.
- After that, put on the aluminum foil or plastic sheet to wrap it. You may use wax or butter paper.
- Wrap it thoroughly. Make sure that your wrapping is secured and sealed.
You can also use air-tight plastic boxes. You can easily store your pizza in it. It will also prevent the slices from reshaping.
You can also use air-tight sealed plastic bags. I prefer the sealing bags as they require minimal space in the freezer. Moreover, the air-tight packing will preserve the taste and quality.
Step 3: Store Your Pizza
After packing your pizza, store it the way you want.
You can store your pizza at room temperature for up to two hours. More than three hours will harm your health. Because after three hours, the bacteria starts to grow. After every 20 minutes, they reproduce and multiply themselves.
As pizza contains both meat and cheese, they allow the bacteria to reside.
At room temperature, the bacteria will grow faster, and the pizza will not remain safe to eat. So, preserve your pizza before it is home to bacteria.
You can store your pizza in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. After 2 to 3 days, it might dry out. It may affect the taste or smell.
You can also store your pizza in the freezer for up to two months. Putting your pizza in the freezer will maintain its taste and texture.
I will recommend storing it in the freezer. It will be the best place to store pizza.
How To Reheat Your Pizza?
You cannot eat chilled pizza. Obviously, you are going to reheat it before eating. You can reheat your pizza according to your ease.
You can also dress your pizza with diced tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, or other vegetables before you reheat it. You can also drizzle some drops of olive oil or fresh cheese (if needed).
The addition of extra pizza sauce will also enhance the taste.
Reheating Pizza With Frying Pan
You can use a frying pan to reheat your pizza. Ideally, a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is needed. But a nonstick fry pan is just fine. There is no need to grease or pour oil or water.
- First, put a slice in the pan and cover it with the lid.
- Now put the pan on the stove.
- Just set your stove to a low flame.
- Set a timer for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Don’t check earlier than five minutes again and again. Checking your pizza earlier without any reason will allow the steam to escape.
- Remove the lid. The cheese had melted perfectly in the steam that accumulated under the cover. Moreover, the bread under it is much softer.
- Now you only have to repeat if more pizza is needed.
Looking at your pizza from the lid will water your mouth and enhance your appetite.
Pro tip: You may need to adjust the instructions as there are a lot of variables. Now, for example, the skillets type or the burner’s temperature.
Reheating Pizza In The Oven
You can also reheat it in the oven. Put your pizza in the baking tray. Don’t forget to put butter paper in the oven tray. Then place the baking tray in a preheated oven and set the timer for 8 to 10 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
Pro tip: Many people place the pizza in the oven with the cardboard box. Heating the pizza in it will destroy the taste, and you will feel that you are eating cardboard. It can also lead to fire hazards.
Reheating Pizza In The Air Fryer
An air fryer can also help. Place your pizza in the air fryer. Set the timer to 5 to 6 minutes.
Reheating Pizza In The Microwave Oven
You can also use a microwave oven. But heating your pizza in it will make the texture of the pizza soggy and rubbery. However, it is the fastest way.
Pro tip: To prevent your pizza from getting soggy, put a glass of water with your pizza in the microwave. The water will absorb some of the bouncing rays, which will cause the pizza to heat more evenly.
You can also use a panini press or a sandwich maker. Place a slice of pizza. Sprinkle some cheese on it. Place another piece on it. It will just look like a sandwich.
I have experienced all the above ways. I felt best with the air fryer. It kept the pizza fresh and juicy.
If you are heating the frozen pizza, don’t forget to defrost it first. Let your pizza thaw on the countertop for at least an hour. Then follow the above instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat 2-day-old unrefrigerated leftover pizza?
I suggest throwing it immediately if you don’t want to acquire a foodborne illness. Cooked food sitting for more than two hours at room temperature does not pass the USDA standard.
Why so? Pathogenic bacteria burry on your pizza without you noticing it. And as enticing as it may look, the naked eye can’t tell the difference. Additionally, it might already form a mold—so don’t risk it.
Will leftover pizza be safe for consumption after 3 days?
If you refrigerate leftover pizza immediately, it can last up to 3 to 4 days. You can also reheat it using a pan, a microwave, or an oven.
Which is better: Frozen or refrigerated leftover pizza?
That depends on when you’ll eat it. It is best to place it in the fridge if you prefer to have it for breakfast the next day. You wouldn’t want to wait until it thaws before the day begins. But if you think you’ll forget it for months, store it in a freezer inside an airtight container.
Is it better to eat cold leftover pizza?
If you enjoy eating cold food, I won’t question your palette! So the answer is based on your liking. I personally want my pizza straight out of the oven. It also assures me that whatever pathogen is lurking will die. But there are some who find cold pizza with elevated umami. The sauce becomes sweeter and sharper while the taste of fat and salt improves.
If you like your leftover pizza hot and want intensified flavors, try adding other ingredients or some sauce. It’s still safe, and you get to customize your own.
Enjoy Your Pizza!
Finally, it’s time to enjoy your pizza. Grab the fork and knife. It’s your choice to enjoy lunch or snacks.
Enjoying the leftover pizza is more than a treat for a pizza lover. The only thing you need to do is come out of your comfort zone.
I know it is not as simple as throwing the pizza box in the fridge. But don’t you think a little effort can serve much more?
You can store your leftover pizza the longer you want. It can give you an extra meal.
Please tell us about your favorite tip in the comment box. We will love to hear back from you.
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.