I have spent quite a bit of time living around the world. And, whilst many things change, one constant was that I could find pizza almost everywhere.
Much like how pizza (in one form or another) is found everywhere, the problem of ordering too much of this tasty dish was just as common for me.
Between living in a dorm in college to a hostel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I’ve tried many different ways of reheating leftover pizza using whatever tools I had available.
This includes reheating pizza in the microwave (and the various hacks), in a pan/skillet, in the oven, or in an air fryer.
While each of these methods has its own pros and cons that can fit any situation depending on your resources or time, for me the best method to reheat pizza is in the toaster oven. It’s the perfect combination of speed, ease, and overall quality.
So, after hearing that it’s in fact the best method to reheat leftover pizza, you may be wondering how to reheat pizza in a toaster oven. Well, it’s easy as (pizza) pie and only requires a few steps.
Pros of Reheating Pizza in a Toaster Oven
Okay, so now that I’ve confessed my love of reheating pizza in a toaster oven, I should back it up with some proof.
First, reheating leftover pizza in a toaster oven just works great. It evenly reheats the pizza, bringing it back to life perfectly as it keeps the dough crispy and light while not overcooking the cheese or burning the toppings. That alone makes it a great tool to reheat pizza, right? But, there’s more!
In addition to the overall quality of the pizza, there are some additional adjacent benefits. Since toaster ovens are so small, they heat quickly and therefore don’t use nearly as much electricity as a larger conventional oven. Furthermore, they don’t warm up your kitchen nearly as much as a conventional oven either. This is particularly useful in the hot summer months when you want to keep your house as cool as possible.
Next, toaster ovens are just generally more convenient as well.
Since they’re likely to be just sitting on your countertop, you can quickly and easily take the pizza out of the fridge and just pop it into the toaster oven and you’ll be eating some perfectly reheated pizza in no time.
This brings me to my last point, the speed. Since you can just pop the pizza directly into the toaster oven before it’s preheated (which I even recommend), it’s faster than most other methods too. The microwave may be the fastest, but the quality is not even close when it comes to the results. Even the various microwave hacks can’t live up to reheating a pizza in a toaster oven.
Cons of Reheating Pizza in a Toaster Oven
I have to concede that there are a couple of drawbacks to reheating pizza in a toaster oven. The most notable is the size.
While the small size is actually a benefit, it can be a negative thing if you have a lot of pizza you would like to reheat. In that case, you may need to have to repeat the reheating process for multiple batches.
Lastly, while toaster ovens are generally pretty popular, it’s still more common to have a regular oven, stove, and/or microwave, which means that for many people, it may not even be a possibility to reheat pizza in a toaster oven.
How to Reheat Pizza in Toaster Oven
When it comes to the ideal way to reheat leftover pizza in a toaster oven, there are two main methods. Some people recommend fast reheating it on high heat, while others favor “low and slow.” So, which is the better option?
Well, it depends on a number of factors, including how you like your pizza! If the pizza was well done (nearly burnt) the first time, a blast of high heat may be enough to transform it into an inedible crisp. A lightly cooked pizza, on the other hand, that is reheated slowly at a low temperature may begin to dry up.
It also relies on your toaster oven’s capabilities. Older models might just have radiant heat elements and no way to circulate the heat. Others use a convection fan to move air, and some models even include an air fryer.
Check your pizza oven’s settings. If it includes a reheat setting, that’s the best one to use for your leftover pizza. This is because the heating elements are programmed to work in a way that warms the food without burning it. But if yours doesn’t have the setting, then the bake setting is the next best choice.
Now, let’s get into how you actually do it.
- First, spray the top of your pizza with a very light covering of water. This helps the cheese to keep its moisture.
- Then, place the pizza in a pan in a single layer.
- Next, adjust the rack inside the toaster oven to make sure that it’s in the middle or lower position.
- Select the desired setting. As I mentioned reheating is the best. But the “bake” or “air-fry” settings can be good alternatives too. And then set the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. And if your toaster oven only has a temperature dial, don’t worry, simply just turn it to the temperature and use the standard setting of your toaster oven.
- Place the pan into the toaster oven and then press start. Heat until the cheese and toppings are warmed and the crust is the desired crispiness. This can take between five to eight minutes. By placing it in the toaster oven before it’s preheated, the increasing temperature helps to reheat the pizza evenly and not overcook the toppings.
Alternative Methods for Reheating Pizza
Since not everyone has a toaster oven, there are of course a few other ways that you can reheat pizza.
The other best methods for me are either in a skillet, air fryer, or traditional oven.
I avoid using a microwave at all costs. However, if you’re super short on time or if it’s all you have, then using a microwave can serve its primary purpose: convenience.
But if you have an extra few minutes, then it’s definitely worth it to reheat it using one of the first three options: skillet, air-fryer, or oven.
Toaster Oven Functions That Affect How Pizza Reheats
I briefly mentioned a few of the functions but let’s get into how specifically some of the functions can affect how a pizza is reheated.
Reheat settings on toasters will reheat your pizza without browning or toasting it. This is an excellent technique to reheat pizza without losing its crunch. While this is generally the microwave’s standard setting, microwaves reheat settings generally result in mushy or squishy reheated food, but a toaster oven’s reheat settings do not, which leaves you with a nicely reheated slice of pizza that closely resembles its original glory.
This feature acts similarly to a standard oven, especially if there is a convection feature. This does well to reheat your pizza but it can easily overcook it if the pizza is left in for too long. If you use the bake setting then it’s recommended to place the pizza in before it’s preheated to allow for more even reheating.
Air Fry Function
This is another great function that many newer toaster ovens have.
The circulating air in this function does a more comprehensive job of making the pizza crispy. Meaning that it’s crisped on all sides rather than just the top and bottom, which can make for an interesting option too.
How to Avoid Soggy Crust When Reheating Pizza in Toaster Oven
When it comes to reheating pizza, one of the biggest issues is that the base can get disgustingly mushy.
Not only is this weird to eat, but your delectable toppings may slip right off the base, leaving you with a mushy mess. And this is what oftentimes happens when you reheat a pizza slice in a microwave, but it can also happen if you use a toaster oven. But in this case, it’s because of what happens before it’s put into it.
But why does reheated leftover pizza end up with a soggy crust? It’s all about moisture and air.
Any crispy food, such as a cooked pizza base, will quickly expire and become mushy and chewy. This is the main reason that reheating pizza in a toaster oven will leave you with a soggy pizza.
While the toaster oven is great to turn a firm, spongy pizza into a revitalized crispy one, if the pizza is already too soggy then a toaster oven won’t be able to make it crispy. And it will likely just come out soft and burnt.
So, to prevent this, your leftover pizza should be stored properly.
How to Properly Store Leftover Pizza
As soon as you’ve finished eating it, it should be “stacked and wrapped.” To do this simply place a single layer of slices on a plate and then top them with a layer of parchment/wax paper and then stack more layers in the same fashion.
Then, after you’ve stacked each pizza slice, tightly wrap the entire thing with plastic wrap before placing it in the fridge. This will keep the pizza from getting too hard (stale) or getting too mushy. You should eat the leftovers within a few days for the best result.
Lastly, you should avoid reheating pizza more than once. Each time after will make the pizza much less enjoyable and it will be very, very dry and hard.