Looking to salvage your leftover pizza? If you’re wondering how to properly store and reheat your pie, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re determining how long your leftovers will last, planning to freeze or refrigerate your slices for a future meal or searching for the best reheating techniques, this handy guide will teach you everything you need to know.
Sitting out at Room Temperature
How long can you leave pizza out on your kitchen counter or another room temperature area? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) strongly recommends following the “two-hour rule” when leaving food out, meaning you shouldn’t let pizza or takeout sit at room temperature for over two hours before tossing it.
Bacteria tend to grow most rapidly between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so eating foods that have been sitting out may cause you to get sick. A cardboard pizza box provides no insulation, leaving your pie exposed to the open air.
For any leftover slices of pizza you plan to eat later, try storing these in the fridge rather than leaving them out. If you’ve already left them out for a few hours or overnight, we advise you just throw them away. While it’s not ideal to waste food, you’re protecting yourself from contaminated food.
In the Fridge
How long does pizza last in the fridge? The USDA’s food safety guidelines state that leftover pizza will last in the refrigerator for up to four days — provided the two-hour rule was followed beforehand. To properly refrigerate your leftover pizza, wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container.
In the Freezer
How long does pizza last in the freezer? If the slices are wrapped securely in foil or plastic wrap or are properly sealed in an airtight container, your pizza can retain its quality for one to two months. While it’s likely safe to consume beyond this point, it may not be as tasty by then. That being said, if your pie starts to develop a strange color or odor, it’s time to throw it away.
After you thaw your pizza in the fridge, you can store it for a few days before reheating and consuming it. However, if you plan to thaw it with an oven or microwave, try to consume these leftovers right away rather than refreezing them.
How to Reheat Pizza
If you’re wondering how to reheat pizza, there are multiple ways to do so. Whether you’re using an oven, frying pan, air fryer or microwave to reheat your pie, we’ll outline each of these methods below.
1. In an Oven
You can use three different types of ovens to reheat pizza — a conventional oven, a convection oven and a toaster oven. When reheating a full pizza, we recommend using a conventional or convection oven because you’ll have more room. Meanwhile, a toaster oven is smaller and ideal for warming up a single slice or two.
If you’re using a conventional or convection oven, here are some basic steps to follow:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cover the surface of a standard-size baking tray with aluminum foil. Slide this tray into the oven as it preheats so that it will already be hot when the pizza touches it.
- Place the pizza on the tray in your oven and let it reheat for about 10 minutes, checking the slices routinely to ensure they’re not burning.
- Remove the pizza carefully with an oven mitt after this time is up. Let it cool for a few minutes before enjoying a delicious slice!
If you’re using a toaster oven, follow these steps to properly reheat your pizza:
- Preheat your toaster oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your slice of pizza in the toaster oven after it’s preheated. You can either place it directly on the baking rack or on a small tray with foil.
- Let it bake for about four minutes, depending on the thickness of the slice.
- Remove the slice carefully using tongs and an oven mitt when you start to see the cheese melt. Let your slice cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!
2. In a Frying Pan
Like a toaster oven, a frying pan is more suitable for reheating one or two slices of pizza at a time. If you’re reheating your pizza with a frying pan, we recommend a nonstick skillet and a medium stovetop temperature for best results. Place your slice onto the skillet and let it heat until the cheese softens.
Next, add a few drops of water to the base of the pan around the pizza’s sides. Cover the pan with a lid and let the pizza heat for about three minutes. When the cheese starts to melt, remove the lid and use a spatula to lift your slice from the skillet. Transfer your pizza to a plate, let it cool and enjoy your crispy slice!
3. In an Air Fryer
Though it’s a newer technique, air frying is just as effective for reheating pizza as the other methods we’ve covered. This method is also ideal for reheating one or two slices.
Follow these steps when reheating a pizza in your air fryer:
- Place some foil at the base of your air fryer basket.
- Apply a light layer of oil spray to the foil then place your pizza on top.
- Air fry your pizza at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about five minutes. After this time is up, check your pizza for desired crispness and leave it in for longer as needed.
- Remove your pizza carefully and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
4. In a Microwave
Finally, microwaving is the quickest and likely the most common method for reheating pizza. Simply put your slice of pizza on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it on high power for about 45 seconds. Remove your pizza and let it cool before eating. Some microwave chefs recommend putting water in a microwave-safe mug next to your pizza when you reheat it to keep the crust from getting chewy.
Find a Green Lantern Pizza Location Near You!
After learning about some of the most effective pizza storage and reheating practices, you’ll know exactly what to do next time you have leftovers. Satisfy your strongest cravings for a hot, fresh and tasty slice by ordering from Green Lantern Pizza.
With our old-school casual diner atmosphere, speedy and excellent customer service and amazing food, we’ve successfully served loyal customers in the Metro-Detroit area since 1955. Whether you’re located in Berkley, Clinton Township or a neighboring area in Michigan, feast on one of our classic pizzas or choose another item from our full menu of sandwiches, appetizers and salads.
Enjoy the best slice of pizza in town in one of our family-friendly restaurants or from the comfort of your own home. To place an order for dine-in, carryout or delivery, find a Green Lantern location near you today!