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Stop Using a Microwave or Oven to Reheat Pizza

This hack guarantees a crisp crust and melted cheese every time

Slice of pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms on a skillet.

This post originally appeared in the May 4, 2020 edition of The Move, a place for Eater’s editors to reveal their recommendations and pro dining tips — sometimes thoughtful, sometimes weird, but always someone’s go-to move. Subscribe now.

If you’re anything like me, pizza makes up a not-insignificant part of your regular food intake even during normal times. Consider that consumption more or less doubled, now that pizza remains one of the most readily accessible quarantine foods: available from any pizza delivery place, in the frozen food aisle, and even within the confines of your pantry, if you join the hordes of people out there baking focaccia, topping it with mozzarella, and calling it pizza.

No matter how you acquire your pizza these days, chances are you’ll end up with leftovers, a true blessing when it comes to second dinner or midnight snack or, hell, even breakfast. But before you chuck a slice in the microwave — too soggy! — or wait 10 minutes for the oven to preheat — too dry! — let me pose this question: What if there’s a better way to reheat that glorious mass of dough, cheese, and sauce?

The answer, pizza rat, is yes, there is. All you need is a stove burner, a skillet, and a lid.

Let the skillet warm slightly over low heat. Fit as few or as many slices of pizza as you’d like on the pan (but hey, if you’re going to the effort of turning on the stove, might as well make it at least two slices, right?). Dribble a couple drops of water onto the surface of the skillet — they should sizzle — and cover with a lid so that steam will form, helping re-melt the cheese that may have acquired the texture of flexible plastic while refrigerated. Once the cheese has returned to its ideal gooey state after about five to seven minutes, remove the lid and let the bottom of the pizza crisp up a bit. Turn off the heat, remove your two or more slices, and eat with gusto.

This reheating method is by no means a novel “hack” or “pro tip” or whatever other terms you use to describe what we at Eater refer to as The Move™. But, after spending the first 20 years of my life warming leftover pizza the wrong way, I can declare with utmost confidence that this is the way to do it. You get the crunch of the oven-warmed crust and the soft, melted texture of the microwave-heated mozzarella, minus everything that makes those versions extreme parodies of the original slice. The only thing better might just be eating cold pizza straight from the fridge.

P.S. Want to try your hand at making pizza from scratch? Consider this sourdough pizza recipe from a former Roberta’s pizzaiolo.