The Best Way to Heat Up Pizza? Cheese Side Down. Here’s How to Do It

The only thing more exciting than ordering in an enormous takeout pizza is the prospect of leftovers the next day. But if you’re not eating a cold piece of ’za straight from the fridge, what’s the best way to reheat it? Sure, the microwave is always a convenient option, but it also has a tendency to leave that second-day slice soggy and limp. (And then there are those among us who don’t have a microwave to begin with.) Good news: We finally found the best way to heat up pizza, no microwave or fancy tools required. All you need is a stove top and a skillet (and pizza, of course). The secret? Our method involves heating your pizza cheese side down. No, we’re not kidding. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Heat a skillet over medium heat

Choose a skillet that’s large enough to fit a slice (or, um, two) of pizza. We like a nonstick skillet, because cheese has a tendency to stick. You’ll want to preheat the skillet, but only for a minute or two over medium heat. (Remember, you should never heat a nonstick skillet to extreme temperatures or you could ruin the pan).

Step 2: Add the pizza to the skillet, cheese side down

Wait a second, you say. Cheese side down? Yep, reheat that pizza with the cheese directly on the skillet. Use a spatula to gently press down on the slice, ensuring that all the cheese touches the surface of the skillet. When oil starts to accumulate around the edges, it’s time to flip that slice.

Step 3: Flip the slice and heat the crust side

At this point, you’re just looking to warm the crust all the way through and toast it ever so slightly, so leave the heat on medium or medium-low. It will crisp up a little bit on the bottom, but that’s a good thing. Just keep an eye on the pizza so it doesn’t burn.

Step 4: Enjoy your delicious pizza leftovers

Marvel at your ingenuity. Who even needs a microwave? 

Here’s why the cheese-side-down method works:

Let’s face it: Leftover pizza is never going to have the same oomph as a fresh pie, especially when it’s obliterated to a soft, soggy mess in the microwave. The cheese-side-down method works because it adds life back into your slice by way of crispiness. As long as you maintain a gentle heat, the cheese will still be ooey, gooey and delicious, but it will also gain a flavorful brown crust that makes up for the post-fridge staleness that can ruin a leftover slice. This method works best with a plain cheese pizza or a pie without too many bulky toppings (we’re looking at you, broccoli), but even a veggie or meat lover’s pizza will benefit from some crispiness. Pineapple, however, is a lost cause. (We kid.)

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Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...