How To Reheat Pizza In A Microwave

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Key Takeaways

  • Reheating pizza in the microwave next to a cup half-full of water results in a far crispier base without hard spots while allowing the toppings and cheese to cook through and melt. The consistency still doesn’t match that of pizza reheated in an oven or toaster oven but by heating in 30 intervals and using a paper towel beneath the pizza while heating to absorb moisture when/if necessary, microwave pizza still comes out easy to eat with a wholesome consistency and tastes great.

Microwaving is, without a doubt, the fastest way to reheat leftover pizza. However, sticking a few slices into your microwave and letting it nuke doesn’t translate to the best textured or tastiest pizza around. Given a few extra steps and a little guidance, you’ll soon be restoring yesterday’s pizza to a version of itself that’s as close to freshly baked as you can get. We’ve got exact instructions for how to reheat pizza in a microwave coming up, along with a selection of invaluable tips for making sure it’s perfect every time. 

How Do You Reheat Pizza In The Microwave Without Getting Soggy?

The simplest answer is to microwave your leftover pizza on a plate beside a cup or glass half-full of water while placing the pizza itself atop a paper towel. Even Domino’s Pizza swears by this food hack. By microwaving pizza with a vessel of water present, you’re compensating for the lack of moisture in already-cooked pizza. Microwaves draw moisture from the glass of water instead of sucking all the moisture from the pizza itself. This prevents the bottom from becoming soggy as it becomes saturated in moisture, and it stops the crust from going rock hard in various scattered places at the same time. 

As one microwaves pizza, the majority of the moisture in the toppings, cheese, and crust evaporates, which leaves the bottom-most layer saturated with liquid while drying out everything else. Microwave your pizza for a few minutes too long without taking any extra precautions, and you’ll have a pizza crust that’s so hard in certain places that one could easily chip a tooth. The glass of water doesn’t actually add moisture to the pizza at all. It simply prevents the crust from becoming hard, instead allowing it to reheat to a point where it is neither soggy or crunchy. 

How To Microwave Frozen Pizza

Frozen pizza can be cooked in the microwave, but you won’t get exactly the same freshly-baked taste and texture. With the right technique, however, you will come close. Frozen pizzas don’t need to be thawed before being cooked in the microwave. Doing so will guarantee a soggy mess by the time your pizza pie is done. Instead, microwave from frozen using the times stated below as a guide. 

How Long To Microwave Frozen Pizza

Single Slice1-2 Minutes
Personal Pizza (Mini)2-3 Minutes
8 Inch (6 Slice)3-4 Minutes
10 Inch (6 Slice)4-5 Minutes
12 Inch (8 Slice)5-6 Minutes
14 Inch (8 Slice)6-7 Minutes
16 Inch (10 Slice)7-8 Minutes
18 Inch (10 Slice)8-10 Minutes

Follow these exact instructions to microwave leftover pizza without it coming out rock-hard or soggy. 

  • Place pizza on a microwave-safe plate and insert it into the microwave.
  • Place half a glass/mug of water beside the pizza on a plate in the microwave. 
  • Microwave thin base pizza on high for 30 seconds and deep dish pizza for one minute. 
  • Open up the microwave and slide a paper towel underneath the pizza. Skip this step if your pizza is already excessively dry.  
  • Close and microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, checking the doneness after each round. 
  • Complete the necessary number of intervals to warm and crisp up your pizza. 

Use A Microwave Often? Consider A Crisper Pan

Anyone who plans to cook frozen pizza in the microwave or reheat leftover pizza often should consider buying a crisper pan. A crisper pan allows cooks to crisp or brown food in the microwave, a task that’s not normally possible without a convection feature or proactive ingenuity. A crisper pan absorbs the microwaves heating the pan, which enables food to cook from the bottom using thermal heat in much the same way as an oven. Not all microwaves are absorbed, which is why there is still nutrient loss through the act of microwaving. 

Connoisseurs will also notice that their pizza or other browned food comes out a little less crispy than when undergoing an equally matched duration in a traditional oven. Crisper pans act as microwave susceptors which mean that they absorb the electromagnetic energy emitted by the microwaves and convert it to heat which is then in turn emitted as thermal heat at a lower temperature. This allows the food to brown from direct contact with the crisper instead of cooking from the inside via the penetrative microwaves. 

Do Microwave Crisper Pans Work?

Microwave crisper pans work very well. The use of a microwave susceptor is so effective that many food products like popcorn and frozen pizza come with metallic susceptor strips safely built into the packaging so that food heats up evenly without excess moisture spoiling or excessive dryness spoiling anything. It is almost impossible to reach the same degree of browning and crispiness that’s granted with a crisper pan in the microwave in any other way. With the help of a crisper pan, you can cook up tasty pizzas like our Roman-style pizza, ‘Nduja sausage pizzas or any other variety you prefer in the microwave and still have the base come out properly baked and perfectly crispy. 

Microwave Grill Plates

Another excellent product for fans of not only pizza but microwave cooking, in general, are microwave grill plates. These rigid plastic plates are specifically engineered with ridges, an elevated contact area, and a vented cover that allows food like pizza and bacon to crisp up effectively. If you’re using your microwave for reheating pizza instead of cooking frozen pizza, then a microwave grill plate may be a better choice than a crisper pan. However, if you cook and reheat frequently, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without a crisper pan in the first place. 

Why Microwave Pizza Comes Out Soggy

Pizza baked or reheated in an oven or toaster oven develops its crispiness when the heat caramelizes sugars in the crust and toppings. A microwave doesn’t leave pizza crispy and instead grants a moist, at-times soggy quality because the moisture in the crust is basically being boiled instead of undergoing caramelization. Without a crisper pan, crisper paper, or an alternate heating method, microwave pizza will only cook through and dry out to a degree. It won’t dry out evenly enough to reach the same texture as baked pizza. 

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