You’d be forgiven for thinking that reheating leftover pizza in the open would be more or less foolproof. Something that counts double where reheating day-old pizza in toaster ovens is concerned, where you don’t tend to have too many temperature settings to choose from.
You simply switch on your toaster oven (check out the best basic options), toss in a few pizza slices (see earlier 'Best 4 Slice Toaster Oven' post), and get baking until they are crispy and delicious. At least, that’s the theory - until you pull it out only to find the pizza crust is either rock hard or soggy, the pepperoni isn't looking particularly appetizing, and the whole thing tastes like cardboard.
At the risk of jumping straight to the conclusion, the key to baking leftover pizza in a toaster oven lies in two things - preserving the moisture content of the pizza and using a comparatively low temperature (see also 'Best Toaster Ovens with 500 Degrees' here). Anything more than a mid-level heat and most ovens will produce a disappointing result.
Stick with something around 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll find it hard to go wrong - read our top low wattage toaster ovens review.
While it can be tempting to hurry things along with a high heat setting, even a medium-high temperature could be too hot to get the job done correctly. Take your time, and you’ll be treated to a crispy base, gooey cheese, and all the goodness of the fresh-baked pizza you enjoyed the day before.
Toaster Oven Functions
Another top tip at this point - there is no need to preheat your toaster oven in order to reheat your pizza successfully. The same is also true for convection ovens in general, as it can actually be better to let the fan and heating element gradually do their thing from cold.
If your toaster oven has a ‘leftovers’ setting or special ‘reheat’ function, this is the first set to try to reheat pizza. The settings ensure that the pizza in the oven is heated gently but thoroughly, resulting in a crisp crust and deliciously warm toppings without browning it or burning it. Even so, you’ll still need to keep an eye on your pizza as different types of pizzas (and toppings) cook at very different speeds.
Where a toaster oven does not have a specific reheating function, the standard ‘bake’ setting combined with convection will do the job just as well. You could also experiment with the air fry function of your toaster oven (if it has one), which is more or less like a turbocharged version of convection heating.
However, it’s important to remember that the higher the temperature and the more aggressive the heating function, the more likely it is for every slice you cook to come out like cardboard. If it takes anything less than a good 8 to 10 minutes or so to reheat your pizza, you’re attempting to get the job done too fast.
How to Reheat Pizza or Leftovers to Perfection
Once again, it’s worth highlighting the fact that cooking times, temperatures, and so on will always vary from one toaster oven to the next. It’s a process that involves a certain amount of trial and error, experimenting with different methods (and minutes) until you find something that works.
For the most part, however, you’ll find that the following method produces results that are almost as good as first-run pizza fresh from the oven:
1. There’s no need to preheat your oven so that you can place your leftover pizza slices on a baking tray in a single layer. You can use a sheet pan or baking rack as you prefer, making sure there is at least a little space between the slices and positioning the tray towards the bottom of the oven.
2. Choose whichever function serves the purpose best, which will be specific reheat or leftovers function if it is available on your device. Otherwise, opt for medium heat and aim for a temperature in the region of 325° F for the best possible results. Set the fan in motion, too, if it is controlled separately.
3. Generally speaking, it should take around 8 to 10 minutes to achieve the desired results. However, this is something that will vary on the basis of multiple factors, such as the thickness of the slices, how cold they are when you put them in the oven, and the efficiency of your toaster oven.
The most crucial of all tips for cooking yesterday’s pizza to perfection - check it multiple times along the way, starting at around the 4-minute mark. Depending on how you like it, your pizza could be ready to eat in less than 5 minutes.
Additional Tips for the Best Leftover Pizza
Starting out with a cold oven (don’t preheat) and warming pizza at a median temperature holds the key to getting the job done right. In addition to this, there are a few additional tips to bear in mind when working with pizza from the day before.
For example, a pizza slice with a thinner pizza crust will always cook faster than a deep-pan pizza. The same also applies to the number of toppings. If looking to heat a particularly thick or generous slice of pizza, take your time even more so with a lower temperature.
Different toaster ovens perform in entirely different ways when switched between their different settings - Reheat, Bake, and Air-Fry, etc. It’s, therefore, a good idea to experiment with each in order to see which produces the best results with the crust, cheese, and everything else. Always remember that it’s up to you to determine what suits your taste - some like results more well-done than others.
If in doubt, you can always skip the toaster oven entirely and pop your old pizza in the conventional oven (look also into our large toaster ovens article). It’s not the most energy-efficient approach, but a high-quality convection oven can and often does produce better results than a tiny countertop toaster oven. In addition, if you are frequently outdoor camping, check out these top picks for you.
Best Way to Reheat Pizza: FAQs
What Is The Best Temperature To Use When Cooking The Pizza In A Toaster Oven?
Ideal temperatures vary from one oven and set to the next, but it is a good idea to aim for around the 325° F mark. Given that most toaster ovens do not feature a particularly accurate thermostat or a thermometer, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep things to medium heat.
How Long Does It Take To Reheat Pizza To Perfection?
8 to 10 minutes is the average amount of time to aim for, but it depends entirely on how you would like your crust, cheese, and toppings. To make sure you don’t take things too far, it’s a good idea to check your pizza after around 4 minutes and keep an eye on it throughout the process.
Can I Not Just Reheat My Pizza In The Microwave?
You can, but you will be looking at a soggy mess you’ll end up eating with a spoon. Simply in a microwave reheating isn’t an option - you’d be better off eating your pizza leftovers straight from the fridge than attempting to cook them in a microwave.