How A Teaspoon Of Water Helps Reheat Pizza To Perfection

Reheating pizza in the microwave makes for a soft, soggy crust and blisteringly hot toppings that burn the roof of your mouth. And while the oven is a better option, the lengthy cook time dries out the base and makes the sides of each slice crunchy rather than crisp. The right way to reheat pizza? On the stove in a frying pan that comes with a tightly-fitting lid — and the genius addition of a splash of water.

To get started, heat your pan on the stove without adding any oil to the bottom and place in your pizza slice. Allow the base to crisp up in the dry heat for 30 seconds to a minute before adding a teaspoon of water to one side of the hot skillet, away from your slice of pie. The water will instantly begin to steam at this point. Pop on the lid and wait a couple of minutes for the steam to melt the cheese and heat the toppings. It can help to tilt the pan while it's on the stove to prevent the water from getting under the base of your pizza slice. If you find that the crust is getting too charred for your liking, turn down the heat and allow the residual steam in the skillet to gently heat it through.

Why does this stove-top technique using water work so well for reheating pizza?

As shown in @dommelier's viral TikTok video, reheating pizza on the stove with the aid of a little steam results in a crispy base and a soft, stringy, and gooey cheese topping, mimicking the same characteristic texture that comes from baking in a pizza oven. This occurs because the moist heat from the steam transfers into the toppings extremely quickly, allowing the cheese to melt beautifully in the same amount of time it takes for the base to crisp up nicely. 

This easy technique is ideal for reheating a couple of pizza slices simultaneously but if you have a larger skillet with a greater surface area, like a paella pan, there's no reason why you couldn't warm up an entire pie in a single session. What's more, this simple method works for all varieties of pizza, from thicker New York, Sicilian, and Chicago deep dish-style pies to thinner Neopolitan versions. Just increase the cooking time for pizzas with a heftier base and keep an eye on the steam so you can top up the pan with more water if required. So, the next time you're about to heat up a slice in the microwave, give it a miss and try using this clever stovetop hack to enjoy a pizza that tastes as good as it did when served piping hot from a traditional clay oven.