How Long Can I Keep Pizza Warm in the Oven?

When it comes to pizzas, it is always a shame to serve them in anything less than their most delicious state. Most of the time, that means warm and aromatic and with smoke pretty much trailing after the server.

Most of the pizza advice and tips surrounding keeping pizza warm usually involve the use of the oven, so that’s what we’ll be talking about today. If you have an oven at home, it should allow you to keep serving pizza hot, which makes a difference in you and your guests’ dining experience.

Warming Pizza With an Oven

Pizza warming may seem like a simple task, but there’s a sort of intricacy surrounding the process. If you don’t get the temperature just right, you could end up burning the pizza. Should you decide to keep the pizza in its box, it may end up all moist and soggy. To keep both of these things from happening, follow these methods:

1. Using a Cardboard Box

If you don’t plan on eating a newly delivered pizza until later, this is an excellent method for keeping the whole thing warm and ready for eating. You don’t even need to open the pizza box to do this correctly.

The first thing you want to do is preheat your oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about its lowest temperature. Remember to keep the steam flaps open so that the crust doesn’t get leathery. Then, position the pizza box inside.

Using this method, there’s little chance for your pizza to get overcooked. It also keeps it from absorbing too much moisture and getting chewy. Take note that this is only ideal when waiting a couple of hours to consume your pizza. Any longer than two or three hours might result in a slightly burnt box. Still, in the absence of a stone, this is an excellent option.

2. Using a Pizza Stone

Those who can’t get enough of homemade pizza usually invest in a pizza stone. If you happen to be this kind of pizza lover, you’ll have much use for this particular warming method. Some say it’s the best method there is.

The process starts by placing the pizza stone inside the oven. Next, preheat the oven to around 170 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and keep that going for the next 30 minutes or so. The reason you need to wait for at least half an hour is to preserve the heat and allow it to envelope the pizza once it’s inside. Next, position the pizza inside the oven before powering off the heat.

Why this works tremendously lies in the porous surface of the stone. These pores absorb a great amount of heat and circulate it efficiently around the pizza. In doing so, it keeps it warm and prevents it from getting soggy. Unlike the “box” method, which may cause the pizza box to smell if kept inside the oven for too long, this doesn’t result in any residual smell. In other words, your pizza practically remains perfect.

3. Using an Aluminum Foil

Without a stone or a box available, you can rely on aluminum foil. Plus, this material is known to result in a crispier outcome, and that’s usually good where pizzas are concerned. You also get to keep pizza warm and tasty for up to three hours using this technique.

How it starts is you wrap the cold pizza slices with foil. Then, dial up the oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Make it a point to not exceed that temperature. Going beyond that mark even slightly can result in burnt pizza. Arrange the pizza slices so that there’s space for steam to pass between them. Next, allow them to bake for about 12 minutes, which should be right around the time cheese starts to bubble.

Combined with the stone method, this practice can work wonders on cold pizza. There are also fewer limits with regards to the types of pizza it works on. It can work as well for a thin-crust pizza as it does for a thick-crust pizza. One of this technique’s drawbacks is that it can dry specific kinds of pizza, and you usually won’t know it until it has already happened.

Methods for Warming Pizza That Don’t Involve an Oven

Even without an oven, you can still warm your pizza efficiently. Just stick to the following methods, and you should be fine.

1. Using a Frying Pan

If you don’t have an oven or decide that using one is too much trouble, try a skillet for heating your pizza. When done correctly, it should allow you to heat multiple pizza slices with ease.

Basically, what you do is put the pizza slices in a pan and then place the pan on a stove set to high heat. Heat for at least two minutes or until the bottom part turns crispy. Once that’s done, dial down the stove setting to around medium or low heat. By this point, you’re just waiting for the cheese to melt, and then you’re good to go.

2. Using a Microwave

Despite not sounding like the best method out there, the microwave technique does have its pluses. More than anything, it allows you to reheat pizzas without the least bit of hassle.

This method involves placing your pizza slices inside a microwaveable container or plate, making sure there’s enough space between them. Then, grab a cup filled with water and position it close to the container.

The evaporated water should then give the crust just the right moistness. Make it a point to heat in at least 40-second intervals using only 50 percent power. You might not be able to expect the microwave method to work wonders on your pizza, but it does make quick work of warming it.

Why Pizza Served Warm Is So Good

Nothing against cold pizza, as it does have its advantages, but “hot” is the traditional (and arguably most loved) way to serve pizza. Many favor it because of how it gets the aromas flowing, triggering our senses and making for a great dining experience.

The methods mentioned earlier should help you keep pizza warm and tasting nearly as good as it did fresh from the oven. Feel free to try out whichever is most convenient for you.