Unless you’re a hungover college student, you probably don’t like cold pizza — the cheese thickens into a spongey paste, the sauce is no longer a liquid but a dry exterior layer on the bread. Disgusting!
However, those discs of dough cool quickly. You can walk away from a pizza for an hour and come back to a frigid circle that is worth little more than a visit to your trashcan.
What are the best ways to keep pizza warm? Is there a lifehack for keeping the cheese gooey and delicious all night long? Take a look at our tips below, and you’ll never have to eat a cold pizza again.
Related: Best Store Bought Pizza Sauce
How to Keep Pizza Warm for a Party
If your guests are still on their way and the pizza has already arrived, you might be panicking. People showing up late can mean you’ll all be eating cold pizza for dinner. Everyone will be questioning your hosting abilities. Our tips below will help you keep your pizza warm from your party.
You can find this awesome heat-preserver in most kitchens, and if not, you can pick it up for cheap at your local grocery. Aluminum foil can keep heat trapped inside it. That’s why you always see food delivered in aluminum containers.
After your pizza arrives, wrap the box in aluminum foil. This wrapping will contain the pizza’s heat for at least an hour. Ensure you cover the box as completely as possible as heat can escape through even the tiniest air hole.
Once your guests are ready to eat, you can unwrap the box and put your pizza in the oven at a high temperature to return it to piping hot perfection. Aluminum foil will not keep your pizza hot forever, and in most circumstances, it will require some reheating.
Oven on a Low-Temp
You might have always wondered what that extremely low-temperature setting on your oven was for. This is it. Set your oven as low as it can go and pop your pizza in there. The oven will keep the pizza hot for up to three hours.
You can even put the pizza box in the oven if the temperature is low enough. We recommend warming pizzas around 200℉ and if you want to use the box, then keep it at 140-150℉. At this super low temperature, you won’t have to worry about the boxes igniting.
However, if you have a gas oven, you will want to be careful with pizza boxes and avoid putting them in entirely if it’s possible.
In a Pan (Preferably Cast Iron)
If you only have one slice of pizza to heat or a petite pie, then a pan might be your best friend. Similar to the oven, you will begin at a low temperature and keep the pizza heated gradually.
If you want to know when the pan is hot enough, wet your hand, splash it, and then listen for a sizzle. When you hear it, you know you’re preheated.
To melt the cheese is a little bit more involved. You’ll want to take a small amount of water (a couple of tablespoons) and drip them in the pan away from the pizza. Then quickly put a cover over the pan to create a steam oven. Once the cheese melts, your pizza is ready to serve.
How to Keep Pizza Warm in Car
The trip from the pizza place back to your house can be perilous. If you run into traffic or take a wrong turn, you could be serving cold pizza for dinner. Our tips for keeping a pizza warm in car are below.
If you’re driving a high-end vehicle, you may have a seat warming option in the front seats or throughout the car. This function can work as a makeshift hotplate. Put your box on the empty seat, then turn the warmer all the way up.
Put a Thick Material Over It
Most people carry an extra jacket or blanket in their cars. When you put the pizza down, toss one of these over it. The extra layer of insulation will help hold in heat for the trip home.
Hot Water Bottle
This process might seem a little bit overkill but is extremely useful. Before you leave your house to pick up the pizza, you can fill a few water bottles with hot water. After you get the pizza, position it on top of the water bottles or with them on top so they can pass their heat on to the pizza.
Heat Containment Bag
If you’ve ordered UberEats or Postmates, then you have seen these bags before. They are specially designed to keep food hot. You can buy versions of these bags specifically for pizza, and they will keep your pie hot for you on your trip home.
Related: Clean Cut Pizza Guide
How to Keep Pizza Warm in Oven
We already talked a bit about keeping a pizza warm in the oven during the party section. However, there are a couple of questions we still need to address.
Box or No Box
To understand this question, you first need to know a little about cardboard. Cardboard ignites at around 450℉. As long as you keep your oven temperature well below this number, your pizzas should be safe.
However, depending on your oven model and the time the pizzas spend in there, the cardboard temperature is difficult to monitor. Due to this variety, we recommend against keeping pizzas warm in the box.
Should You Buy a Pizza Stone
Pizza stones are more for making pizzas from scratch than keeping them warm. The stones reach very high temperatures, which can cause pizza dough extra crispy like in a restaurant-style oven.
However, that high temperature doesn’t do much for maintaining temperature and will have a better chance of burning your pizza.
In the end, it’s not challenging to maintain a pizza’s temperature. Your oven is your best friend, and try the aluminum foil and pan options to see what works best for you.
Remember our tips on transporting a pizza without losing heat, and you may not need to put it in the oven, to begin with. Above all else, be careful when heating a pizza in the oven and avoid using the boxes if possible.
Have a nice day and enjoy your slice of heaven!