Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the entire world, and every year, more than 5 billion pizza pies are sold worldwide. Although most pizza is consumed within the first few hours, extra slices are often placed in the refrigerator and are consumed the next day for breakfast or lunch. So the question is, how long does pizza last in the fridge?
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Leaving Pizza at Room Temperature
Pizza can only be left at room temperature for a few hours before bacteria begins to grow. Once the temperature of the pizza drops below 140F, it creates the perfect living environment for bacteria to spread. When left for longer than 2 hours, the temperature of the pizza will continue to drop, potentially exposing you to food poisoning.
In order to protect yourself from the possibility of food poisoning, it is important to cover the extra slices and place them in the refrigerator. When stored properly, a slice of pizza can stay in the refrigerator for as much as 4 days before it must be consumed or thrown away.
When storing leftover pizza in the fridge, do not use the box that the pizza came in. Instead, transfer the extra slices to a plate or other dish, so they can be tightly wrapped in either aluminum foil or plastic wrap. In order to ensure that the leftover slices of pizza last as long as possible, they must be kept airtight.
But let’s face it, most leftover pizza will never make it to the following day. Cold pizza for breakfast is a trendy choice, especially for college students. As the pizza cools overnight, the rich flavors and aromas combine, creating a very tantalizing choice for breakfast.
How to Reheat Leftover Pizza
When extra pizza is put into an airtight container or covered and placed in the refrigerator within 2 hours from delivery, those extra slices can stay good for up to 4 days. There are several options to choose from when it comes to reheating pizza. However, most reheated pizzas will have a different texture and taste.
Pizza should never be reheated in the microwave.
Because the pizza crust has a high content of starch, when it is reheated in the microwave it will become very chewy and hard after a few minutes. The starch in pizza dough is composed of sugar molecules that will melt once they reach 212 degrees F. As a result, when the pizza slice is first pulled out of the microwave, it feels fluffy. However, once the sugar molecules cool down, they recrystallize which cause the bread to become very hard and chewy.
For the best results, leftover pizza slices should be reheated using either an indoor kitchen oven, outdoor pizza oven, air fryer, or stovetop.
In the Oven
The most common way to reheat a pizza is to use an oven. You have 3 options to choose from when it comes to using an oven, you can either reheat the pizza on a cooking tray or on a pizza stone in your kitchen oven. As a general rule of thumb, you will want to preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat the tray with some cooking spray before placing the leftover slices on it. Place the cooking tray into the oven, and let it cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Lastly, you can pull out your outdoor pizza oven, heat to about 400 F and slide the pizza in. Do not overcook the slices, as the crust will burn and become too hard to eat.
Using an Air Fryer
Air fryers are all the rage these days and for good reason. They are considered to be the fastest method to reheat a pizza. When using an air fryer, you will need to place a sheet of parchment paper in the basket, then place your leftover slices on top of it. Set your air fryer to 360 F, which will reheat your leftover pizza in about 3 to 6 minutes. Because of how quickly it will reheat pizza, it is important to check the slices after about 4 minutes. Once they are hot enough, you can remove the leftover slices and enjoy.
In the end, it’s all about taking care of your leftover slices. Pizza is very finicky, and it needs to be stored and reheated the right way to have a good leftover meal in the end. If you follow my recommendations, you’ll be sure to have a great leftover slice.