Can you reheat pizza by turning your toaster on its side?



Reheating pizza is a common dilemma many individuals face. While a toaster is a convenient tool for toasting bread, it may not be the most suitable appliance for reheating a slice of pizza due to its size and heating elements. However, some people wonder if turning a toaster on its side can provide an alternative method for reheating pizza. In this guide, we will explore the safety considerations and potential risks of using a toaster sideways to reheat pizza.


Can you reheat pizza by turning your toaster on its side?

Understanding Toaster Functionality

1.1. Vertical Heating Elements

A standard toaster is designed with vertically positioned heating elements that are specifically calibrated for toasting bread. These elements are positioned to surround and toast the bread evenly when placed vertically inside the toaster slots.


1.2. Limited Space and Size

Toasters are generally designed to accommodate slices of bread or other thin items, such as bagels or English muffins. The limited space and size of the toaster slots may not be suitable for reheating larger items like pizza slices.


1.3. Heat Distribution Challenges

When a slice of pizza is placed inside a toaster turned on its side, the heating elements are no longer surrounding the pizza properly. This can result in uneven heating, potentially leading to a piece of pizza that is over-toasted or undercooked in certain areas.


Safety Considerations

2.1. Risk of Uneven Heating

Turning a toaster on its side to reheat pizza increases the risk of uneven heating. The heat from the heating elements may not distribute evenly across the pizza slice, leading to portions that are overcooked or undercooked.


2.2. Potential Damage to the Toaster

Using a toaster outside of its intended orientation can put additional strain on its internal mechanisms and heating elements. This may result in damage to the toaster and compromise its functionality, potentially rendering it unsafe for future use.


2.3. Fire Hazard

Operating a toaster on its side can pose an increased risk of fire hazards. The heating elements, which are not positioned to heat items on their side, may come into contact with flammable materials or create an environment that promotes the ignition of surrounding objects.


Optimal Methods for Reheating Pizza

3.1. Oven Method

The oven is an effective and commonly used method for reheating leftover pizza. Preheat the oven to a low to medium temperature (around 350°F to 375°F or 175°C to 190°C), place the pizza slices on a baking sheet, and heat them for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted, and the crust is crispy.


3.2. Stovetop Method

Reheating pizza on a stovetop can provide a quick and efficient option. Place a non-stick skillet or frying pan over low to medium heat, add the pizza slices, cover the skillet with a lid, and heat for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and the crust is crispy.


3.3. Combination Method

For optimal results, a combination of reheating methods can be used. Start by heating the pizza in a skillet on the stovetop to warm the slices evenly and give the crust a crispy texture. Once heated, transfer the slices to the oven on a baking sheet to melt the cheese and ensure thorough reheating. This combination method helps to achieve a balance of textures and flavors.


Enhancing the Reheated Pizza

4.1. Adding Moisture

To prevent the reheated pizza from becoming dry, consider adding moisture to it. You can lightly sprinkle some water on the pizza slices before reheating or place a small bowl of water in the oven while the pizza is being heated to help retain moisture.


4.2. Toppings and Condiments

Enhance the flavor of reheated pizza by adding fresh toppings or condiments. Sprinkle some fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, or grated Parmesan cheese on top. You can also serve the pizza with a side of marinara sauce or garlic butter for dipping.


4.3. Fresh Ingredients

Serve reheated pizza with fresh ingredients to balance the flavors and add variety to the meal. Pair it with a side salad, steamed vegetables, or a bowl of soup for a complete and satisfying meal experience.


Leftover Storage and Best Practices

5.1. Proper Storage

To maintain the quality of leftover pizza, store it properly. Place the slices in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for longer-term storage.


5.2. Reheating Within Safe Time Limits

When reheating leftover pizza, be mindful of safe time limits to prevent foodborne illnesses. Consume refrigerated leftovers within 3-4 days of storage and frozen leftovers within 1-2 months.


5.3. Safe Reheating Temperatures

Ensure reheated pizza reaches a safe internal temperature to eliminate any potential bacteria growth. Use a food thermometer to verify that the reheated pizza slices reach at least 165°F (74°C) before consuming.


Additional Tips for Reheating Pizza

7.1. Microwave Method

If you are short on time and looking for a quick solution to reheat pizza, the microwave can be an option. Place the pizza slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 30-45 seconds on medium power. This method may result in a softer crust, but it will quickly warm the pizza.


7.2. Pizza Stone or Tray

For those who want to achieve a crispy crust when reheating pizza, consider using a pizza stone or tray. Preheat the stone or tray in the oven while it is heating, then place the pizza directly on it. This method helps to recreate the fresh-from-the-oven texture and ensures even heat distribution.


7.3. Cooking Sheet Method

If you don’t have a pizza stone or tray, you can achieve a similar effect by using a cooking sheet. Preheat the cooking sheet in the oven, then place the pizza on the hot sheet to reheat. This can help crisp up the crust and evenly distribute heat.


7.4. Reviving with Water

If you find that your pizza slice is dry when reheated, you can try using a small cup of water to help create steam. Place the pizza slice on a microwave-safe plate and position the cup of water beside it. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, and the steam from the water will help rejuvenate the slice’s moisture.


7.5. Experiment with Reheating Methods

Different methods of reheating pizza can yield varied results. Experiment with different techniques such as the oven, stovetop, microwave, or even a toaster oven to find the method that produces the desired texture and taste for your reheated pizza. Be careful to clean your toaster after using these methods as well.



While turning a toaster on its side may seem like an unconventional way to reheat pizza, it is not a recommended practice. Toasters are not designed for this purpose and may result in uneven heating or potential damage to the appliance. Instead, consider using alternative methods such as the oven or stovetop to reheat pizza slices effectively and safely.


Ensure that reheated pizza reaches the appropriate temperature for food safety, and enhance the flavor by adding moisture, fresh toppings, and complementary ingredients. By following these guidelines and best practices, you can enjoy flavorful and satisfying reheated pizza without compromising safety or appliance functionality.