Today we are taking you through the ins and out of everything to do with PIZZA!
Everybody loves to indulge in a good slice of pizza now and again. It's that type of comfort food that you can eat with all your favorite toppings with a healthy amount of cheese and a delicious pizza sauce.
If you are like me, you will most likely end up with a bunch of pizza leftovers, despite giving your all to devour every slice in one sitting. Which leads to the question - how long is pizza good for in the fridge? Well, that depends on how long it has been left at room temperature since being baked.
Let's go through this in more detail...
Storing and keeping your pizza fresh for longer
Whether your pizza has been ordered from a takeaway or prepared fresh at home with perfectly chewy pizza dough, the same rules apply for keeping it fresh. In most cases, once the pizza has been baked, it shouldn't be left for more than two hours at room temperature due to bacteria that grow once the pizza cools between 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
This temperature is called the DANGER-ZONE, and the longer leftover pizza is left at room temperature, the quicker the bacteria's spread that causes food poisoning.
Although it is common to forget about the pizza leftovers while watching a movie, if you intend to save the pizza slices for later or another day, it is best to refrigerate leftovers immediately to avoid any chance of spoiled food.
To store any leftover pizza in the fridge, they should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil on a plate or transferred to an airtight container. According to the USDA's food safety guide, leftover pizza will last in the fridge for up to 4 days if correctly refrigerated within the 2-hour time frame.
Freezing cooked foods is one of the best ways to preserve their freshness, and with pizza, it helps to keep the pizza crust crunchy and the toppings safe to eat for longer. The best thing to do is to transfer the leftover pizza slices to an airtight container or cover them with freezer wrap or aluminum foil. Frozen pizza will last up to 2 to 3 months.
How to reheat leftover pizza
Now that you have safely stored your leftover pizza slices, you probably want to know the best way to reheat them. There are a few variants to choose from here to achieve the same texture and flavor, from using a toaster oven, an air fryer, traditional oven, or heavy-bottomed skillet, but not a microwave.
Microwaves turn pizzas into a soggy horrible mess, and nobody wants that!
Reheating refrigerated pizza
The easiest way to reheat leftover refrigerated pizza slices is by preheating an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) or using a toaster oven and transferring the slices of pizza to a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Since the pizza has already been cooked, you only need to reheat it for 10-15 minutes until it's hot.
Using an air fryer is the quickest method for reheating pizza in 3-6 minutes. All you need to do is place the leftover pizza slices in the air fryer basket with a parchment sheet and set the temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. It will heat up pretty quick, so check the pizza after 4 minutes to see if it's hot.
The last method is using a skillet for reheating pizza. Preheat a skillet on medium-high heat with some olive oil and place the slices on top for 3 minutes to crust the bottom. Then turn the heat down to medium with the lid on for 10 minutes to thoroughly heat the toppings.
Reheating frozen pizza
Frozen leftover pizza slices are best reheated in the oven as it heats evenly without burning. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the leftover slices for 15-20 minutes until the toppings are hot.
Homemade pizza ideas
Making homemade pizza is far more enjoyable and tastier than shop-bought because you can add your favorite toppings. Some of my favorite creations are BBQ chicken & bacon, spicy tex mex, or if you're looking for something sweeter like apple, pesto & Bree cheese or pesto, chicken & sweet sun-dried tomatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat leftover pizza after 5 days?
No, per USDA standards, you should not eat leftover refrigerated pizza after the 4th day, even if it has been properly stored in the fridge. And even if you could, the pizza wouldn't even taste good at this point.
How can you tell if pizza is bad?
The first signs of bad leftovers are visible when the pizza becomes dry and hard. The next stage will come from bad odors that you can easily smell from bacteria, and once it's completely past its shelf life, signs of mold start to form. By this stage, you should have thrown it in the bin.
Does pizza go bad in the fridge?
Yes, after 4 or more days in the fridge, pizza will taste bad. Leftover slices with meat on top should be consumed ideally within 3 days maximum to avoid potential bad tastes.
How long does leftover pizza last in the box?
Pizza ordered in a cardboard box from a takeaway shouldn't be left in the box at all once it arrives, as the box will retain moisture from the pizza, which speeds up bacteria growth. The best thing to do is transfer the slices of pizza to a plate and throw away the box.
You should not eat leftover refrigerated pizza after the 4th day, even if it has been properly stored in the fridge. And even if you could, the pizza wouldn't even taste good at this point.