There is a thermal sweet spot where last night's cold pizza becomes the most perfect possible breakfast. Ideally, the cold pizza been left in the box on your living room table awaiting your return from the night before. I’m pretty sure this is safe since I’m not dead yet, but I understand that many of you may not be as badass, willing to stare the threat of food poisoning straight in the face and say “Come at me, bro.” You probably refrigerate your pizza like a functional adult. Yet the fairy tale of a cold pizza breakfast is a farce, as pizza that is truly cold is an abomination.
The deep chill mutes its flavors. Its puddles of grease congeal into a disgusting mass that reminds you how, in the long run, pizza is trying to kill you. I don’t need to be confronting my mortality that early in the morning, nor do I need to be given deep-seated doubts about the love of my life. Pizza would never try to kill me. Pizza adores me, and I would never want to live in a world without it.
Reheating cold pizza is a necessity, but there are many fundamental flaws with this requirement. The brilliance of cold pizza is that there is no labor required, even less than a bowl of cereal. The fastest method of reheating is a microwave, but this results in a chewy, damp crust that you don’t chew as much as gnash at, like a hyena violently ripping the flesh from a felled wildebeest. This is pizza sadness. This is the antithesis of a proper pizza breakfast.
There is the toaster oven, but that takes foreverrrr, and you really can only fit one slice in at a time if you don’t want to risk the entire thing bursting into flames. If you don’t have the balls to leave your pizza on the counter, you are not to be trusted in a fire-type situation.
You can put it in the regular oven, but that just feels excessive.
The solution: the stovetop. It doesn’t seem obvious since pizza is meant to be baked, not sauteed or stir fried because that would just be silly. But you can quickly make a pseudo-oven with both conduction and convection heat.
Heat up a skillet on high; cast iron is nice, but any kind will do. Get it nice and toasty, and lay your slices down, no oil required. Now put a lid on it and drop the temp to medium. No lid? Grab a sheet pan and lay it over the top. The bottom will get nice and crispy from the pan, the cheese will get good and melty from the hot air that’s trapped inside. Give it about two minutes, take off the lid, and you’ve got perfectly reheated pizza that’s just the right balance of hot and cold. This is pizza that loves you, that’s giving you a little kiss to start your day, and most certainly would never try to harm you.