Pizza is a staple of the American diet. In fact, 93 percent of Americans savor at least once slice every month. With so many people sinking their teeth into a pie, there are bound to be an abundance of leftovers. Luckily pizza freezes, defrosts and reheats well when properly wrapped and stored.
Due to the size of a fully cooked pizza, it's best to freeze it in slices. This not only allows you to better utilize the space in your freezer, but when you snag your slice, you won't have to commit to consuming the entire pie. Separate the leftovers into portions by type. This way the "meat lovers" won't be mixed in with the "veggie," and flavors won't bleed into each other during storage.
Technically, because bacteria doesn't grow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, pizza may be stored indefinitely. However, after one to two months, the slices may suffer some loss of flavor when defrosted and reheated. Transfer your pizza to the freezer from the fridge if it hasn't been consumed after three to four days.
Wrap It Up
After allowing the pizza to cool, place each serving in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Letting it cool to room temperature is imperative so moisture doesn't build up inside the wrapping. Next, place the slices inside sealable freezer bags or air-tight containers. The outer barrier of bags or containers helps ward off freezer burn. Pizza should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours before wrapping to freeze. That timeline drops to one hour if the temperature is above 90 F.
While there are three safe defrosting methods endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, really only two make sense for pizza. The first suggests defrosting pizza in the microwave. Many microwaves come with defrosting time recommendations for common foods such as meat, soups and pizza. It's best to consult your manual for accurate times based on the size and wattage of your microwave. The other method, the allowing pizza slices to defrost in the fridge, will take a little longer, but you'll eliminate the risk of accidentally getting hot and cold spots in your pizza slices when the pizza partially defrosts in some areas, but not others.
There are several different ways to reheat pizza properly. Some people prefer the microwave. Again, consult your manual for reheating recommendations. Others like to place the pizza in an oven or toaster oven at 425 to 450 F until the cheese is again bubbly. Some prefer the skillet method, where slices are placed over low-medium heat in a skillet and covered with aluminum foil. Whichever method you choose, use a food thermometer to check that the pizza is reheated to at least 165 F internally to kill any unwanted bacteria.
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