The next time you're planning on pizza delivery for dinner, try this trick. Even the greatest pizzas need some improving every now and again.
It's hard to resist the hassle-free supper solution that is pizza delivery, but here's the thing: Whether you’re a fan of a classic New York Slice or take your Neapolitan pies extra serious, delivery pizza always leaves something to be desired. The crust gets soggy, the cheese congeals and it’s never quite as good as if you had eaten it at the pizza place or standing outside the slice window (even though I know this, more often than not, I want the convenience of pizza delivered right to my front door). The good news: I know how to transform a mediocre delivery pie into a pizzaiolo’s dream right in my own kitchen. Follow these steps for the same pizza delivery success.
Step 1: Place Your Order
Pick a pie, your favorite pie, and order it up. I will not advise you on what type of pizza (you’re welcome) as the tricks below work for any type—red sauce, no sauce, or fresh tomato, thick crust, thin crust, veggie, meat-lovers, and everything in between.
Step 2: Preheat the Oven
As soon as you hang up the phone, preheat the oven to 500°F and place a baking sheet on the lowest rack. This is one of those cases where an un-rimmed cookie sheet is actually a little better. That rim can get in the way when you’re sliding pizza in and out. More on that in a sec.
Step 3: I Mean It, Really Let It Preheat
I am one of those guilty bakers who often just throws the cookies in the oven even if it says 295°F. But getting the oven, and that baking sheet, ripping hot is part of the solution here. Pizza delivery times can vary greatly depending on your city/town and the distance between you and your favorite pizza spot. Here in New York it can take up to 45 minutes (don’t get me started). But even if it’s 15 minutes from your door to Toni’s, that should be plenty of time to preheat.
Step 4: The Dismount
When the pizza arrives, open the box and place it next to the stove. Using two oven mitts, pull the hot baking sheet out of the oven and place it on the stovetop. Undo one side of the pizza box and slice the pizza directly from the box onto the baking sheet (see how that rim could get in the way here?). Then, quickly and confidently back into the oven. I have tried to just slide the pizza onto the sheet without taking it out of the oven but this is not advisable. Believe me, I’ve landed enough pizza on the oven door to know.
Step 5: The Landing
This flash heating should only take about 5 minutes if you’ve properly preheated, just enough time to get your comfies on, choose your Netflix lineup, and pour a glass of wine or whatever you like.
Next time you order pizza, treat it—and yourself—right. You deserve it.