When it comes to celebrating a birthday or just hanging with friends, one of the menu items has to be pizza. After all, it is the one food you can share and eat the toppings you like. It can feed a lot of people and satisfy their palates as well.
Are you planning a pizza party? If so, there is no reason to serve cold pizza when you can keep it warm ahead of time without compromising its quality. Why wait for delivery when you can have the food ready when your guests arrive? In this article, you will learn how to keep pizza warm for a party.
Eight Effective Ways to Keep Pizza Warm
If you have ever tried to warm up pizza and had it come out rubbery and almost tasteless, you are not alone. You can have your pizza hot and ready for your party guests without altering its taste.
Whether you are feeding a large crowd or just a few friends, it’s important to know how to keep pizza warm for a party. Here are eight different ideas you can try out.
1. In Chafing Dishes
Chefs use these dishes in restaurants and events with buffet-style catering. They are an easy way to keep pizza warm and available to your guests. The metal keeps the heat inside the container due to portable burners at the base of each dish.
You may have to put single pieces in the dishes, but at least they will be warm. It may seem like an expensive option, but it beats transferring the pizza between the oven and the counter only to find that it overheated.
2. In the Oven
For electric ovens, select the lowest temperature with your pizza inside. The pie will stay warm for about three hours. If the temperature is low enough, you can keep the pizza in the box. The recommendation for heating your pizza by itself is 200 degrees.
If you keep it in the box, 140-150 degrees should be the max. If your unit is gas, do not place the pizza box in the oven. If you are afraid your pizza will burn, turn off the oven after it reaches the target temperature, trapping in the heat.
You can use a pizza stone if you do not want to risk the box. The natural components in the stone will help preserve the flavor. Transfer the pizza to the stone, put the oven to 200 degrees, and place the stone in the oven. The stone plate will keep your pizza warm, so it is okay to turn off the oven.
3. In Aluminum Foil
Wrap the pizza box in aluminum foil and cover the entire package to keep steam from escaping. The aluminum foil keeps moisture on the food by preventing its escape. The foil will retain the heat for about an hour.
When you are almost ready to eat, remove the foil and place the pizza back in its original container. Another way foil can keep pizza warm for a party is by wrapping the pizza box with aluminum foil and putting it on a warm surface, such as a heater, heating pad, or stovetop. If that does not work, wrap the whole pizza with foil.
4. In the Cardboard Box
If you are picking up the pizza, do not open the lid. The cardboard cover helps retain the heat. If the box has cut-out vents, open them before placing the box in the oven. You do not want extra steam to build up in the container.
If the box does not have any vents, cut slits with a kitchen knife. Placing the box in the oven at 170 degrees mimics the effects of the oven within the box and prevents overcooking and the risk of going soggy.
For additional assurance, wrap the pizza in aluminum foil while it stays in the box. If you are afraid the pizza will be inside too long, turn off the oven with the pizza still in it. The pizza box will not ignite if the temperature stays below 400 degrees.
5. In a Frying Pan
If it is too hot to use the oven and the microwave is in use, try using a frying pan to keep your pizza warm. This method is ideal for small gatherings or when you have more than one kind of pizza to heat:
- Place a stainless steel or cast iron pan on high heat
- Place pizza slices in the pan
- Heat for two minutes to allow the crust to get crispy
- Place a lid on the pan and leave it there to melt the cheese and other ingredients
6. In the Microwave
Using a microwave to heat pizza may not sound appetizing but the right technique can make it taste fresh. This is another example of how to keep pizza warm for a party when you have few options or just a few guests. If you worry about the crust becoming too soggy, keep reading.
Fill a bowl or large cup with ⅔ water and place it in the center. Put pizza slices on a microwave plate to sit on the water container.
On 50% power, heat the pizza in one-minute increments so that you can monitor as it cooks. The water will evaporate during heating and keeps the crust moist. Your guests’ pizza will not taste chewy or rubbery.
7. In the Car
Are you picking up the pizza? If you have a seat that heats up, turn it on high and place the pizza boxes there. Cover them with a blanket, towel, or other layer to give them extra heat protection.
If you do not have heated seats, place the pizzas on the floor and turn on the foot portion of the heater. You can put the pizza on your dashboard where the heat will hit or the sunniest spot in your car.
8. In an Insulated Bag
You do not have to be a pizza delivery guy to use an insulated bag but know what type is best for retaining heat. Certain features will keep the pizza hot and fresh. The bag does not have to be expensive to preserve the quality of the pie.
The inner lining needs to be breathable, such as nylon, which lets moisture escape, so your pizza does not get soggy. At the same time, the inside needs insulation to trap the heat inside. Well-insulated bags should keep pizza hot for at least 45 minutes.
The bag should contain materials that prevent moisture on your pizza, such as vinyl or nylon. For thinner bags, use a heating pad to place inside or under them, which will keep pizzas warm for about 30 minutes.
Enjoy Your Hot Pizza
A good host plans ahead and has the guests’ interests at heart. Whether you make your pizza or buy it from a restaurant, you can try different methods to keep it warm for your guests.
Whether you heat the pizza in the oven or warm it by the window, there will never be an excuse to serve cold pizza. Those warming techniques save time during the event and preserve the taste.