Pizza is a staple that you can eat on any occasion. Since everybody loves it, we tend to order in bulk which leaves a lot of leftovers. But what about frozen pizza; can you store it leftover in the fridge? We've found the answer so you'll know how to store your favorite bites safely!
Fortunately, you can thaw frozen pizza in the fridge and keep it for 2-3 days. However, frozen pizza that is thawed in the microwave should be eaten immediately. With proper storage, you can store unopened store-bought frozen pizza in the freezer for up to a year.
Frozen or leftover pizza may not be as good as a freshly-baked pizza, but it tastes good all the same. Keep reading below to learn more about how to safely store your leftover pizza so you can enjoy it more!
How Long Can You Store Frozen Pizza in the Fridge?
All cooked food generally has a shelf life of 3-4 days when stored in the fridge, and that includes leftover pizza.
Frozen pizza that has been thawed in the fridge is safe to eat after 3-4 days. If it has never thawed and has remained unopened, you can store the pizza in a fridge for up to a year.
Some sources say that pizza can still be eaten even after 1-2 months if it was placed in an airtight container, consistently kept at a zero-degree temperature, and defrosted with strict methodology.
Can You Store Frozen Pizza After Microwaving?
Note that pizza should be immediately consumed once you have reheated it in a microwave. Bacteria will start growing on the moisture and can potentially be harmful if you still keep it for another day.
Can you store leftover pizza at room temperature?
Leftover pizza should not be stored at room temperature for more than two hours since that's how long it would take for bacteria to grow. It is especially not advisable if your temperature is between 40°F to 140°F.
How to Safely Store Leftover Pizza
The quality of your leftover food depends more on how it was prepared for storage than how long it remains stored. You can leave leftover food for two hours, but it can go bad fast if it is stored at room temperature with humidity to add. Your pizza can last longer if you follow these tips:
Store in airtight containers
Airtight containers prevent the growth of mold and bacteria by blocking out moisture that is carried by air. It will also prevent particles from contaminating your food, making it safer for consumption.
Line the container with paper towels
If you do not have airtight containers, that's okay! You can still use your Tupperware, but be sure to line it with paper towels to preserve its original taste. Do not stack the pizzas in a single container as well since it could be soggy by the time you reheat it.
Use freezer bags
Freezer bags are durable and less likely to tear in your fridge. Place your leftover pizza in these freezer bags to preserve its quality. These bags are effective in keeping both raw or cooked food safely stored, so your pizza can last for up to four days.
Do not wrap pizza in Aluminum Foil
Although this is a common practice, it is not advisable to keep food fresh. It is not effective at blocking out moisture and can even aid in the growth of Bacillus cereus: a bacteria that cannot be destroyed by cooking temperatures.
Aluminum foil is also not advisable for any acidic food such as tomatoes. Since pizza is commonly made with tomatoes, wrapping it in foil can be harmful.
Ways to Reheat Cold Pizza
If you are sure that you have properly stored your pizza, it is time to reheat it and enjoy its sumptuous taste. While it may not compare to when it was fresh, there are ways you can retain its flavor.
Reheat in the oven on a hot tray
- Preheat the oven at 370ºF first before putting in your leftover pizza.
- Place the pizza on a tray and put it in the preheated oven.
- Wait for five minutes. Remove, let cool, and serve.
Read: "Does a Pizza Oven Need a Hood?"
Reheat in the oven on tin foil and baking sheet
Some people swear by this method, and you may be interested to try it. It retains the pizza's flavor and the crust's softness and melts the cheese effectively.
- Place the leftover pizza on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Cover it with aluminum foil.
- Place it on the bottom rack of a cold oven.
- Set the temperature to 270ºF and heat for 25-30 minutes.
This method requires the least effort, but do not heat it at a high temperature in one go because it will leave your pizza rubbery.
- Place a half-full cup of water in the microwave next to your pizza.
- Heat for 30 seconds and serve.
This hack was introduced by a popular pizza chain, and it can be worth trying.
How To Tell if Leftover Pizza is Bad
When trying to decide whether food has gone bad, your senses are your best judge. Here are the telltale signs that your pizza has gone bad, from the way it looks to the way it can taste.
Even if it might still look edible on the surface, you need to trust your sense of smell. If it stinks, it's time to throw it away. One of the appetizing qualities of pizza is its smell, so it would be a disservice for you to still
Mold on the surface
This one is a no-brainer. Once you notice mold starting to coat the surface of your food, you throw it away! Mold is not only disgusting, but it can also be dangerous for your health.
A hard and dry crust
This may not be a dealbreaker for some people, but a hard crust means that your pizza is halfway to becoming spoiled, if not way past its freshness.
A hard and dry crust could also mean that it has not been stored well, and there are already risks from that alone. There may be bacteria starting to grow on the surface, so it is best to stay on the safe side and get rid of it.
Bad sour and bitter taste
If the pizza appears edible, the crusts are not that hard, and it does not smell bad, you might think it is safe for consumption. However, a spoiled pizza will have the obvious sign that it has expired: if it tastes awful.
No one wants to eat an awful-tasting pizza, so do yourself a favor and do not eat it.
If the toppings no longer look fresh and they appear to be melting on the surface, it means bacteria have started growing underneath. It is time to get rid of it to prevent health risks and rid yourself of the horrible-looking food.
Freezer burns indicate that your pizza has not been properly stored and sealed. Contaminants might have started growing on the pizza without you noticing, and it might already be unsafe for consumption.
Freezer burns happen if the food loses its moisture, but outside air manages to seep in. If air still managed to seep in, then bacteria might also have found their way.
Why You Should Never Eat Expired Pizza
If you insist on eating that leftover pizza because it doesn't look or taste bad, there are risks that can compromise your health. Here are the reasons why you should never try to eat spoiled pizza, or any food for that matter.
Expired frozen pizza is linked to E. Coli, the bacteria that causes food poisoning. This is why you should eat frozen pizza right away once you have thawed or heated it in the microwave.
Salmonella is found on bad chicken and meat, which are typically on pizza toppings. You can suffer from stomach cramps and fever from consuming pizza with expired toppings.
Diarrhea is one symptom of both food poisoning and salmonella. This happens when the bacteria has found its way to your digestive system. This is the last thing you want after a day of eating out.
Leftover pizza is still delicious if you properly store and reheat it. Frozen pizza has a longer shelf life, but you need to make sure that is sealed tight, and no contaminants can enter. However, it is best not to let your food sit in the fridge for too long to avoid any health risks.