Is there anything better than a hot slice of fresh pizza, straight out of the box?
Not many things, but cold pizza the next day ranks right up there.
I love pizza in any form, but there’s something to be said for the convenience and ease that a leftover pizza offers the next day.
But is it safe to eat?
It’s important to be careful with leftovers, for food safety reasons, but the short answer is that yes, you can certainly eat cold pizza.
In fact, I can’t recommend it enough.
Why cold pizza tastes so good
Have you ever wondered why pizza sometimes tastes better the next day? Like many other foods, the flavours tend to get more intense the next day.
Stick with me. There’s some science as to why this happens.
As the oil on the pizza cools off, it helps preserve moisture in the crust and toppings.
At the same time, as the cheese hardens, it helps to hold the sauce to the crust. And the fat that pizza contains gets trapped inside each slice as it cools.
This helps the flavours to meld and even enhances them quite a bit. And that’s why next day pizza tastes so wonderful.
How to store leftover pizza safely
Before you chow down on a slice of cold pizza, make sure it was stored properly the night before. If the pizza was left out too long, you run the risk of getting sick.
In general, if the temperature is below 32°C (90°F), pizza can be safely out of the refrigerator for about 2 hours. At temps higher than 32 degrees, that time drops to just 1 hour.
Refrigerated pizza is safe to eat for 3 to 4 days after first being stored. You can also freeze it – it will keep for a month or two in your freezer as long as it is wrapped well.
If you aren’t sure about this, it’s best to forgo the cold slice. In that case, I give you full permission to go ahead and call for a fresh pizza to be delivered.
When you shouldn’t eat cold pizza
This goes for any leftovers you’re considering eating. If it’s been more than 4 days since you stored the pizza, it’s probably better to throw it away.
Likewise, if you open the box and the pizza smells off or has any mould growth on it, it’s better to toss it all, rather than trying to find a piece that’s still safe.
And, as always, if you don’t know how long the pizza has been in the fridge, or you don’t know where it came from, it’s better to have something else to eat, sad as that might make you.
Eating cold pizza that is past its prime can make you pretty sick. That’s because bacteria starts growing on it, which can mess with your digestion.
There’s almost nothing worse than a bout of food poisoning, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. When in doubt, throw it out, as the saying goes.
Now that you know everything important about eating cold pizza, I hope you have a slice or two that makes the cut in your fridge. And I hope eating it makes your day.