Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've seen this claim various times on the Internet; for example at http://imgur.com/vlh4M

Put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza to keep the crust from getting chewy

Does this really work? If so, could anyone explain why?

share|improve this question
    
I have used a similar method: place a damp (not soaked) paper towel over the pizza –  David Wilkins Aug 15 at 11:55

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The only possible reason it could work is by increasing humidity in the oven cavity, and to do so in any significant amount, the water would have to be brought to a boil. Even so, there is no reason to believe that increased humidity would have any effect on the crust.

Otherwise, the only affect of the water is to provide an additional mass in the oven that will absorb the microwaves in competition with the pizza, essentially slowing down the heating process. It is conceivable that this might make it easier not to heat the pizza to the "rubbery crust" phase, but then the same effect could be achieved simply by lowering the power setting.

So no, there is no scientific basis for this belief other than the placebo affect.

Reheating pizza is one of the most challenging tasks, and there are many methods, none ideal.

share|improve this answer
1  
It's not quite the same as lower power, since low power is actually just on and off, but I'm not sure I can see what that'd have to do with chewy crust... unless getting too hot even for a short time is what makes the crust chewy? –  Jefromi Sep 8 '13 at 6:03
    
@Jefromi The power cycling is true, but averaged over time, the outcome is the same, and I didn't want to over complicate the answer. –  SAJ14SAJ Sep 8 '13 at 7:30

I just tested 3 individual slices on the pizza setting. That setting basically just turns the heat on and off so the food heats more evenly.

I tried:

  1. A small shot glass of cool water
  2. A mug of cold water
  3. A mug of warm water

They were all the same. The only thing I noticed was that the pizza was cold where the shot glass was touching it. The #2 and #3 were done with the mug underneath the plate.

Stomach satisfied, but myth busted.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 for empirical research. –  Carey Gregory Aug 15 at 1:25
    
I love empirical research in the kitchen too, but the experimental design didn't convince me here. The question was whether water in the microwave does anything, and all three conditions included water. –  rumtscho Aug 15 at 5:52

I just tried it, it doesn't work. End of story.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.