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Let's suppose two (identical) pizzas have to be consumed some time after they are baked. One pizza is kept at the same temperature constantly. The second pizza cools down and is then reheated in an oven at a reasonable heat setting and on a bake plate, until it has reached the right temperature again.

Will there be a noticeable difference in taste and/or texture between the two pizzas?

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  • Hi Arko, welcome to the site! Just to confirm: is this a hypothetical question, or is it based somehow on a personal experience? In the latter case, it would be helpful to describe the actual experience. In the former case, note that hypothetical questions tend to be discouraged here. See the help center for more information. (Not to say your question is not interesting, which I personally think it is.)
    – LSchoon
    May 29 '20 at 9:13
  • If ordering from different places, you cannot really hypothesize the same ingredients, procedure or baking. You could if both order from the same place at the same time and one delivery is colder because a car is broken and they need to use one without special additions.
    – Johannes_B
    May 29 '20 at 9:34
  • @Johannes_B The question does state the two pizzas are "identical". Given the hypothetical nature of the question, I think it's fine to assume the pizzas to have seen the same ingredients, procedure and baking.
    – LSchoon
    May 29 '20 at 9:38
  • @Arko I have proposed an edit to your post, essentially completely rewriting it. If you feel this goes too far, feel free to reject the edit.
    – LSchoon
    May 29 '20 at 9:44
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Flavour

Keeping the pizza warm for an extended period will result in some volatile compounds evaporating, thus slightly changing the flavour of the pizza. On the other hand, reheating the pizza (which will probably require the oven to be at a higher temperature than the target pizza temperature) will do the same. It is difficult to predict which one will have a bigger effect, but I expect neither method to stand out.

Texture

This is going to be a bigger issue. Keeping the pizza warm in an enclosed space for an extended period will result in condensation, and make the pizza more soggy than it originally was. Conversely, reheating the pizza in a hot(ish) oven will add an extra dose of evaporation on top of the original cooking, resulting in a pizza and toppings that are dryer than it was when fresh.

Keeping the pizza warm, rather than reheating, might also do some weird things to any cheese present, which might get rubbery rather than melty.

Food safety

Keeping the pizza warm for an extended period might land you in trouble if the temperature is below 60 °C. See this answer and references therein for more information.

How to have hot pizza long after cooking?

This is going to be opinion-based, but I do have some ideas. Ideally, eat the pizza as soon as possible after its initial cooking. Keeping the pizza warm for a short amount of time (say up to 30 minutes) is acceptable. Any longer than that, and I recommend refrigerating the pizza, then reheating it in a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat (cover and/or add a splash of water to steam the top of the pizza if necessary). Also, cold pizza is still pretty tasty.

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  • +1 for "Also, cold pizza is still pretty tasty." My recommendation is to develop a taste for cold pizza, as long as it's been refrigerated after cooking. I've never found a reheating method that's satisfactory, mainly regarding texture.
    – user3169
    May 30 '20 at 5:16
  • @user3169 To me, it depends on the style of pizza. The method I describe above works wonders for thin crusts but is not ideal for thicker pies.
    – LSchoon
    May 30 '20 at 8:11

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