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I think we can all agree on one thing: There’s always a compromise when you order take-out pizza. It doesn’t matter if you’re picking up the pizza yourself or if it’s being delivered, it's simply not the same as eating it in a restaurant (or making it yourself).
And that's OK. After all, ordering pizza is all about convenience, and convenience is exactly what you need when life gets busy. And right now during these pandemic times, it's the best and safest option that we've got.
But there’s at least one thing you can do to make your transported pie more delicious.
Cut it yourself
If you’re shaking your head, wondering why on earth cutting a pizza yourself would make a stitch of difference, let me lay it out for you.
- You can do it better. Pizza places (bless their hearts) are notoriously bad at cutting pizza. They’re doing it quickly and a good percentage of the time, their swift cuts never quite make it all the way through the pizza. When you go to take a slice, the bottom rips, toppings slide off, and you end up with a slice of wet, sauce-covered crust. Cut it yourself and you avoid all of this. You also have choices about whether to cut your pizza into squares or traditional slices. You can also make them as large (or small) as you like.
- Your pizza retains more heat during transport. Think about it. Cutting the pizza into slices creates countless little openings where steam escapes from beneath the blanket of cheese, cooling everything down more quickly. Inevitably, all that steam collects inside the pizza bag or box, creating condensation that also contributes to a soggy, flabby pie.
- The crisp crust will thank you. Cutting through the slices also allows all the delicious oil and tomato sauce to seep between the slices. It pools. It soaks into the both the cardboard and the crust. And it allows hot drippy cheese to fall through the minuscule cracks, making slices of pizza stick to the cardboard.
So next time you order that pizza (for carry-out or delivery) take the time to request that it not be sliced. You’ll thank me.
Want an even better pizza?
When you get it home, give it a quick 5-minute blast in a very hot oven. Trust me on this; it will make that pizza taste so much better.
The most important step is to preheat your oven. Set it to to 500°F and place a baking sheet (preferably un-rimmed) on the bottom rack. Give it a good 15 minutes to get up to temperature. This works especially well if you’ve ordered pizza for delivery. If you set your oven temperature right around the time you order the pizza, it should be good and hot by the time the pie arrives.
When the pizza is delivered, slide it out of its packaging onto the baking sheet and let it bake for five minutes. That’s it. A little extra effort will give you a hotter pizza with a significantly crispier crust.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.