Who doesn't love sitting down to a fresh box of pizza? It's so easy to order online that we've all experienced the joy of not having to cook on occasion. We're all for sitting back and letting someone else make dinner. But, for something so absolutely delicious, take-out pizza isn't always up to par with the perfect slices you might be used to getting at a restaurant. Lucky for you, we've done the research and put in the time testing pie after pie (okay, it was just a regular Friday night for some of us) to get you the answers you deserve.
From knowing how to order to reheating the leftovers properly, there's definitely an ideal way to do everything pizza delivery-related, and we've outlined most of them here. Follow our advice and you might be tempted to order even more often — you know, for research. Don't say we didn't warn you, pizza lovers.
Opt For One Large Pizza Instead Of Two Smalls For A Better Deal
Have you ever wanted to order pizza with a friend but couldn't agree on the toppings, so you just ordered two small pies? Sure, it cuts down on the arguments, but you should know that you're losing money (or, ahem, dough). According to the "pizza equation", using math to calculate the surface area of your pie vs. cost, the largest size is almost always the best deal.
Here are the hard facts — using a pretty simple equation to find the area of a pizza, it turns out that one large pizza can often equal eight small pizzas in size alone (this obviously depends on your pizzeria's definition of small and large pizza). However, this only applies to the cheesy, interior goodness; crust lovers will always get more when it comes to smalls, so they should always double down, no matter how much more expensive they are.
Consider Ordering A Meal Deal And Freezing The Leftovers
So you've taken our advice and ordered the large, or even better, done some basic math and found the best deal on the menu. What are you supposed to do with all those leftovers? If you're not into eating it for days, you can easily freeze leftover pizza for a tasty little snack later on. While you can eat leftovers that have been stowed in the fridge for up to four days, a little bit of forethought will make future you incredibly happy.
Once frozen, leftover pizza will be good for two months. Read on for the best ways to reheat leftover pizza so that future you remains blissfully happy as well. (Hint ... it's not in the microwave.)
Order Your Pizza Well-Done To Get The Crispiest Crust
The problem with ordering pizza from home is that, while you're at home in your comfortable pants, the actual food has to go on a bit of a journey to reach you. If you've ever had the chance to experience a blistered and perfectly charred pizza, you'll know how delicious a crispy crust can be. On the other hand, a pizza that's been steaming away in a cardboard box for 20 minutes can quickly become, well ... soggy and limp.
When ordering, find the box that asks for additional comments and just request it well done. Or, if you're really serious about this pizza endeavor, you can actually request your pizza uncooked and blast it in your preheated oven as soon as it arrives.
Don't Go Wild With Tons Of Toppings
This might sound like we're just being bossy but we do have our reasons. First, from a simple economic standpoint, you might find that when you order a ton of toppings, you're getting less of each. If that's not a concern for you, then you can go ahead and load that pie up. But keep in mind that mixing too many colors makes brown. If that's a bit too obscure for you, think of it this way ... after five toppings or so, you'll start to find that flavors get muddied.
On top of that, it's good to keep an eye on the balance of flavors. We get it — some of you just like meat and cheese. But if you're looking for a well-balanced pie, you might want to consider adding toppings that include sweet, spicy, crunchy, soft, and more.
Ask For An Unsliced Pie To Keep The Crust From Getting Soggy
Another customization you can try is to ask for your delivery pizza to arrive uncut. More work for you — how is this a useful hack? But hear us out before giving this a thumbs-down. First, an uncut crust travels better than a dozen slices. A solid base helps the toppings settle, along with all that melty cheese, without seeping into the newly formed crust cracks. You'll end up with a crispier crust, for starters. Don't worry if you're missing a rolling pizza cutter, either. If you order your pizza uncut, kitchen shears work incredibly well.
And here's a little more science for you pizza lovers — an uncut pie will retain more heat on the drive home. Not only that, you can decide on the size of your slices once it's time to eat. Have kids? You can cut up a few smaller slices for those tiny eaters while serving yourself a little extra.
Try Customizing Your Own Pie
Another way to up the ante on your much-anticipated pizza night is to forget about the predetermined additions and try making your own masterpiece. We have loads of advice for crafting your own pizza, from crispy crust to cheesy toppings. Again, we heartily recommend that you try sticking to a handful of toppings rather than going hogwild with all the possibilities.
You might find that the proffered topping combos don't really float your boat on any given night. This is where you can (and should) let your pizza freak flag fly — give those reckless ideas a try. Not to rein in your tasty spirits, but we do recommend that you pay attention to balance when planning your perfect pie.
Take Advantage Of The Restaurant's Apps And Points Cards
If you're doing a lot of ordering from home and from the same resto, over and over, it might be time to look into finally downloading their app. Most major chains, and even some smaller shops, have apps that can help you earn points every time you order. Whatever the deal is, you'd be crazy to not take advantage of the free stuff offered by the chain you rely on weekly.
However, we'd like to make sure that you're not getting swept up in the romance of free crazy crust or extra dips. There are a whole lot of ways that pizza chains can scam you, from making breadsticks out of pizza scraps to faking that falsifying their pizza tracker. Seriously — no one is updating the system as your pizza comes out of the oven, no matter how amazing that would be.
Buy The Full-Size Dipping Sauce Instead Of The Small Cups
Again, this is just a matter of simple economics. If you're just trying all the dips you can get your hands on, then we'll leave you to it, until you decide on your favorite. However, if you've been ordering the same thing, time and time again, you might want to upgrade to the full-size version. A full-sized bottle of house dip, garlic ranch, or extra-zesty creamy blue cheese, will set you back a little more at first but save you lots in the long run.
Think about how many of those plastic cups you've plowed through — and we're not even talking about the disappointment of running out before those crusts are finished. If you had a full bottle, you'd be set. And if you have the time and patience whip up your own Papa John's garlic sauce? You'd never have to worry about those undipped crusts again.
Consider Ordering Ahead For Large Amounts Or Holidays
Sometimes the party gets ahead of you and, all of a sudden, you need food. Like, right now. But if you get a chance to plan ahead, we'd advise you to do just that. If you're planning a party that requires more than two or three large pies, call ahead to make sure that your party won't go hungry. Calling ahead makes sure that the kitchen is ready for your order and can dedicate the time (and ingredients) to your order.
Want a few more helpful tips? First, it's always a great idea to have those pies cut into smaller slices. By requesting more slices, your guests can try a few different pizzas without feeling overstuffed, and, at the same time, the pizzas will go farther. Aside from ordering all those skinny slices, you'll need to take your guest's allergies, intolerances, or dislikes into mind. Ordering loads of pies full of anchovies, super hot peppers, and extra blue cheese might not make the cut.
Always Know How Much Pizza To Order Using Math
As we suggested earlier, math can be handy when it comes to pizza. We know ... it sounds like a drag. But a very tasty drag, y'all. To determine the amount needed, the equation is the number of guests times 3/8 = Pizza. If that seems confusing, here it is in the easiest terms we can muster. Assume that each guest will inhale approximately three pieces of every eight on offer. So put in your total guest count, say 20, and multiply it by 3/8 (0.375). For 20 people, that means 20 times 0.375, which equals seven and a half pizzas (round up to eight, just to be generous).
But all those numbers aside, there are tons of places online to facilitate your slice-per-guest conundrum. Next time you need slice advice, just google a pizza calculator, slot in your expected guests, and get ready to dig in without fretting about math.
Choose Takeout Rather Than Delivery
Look, we understand the best reason for eating take-out pizza at home — no social interaction. Order it on your phone and wait for it to show up on your doorstep. But if you need the freshest, meltiest pie possible, then you'll want to take a walk and bring that sweet, cheesy masterpiece home yourself.
Not only can you guarantee that your pizza is being delivered to the correct address, but by picking it up yourself, you're saving that pie a few precious minutes on the journey. If you've recently ordered delivery pizza, you may have noticed that it took longer than usual — if so, you're not alone. Fast food delivery has been impacted by staffing shortages, specifically delivery drivers, which has slowed down how quickly your food gets to you.
Prop The Pizza Boxes Up When Going Home
This might seem like either a super simple hack or a totally mind-blowing example of innovation, depending on your perspective. If you've ever transported a precious cheesy, tomato sauce-laden, blazing hot pizza home, you'll know what a balancing act it can be. Try explaining to the family that simply laying a pizza on the front seat of the car can result in a catastrophically messy and unbalanced dinner. No one cares — they're too busy fighting over the cheesy half of the pizza.
Want to stop that argument before it even begins? Place your water bottle or two-liter soda in the dip of your passenger seat. Place the pizza boxes on top of it and ... ta-da! You've saved the day by evening out that pizza box. No slippery cheese on your watch, you superhero.
Use Your Seat Warmer To Keep Your Pizza Warm On The Drive Home
Here's another tip for those of you driving your pizza home. If you have seat warmers in your car, this is time to crank them up and keep those pies warm. This is especially good advice if you've forgotten to preheat that oven or if you have a lot of hungry maws waiting at home. By making use of automotive technology, you can keep those pies warm enough to keep the masses happy and fed without having to sacrifice melty cheese or crispy crust.
If you don't have seat warmers (don't worry, not all of us are willing to pay for heated seats), you can just as easily place those cardboard babies on the passenger side floor and turn on the heat from the floor vents. Whatever way you choose, adding a blanket on top never hurts, either.
Reheat That Pie As Soon As You Get It Home
You might assume that if you're paying for fresh pizza, you'll end up with super hot, fresh pizza. Sadly, that's not always the case. Even if you've taken all the aforementioned advice, you might still want to do a little prep before you bring those cheesy beauties home.
One of the biggest mistakes everyone makes when ordering pizza is not giving it a quick blast in your oven as soon as it arrives on your doorstep. Preheat that oven to 450 F and then pop that pie in right away. It will only take a few minutes to crisp the crust and make certain the cheese is perfectly melted. Again, this is so much easier to do if your pizza is in one piece — just another reason to order it uncut, right?
Add A Few Fresh Toppings At Home
Some toppings, like fresh greens, just don't travel well. Or sometimes you might just want to save money when you already have something on hand and you're building a custom pie. If you've got the oven on already, consider adding an extra handful of cheese or whatever tickles you.
One particular topping that we can't help but suggest — but you might be surprised by — is a fried egg. Fried eggs as a pizza topping isn't a truly novel concept but they still haven't really caught on in North America. Luckily, it's easy enough to do — while that pie is reheating in the oven, crack one open and fry it up. Just before serving the pizza, slide in on top for some extra deliciousness.
Learn The Best Way To Reheat Your Leftovers
Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat — only put pizza in the microwave as a last resort. Seriously. Microwaves are great for a lot of things but pizza just isn't one of them. Chewy crust and cold spots are nobody's idea of a good time.
You can always pop that slice back into the oven for a few minutes but there's an even better way. Reheating it on the stovetop is not only faster and more energy efficient, but it also results in a crisp crust and melted cheese without drying everything out. When your slice is nearly done, add a little bit of water to the side of the pan, and cover the whole thing. As the water evaporates, it adds a little bit of moisture back to your slice, making it just tender enough.
Know How To Complain Nicely If Your Order Is Wrong
Finally, what if you've followed all the steps above but when you open the box your pizza is just ... not right? Wrong toppings, burnt beyond recognition, or finding a stray hair are all things you might consider complaining about. If you've ever worked in food service, then you'll know that there is definitely a right way to complain about your order.
Remember that old adage about the customer always being right? It's not as black and white as it might seem, so make sure that what you're complaining about is actually a problem. Check your receipt to verify that you didn't accidentally order anchovies before dialing up the restaurant to complain. And once you do make that call, remember that kindness will get you much farther than shouting. It's important to a business to make their customers happy, so you might even score a sweet deal on your next order.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.