Serving Lots Of Pizza At a Party? Reheat It With An Electric Griddle
Last night at our first book launch party (great success!), I was faced with a bit of a conundrum. See, in addition to awesome muffuletta's (made with cold cuts from DiPalo, our own olive salad recipe, and great Muffuletta bread from Jim Lahey), really good DiPalo Porchetta, some fine biscuits with ham and honey (again, a recipe from our book), and some Eastern Carolina style barbecued pork shoulder (yep, that'd be our book yet again), I was also tasked with serving about 30 pizzas that we ordered from Motorino—one of our favorite pizzerias in the city.
Not only did the pizzas have to come all the way from the East Village, they also had to be served continuously throughout a four hour long party. Compounding our difficulties was the fact that there was no operating oven in the space we were serving from.
What'd we do?
Luckily, I remembered that in our closet, we have a couple of Presto Griddles which I use for off-site events, mainly for cooking large amounts of sliders. Would those same griddles work to reheat pizza?
If you don't already know it, the best way to reheat pizza is in a skillet on the stovetop. It's fast, efficient, and delivers a bottom crust that's just as crisp as when the pie first popped out of the oven (or even crisper, if you'd like).
Turns out an electric griddle actually works even better than a skillet. The key is to get them to just the right temperature where they heat up relatively slowly so that the cheese and toppings are heated through just as the bottom become perfectly crisp. After some fiddling, I ended up with both of mine set at around 250°F. With two pizzas heating at a time, I could pull one off, slice it into eight slices, pop a new one on, and have them rotating like that throughout the night. With a party of around 200 people, we never once ran out of hot, crisp pizza (that is, until the last pie disappeared). For smaller parties, a single griddle should do just fine.
Anyhow, not too much to report, other than just share this idea which'll hopefully come in handy for your next pizza party.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.