How To Keep Pizza Warm On A Buffet

  • By: Mike
  • Date: June 18, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Whether you cater events or run a small buffet for friends and family on the holidays, you have likely encountered the challenges of keeping pizza warm on a buffet.

Here we discuss methods that will help keep your buffet pizza fresh and tasty while on the buffet!

Have you got a party coming up that’s going to require a buffet for the catering? Let’s imagine you’ll want to order a whole bunch of pizzas in and keep those boxed pizzas warm all evening.

Who doesn’t love pizza after all? It’s a great way to keep your friends entertained and to keep their appetites satiated, but what do you actually do about keeping the pizza warm?

A good party can last upwards of a few hours. You’re looking at keeping a pizza warm in a buffet environment for anywhere between 2 and 6 hours.

I suppose parties could last even longer than that – but luckily everything I’ll cover here today can be improvised and extended to cover even the lengthier parties.

How To Keep Pizza Warm On A Buffet

There are a few techniques you’re going to want to consider before actually leaving your pizza out ready for eating. Naturally, you need to ensure your pizza stays as hot as possible.

As much as some people will swear by leftover cold pizza being amazing, there simply isn’t anything that compares to the amazing taste and quality of a really hot, fresh-out-the-oven pizza. I, for one, will always opt for a hot pizza over a cold one.

The Pizza Box Method

So, how do you keep it warm over the hours of the buffet? It’s actually not that hard once you know a few of the tricks. The first trick you can do with a takeaway pizza (and probably the easiest) is to put it in the oven in its box. Yes, the cardboard box.

Don’t worry, the cardboard won’t catch fire. A side note: cardboard turns to ignite at about 400F – which is very valuable information for pizza reheating techniques. We’re going to keep the oven temperature at about 170F though and cook it for about 10 minutes.

The lower temperature is a great way to cook the pizza and keep it warm. It actually works by warming up the box first.

The box is then kept at this lower temperature and heats the pizza throughout the buffet as it retains the heat. Obviously, you’re going to want to keep the lid of the box closed when no one is eating the pizza, otherwise, you might as well not have cooked it in the first place.

The Pan Method

For those of you that don’t want to use your oven (or don’t trust that the cardboard won’t ignite even though I promise it won’t!), there’s also the pan method for you to try. Unfortunately, this one only works for a few slices at a time, but it’s still a great way to keep your pizza warm throughout the course of the buffet party. You’ll want to heat a few slices, then put them out for eating, and then work to keep doing more.

You want the heat to be high and you want to have your pizza slice heated for about 2 minutes which will help to crisp the bottom dough on the pizza. Then, turn the heat down and put a lid on the pan for a few more minutes. That way the toppings and the cheese will be cooked nicely (and the cheese will melt perfectly). The pizza will be as good as when it first arrived and should retain its heat for a couple of hours.

Does It Impact Flavor To Reheat A Pizza?

Great question! I’ll pretend that you asked me, as I want to answer it anyway. The easiest way to address the answer is by telling you that as long as you follow the instructions properly, there’s no real reason that the flavor or quality of your pizza should change.

Keeping the oven temperatures at 170F for the box method is perfect to get the right level of melt on your cheese and the right heat for your pizza toppings. The same timing and high heat should be followed for the pan method for the best results.

If you’re noticing that your pizza is losing flavor after it’s been reheated, then have a look at the points again and make sure you’re doing it to a T.

The most problematic areas that seem to affect the taste of the pizza include the amount that the cheese has melted and the crispiness of the base.

It’s pretty easy to burn a pizza base if you’re not careful with your timings, so ensure you take it off in time to prevent this. I would say it’s actually better to not cook it for long enough than it is to overcook it and burn the dough!

Maximizing Pizza Quality

There are a few things I want to address before I leave you to enjoy your buffet with perfectly heated pizzas throughout.

Firstly, make sure you don’t let your pizza get too cold in the first place before you reheat it. If you’ve ordered some pizza the night before to use in a buffet the next day, then you’ll be reheating it from the cold.

This is where most of the issues will arise. You could end up having cheese that feels a bit too rubbery and dough that ends up just being floppy or slimy.

Make sure your pizza is at the very least warm first and then start the reheating. If you leave it too long, you’ll lose too much quality.

The hotter it can stay for the longer, the better the quality will be. That’s my best tip for you when it comes to keeping your pizza heated and keeping the quality high.


Hopefully, I’ve cleared up any of the questions you might have had before hosting a buffet-style party with pizza as an option.

It’s a great party idea and there are plenty of ways you can keep your pizza tasty while also keeping it hot. Make sure you try out some of the methods I gave you to see for yourself which works better.

Remember though, quality comes over everything else. There’s no point keeping a pizza hot for a party if the quality wasn’t there in the first place!

No one is going to want to eat it after the first slice if that first bite didn’t take their breath away! You can even try and do it all with homemade pizzas instead and keep them reheated throughout the party to maximum taste. If you’re playing around with homemade pizza making, I’d say give it a try!

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