Storing leftover pizza can be a bit of a headache, especially if you’re trying to fit a large pizza box into a refrigerator. However, there are several techniques you can use to store pizza effectively, maintain its freshness, and maximize your fridge space. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about fitting a pizza box in the fridge.
Fitting a pizza box in the fridge can be achieved by adjusting your fridge shelves to create a space large enough for the box. However, it’s not always the best option for maintaining pizza quality. Instead, consider alternative storage methods like stacking and wrapping the pizza slices, using airtight containers, or resealable bags. These methods help to maintain the freshness and taste of the pizza while maximizing fridge space.
Understanding Pizza Box Dimensions
Pizza box dimensions can vary based on the pizza size and the pizza chain. Here are some common pizza box dimensions:
- Domino’s Pizza: 16″ x 16″
- Papa John’s: 16.75″ x 16.75″
- Pizza Hut: 14″ x 14″ and 12″ x 12″
Smaller pizza boxes range from 8 to 10 inches, medium boxes from 12 to 14 inches, large boxes from 16 to 18 inches, and extra-large boxes can be up to 24 inches.
Fridge Dimensions and Adjusting Shelves
Common refrigerator sizes also vary based on their type and style. For instance, top-freezer refrigerators typically measure around 28¾ to 32¾ inches in width, 61¾ to 66¼ inches in height, and 34¼ inches in depth.
Most refrigerator shelves are adjustable. To create a space for your pizza box, carefully lift the shelf and adjust it to a higher or lower position. Make sure the shelf is securely in place after adjusting it. If necessary, you can also use a fridge pizza box stand, which is adjustable in height and can hold your pizza box above other items in the fridge.
Storing Pizza in the Original Box
While it’s possible to store a pizza in its original box, it’s not the best option in terms of maintaining the quality of the pizza. The cardboard box and circulating air can dehydrate the pizza, making it dry and less appetizing. The USDA’s food safety guidelines recommend storing leftover pizza in its original box for up to 4 days. However, it’s important to refrigerate the pizza within 2 hours of it being at room temperature to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Alternative Storage Methods
Instead of trying to fit the entire pizza box in the fridge, consider these alternative storage methods:
- Stack and wrap: Place a single layer of pizza slices on a dinner plate, top with a layer of wax, freezer, foil, or parchment paper, and keep stacking, alternating pizza and paper, until all the pizza is on the plate. Wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap before placing it in the fridge.
- Use airtight containers: Place the leftover pizza slices in an airtight container, making sure the slices are not touching each other. Seal the container tightly and store it in the refrigerator.
- Resealable bags: Place the pizza slices in a resealable plastic bag, seal the bag tightly to prevent air from getting in and store it in the refrigerator.
Maximizing Fridge Space
To maximize your fridge space, you can adjust the shelves, remove unnecessary items, use a counter-depth fridge, or store pizza slices individually. You can also cut the pizza box if it’s too large for your fridge. Remember to maintain proper food storage practices to ensure the freshness and safety of your food.
In conclusion, while fitting a pizza box in the fridge can be tricky, there are several methods that can help you store leftover pizza effectively. Whether you adjust your fridge shelves, use a pizza box stand, or opt for alternative storage methods, you can enjoy your leftover pizza without compromising its taste or quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my pizza box is too big to fit in the fridge even after adjusting the shelves?
If your pizza box is too large to fit in the fridge even after adjusting the shelves, you can cut the box into smaller pieces that will fit. Just make sure to wrap the pizza slices individually to prevent them from drying out.
Can I freeze my leftover pizza?
Yes, you can freeze your leftover pizza. Just make sure to wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a zip-top bag or airtight container before freezing. When you’re ready to eat the pizza, you can reheat it in the oven or microwave.
How long can I store my leftover pizza in the fridge?
According to the USDA, leftover pizza can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. However, it’s important to refrigerate the pizza within 2 hours of it being at room temperature to prevent the growth of bacteria.
What is the best way to reheat leftover pizza?
The best way to reheat leftover pizza is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, place the pizza on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is crispy. You can also reheat pizza in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave if you’re short on time.
Can I store pizza slices with different toppings together?
Yes, you can store pizza slices with different toppings together. However, keep in mind that flavors can mix over time, so if you have very different or contrasting toppings, you might want to store those slices separately.