How Long Should a Pizza Sit Before Cutting?

By Kitchen Warrior | Pizza Baking and Cutting Tips

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Pizza disasters. We've all had them. You take a bite of pizza, and burn the roof of your mouth because it's too hot. A severe mouth burn hurts, and can take days to heal. Worse yet, you can't really enjoy the rest of your pizza with a burned mouth. The other pizza disaster, only slightly less of a tragedy, is when you go to grab your slice of pizza, and all the toppings slide off, leaving you with bare crust. 

The good news is that both of these disasters can be avoided, by simply waiting a bit to slice your pizza.

Why Wait to Slice a Pizza?

There are three main reasons to wait before slicing a pizza when it comes out of the oven.

  1. Waiting lets the toppings “set” a bit. Waiting to slice a pizza allows the cheese and toppings to set up slightly, which keeps them in place as you slice the pizza. This prevents cheese spilling everywhere and taking the toppings with it when you remove a slice. 
  2. Waiting keeps the crust crispy. If you slice a pizza too soon, the oils in the cheese run down into the cut and soak into the edges of the crust where it's been cut. This can make the crust seem soggy and oily, even though it was crisp when it came out of the oven. Waiting a bit lets both the oils and crust rest, and preserves the crispness. 
  3. Waiting prevents mouth burn. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, letting the pizza rest a bit allows it to cool so you can eat it safely and enjoy it properly.

How Long Should a Pizza Sit Before Cutting?

The good news is, you can prevent all the pizza disasters without being patient. Simply 3 minutes at room temperature is all that's needed to give the pizza time to set up and be safe to slice. While 3 minutes may seem like an eternity when you are looking at a delicious pizza, it’s not so long that the pizza actually gets cold.

How to Ensure Your Pizza has a 3-Minute Waiting Time?

Did you know that, if you order pizza for delivery or take out, you can ask for an unsliced pizza? In fact, this is the best way to do it, because pizza parlors and pizza restaurants are in a hurry to make and serve as many pizzas as possible, so they slice them right out of the oven. 

Ordering your pizza unsliced allows you to get the optimal waiting time, keep your toppings in place, and even allows you to make sure that your pizza slices are even and just the way you want them. 

Three minutes is all it takes to prevent pizza disasters and protect the roof of your mouth. And you can get that three minutes of waiting time even when you aren't making the pizza yourself. Simply order an unsliced pizza, and enjoy pizza greatness.