Compared to when heated over fire, pizza is soggy when heated in a microwave oven. I want to know why this is.

So far I’ve just learnt that microwaves in ovens are of a specific frequency of microwave that transfer energy to water molecules exclusively, which then heat up and allow heat energy to traverse across the food via conduction, however I’m not sure how this applies to soggy pizza. While I suspect this mechanism does relate to the sogginess of pizza somehow post microwave heating, I then also doubt this because for water to be heated it has to already be in the pizza. So shouldn’t the pizza remain soggy at all times?

I’ve not arrived at a good answer for this yet, but my educated guess would be that before microwave heating, the pizza contains water in a more random distribution, but when heated (by microwave irradiation) the water molecules gain enough kinetic energy to somehow migrate to the surfaces of the pizza?

I would like a clarification for this pls

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Since microwaves are designed primarily to heat the water and moisture content of food, and does so without applying radiant heat or a drying circulation of air, I imagine the reason sogginess results is because the item is steamed from the inside out. For things which have previously been grilled or baked, the surface tends to be dried and crusty, but the microwaving causes steam to migrate rapidly to these outer layers and thus wet them. Incidentally, fast ovens exist that microwave, bake, and apply radiant heat simultaneously, and they tend to be effective in reducing sogginess. $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jun 4, 2019 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ Better on a cooking stack... Seasoned Advice. $\endgroup$
    – user207455
    Jun 4, 2019 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ try it with day old bread. it gets soft in the microwave, because internal moisture is activated into steam.There must obviously be moisture trapped in the pizza bread. $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Jun 5, 2019 at 9:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related: "What makes cheese so effective at absorbing microwaves?". $\endgroup$
    – Nat
    Jun 14, 2019 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


Since this question remains unanswered here, I quote from the Cooking SE:

Microwaves specifically heat water molecules in the food. This turns them to steam, and because the air in the microwave is actually cool, the steam then condenses. There is often not proper air circulation to move the steam away from the food. Often times the outside edges of the food will not be soggy, but rather burnt, because they receive more energy and the water can totally vaporize.

For better results when reheating food, do not reheat your food on "high" or the default power. Reheat it at a lower setting for longer time. For pizza specifically, I heat it in the microwave only to room temperature and then finish it in the toaster oven or in a pan.


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