Whether you plan ahead for your meals or just have something left over from dinner, don’t let food go to waste. Learn about the best ways for reheating foods.
Leftovers just don’t taste as good the second time around.
While some of that is due to the constant chemical change your food does through (even while it’s sitting in the fridge), it might also be the microwave’s fault.
Is there a right and a wrong way to reheat food?
The short answer to that question is yes. We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to start reheating foods so they still taste good.
Let’s get started!
Don’t Just Toss It in the Microwave
When it comes to reheating your food, a microwave will certainly get the job done. But that doesn’t mean you should just pop all your food in the microwave every time.
If you want the best results, you should follow this rule.
Always reheat your food in the same place you made it.
Did you cook that soup on the stove? Then pour it back into a pot and put on a burner. A microwave might be faster, but your food won’t taste as good the second time around if you leave it to the microwave.
This doesn’t mean you can’t ever use a microwave to reheat your food. In fact, if you’re at work or don’t have a full kitchen at your disposal, you might not have another option.
However, if you can, try to stick to this reheating guide.
Reheat in the Oven
When you’re reheating any of the following items, you should put them back in the oven for a few minutes. Test to make sure they’re heated through, and be careful not to overcook them.
There are only a few things more disappointing than eating cold garlic bread. Putting your garlic or french bread in the oven will keep the crust crispy and the inside warm and soft. Just make sure you keep your oven at a low setting.
You also want your fried food, especially if it has a breaded coating, to be crisp on the outside. If you put fried food in the microwave, they might get soggy, so heat them up in the oven instead.
Some meats will reheat better on the stove, but, if they’re grilled or roasted, you’ll have better results if you put them in the oven. This will ensure they reheat evenly.
Seafood overcooks quickly, which can make it dry and gross. Putting this type of food in the oven lets it reheat slowly, so you won’t risk ruining it. But don’t turn your oven up too high!
Want to reheat your pies or cookies? Putting them in the microwave will ruin the texture. Your oven will get them warm without making them any less tasty.
Putting your grilled sandwiches in the oven will keep the bread crispy without making the insides slimy. Since you only have to leave the sandwich in the oven for a few minutes, you won’t have to wait much longer than you would for a microwave, too.
If you have a lot of pizza to reheat (more than just a slice or two), the best way to do it is in the oven. This will keep the crust crunchy instead of turning it into a rubbery mess.
Reheat on the Stove
In most cases, anything you cooked on the stove can go back on the stove when it’s time to reheat it. Here are a few examples.
Soups and Stews
Microwaves don’t heat foods evenly, so if your soup or stew is full of a variety of veggies and meats, one item might be piping hot while the other is still cold. Heating it on the stove will heat everything at the same rate.
Pasta can turn hard in the microwave. The stove won’t ruin the texture, but you may need to add a splash of water or milk.
Like pasta, rice doesn’t do well in the microwave. The best way to reheat rice is to put it on the stove with a bit of water and a lid. The steam will help keep it tender.
Putting vegetables in the microwave can make them soggy. Turn the stove to a low temperature and make sure you stir them often.
The stove is a quick and simple way to reheat meat, but you have to be careful. If you don’t turn the meat over often, it can get dry and burn.
Only want to heat one or two slices of pizza? Instead of turning on the oven, stick them in a pan on the stove. Don’t forget a lid. This will make the crust crispy and the toppings nice and warm.
Reheat in the Microwave
So what can you reheat in the microwave?
You can stick almost anything in the microwave, but you’ll get the best results if you stick to foods like:
But remember, the microwave will never do as good of a job as the oven or stovetop. If you do have to reheat foods in the microwave, make sure you take them out from time to time and give them a good stir. This will help all the food heat up at the same rate.
Not sure if you should stick your food in the microwave?
If you’re trying something new, like one of the recipes from Foods Guy, you should avoid the microwave. Otherwise, you might be able to enjoy your leftovers at all.
Learning How to Start Reheating Foods the Right Way
Reheating foods with the proper kitchen appliance will completely transform your meal. Leftovers might not taste as good the second time around, but they’ll taste a lot better if you keep them out of the microwave.
Want to learn some other helpful cooking tips?
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