Chef Secrets: Reheating Leftovers!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Reheating your leftovers the wrong way can ruin the flavor of the food! Personal Chef Bill Collins from ChefBill.com shared some inside secrets on how to reheat foods like slices of pizza and pasta.

Reheating Methods

Classic dilemma: How to reheat cooked foods: microwave, oven or on top of the stove. Or, if you have a few thousand $$ to spend, a built-in steam oven (these are wicked awesome, but we can skip these as an option).

Here’s the dilemma with most foods:
Time versus quality. A microwave will heat much fast, but can easily dry out the food. A regular oven will evenly and consistently heat the food. But will take longer.
For instance, a slice of pizza. In the micro, it’ll take 1.5-2 minutes. But will become rubbery and gross. In the oven, it can take 8-10 minutes. But the oven will also need 10-30 minutes to preheat, depending on your oven. A microwave will always heat faster than an oven. But most things don’t heat as well in the micro.
Microwaves can easily dry out food. If you do use it, splash in some water to add/keep some moisture.
If you do reheat with a micro, try to reheat items that have similar structures/content/moisture.
Such as, just a bowl of pasta, with maybe a little sauce. But not a quiche, which has both a crust and the egg filling If reheating fried foods, use the oven.
They will be disappointing in the micro for a few reason: often, varying textures (breading, chicken or fish, etc).
Plus, because of the way microwave work (they don’t heat, they just molecularly rearrange the make-up of the foods), the outer breading will just dry out and get mushy, never crispy. Use the regular oven.

Rule of thumb:

  • Preheat your oven to 350º for most foods.
  • So what does heat well in a micro? Some vegetables, fish, pasta, many soups and stews.
  • What doesn’t heat well in a micro: meat, poultry
  • What kind of container to use in a microwave: glass is best.
  • Also, microwavable plastic (read the labels) What container shouldn’t you use in a micro: plastic deli containers and styrofoam
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