For reheating your precious leftovers, it’s scarce to find a way to get your food back to the perfect texture, taste, and consistency of it’s freshly cooked version. I’ve only got one trick to getting your once-wonderful-but-now-frozen meal exactly how it was the night prior and that trick involves a time machine.
Does that mean you should give up? Just look for the validation to throw it in the microwave and eat what becomes of it? Not today! It’s just important to treat certain leftovers differently than others to make sure you get the most out of your meal. Follow this guide to find the right kind of leftover and the right way to make it something delicious again.
If you’re looking for a way to bring your pasta back to life, moisture is key. If stuck in a refrigerator for too long, the pasta will just shrivel up and evaporate away and only the fountain of youth could get this to be edible then! But all you need to get those noodles tender is a little bit of patience and tin foil.
So what’s the best way to make that spaghetti edible again? I highly suggest spreading it evenly across a baking sheet. Cover it with foil and heat in the oven for 350 for about 15 minutes. The foil keeps the noodles tender and in a baking sheet, the oven cooks all of the extras (meatballs, veggies, sauces, etc.) perfectly and evenly.
I understand the struggle of not being able to finish a meal that is an amazing flavor experience. Which is why I lament having to put steak on this list at all. But steak is a food that has to be cooked in a very specific way that makes it both irresistible and difficult to reheat.
The part about reheating steak that is so tough is that it is very easy to make it, well, tough. It’s very easy to overcook it so I’d suggest putting it in a pan on low and covering it for ten minutes. Another way I’d suggest eating reheating steak is to not heat it at all! Cut it into chunks and throw it in a salad or slice it thinly and put it on a sandwich. Steaks have a very tender texture that makes it easy to overcook. Cold steak still has great flavor and would make a great addition to any dish!
Something special about really good ribs is the fact that they have that crisp on the outside and that oh-so-tender, melt-in-your-mouth-flavor-explosion feeling on the inside. And if you do it wrong, you could be looking at reheated ribs with a sad crust and a tough exterior.
The best way to reheat ribs is to toss them in the oven, uncovered, at 350 F for about 15 minutes. I wouldn’t suggest uncovered in an oven for most leftovers because an oven tends to dry out food. But with ribs, there is an exception because of the fats that they already have in there which just need a little warming up to get them back to their tender selves.
Wings – Bone-In and Boneless
Chicken is such delicious meat to eat, I mean, can you think of a single person (who is a meat-eater) that could say no to chicken wings? Though there is a constant struggle of bone-in and boneless chicken, I think it’s safe to say that there is a lot of love going around for both. Which is why this one is a twofer!
For bone-in wings, there is a lot of tenderness that comes straight from the extra bone a sinew, so there’s no need to worry too much about the meat getting tough. Similar to the ribs, I find the best way to reheat chicken wings is to leave them uncovered in the oven, but at 375 F and for about 10 minutes.
The best way to reheat boneless wings is completely different. If you put a boneless wing in the oven it will turn out as tender as a rubber ball. Don’t do that to your precious boneless wings. Instead, put it in the microwave for about one minute (one and a half minutes for more than 15) and leave it partially covered to keep in all of that steam. It’ll reintroduce all of that moisture in the wings and make it just as good as the night before.
So fries probably have to worst reputation for transforming overnight from a delicious crispy treat to a flavorless, droopy version of itself. It’s because similar to steak, fries were cooked in a way that can be difficult to replicate. And even if you could, are you really taking out your deep fryer for a handful of cold fries? Well don’t get that jug of oil just yet, I have an easier way to get hot and crispy fries.
My first option for you would be the most straight forward: a 450 F oven for 5-7 minutes. This method is great because it applies to all fried food; chicken, wings, fries, and even plantains. But the absolute best option for reheating fries is warm-up that waffle iron and toss them in. The direct contact from a heat source crisps up fries evenly; plus, waffle fries!
Who can say no to pizza? Not a single soul, but who can actually finish an entire pizza? Not many (hopefully!). And I’d like to bet that most people looking to heat up leftovers are just scrolling around this article until they found the “Pizza” subheading. Well look no further, there’s hope your previously hot and cheesy meal yet!
So you’re just going to put that pizza in the oven yes? It seems pretty obvious. Well, don’t you dare! Put that pizza in a pan on medium until the bottom has crisped. Afterwards, lower the temperature and add a few drops before covering the pan. It’s perfect for a crispy crust and melty cheese, you really won’t tell the difference.
It probably sounds daunting to reheat any leftovers in the hopes that you can make it what it once was and it probably sounds so much easier to throw it in a microwave and forget about it. But there are so many different ways you can reheat food and still thoroughly enjoy it. Eat on and remember to treat your food right!