Let’s face it, almost everyone loves to eat delicious foods. Whether it be pizza, pasta, or chicken everyone has their go-to favorite meal. Aside from its nourishing quality, food is also apart of social dining. Often times when dining out with friends or family, however, our eyes can be a bit bigger than our stomachs and we end up having to ask for a doggy bag. However, after a meal has been placed in the fridge, it never tastes the same after it’s been nuked in the microwave. One thing that food lovers have in common, is the hatred of waste. It’s the absolute worst when you bring your leftovers to work or school and the microwave destroys it. Whether it be:
- Burnt Soup
- Soggy Bread
- Stiff Baked Goods
Wasting food is never fun. Especially when it’s spoiled to a rookie mistake like reheating incorrectly. We’ve compiled a list of tips on how to properly reheat your food so you never have to throw anything out again.
Get ready to always have to best left overs at school, or in the office, because we’re about to dish out some serious hacks. Even if you prefer to eat your leftovers cold, you’re going to want to write some of these down.
1. Waffles: Instead of saving your waffle batter in the fridge which can result in a huge mess and takes up space, cook up the whole batch and when it’s time for leftovers the next day, reheat them in the waffle iron and they’ll be nice and crispy again.
2. Pasta: The best way to evenly reheat your pasta is to arrange the noodles in an O shape so that there is a hole in the center. This increases the surface area of the dish and allows it to warm the noodles equally without burning the bottom!
3. A lot of the time, a batch of freshly baked cookies goes rock solid in just a day. If this happens to you, wrap them in a damp paper towel and stick them in the microwave for a few seconds. Afterwards, they will return to their soft and warm texture.
4. Spaghetti Sauce: Tomato based sauces are one of the few things that actually taste a bit better when reheated. The tomatoes get a bit caramelized and the taste is intensified when placed in a pan with some butter.
5. Chicken Wings: If you find yourself lucky enough to own a griddle or Panini press, they work wonders reheating wings.
6. Breaded Food: Skip the microwave on your breaded and fried foods as this usually results in an oily mess. Save these dishes for reheating on a tray in the toaster oven as it will prevent the breading from getting soggy.
7. Rice: To keep rice fresh, place a wet paper towel over the top when heating up and this should help to keep the grains from drying out. This tip is helpful when it comes to takeout leftovers.
8. Fries: There are a few different ways you can enjoy leftover fries. One way is to briefly microwave and then use a sandwich press to ensure they’ll be hot and crisp. Another method is to re-fry them into a burrito or a hash brown by mixing them with regular burrito ingredients such as bean paste.
9. Soup: For reheating soups or sauces, a great method is to boil a half cup of water and add it to the bowl. Heating up cold, and even semi frozen soups, can cause uneven heat distribution which can cause some parts to remain cold and the bottom to burn.
10. Bread Sticks: This may seem gross at first but it works. Soak the bread in water until it gets damp by wrapping a moist paper towel around it, or use a spray bottle to coat the bread. Next, pop them back into the oven for a few minutes, or into a toaster oven. Once it’s done, your bread will be nice and crispy again.
11. Pizza: Reheat your pizza slice in the microwave with a cup of hot water in a mug beside it. This trick will result in crispy, fresh crusts that won’t get as soggy.
12. Steak: If you like your steak cooked a certain way, say medium rare, reheating your leftovers in the microwave isn’t a great idea. Instead, pop it back in the pan with some butter for a quick sear on each side and you’re good to go. Cutting the steak into cubes before doing this can also help.
13. Creamy Pasta: If you’re heating up macaroni and cheese or Alfredo pasta, chances are it gets clumped together and is no where near as desirable. To fix this, add some milk and/or butter to the dish and mix before microwaving. This will revive your pasta to it’s creamy, delicious state.
14. Fried Chicken: Heat leftover chicken in the oven at 400 degrees for about twenty minutes. It’s very important for the chicken to be room temperature before reheating.
15. Meat: Reheat meat in leftover chicken stock. This will add extra flavor to your meal as opposed to watering it down. Just make sure to use the correct type of broth that matches the meat.
16. A general hack is to simply avoid the microwave whenever you can. Instead, using an oven, toaster oven, or waffle iron are generally better alternatives—all of which can be used in several creative ways to reheat food.