Leftovers? Ditch the Microwave!!


microwaveFrom childhood, most of us have been conditioned that if you want to reheat your food, you put it in the microwave and its ready in minutes! Now as adults it’s time to break the cycle! First you’ll have to learn a lesson in patience, since this method isn’t as “INSTANT” as the microwave method, but your patience will be rewarded by avoiding rubbery foods. If you’re like me, then the microwave doubles as a bread box and any time I need to use it I have to unload all our baked goods from it which is one of the reasons why I’m lazy and prefer the oven method.

The method we are going to talk about today is extremely encouraged if reheating proteins such as steak, chicken, pork and all things fried. You can also reheat vegetables, rice, pastas with sauce, whatever leftovers (other than liquids) you have lying around in  your fridge. Rather than “nuking” your food in the microwave, this method slowly reheats your food keeping fried chicken crispy, steaks juicy, pizza crispy, and vegetables and rice steaming. You can still heat your vegetables and rice in the microwave if you’d like, but I just throw the whole meal on a tray and heat together and so I’m not timing everything to come out together. This method keeps your proteins juicy rather than drying them out in the microwave. The microwave uses the moisture in food and “steams” them, causing steaks to overcook and chicken to be dried out. I definitely recommend this method for all things fried if you want to maintain that crispy texture in your leftovers. Here’s my non-microwavable method for reheating leftovers:

Preheat oven 325 degrees F. Place food on a rimmed cookie sheet and heat in oven for 15-20 minutes or until food is heated through. I like to line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil so it makes for a quick and easy cleaning. If you are reheating fish, I recommend heating it for a shorter period of time (8-10 minutes).

If you are reheating pizza, I recommend just turning on the broiler and setting the pizza directly on the rack without a sheet (you can put a sheet pan on the rack underneath to catch any cheese or falling toppings). Broil pizza for 6-8 minutes until golden. Keep an eye out on your pizza, depending on your broiler, things can escalate quickly. This keeps your pizza crispy and avoids that “cardboard” texture you get by reheating in the microwave. 

Scott and I have used this method to reheat all our leftover from chinese food (including fried rice and lo mein), to steak dinners from a date night restaurant, and even lasagna and pastas covered in sauce. *If your pasta is dry and you throw it in the oven, you are just going to end up with crispy noodles rather than plump noodles. If that’s the case, ditch this method and reheat your plain noodles in microwave. Another option is to cover your noodles on the sheet tray with aluminum foil, by covering it, it traps the moisture and steams the noodles. You may need to reheat longer for desired warmth.

Don’t get me wrong, this post wasn’t about putting your microwave to the curb, I still like to reheat my rice in it and let’s not forget, it’s still my bread box.

Have any kitchen hacks you want me to try? Leave a comment below & I’d love to test it out!

Mabuhay!

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