The best way to reheat all kinds of leftovers

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With inflation at a decade high, many of us are trying to stretch a dollar these days. whether to buy one cheapest steak cutswitching to branded groceries or learning how to identify a wine of great valueevery little bit helps.

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Ensuring food doesn’t go to waste is another way to keep money from flying out the kitchen door. When it comes to best reheating leftovers, there are excellent methods you may not have considered that will make last night’s food feel like the first time, every time.

Whether it’s a takeout classic like pizza, curry, pasta or tacos, some steak you took home from the restaurant, or last night’s homemade chicken with wine sauce, using the best way to reheat each type of leftover cuisine will ensure that they don’t end up in the trash or dog bowl.

Oh, and all the techniques described below work perfectly to heat up meals from an easy pre-prepared meal delivery service. (here are my favorite dining services in 2022.)

See More information: Find the best meal service for you with CNET’s meal delivery quiz

Get rid of the microwave

O microwave It’s probably the most commonly used to reheat leftovers, but I’d also say it’s the worst. Aside from foods like soup, plain rice or mashed potatoes, anything that comes out of the microwave will almost certainly have a degree of rubber that it didn’t have when it went in.

microwave in a stack

Move away from the microwave and towards the best leftovers.

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“But it’s much faster!” you say. Is it away? Most of the methods described below take less than two or three minutes. Also, microwaves are prone to messy explosions. If you have to clean the microwave after reheating food, it’s definitely not a time saver.

Pasta, rice, curry and stir-fries: Non-stick skillet

This broad category of classic takeout dishes includes Italian pasta, Indian curry with rice, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean noodles and Chinese fries. We’re really talking about any starchy dish like rice or pasta with diced vegetables, protein and sauce. The one thing they all have in common is that they are best reheated in a non stick frying pan or wok.

saute in the fridge

A quick spin in a nonstick skillet is the best way to reheat pasta, pasta, and rice dishes.

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A microwave tends to overcook noodles and noodles and will likely turn your chicken, shrimp or sliced ​​beef chewy. Instead, just toss everything into a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Play intermittently and within minutes, you’ll have something almost as good as when it first appeared on your desk or door the night before. And non-stick pans typically take 15 seconds to wash.

For rice dishes, consider a stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron skillet for crispy rice.

See More information: Are Teflon nonstick pans safe to use?

Pizza and flatbread: Airfryer

There’s a good handful of reasons why I love mine. fryer but none is more remarkable than reheating leftovers. Microwaves destroy pizza, so let’s scratch this one. Even toaster ovens take a long time, in my experience, and end up drying out the pizza the moment it heats up.

cold pizza slice

Why so sad, cold pizza?

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The quick burst of superconvection from an air fryer will reheat your pizza to crispy perfection in about two minutes at 400 degrees F, depending on how big and thick it is. Be sure to use the basket or grill, otherwise the hot, flat bottom of the fryer basket could burn the bottom of your slice. Personally, I won’t heat up leftover pizza any other way, and I suggest you don’t either. And if you didn’t have enough reason to jump into one, air fryers use much less energy than a large oven.

reheated pizza in front of the fryer

Two minutes in the fryer: now it’s more like that.

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See More information: The 5 Best Air Fryers for 2022

Fried chicken, french fries and other fried foods: Air fryer

Frying scraps have historically been one of the most difficult to bring back to life. Step into the deep fryer, which can revive fried chicken, fried dumplings, mozzarella sticks and even french fries like nothing else in the kitchen. Similar to pizza, it will only take a few minutes to heat up and you should have a crispy outer shell like when the fried food was initially cooked.

for thicker pieces of chicken, use a lower temperature around 325 to 350 degrees F for three minutes or so to ensure you don’t burn the outside before the center has time to heat up.

fried chicken

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp air fryer will make and reheat fried chicken just like any other appliance you have.

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Side note: Beyond rewarming fried chicken, a good deep fryer also makes delicious “fried” chicken (see above) and other foods with much less oil than traditional methods.

Steaks, pork chops, hamburgers and grilled meats: Cast iron skillet

Cuts of meat, including steaks and pork chops, are another food that can be difficult to revive. Don’t be afraid, because there is a way. While reheating the steak in a deep fryer or oven isn’t impossible, chances are you’ll dry out the meat. Instead, I suggest drying it again quickly in a covered hot pan. cast iron skillet for a maximum of one minute on each side. The hot surface of the skillet should bring the meat crust to life. Keeping it covered will help warm it up before the pan heat has time to overcook it.

pork chop in cast iron pan

Often, the way food was cooked is also the best way to reheat it. For steaks, pork and hamburgers, be sure to cover the skillet so it heats up faster.

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Fair warning: these types of reheated foods will never taste as good as when you first pulled them off the grill or plancha, but this method should let them go. most than edible.

Roast meats: Covered skillet or Dutch oven with chicken broth

Sauteed dishes, such as chicken in wine sauce or short ribs, should be reheated in a way that mimics how they were cooked. Simply heat them gently for a few minutes in a nonstick or stainless steel pan covered with an ounce or two or two of water or chicken stock. The hot liquid will heat and revive the meat, restoring its tenderness.

frying pan all clad

A skillet topped with a little chicken stock is the best way to reheat leftover roasted food.

all dressed

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