Easy Tips and Tricks to Properly Reheat Food

On days when you do not feel like cooking, reheating leftover foods to fill your hungry stomach could be a lifesaver.

However, reheating leftovers is much more complex than putting them on the heater. So it is essential to know the proper procedures if you want your food to taste fresh.

Reheating properly will also ensure that the nutritious values remain intact. This not only fills your stomach but provides your body with the necessary nutrition. In this article, we will take a look at a few essential factors you need to know to properly reheat food.

Which Foods Could not Be Reheated

Before you start reheating any leftovers, you should know about foods that cannot be reheated.

If you left your food out in the open for more than two hours, it is wise not to reheat that. Food left in the open for two hours or more will be contaminated by bacteria and may start to rot.

Additionally, any food left in the freezer for more than two days also should not be reheated. Because the cold temperature of the freezer destroys the nutrition value of these foods.

Things To Know Before Reheating Food

You need to ensure some important points of reheating if you want the food to taste good. If you do not heat it at the right temperature, your food will either be soggy or burnt. With that said, here are a few rules you need to follow while reheating.

1. Reheating Frozen Food

Frozen food that has been stored for at least two days is good for reheating. But you cannot just take them out of the freezer and put them inside an oven or a heater. First, you need to thoroughly defrost the food. Once you defrost a food, then it must be reheated within 24 hours.

Food out of a freezer attracts bacteria more, so those should be consumed fast after reheating. Also, a defrosted item should not be put into the freezer again. So be sure to defrost the amount of food you are going to eat, otherwise, the rest would go to waste.

2. Preheat Equipment Beforehand

When you take the food out of the freezer, you need to slowly preheat the equipment that will be used for reheating such as grill, microwave oven, etc. This is done while the food is defrosting at room temperature.

Preheating the equipment will make sure that the food reaches the desired temperature swiftly. For instance, if you are using an air fryer to reheat some juicy prime ribs, you have to reheat the fryer for about a minute or two. This helps the ribs heat better. For more information about the entire process of reheating ribs and other food items, check out https://limitlesscooking.com/.

3. Do Not Reheat Food More Than Once

Reheating food multiple times reduces its nutritious values. Also, once you reheat leftover food,  consume it immediately without letting it get cold. Otherwise, it will taste bland.

4. Cut Large Food into Smaller Chunks

Cutting larger portions of food into smaller chunks ensures that heat reaches equally in all parts of the food. Oftentimes people feel that their large piece of meat or fish is hot around the edges, but the inner parts are still cold and feel soggy. Light food such as vegetables or fruits do not have this problem as most of the time they are small, to begin with.

So cut your large meat or fish into smaller pieces before putting them inside the oven. Also, do not heat a large quantity at once. Separate the food items into smaller portions and heat them.

5. Reheat Methods for Stew/Curry

If you are reheating any food items that contain water such as stew, curry, or soup, make sure you heat them till it reaches boiling temperature while reheating.

Food items with water in them catch bacteria and other pathogens much faster than dry food items such as sandwiches or fries. So, getting them to boiling temperature will ensure the pathogens are dead, and the food is safe for consumption. Not following this method increases the risk of food poisoning.

6. Maintain Time and Temperature

There is a fixed time and temperature you need to follow for most food that you can reheat.

Most people think that if the food is warm enough, it should be taken out of the heat-resistant kitchen utensils. This may make the food warm enough to eat, but not enough to kill the germs and bacteria in it.

For dry food, you need to heat the food for at least 2 minutes. Heating the food at a high temperature for 2 minutes is enough for the food to reach at least 70° C. For pizzas, you need to preheat your oven for a few minutes at 200 degrees Celsius

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 70° C of internal temperature is enough to kill any bacteria present in any kind of food.

7. Stir Food If You are Using a Stove

If you are using a stove for reheating, make sure you stir the food. Otherwise, only the food at the bottom will reach a high temperature, while the food on top remains cold. By the time the temperature reaches the upper parts of the food, the lower part will start to burn. Stirring helps distribute heat equally all around and helps retain the flavor of the food.

8. Eat Reheated Food Immediately

As mentioned before, reheated food catches bacteria and pathogens fast compared to food that was just cooked. Not just for reheated food, but you should be eating food right as it is served. The longer you wait, the colder the food gets, and bacteria will start swarming in on your food.

Final Thoughts

The pizza that you could not finish yesterday could taste just as good the next day if you know how to reheat it properly. So make sure you know what type of food you are reheating and follow proper reheating techniques if you want to get the best out of your leftovers.

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