The Definitive Guide to Reheating Leftovers

Rachel Tepper Paley
Yahoo Food

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Leftovers: the same food you had last night, except a little grosser!

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Strategically choosing the stovetop over the microwave could reinvigorate countless pizza slices. And microwaving your rice the right way could make leftover Chinese food a lot more appetizing.

Scroll down to learn how to reheat almost everything languishing on those refrigerator shelves.

1. Pizza

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Microwaved pizza is the worst. The crust gets hard and awful while the rest of it becomes squishy and wet. No longer! Heat up slices in a covered skillet for crisp rather than soggy slices.

2. Rice

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You know how Chinese takeout rice gets hard and brittle after a few hours in the fridge? It’s the worst. But here’s a simple trick: Place the rice in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it completely with a damp paper towel, and zap it for a few minutes. Voilà. Your rice is soft again!

3. Steak

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America’s Test Kitchen has a crazy-simple tip for reheating steak: Reheat it like you cooked it  but in reverse. That entails warming the steak in the oven until its center reaches 110 degrees, then searing it on both sides on the stovetop over high heat. Sweet.

4. Roast Vegetables

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According to the The New York Times, hearty veggies like kale, root vegetables, and chard should be popped in the oven for up to 30 minutes, covered, at 350 degrees. Want to add some caramelization to foods like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower? Let them hang out under the broiler for a few minutes.

5. Soup

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A thick soup will splatter if you reheat it, uncovered, in a microwave. If you don’t want your microwave looking like this, cover or reheat it on your stovetop. It’s a simple trick, but it’s one we’ve forgotten WAY too many times.

6. Pie

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Soggy pie ain’t no fun. Food52 cofounder Amanda Hesser suggests you reheat that slice in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. “You want it warm, not hot,” she says. Patience is key with this one, obvs.

7. Fried Chicken

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We’ll be honest with you, folks—fried chicken is never going to be as good as it was when it was fresh and piping-hot. That said, your best chance at a decent reprise meal is to wrap it in tin foil and throw it under the broiler for a few minutes.

8. French Fries

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Remember the advice we gave you about fried chicken? We’re about to give it to you again. Hit the broiler, baby.

9. Macaroni and Cheese

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If you reheat mac ‘n cheese in the microwave, you’ll get some crusty pieces, some overcooked pieces, and some pieces that never warmed up at all. Trust us; you’re way better off heating it up in a skillet on the stove.

PopSugar has a few other good tips: Start off by melting a pat of butter or a bit of oil. After adding the pasta, pour in a couple tablespoons of milk. The result is creamier, evenly heated pasta. And no crusty bits!

10. Turkey

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Ah, the most famous leftover of them all. Even the best cooked birds can taste dried-out the next day. The New York Times suggests spreading your leftovers on a baking pan, covering it with foil, and baking the whole thing at 325 degrees for up to 30 minutes. Crisp up any pieces that have skin, uncovered, under the broiler.

Go forth and reheat, readers. Just give that microwave a break once in a while.