This is how you should reheat your leftovers

First advice - avoid the microwave

The key to reheating leftovers is to maintain the texture of the food. If your fries were crispy the night before, you want them to be crispy again... not a soggy mess - which is what the microwave will do. Here’s a list of 6 pretty common foods, and how to reheat them so they taste like they were made fresh- or as close to it as possible.

Are you sick of sub-par leftovers? Is your pizza a pale imitation of what it was the night before? Well, number one, stay away from the microwave.

The key to reheating leftovers is to maintain the texture of the food. If your fries were crispy the night before, you want them to be crispy again... not a soggy mess, which is what the microwave will do. Here’s a list of 6 pretty common foods, and how to reheat them so they taste like they were made fresh- or as close to it as possible.

  • Fries - For leftover fries, the greasier they were at the beginning the better. Just spread them out on a cookie tray, you can set a piece of parchment paper down first if you’d like, so they don’t stick, and put them on the top rack of the oven and put it on broil. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn and mix them around a bit, to encourage them to cook evenly. Once they feel crispy and warm they’re done. It generally takes around 5 minutes.
  • Pizza - Pizza is another common leftover, and it is super easy to reheat. Put it on a cookie tray, pizza pan, or better yet, a pizza stone if you have it, and put it in the oven at 350 F. You know it’s done when you see the cheese re-melt.
  • Steak - Now, personally I do not like to reheat steak as it never tastes as good as it does originally, but this method really impressed me. Step one, leave the steak out of the fridge and let it come up to room temp first before you add any extra heat. So you don’t end up with a well-done steak when you don’t want it, heat it up slowly. Put it in a frying pan with a little bit of beef broth and a lid to steam it. Once the steak warms through, remove the broth and give it a quick sear with some butter. This will be the best leftover steak you ever had.
  • Pasta - If you are making it at home, save the sauce separate from the noodles, and just warm up the sauce slowly in a saucepan. If you got it from a restaurant, like I did, put it in a frying pan, and we are going to use the same steaming method as the steak. Add a little bit of water, chicken stock, or even wine, depending on what the sauce is made out of, so that the sauce doesn’t dry out too much. Stir it occasionally keeping it covered in the meantime until it is entirely re-heated.
  • Pancakes - If you made too many pancakes for breakfast the day before, you can easily reheat these using the toaster oven. Just pop it in like a piece of toast! This also works well for French toast.
  • Rice - Finally, the only thing you should ever use the microwave for is to reheat rice. Put the rice in a microwave-safe container or bowl, and a bit of water, and cover it. Start at about 30 seconds, stir, and reassess how much longer it needs. It’s good to mix it every time you check.

Follow these directions, and no one will guess these are leftovers.


About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.