Pizza crust turns soggy in the microwave, says Nate Appel, a chef with the meal kit delivery service HelloFresh.
To keep the crispy texture, place slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. And if the crust is already dark, wrap it in aluminum foil—otherwise, it’ll burn while reheating, Appel says.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
2. Chicken and Steak
In order to keep meat from drying out, you need to reheat it low and slow, says Appel.
Place the meat in a baking dish and bake in the oven at 200 to 250 degrees until it’s warmed through. A one-inch thick steak or chicken breast should take 20 to 30 minutes.
You can get away with reheating rare steaks or pork chops without turning on your oven.
“Sear it on the grill or in a lightly oiled pan over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the cut,” Appel says. Since these meats are already less cooked, you don’t have to worry about a quicker, hotter cooking method drying them out
Heat roasted vegetables again in a hot oven to keep them firm and crisp. A microwave will just turn them to mush.
Spread the vegetables out on a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, and bake at 450 degrees for 4 or 5 minutes, says Nick Evans, author ofLove Your Leftovers. Piling the vegetables too close together can cause them to steam.
When they sizzle, they’re done.
Put last night’s fettuccine in the microwave, and you’ll be left with dry, crunchy noodles. Instead, fill a sauté pan with just enough water to coat the bottom of the pan, and add a drizzle of olive oil.
Drop in the pasta, stick the pan over medium heat, and toss often until the noodles are warmed through—which should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
“This technique basically steams the pasta, so it rehydrates while it reheats,” Appel says.
5. Soups and Stews
Nuking that big batch of chili you made last weekend will give you a mix of scalding hot spoonfuls and lukewarm bites. To reach an even temperature, gently warm the soup or stew in a pot over low heat. Stir occasionally until steamy.
Since simmering can cause some of the broth to evaporate, add a little extra liquid—like stock, broth, or water, depending on the recipe—so it doesn’t get too thick as it heats up, Evans says.
Like chicken and steak, fish can dry out if reheated at too high of a temperature and too fast.
Wrap the fish in a foil packet with one or two tablespoons of water or stock, and a drizzle of oil. This helps retain even more moisture, which is essential for delicate proteins like fish, says Appel.
Place the packet on a baking sheet, and bake it in the oven at 250 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through, Appel says.
Rice or other grains become crunchy in the microwave. Instead, scoop the rice into hockey puck-sized patties and fry them in a skillet coated witholive oil until they’re browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Stick a slice of leftover quiche or frittata in a covered, lightly oiled skillet and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. “This keeps the bottom crispy and heats the eggs gently,” says Evans.
The article “The Best Way to Reheat Every Kind of Leftover“originally ran on MensHealth.com.