Mistakes You Might Be Making When Reheating Food
Everyone cooks so when you have leftovers, reheat it right.
Reheating food is a common kitchen practice. Whether it's that last few pieces of pizza from last night's movie night or the big batch of stew you made so you can store it for another day, these are all food that you need to reheat again.
Leftover food is actually convenient, especially for those who lead busy lives. It means you don't have to cook for at least another meal! It doesn't take a genius to know how to reheat food but it does take a few mistakes to make leftover food less appetizing than when it started.
Avoid these mistakes the next time you get hungry and reach for a container of leftover food to reheat:
Mistake 1: You don't immediately store it.
This may be the number one mistake to avoid when you have leftovers. Leftovers are leftovers because you don't want to eat it anymore. This is when the mistake comes in: you don't store it immediately and wait until later in the evening to store it.
According to food safety standards, food should not be left out at room temperature beyond two hours. So the habit and kitchen practice you need to develop is to promptly store leftover food in the refrigerator to keep it safe to eat later on.
Mistake 2: You reheat food in the microwave.
Not all food will benefit from being reheated in the microwave. Anything that was formerly fried will only become soggy and soft in the microwave. There are two ways you can recrisp up food like fried chicken, pork chops, and even French fries that was once crunchy:
- 1. Heat enough oil for pan frying and reheat it in that hot oil.
- 2. Heat the food in either the oven, the oven toaster, or in the air fryer.
Mistake 3: You don't eat leftovers within a few days.
Unless you freeze leftover food, leftover food needs to be consumed within a few days. Ideally, you should eat leftovers within 3 to 4 days for it to stay safe to eat. Beyond that, you should freeze your food for it to stay safe when you are ready to eat it.
Mistake 4: You don't heat it enough.
Once you decide to reheat your food, many cooks forget that reheating food isn't just about thawing it out and heating it enough to be delicious again. Leftover food needs to not only be reheated but it needs to be heated enough to kill off any bacteria that may have developed before you stored it. Remember that leftover food was out and exposed to the air, servings spoons, and about an hour of just sitting out on your table while you dined and enjoyed your dinner. All these factors might contribute to making your food unsafe.
What you should do is cook the food on high heat until heated all the way through, especially if it contains meat, and then let it stay at the temperature or at a simmer for about 10 minutes to kill any bacteria.
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