Breaking News

How to reheat leftovers safely


Reheating food safely is a serious business. Failure to reach the correct temperatures or use the right techniques could result in a soggy dinner or, even worse, food poisoning. Follow these essential tips to get it right every time.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Reheating means cooking again, not just warming through, as is the common misconception. You should always reheat food until it is steaming hot throughout. Always serve reheated food immediately. Delay serving your meal and the risk of food poisoning increases significantly, as there is time for harmful bacteria to grow.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Preheat your oven or grill fully before reheating. If you skip this step, your food will not reach the correct temperature quickly enough and it may not be safe to eat.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Use a thermometer to check that your food is fully reheated. Stick the instant-read probe into the thickest part of the food to take the core temperature. This avoids all the guesswork and greatly reduces the risk of contamination.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Cut your food into small, equally sized pieces to help it reheat more quickly and evenly. Big chunks will take longer to reach a safe temperature than smaller, bite-sized amounts.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


As a general rule, use the same method to reheat the food as you used to cook it. Dishes such as chili and curry tend to reheat best in the microwave or on the stovetop, while dry, crisp foods, such as Southern-fried chicken, retain their texture best in the oven.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Take your time. Reheating food slowly helps retains its flavor and texture better than if you were to blast it in the microwave. That said, reheating your dish on a hot, high heat in a wok, frying pan or under the grill works wonders to crisp up shredded chicken or thinly sliced veg.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Foods that should be crisp (such as the skin on a baked potato or golden breaded chicken) reheat best on a lower temperature in the oven – around 340°F (170°C) should do the trick. Do not wrap these foods too tightly in foil otherwise water will become trapped, making your food soggy.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


In the microwave, heat foods of a similar density at the same time. A large piece of meat will of course take longer to reheat than small, green vegetables for example. To avoid overcooking, reheat your food in stages, adding ingredients to the plate one step at a time if necessary.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Before you pop your food in the microwave, lay it out flat in the plate or bowl, ensuring a similar thickness throughout. This will help the heat travel through your dish evenly.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Stop food from drying out by adding a little extra water or stock during the reheating process. Stock also adds a pleasing hit of flavor if you’re reheating a bland dish like rice.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Always check food labels in case they include instructions for reheating later and follow them carefully if they do. Stir throughout heating if required (especially to avoid cold spots in sauces and soups) and allow the food to stand if instructed.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


You can usually use plastic wrap to reheat food in the microwave. It will stop your dish from drying out and is especially useful when reheating grains such as rice, or other foods that have a large surface area.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


However, always check the product instructions before you use plastic wrap in your microwave. Not all brands are suitable and some may melt, contaminating your meal. Even if the plastic wrap you’re using can be safely heated, loosely cover the plate and avoid contact with the food while cooking to be on the safe side.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Needless to say, you should never use foil in the microwave but when used in the oven, it can help reheated food retain its moisture. Cover the dish loosely to allow enough steam to escape. This ensures the food remains crisp where it should be too.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Remove the foil covering your food halfway through reheating to allow it to crisp up where necessary. This is a particularly good trick for dishes with breadcrumbs or lots of cheese, such as fish pie or pasta bake.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Reheat pasta and sauce using a microwave-safe dish. Flatten out the pasta so it has an even thickness, cover with plastic wrap, set the microwave to 50% power to avoid overcooking, and cook for three to four minutes depending on the serving size. If your pasta has a particularly generous amount of sauce, it may be easier to cook it through on the hob. Check the dish is hot all the way through before eating.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Pizza reheats surprisingly well in a dry frying pan, especially a cast-iron skillet. Simply pre-heat the pan and drop the pizza in. The hot pan will warm the crust through while keeping it crispy. Heat until the tomato sauce is piping hot and the cheese is oozing.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Lasagna reheats best in the oven, covered loosely with foil and baked at 320°F (160°C) until hot throughout. Remove foil in the final stages to crisp up the top again. Alternatively, you can cover it with plastic wrap and reheat in the microwave for quicker results.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


31/31 SLIDES