Yikes. Looks like your beloved microwave has decided not to work… again. You’re standing in front of it with some leftovers from last night, frustrated as ever. You can’t believe that this is happening again.
Whether your microwave is actually broken, or you just want to take a break from using it, reheating your food without a microwave isn’t as difficult as it may seem. There are actually many different ways you can reheat food, and we are going to explore them.
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Use Your Stove!
You heard me. Reheating your food on the stove is one of the best decisions you can make if you don’t have a microwave.
Many people think that the stove is only for cooking, but that is definitely not true! The stove is a great resource for reheating pasta, soups, sauces, vegetables, and more of your favorite meals.
A pro tip when reheating your food on the stove is to find the correct size pan to heat your food in. If you’re reheating food for one person, use a smaller pan.
Another important piece of advice is to reheat food over medium-low heat using minimal butter or oil. Doing this will help you reheat your meal without burning it from excessive heat. Popping on a lid also goes a long way, as it helps with preventing dryness.
Something you may be confused about when using the stove to reheat food is when you should take it off of the pan, and the answer to that is simple; remove the food from the pan once you hear the bubbling or sizzling of the contents inside it.
While it does take longer to reheat your meals on the stove, using it instead of a microwave can be a total game-changer. It not only reduces the chance of your food becoming dry, but it also reduces the chance of splatters!
Pop It In The Oven
You bake cookies, brownies, and more baked delicacies in your oven, but have you ever thought of reheating your food in it? The oven is an excellent thing to use when reheating food, especially bread, pizzas, and pasta.
What’s phenomenal about using the oven to reheat is that you can place your food inside it to warm up while it is preheating, lessening the reheat time. This is amazing for those days where you’re in a rush and need to heat up something fast, or if you’re impatient and can’t wait to eat.
Something to keep in mind when reheating your food in the oven is to set it at 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit (121-148 degrees Celsius). The suggested reheat time in the oven for most foods is about 10-15 minutes.
With the oven, you’ll know when the food is fully reheated based on how hot or cold it is when you touch it. The smell also plays a part in knowing when it is done.
No Microwave? Toast It!
No, no, not the toaster. I’m talking about the toaster oven. This appliance is absolutely excellent for meals and dishes that are a bit smaller than regular sizes, such as lasagnas, pizzas, casseroles, and more.
To use a toaster oven for reheating, simply preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius) and place the food inside. Like a regular-sized oven, you can pop your meals into the toaster oven while it is still preheating.
A suggestion for reheating food in the toaster oven is to reheat it on top of a rack inside the oven. This saves you from excess grease that can simmer in.
Broil, Broil, Broil!
Not many know about the reheating qualities of the broiler, but it sure does help with reheating food! From breaded items to fried foods, the broiler might be your best bet when it comes to reheating without a microwave.
When using the broiler for reheating, you must move the cooking rack to the highest level of your oven before starting the broiler. Once the broiler is ready for use, simply place your food on the rack.
A pro tip when dealing with the broiler is not to take your attention off of it. Stay there and keep an eye on the food, because the broiler can burn your meal if you’re not careful. Another thing to keep in mind is that broilers run at 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius).
The reheat time for the broiler should be about five minutes, as the broiler heats up from before.
So… Should I Stop Using My Microwave?
Don’t get me wrong, microwaves are pretty amazing. They can reheat food decently, but the only issue with it is that it causes food to get soggy and quite dry. This is why exploring your options when it comes to reheating your food is extremely necessary.
If you are still using your microwave, then try to minimize the use for a while and see if any of the listed alternatives work for you. They are great choices and can make your experience with food much more pleasant.
While it may seem challenging to pop your food into something you normally wouldn’t use to reheat, it is definitely worth trying. Plus, once you are used to reheating food in other appliances, you probably won’t even think of using your microwave or buying a new one!
Therefore, my fellow chefs, go ahead and grab the leftovers from last night and try to venture outside of your comfort zone! You never know what you might find to be useful!