How to reheat food without a microwave: 11 easy ways — Garlic Delight

Whether you ’ re animation without a microwave by choice or by context, you might be wondering how to heat up food to enjoy warm, muggy meals. here are the most effective techniques to warm up your food without sacrificing taste, texture, or meter .
An illustration of a microwave on a beach


vitamin a soon as I lost Internet, I realized the peal blackouts in Northern California had started. The news advised us to avoid opening the electric refrigerator if possible. With the electricity out, using the microwave was out of the wonder. At least, my friend ’ s seat where we were staying had a accelerator stave, which meant we could cook and reheat food.

In the past 3 years, we ’ ve landed in many situations where we didn ’ thymine have access to a microwave. In addition to California ’ s blackouts ( according to NPR, blackouts may routinely happen over the next ten ), my in-law ’ log cabin family doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have a microwave. Living out of hotel rooms and Airbnbs promised treacherous access to microwaves. Camping offers electricity-free survive. And our current place still doesn ’ t have a microwave ( though, I plan to rectify this ) .
As a accustomed mini batch cooker, I ’ ve had to develop techniques for reheating leftovers without a microwave. Because I work my software day caper, I don ’ t have time to cook every meal from scratch or barren a lot of clock time reheating during lunch breaks. today, I ’ m sharing the most effective techniques I ’ ve tried for reheating food .

1: Cook it again on the stove

Most foods that you previously cooked on the stove can be reheated easily over the stave. This includes vegetables ( like a chicken broccoli stir child ), sauces ( like pasta sauce ), stews, and curries .
Directions: Put the food in a sauce pan and cook it over gloomy to medium hotness. normally, it takes less than 5 minutes for me to reheat my lunch ( YMMV depending on how mighty your stave is ). Keep an center on it to make surely it doesn ’ thymine burn. It ’ s quick once it is affectionate enough for your tastes .
NOTE : This proficiency is best for foods that are relatively wet like soups. If you have dry foods to reheat like pancakes, you may want to try one of the methods below .
TIP: Leave the food in its original pan for faineant easy reheat. This is ace helpful when you ’ re working from home and motivation to eat lunch quickly .

2: Steam it

Steaming is excellent for reheating frozen foods, foods that stick together, and meat that can well dry out ( like chicken front ) because it ’ s a gentle cook method that uses moisture ( it ’ mho known as a “ moist-heat ” or “ wet ” cooking method acting ) to reheat the food .
Directions: Use a soft-shell clam basket. If you don ’ t have one, use a alloy colander in a bombastic soup pot and cover with a hat ( this is my current technique ) .
A plate of broccoli steaming in a colander


Steaming a plate of sautéed garlic butter broccoli for lunch using my colander and big soup pot. TIP: Keep the lid on while steaming.
If you don ’ t have a colander or a large enough soup pot, you can place a denture on an invert bowl that acts like a makeshift stand. See the visualize below where I used a heatproof stadium as a stand. Make sure the body of water doesn ’ t wholly evaporate and that it doesn ’ t touch the plate. Steam until your food is hot enough. If it ’ second freeze food, follow the box instructions .
A collage showing how to steam a plate of sliced steak


This is how I steam when I don’t have a steam basket or a colander. Be very careful when you lift the plate out of the soup pot because steam can burn you. Use oven mitts and tongs to move the plate.

3: Boil it

For foods that were previously boiled ( like boiled broccoli or beans ), boiling is the fastest direction to reheat. I recently purchased ramen that recommended beginning boiling the noodles and then reheating the sauce mailboat by submerging it in boiling body of water .
Directions: Boil water in a sauce pan. Add your foods for reheating. Boil until the food is heated through, normally within 2-3 minutes ( depending on volume and how cold the food was ) .
WARNING : Avoid boiling foods that have sauces and flavorings as the water will wash away the flavorings. besides avoid boiling cooked carbohydrate-rich foods ( like pasta and rice ). They might become mushy with besides much boiling ( unless you ’ rhenium aiming to make porridge ) .

4: Add boiling water

Some foods can heat up just by sitting in boiling water. I love this proficiency because it ’ randomness pacify, doesn ’ t want cook on a stave ( I use a kettle to boil the water ), and doesn ’ thyroxine necessitate supervision. Try this reheat proficiency when you ’ re camp or at a hotel with access to a hot urine dispenser .
Adding seethe water is a great way to reheat softhearted eggs, hotdogs, small amounts of green vegetables ( like green beans ), and bean curd ( this five-spice bean curd recipe is a good exercise ) .
Directions : Boil body of water in a kettle hole or over the stave. Place the food you want to reheat in a heatproof container like a mug, Pyrex measuring cup, or a small sauce pan. Pour boiling water over it. Wait for at least 5 minutes for the food to warm up .

5: Use a water bath

last workweek, I wanted to reheat my oatmeal breakfast. Because there was about a cup and a half, it seemed like besides little to reheat in a saucepan on the stove. I created a water bathroom, which worked better than I expected .
A water bath is the gentlest method. however, it takes the longest. So it ’ randomness best to reserve it for belittled quantities of foods or foods that are very finespun ( like scrambled eggs ) .
Directions: Place the food in a heat-resistance container. I used a glass jar. Sit the glaze jolt in a pot of simmering water. Continually stir the food until it is heated through .
A water bath with a jar of oatmeal


My morning oatmeal breakfast reheated in a water bath. Simmer on low and use oven mitts to protect your hands. Steam can burn you!

6: Pan fry it

many foods would benefit from pan frying to warm it up. This is an ideal “ dry heat ” fudge technique for fry foods ( wimp nuggets ), foods with a bunch of vegetable oil or fat ( pizza, burrito, yield proto-indo european — yes, my father-in-law has pan fried a slice of cerise pie to heat it up ), and foods that would get boggy if you reheated by boiling or steaming ( rice, quinoa, pasta ) .
One of our previous flatmates loved to pan child homemade macintosh and cheese that she previously froze. Heating it up gave the macintosh and cheese a flavorful crust on the external. This is besides why pan frying is an excellent direction to reheat leftover pizza because the crust gets crisp again thanks to pan fry .
Directions: Add the food to a non-stick pan over low to medium heat. If the food international relations and security network ’ t particularly greasy, add 1/2 teaspoon of petroleum or butter to ensure it doesn ’ triiodothyronine stick. These instructions for reheating crêpes offers a bit-by-bit guide .
NOTE: Pan fry is a great technique for reheating food that transforms the food into a new dish. For case, you can reheat boiled dumplings by pan frying them to transform them into potstickers .

7: Bake it in the oven

Baking in the oven or a toaster oven is a long-familiar way to reheat freeze pizza, casseroles, and meals. It ’ sulfur besides a great way to reheat a boastfully volume of food without drying it out .
For model, the day after Thanksgiving, my in-law normally have a second Thanksgiving dinner with leftovers. flush if they had a microwave, we ’ d hush use the oven to reheat the leftover turkey because there ’ randomness indeed a lot kernel that it would take a very hanker time to zap all of it in the microwave. Plus, the oven allows you to spread the kernel out in a single level and seal it to avoid drying it out. This is the best result for reheating leftover turkey .
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake your flash-frozen meal according to the package instructions. If you ’ ra reheating leftovers, add the leftovers to a baking attempt and bake for about 20 minutes until heated through .
NOTE: If reheating turkey, remove the remaining meat from the dame. Place the kernel in a single level. Add a few drops of water to the bake tray ( no more than 1/2 teaspoon — you don ’ t want to soak it ). Seal the bake tray with foil. Bake at 350ºF for about 15 minutes. Check the turkey every 5 minutes after the beginning 15 minutes has passed to make sure the joker doesn ’ thyroxine dry out. Remove and serve when the kernel is warmed .

8: Use the broiler

not to be mistaken with boil it, the broiler offers identical hot “ dry estrus ”. This is a quick way to reheat dry or fried foods ( fries, chicken nuggets, pisces sticks, pancakes ). You could even use it for reheating pizza .
Directions: Turn the broiler on to low and space your food on a baking tray. Broil it for 2-3 minutes. It ’ s fix when you ’ re happy with the heat. You can broil on high as well but you ’ ll need to watch the food like a mortarboard to make sure you don ’ metric ton burn it .
WARNING : Broilers get extremely hot. This means your food could burn in less than 5 minutes under a broiler turned to high. Switch on the oven lighter and watch your food as it heats up. Be superintendent careful when you take the food out because it ’ randomness identical easy to brush against the broiler and burn your hand. Always use oven mitts .

9: Waffle maker, sandwich press, iron and ironing board…

If you have electricity and a heavy surface that gets hot, you can reheat a bunch of flat foods. Waffle irons and panini presses aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate entirely great for reheating boodle, sandwiches, burritos, pancakes, and cookies. You could reheat fish, chicken breast, and early flattish foods that don ’ t have a bunch of sauce or juices .
My ally Lucy shared a picture of quarantine people using a hair straightener to toast a piece of bread. You could use an iron and ironing board to make a grill cheese sandwich .
Directions : Heat the waffle iron or panini weight-lift. Add your sandwich between the hot plates and compress. “ Grill ” the food until it is warmed up .

10: Use a warmer temperature environment

I used to microwave cold watermelon slices that came from the electric refrigerator because I have sensitive teeth. Since going without a microwave, I ’ ve been “ warming up ” fruits and vegetables by taking them from the electric refrigerator and leaving them on the kitchen rejoinder. I use the “ loose ” ambient air to bring my foods to room temperature .
For kernel and early frozen food where food guard is a concern, I place the food in the electric refrigerator to defrost. Yes, it requires more design ahead compared to a microwave that can do agile defrosts within minutes. But if you set a calendar admonisher or do it the night before, it works finely .
If you ’ re in a travel rapidly and can ’ thyroxine be flexible with your meal design, you can submerge the food in cold water to speed up thawing .
Directions: Leave your food on the buffet nightlong. Or leave your food in the electric refrigerator overnight to thaw .

11: Combine multiple techniques

The techniques I outlined above bring well together. For the fastest reheat, it can make sense to chain the techniques together .
For model, I normally take my lunch out in the mornings to bring the food to room temperature. then I pan child or boil my lunch to reheat it precisely before eating. Having the food already at room temperature speeds up the reheat action importantly .
Another more surprise model of combining techniques is using hot food to reheat cold food. If I ’ megabyte eating a curry with rice, for example, I boil the curry because it ’ mho easy to warm up using the boil proficiency. I don ’ metric ton trouble heating up the rice. alternatively, I mix the piping hot curry with the cold rice. This warms up the rice, cools the curry, and requires less employment while placid delivering a quick meal .


The main trick to reheating foods is knowing how something was originally cooked.
Can you use the same fudge method to reheat the food ? For model, steak is typically cooked with dry heat, such as grill or pan fry. You ’ ll want to use another dry heat method to reheat it to retain the crust and flavor .
If you ’ ra not certain how a smasher was cooked, find a recipe that teaches you how to make it. Follow the lapp cook proficiency to reheat it.

Think about the texture of the food and how dry it is. If you want to retain the texture, a gentle heat ( steamer or water system bath ) is better. however, if you want the food to remain dry, avoiding a wet/moist-heat method ( no poach, steaming, or boiling ). Try pan frying or baking it .
If you have specific questions on how to reheat a particular food, leave your wonder in the comments .
READ NEXT: How to freeze and reheat crêpes so they taste newly made