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oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 04:24 AM

Hi There, hoping i can get a few good tips...

In general, is there a method to reheating meats?
Some kind of foolproof method?

I had a disappointment a few nites ago reheating some nice leftover grilled
med-rare New York strip steak that was juicy and pink.
I had sliced it thin and just wanted to reheat for the next nite (with the juices).
I had placed it in a frypan over LOW heat and even so, I turned my back to
make a little salad and next time I checked, the pieces were cooked through,
greyish, and ended up tasting dry to me.... I wanted to cry.

This happens a lot, and I hate it.
I don't seem to have the knack for reheating things well.......

I have 2 beautiful thick grilled pork chops leftover now, and
GEEEEZ I want to reheat them tonite, NOT repurpose them...

I also have a delicious Mac and Cheese to reheat...

Is there a general rule of thumb to reheating? Please?
It occurs to me that this is why ppl don't like leftovers....

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  1. Musie RE: oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 05:47 AM

    Try wrapping the pork chops up in foil, then reheating in the oven.

    1. inaplasticcup RE: oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 06:01 AM

      If you have time, one of the best things you can do for reheating food is to take it out of the fridge for a good 30 minutes or so before reheating and let it come up closer to room temp.

      That aside, I find meats almost always do better in the oven. That thinly sliced tritip would probably take 8 to 10 minutes (in foil preferably) in a preheated 375F oven. And as Musie suggested, the pork chops would work better there as well.

      But if you must use the microwave, covering the meat with a damp paper towel (damp enough that a little bit of water drips from it) creates just a little bit of steam which helps to keep the meat from drying out as it reheats. And meats never seem to take anywhere near as much time to reheat as most people seem to think they do.

      The mac n cheese will do fine in the microwave, but can also benefit from that damp paper towel trick.

      Also, with microwave reheating keeping the portion small helps, rather than, say, putting half a casserole full of mac n cheese in there. OTOH, it'll be just fine to put all of it into a traditional oven.

      5 Replies
      1. re: inaplasticcup
        Sooeygun RE: inaplasticcup Sep 7, 2012 08:58 AM

        The alternative to keeping the portions small in microwave heating is to stir frequently. I can't believe the number of times at work I see someone put something in the microwave for a full 3 or 4 minutes and then complain that it's not hot in the middle.

        For mac and cheese, or other casseroles, I like to reheat in the microwave until mostly done, then throw new cheese or breadcrumbs on top and put under the broiler to crisp up.

        Another tip, pasta dishes need added liquid when re-heating or they will be dried out. When I am setting up my leftovers for lunch, where possible, I chill the pasta and the sauce separately (take my lunch portion out ahead of saucing), so the pasta doesn't suck up so much of the sauce leaving it dry the next day.

        1. re: Sooeygun
          inaplasticcup RE: Sooeygun Sep 7, 2012 09:48 AM

          Excellent point about redistributing things. That used to get me too when I worked in an office environment. :)

          1. re: inaplasticcup
            ScoobySnacks20 RE: inaplasticcup Sep 18, 2012 07:24 AM

            For proteins in the microwave, my "secret" is low and slow. I reheat at maybe 10% power with a little water added to a close container and slowly bring it back up to temperature. A cheap man's version of sous-vide if you will.

            1. re: ScoobySnacks20
              Karl S RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 18, 2012 10:51 AM

              Even cheaper is the bag under hot tap water method, and with less risky results...

        2. re: inaplasticcup
          greygarious RE: inaplasticcup Sep 7, 2012 10:06 AM

          I realized many years ago that I do not like the flavor of reheated roast meats or poultry. The taste definitely changes. The remedy, as iapc suggests, is to let the leftovers come to room temp on the counter, then cover them in heated gravy/sauce to warm them up. Or warm the slices just a little, on low microwave power. Get used to warm, not hot, as the desired temp for eating reheated meat and poultry.

        3. Sooeygun RE: oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 06:04 AM

          When I'm reheating nice pink meat slices like you were, I heat the sauce/jus or whatever it is being served with, turn off the pan, add the meat and serve immediately. Doesn't end up piping hot, but it's hot enough to eat and doesn't get overcooked.

          I often have leftover pork chop for lunch at work, I slice and heat for less than a minute in the microwave, however long it takes to just take the chill off and pour my hot sauce over it. Or bury it in my heated potatoes or rice.

          Leftovers may not be as good as the original meal, but they are way better than most of what I can buy near my office and cheaper.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sooeygun
            EWSflash RE: Sooeygun Aug 2, 2013 08:20 PM

            Sooey, sometimes leftovers are even better than they were originally.

            1. re: EWSflash
              Sooeygun RE: EWSflash Aug 3, 2013 05:40 AM

              True. there are some things that benefit from a little time in the fridge.

          2. ipsedixit RE: oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 07:49 AM

            For meats, do this.

            1. Take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp.
            2. Then put it in a ziploc bag
            3. Then run it (the bag with the meat) under hot water from your faucet.

            6 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit
              todao RE: ipsedixit Sep 7, 2012 08:35 AM

              Ditto ..... or put it in a sealed plastic bag and drop it into a pot of heated water (sometimes hot tap water falls short of being hot enough) while you're "turning your back for a minute". Best of luck ..

              1. re: ipsedixit
                Veggo RE: ipsedixit Sep 7, 2012 08:48 AM

                A poor-boy sous vide...

                1. re: Veggo
                  firecooked RE: Veggo Sep 8, 2012 08:33 PM

                  And if you do this "a lot" it would pay to get a vacuum sealer.

                  1. re: firecooked
                    Veggo RE: firecooked Sep 8, 2012 08:39 PM

                    Worth considering, thanks.

                2. re: ipsedixit
                  Karl S RE: ipsedixit Sep 9, 2012 03:14 AM

                  Correct, though step 1 is not necessary. Hot tap water is warm enough to activate the tenderizing enzymes in meat, but not to actually cook protein much further (unlike water that is heated to a higher temperature). This is really the only good way to re-warm meat without cooking it any further. Try to get as much air out of the bag as possible.

                  1. re: Karl S
                    fourunder RE: Karl S Sep 9, 2012 08:31 AM

                    This is really the only good way to re-warm meat without cooking it any further. ....


                    I would respectfully disagree. I've reheated many a leftover Steak or Roast Prime Rib, using the low heat oven method, that has not effected the cooked temperature of the meat.....the only noticeable difference is the exterior/surface of the meat on The Prime Rib will tan or grey, but the interior of the meat will stay rare or medium-rare as originally cooked..While I cannot argue with you on the scientific end, I can tell you the short 10-20 minutes inside will turn a cold firm steak....into a soft warm steak. I can't imagine a 200* oven temperature cooking the meat any further, as I have never seen even the slightest hint of a ring developing, indicating meat has been cooked by heat penetration.

                    I've mentioned on Home Cooking how I feel a longer rest is my preference for holding meats. Others have used my method of cooking roasts to temperature, then holding roasts for two hours before serving, before re-warming for up to 30 minutes at 250* and finishing with a 450* blast. They all responded the meat on the second phase is not recooked to a higher temperature than they originally intended or expected..

                    The low oven method works well with other meats or poultry too, e.g., pork chops or fried chicken

                3. f
                  FrankJBN RE: oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 08:19 AM

                  "This happens a lot, and I hate it."

                  What, overcooking?

                  Do you think it might have something to do with "I turned my back", left the stove and took the time to make a salad? I do.

                  Especially when you are cooking for a second time thinly sliced meat that has by definition been cooked once already.

                  My great kitchen credo is you can always cook it more, you can never cook it less. Just because you are doing something else doesn't mean that the food in the pan is, it's still cooking. Stay on top of it.

                  1. paulj RE: oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 09:35 AM

                    The doneness of meat depends on its temperature. When you first cooked the steak, you stopped the cooking when the interior reached a critical temperature (in the 130-140deg range). That initial cooking involved high heat, but only the outside got that hot. If during reheating any of that 'juicy and pink' meat gets hotter than it was during the first cooking it will be over done - turn gray and dry. So you either have to use low heat (140 or less), or time things just as carefully as you did initially - even more so since the cooked meat does not have as much water to buffer the reaction.

                    With mac n cheese and other pasta the problem is two fold - the pasta absorbs moisture from the sauce while cold, and it softens more when reheated.

                    Foods that required careful timing the first time around, such as steak and pasta, are difficult to reheat. Braised meats and stews reheat well.

                    With the items that a difficult to reheat, it may be better to eat them cold (or room temperature) or transform them. Reheating roast beef in gravy compensates for the added doneness, and frying mac-n-cheese, or making an omelet (fritada) from leftover pasta, are examples of transforming leftovers.

                    1. f
                      fourunder RE: oooYUM Sep 7, 2012 10:16 PM

                      for meats.......Reheat in the oven at 200-225*

                      1. Bryan Pepperseed RE: oooYUM Sep 9, 2012 04:10 AM

                        If you're like me and have "a thing" about cooking food in plastic I'd consider using a covered double boiler - not fool proof, but can be a little more forgiving than other methods.

                        If you don't have any problem with cooking in plastic I'd go with ipsedixit and todao suggestions above.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
                          Karl S RE: Bryan Pepperseed Sep 9, 2012 04:54 AM

                          The thing is that hot tap water is not hot enough to constitute "cooking" so the plastics issue is much reduced. It's a sub-cooking temperature, though hotter than what macrobioltics would allow (about 125F vs 108F): it's a very hot day in the low desert, shall we say.

                          1. re: Karl S
                            ipsedixit RE: Karl S Sep 9, 2012 12:15 PM

                            Thank you Karl for this PSA.

                            1. re: Karl S
                              Bryan Pepperseed RE: Karl S Sep 10, 2012 04:03 AM

                              You'll get no argument from me.
                              Actually, due to the fact that I hesitated to say to the OP "If you're a wack job like me", I didn't do a very good job at expressing that I'm fully aware of my phobia and that when I read Ipse's suggestion the more rational part of my brain was thinking that it might help me "get over" my problem.

                          2. boogiebaby RE: oooYUM Sep 10, 2012 08:37 AM

                            Don't turn your back on it next time. Sounds like you got distracted and forgot to check on it. since it seems to be a reoccurring issue, don't try to multitask in the kitchen.

                            1. r
                              r1949 RE: oooYUM Sep 17, 2012 05:41 AM

                              For items that have a crust,or in the case of bbq,either let come to room temp passively,or microwave just long enuff to get rid of the cold,and then put in a med high iron skillet to refresh the crust and finish warming interior.

                              1. Elster RE: oooYUM Sep 17, 2012 02:58 PM

                                I like to place the meat in a shallow dish and sprinkle over a few tablespoons of warm stock or boullion, then microwave until it's all piping. The extra liquid prevents it from getting dry and actually seems to soak into the meat during heating, meaning it comes out extra juicy and the flavour - which tends to be a bit flat the next day, I find - is amped up a little by the stock.

                                1. s
                                  Sl3879 RE: oooYUM Sep 21, 2012 04:48 PM

                                  I reheat most foods using the inverter turbo defrost mode on the microwave and check often. Heats up from inside and doesn't seem to have that reheated flavor. Works well for melting cheese too.

                                  1. r
                                    r1949 RE: oooYUM Aug 2, 2013 07:21 PM

                                    microwave briefly to heat up interior,then a very hot sear in cast iron to refresh the crust.It's all about the crust.

                                    1. EWSflash RE: oooYUM Aug 2, 2013 08:18 PM

                                      Well you didn't ask, but a great way to reheat leftover pizza is in a skillet.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                        fourunder RE: EWSflash Aug 2, 2013 08:38 PM

                                        Faster and better....try a George Foreman type grill

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