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How to reheat store prepared stuffing?

fldhkybnva Dec 22, 2012 06:53 PM

I raved about my love of Whole Foods stuffing at the Whole Foods hot bar to a friend and so she has decided to order a prepared meal for Christmas. However, in my experience with the prepared stuffing it looks and smells great and appears moist but whenever I warm it in the oven it becomes dry and is lacking that glistening, adherent quality that is so great about stuffing. My only trial I added a bit of broth to the casserole and a few pats of butter and heated covered at 350 for 20 minutes and it had a fall-apart texture and was fairly dryish and much different/not as delicious as the stuffing at the Whole Food bar. I have attached a few pictures to compare - the quality is not so good but the hot food bar version is in the unfortunately too dark picture with the other items and the prepared at home batch in the green casserole dish. It clearly has potential, but not sure how to help it achieve. Any tips for reheating? Thanks.

 
 
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  1. Cheese Boy RE: fldhkybnva Dec 22, 2012 08:47 PM

    Try Sous Vide. Also, try the microwave (using a slightly open ziplock bag).

    Edited/Added: (Depending on how adventurous you want to be, you can also try this with a Foodsaver bag ... heat up boiling water, place a folded dish towel in the bottom of the pot to keep the plastic from melting, and submerge your stuffing). HTH.

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      fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Dec 22, 2012 09:52 PM

      The secret to oven reheating is low temperature and patience.....200-225*, covered, then cover removed to crisp the stuffing if desired.

      When I cook stuffing, I do it on a cookie sheet so both the top and bottom are crisped. I cut rectangular portions for serving. I recommend the thickness to be 3/4 to an 1 inch thick for best results.

      10 Replies
      1. re: fourunder
        fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Dec 27, 2012 06:39 PM

        Do you add any additional stock or butter? I phoned the grandmother and she suggested just mixing in a lot of butter and adding some stock.

        1. re: fldhkybnva
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          fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2012 08:24 PM

          The only stuffing I really ever make has sausage in it and I tend to lean a little on the moist side , rather than the drier side.....so I rarely would have had to add it for leftovers or original heating and crisping.....however, if it were leftover for a few days, or defrosted from frozen...then certainly i would add either stock or butter as needed.....possibly even more breading as well if it were too moist.

          The method your Grandmother seems appropriate for a simple stove top reheat.....not in itself bad...just no texture.

          1. re: fourunder
            fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Dec 27, 2012 08:29 PM

            Yea, it didn't work out this time for her and she had similar dry results as I had when I tested out the prepared stuffing. While I have never made stuffing and will attempt my first sage sausage stuffing on New Year's Eve I imagine it's not too difficult and so that might just be the easier route in the future.

            1. re: fldhkybnva
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              fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2012 09:24 PM

              While I do understand the need for convenience in purchasing prepared foods..... For about $5, making stuffing at home and knowing exactly how it's going to taste from many previous Holidays makes it the only option for me....plus, the family loves it only this way. My preference is for Mild/Sage from Parks, Jimmy Dean or Jones brands....the others seem to have too much fat and makes the the stuffing greasy.

              Fine dice onions and celery (sweated translucent)
              Rendered, crumbled sausage
              Chicken or Turkey Stock

              Optional:

              Eggs
              Cream

              Always on a cookie sheet, which crisps better than Pyrex.

              Last, this stuffing works equally great for Pork Roasts or Stuffed Pork Chops.

              1. re: fourunder
                fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Dec 27, 2012 09:32 PM

                I love my grandmother's stuffing but have not had any experience with it myself but looking forward to hopefully a great batch reminiscent of hers on New Year's Eve...it includes all that you have listed above those I am torn between challah and traditional white bread or a combination.

                1. re: fldhkybnva
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                  fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2012 10:16 PM

                  To honor Grandmother....I would use Challah....or the combination.

                  I use either Pepperidge Farms or Arnold Country White (Fresh).....or the PF Herbed Stuffing Mix.

                  1. re: fourunder
                    fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Dec 27, 2012 10:24 PM

                    1 loaf challah and 1 loaf Arnold Country White would be an OK mix? Do most people remove the crust or dice it up whole?

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
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                      fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2012 10:53 PM

                      With fresh bread, I do 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes....your pan for 1-1 is fine. I would suggest you cube the Challah the same thickness as the Arnold Bread

                      I would use two pounds of sausage, or two tubes....but that's me. I want the flavor burst.

                      1. re: fourunder
                        fldhkybnva RE: fourunder Dec 28, 2012 08:08 AM

                        Great! Yes, I have 1.75 lbs of sage sausage which I spotted at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. It'll be a calorie bomb but oh well...it's once or twice a year. I plan to cube the bread and spread on a tray overnight and then if not dry toast in an oven at 200F. How dry is dry? Like croutons dry?

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
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                          fourunder RE: fldhkybnva Dec 28, 2012 08:38 AM

                          Definitely not crouton dry. You need to add your moist items, i.e. (eggs, cream optional) onions, celery and rendered sausage and stock to the bread and mix or fold until the wet items are fully incorporated into the bread so that all of the dry bread receives some moisture....If using just stock, i would start with two cups. Keep adding stock until you think it'll be best for your preferences. I like the stuffing to be moist, not wet to the point you would be able to see the stock actually pool in a spot....or very loose.

      2. fldhkybnva RE: fldhkybnva Dec 28, 2012 07:53 PM

        The stuffing reheat dilemma is over, but my grandmother called with another suggestion tonight in case someone is adamant that they don't really want to or have time to make a full batch of stuffing. She thought perhaps you could brown up some sage stuffing and mix it into the prepared stuffing with some additional broth. Thoughts on this approach?

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